Monday, February 25, 2013

Race, gender, age: The Onion shows your biases

The funniest tweet of the Oscars showing goes to The Onion:
Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right?
Some would say that the tweet is about how cruel, heartless, and shallow reviews are when speaking about people on the red carpet.

That was probably the intention of the author of the tweet.

However lots of the Twitter-verse thought it was mostly insulting Wallis, a nine-year old black girl from Louisiana.

The Onion later apologized for the tweet.

What is the funniest part of all this? The reaction on Twitter gives away what issues many think of first!

The reaction touches on a number of issues - race, gender, age.

Here is Ophelia Benson's reaction:

Meanwhile the Onion shows how it’s done, while live-tweeting the Oscars, by calling a nine-year-old girl a cunt. Well why not after all? She’s a girl. Hey if you object to that you must be a PROFESSIONAL VICTIM. Quit SCOURING THE INTERNET TO FIND SOMETHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT.
Rebecca Watson tweets:
(If you're not familiar with the shit thrown at 9-year old Quvenzhané Wallis last night, here ya go [...]

There are many examples of other (predominantly white) feminists on Twitter being mad about the c-word being used to describe a nine year old girl. Many of them don't even mention her race directly.

However there was another opinion voiced from many others on Twitter:

@bretech2 tweets:
I'm sick of young African American girls who have achieved success being put down in media. GABBY, Ms. Q WALLIS this is a pattern @TheOnion
@graceishuman (re-)tweets:
RT @so_treu: email @TheOnion and tell them what you think about their racist misogyny: [...]@theonion.com
@deluxvixens tweets:
Let's also be clear: deciding that black women of any age exist to be the targets of abuse did not start w/ @TheOnion.
@Carnegro tweets:
In light of The Onion comment about Quevenzhane, please respect the myriad of reasons that Black women are upset by the comment.

More tweets:
RT @reallovepunk: This whole The Onion attack on a 9 year old black girl is exactly why I wrote this: [...] via @EBONYmag
@will83_swat writes:
I wonder who is more disrespectful to black women; african american men or the onion?

@8DAZE adds:
In light of this Onion comment and all the other disrespect, when do African people decide to detach from this racist mainstream America?

One group of Tweeters emphasized age/gender, while for some race/gender became the greater points of contention. Was the c-word tweet more racist than misogynist?

The Tweet of the day goes to @eddieb2 :

Uh oh. @onion apologized! What will we rant about for the rest of the day before we turn around and talk bad about Honey Boo Boo?

 Seems to put things in perspective.

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