A rough timeline for your perusal:
Sinead O’Connor wrote her open letter to Miley Cyrus
Then, Amanda Palmer wrote an open letter to Sinead O’Connor
Followed by Ann Magnuson writing an open letter to an open letter
Polly “Superstar” Witthaker wrote an open letter to sex
It seems it’s the season of open letters, and I really want to be a productive member of society; hereby my open letter to the Internet.
Open letter to the Internet
It is with mixed feelings that I write you this letter, which unfortunately is just a cheesy format of a blogpost; I would have prefered by far to write it by hand, fold it into an envelope, address it, and drop it a mailbox on the street. Yet it seems that I cannot find your snail mail address anywhere online – though I did contemplate sending it to Google.
I am no celebrity, or a published author; I am merely a blogger, one of the thousands and thousands that live part-time in the world you embody. I can’t even twerk. But I hope that you will take the time to read this open letter to you. Please do remember that I love you, and am grateful for the space you have given me to grow as a teenager, in the days of badly written HTML and AltVista; the femslash fanfiction you so readily made available have shaped me in more ways than you can imagine.
But since you have come of age, moved beyond your prepubescent years, and even your puberty – which I always saw as coinciding with mine; the fun we both had, learning about ourselves: me exploring my body, you exploring your growing markup language and protocols – we seemed to have grown apart. I do not feel abandoned, yet it seems you are so much more focussed on flashy visuals, your new celebrity status as “Web 2.0” and your love affair with facebook, buzzfeed, twitter… I understand how this has come to be; you have been censored and policed, you have been used – some say abused – by rapists and pedophiles. But I miss you.
I want to simply ask you to be considerate. Free speech is your motto, yet you forget it so often. I don’t know if you are bullied to follow the mainstream ideas of sexuality, I remember us being a lot more liberal, but it seems that you go along in validating a cisgender, white, male world. Yes, you give us a hug and comfort now and then, when parodies of “Blurred Lines” entertain us, and critical thinking is given a space. I so love the voices of people of colour, of black South African radical women, of sex workers standing up for themselves, of women voicing their experiences of abuse. Yet we are drowned out by pictures of cats that go viral, or pop culture gone wrong.
I’m no doctor, and I only nerdy to some extent. Perhaps such instances are really beyond your control, maybe Miley Cyrus twerking and spanking a black woman’s ass is just your version of the flu. Perhaps I expected too much of you, and perhaps you are simply partial to the dominant ignorance to the plight of those who are under privileged and oppressed. Perhaps you don’t really care.
But I do…
I have loved you, and I won’t leave you. I simply wish you’d think twice before postings that are oblivious to issues of race and privilege are espoused and thrown into my face. I just wish I would not be told to “get over it” or “get a life” when I talk about the need for change. I wish my experiences could find a safe space online; I wish we can create dialogues that aren’t marked by ignorance.
But I know you are just a space, taken up by a society that perpetuates all the violence, stigma, discrimination, cultural appropriation, all the things that I’ve learned to oppose. I’ll be with you, please just think about what I wrote.
P.S.: I’m sorry for being anal (I mean in the non-sexual way… this time), but please do something about the
bad confusing spelling…