YouTube Decency Standards or Controlling Creators?

Why do you hate the people making you money, YouTube?

Okay, that’s an admittedly abrupt way to start an article. But after the long string of problems we’ve seen coming out of YouTube – including their archaic automatic copyright strike system that’s still a problem today – we seeing garbage like this.

The short version of the story goes as follows; YouTube has made a new set of guidelines allowing them to pull monetization rights from videos that they feel may too violent, sexual, or controversial for advertisers. For those like me who are strictly anti-censorship, this would be bad enough. But, they had to make it even worse by defining the guidelines in such vague terms that they could pull ad revenue from videos at random and arbitrarily.

In fact, I don’t really need to say anything as one of my favorite Youtubers, James “Caddicarus” Caddick, said everything that needed to be said in the above video demonstrating the hypocrisy of the new guidelines (bonus points for giving Nicki Minaj’s garbage music a proper thrashing as well).

Look, I know this is going to be the shortest article I’ve ever written, but I just don’t have the strength to keep up with this sort of thing and there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said before. So, I’m just going to say this and be done with it – YouTube corporate, you need to understand that this is not a hobby on the web anymore; it’s a job and people are going to treat it as a job. All of the attempts to control content will only serve to place enmity between you and your creators.

If you’re that worried about how your advertisers feel about placing their product next to Nicki’s jiggling ass, maybe you should try letting THEM decide where their ads go instead of making a blanket statement that you can (and likely will, if corporate greed acts its part) use as a blank check to destroy a channel that rubs you the wrong way.

And if that’s just too much work for you, then stop whining and learn to live the fact that the world will always have a bunch of dreary crap in it and you will never stop people from talking about it.

Bottom Line: If Steven Universe can get away with having Garnet and Amethyst’s sexy fusion dance on cable T.V. (huh, more Nicki Minaj. Weird), we should too.

Feminist vs. Pro-Feminist: Thoughts On a Trend In Gender Politics

To call this guy “Pro-Feminist” would be an insult to my 3rd favorite game, one of my top ten favorite voice actors, and the noble sportsman’s hobby of EXPLOSIONS!
Source: thevirtuallyunreal.tumblr.com

Recently, I was introduced to a fascinating new idea in the fight for gender equality. Apparently, there are some fresh young minds out there that are attempting to use language to strengthen the fight for equality between the sexes.

In essence, some people feel that by having men call themselves Feminists, it detracts from the efforts of women in the Feminist community that the school of thought was intended to help and empower. However, they also don’t want to take away from the men who actually try to make things fair for everyone. To that end, some people have started encouraging male Feminists to start calling themselves “Pro-Feminists” instead.

Before I get into my usual criticism, I’d just like to say that I understand the thinking here. People want to celebrate the women that Feminism was made for. That’s a perfectly noble cause and I feel their hearts are in the right place.

However, I can’t help but see a few potential problems with this new set-up.

First, for all of the concern about language diminishing the efforts of women that started this movement, supporters of this change seem to have missed how they flipped the issue 180 degrees on to men now. By using the phrase Pro-Feminist to describe male Feminists, a person seems to be implying (however unintentionally), that men can’t be useful to the cause and be a part of the team. It makes men look like an other in society and creates the atmosphere of “no boys/girls allowed” that Feminism was meant to challenge and destroy.

Also, I feel like the word implies a sense of laziness or apathy to a person. A Feminist sounds like someone who actively tries to fight for equality; a Pro-Feminist sounds like someone who’s into the idea, but can’t be arsed to actually do any work for it. And remember who’s saying this; as a creative writer, radio personality, journalist, public speaker, and stage performer, I know how important it is for a word to sound just right.

Lastly, this new language ignores how much good Feminism does for men as well as women. For example, every time a guy gets bullied and taunted by being emasculated with feminine slurs (i.e., being called a bitch, a p***y, a c***, ETC.) or is criticized for being “too girly”, that throws every woman under the bus as well by implying that feminine is bad. It may be called feminism, but it’s meant to help EVERYONE be equal to each other regardless of their gender or the gender roles they choose for themselves.

In short, I personally feel there’s nothing wrong calling yourself a Feminist regardless of your gender. All that title means is that you believe in striving for a society that doesn’t judge a person’s value or force roles on them based on their gender. Perhaps what we really need is to change the word “Feminism” to reflect that belief a little better.

Of course, this movement in language is still young and anything could happen. I await your thoughts on the subject, world.

Eww-phemisms: The Agent on Euphemistic Language and Context Vs. Content

Why not? When it’s done in wartime, we call it “neutralizing the target.”
Source: missionimprovisational.blogspot.com

Today we broach another topic that I once covered in my college newspaper days. Those who know me know I have a fascination with words and how they are used. To that end, I feel it’s time to discuss the use of euphemisms.

A euphemism is defined as the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt. This, I feel, is the problem. “Mild, indirect, or vague” is, to me at least, just another way of saying weak and emotionless.

Euphemisms don’t accurately convey the emotion or the seriousness of the things they are supposed to represent. One famous example of this was when the late comedian and thinker George Carlin pointed out the evolution of the term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the original phrase Shell Shock which, in his mind, weakened the impact of the word and might have inadvertently caused fewer people to be concerned about it and those suffering from it..

I am from the school of thought that says that the words we use should reflect the context of a persons speech – not the content. What a person says is not nearly as important as what they are trying to convey with what they say.

To explain what I mean, take the word “gay” for example. In and of itself, “gay” is not a negative term. Even gay people refer to themselves and one another as gay. It’s when someone uses the word to describe something or someone they have disdain for (Ex. “That’s so gay.”) that the context shifts from neutral to negative. The word itself has no power until the speaker bestows it with his or her context.

We don’t need to clean up the language by softening it; we need to focus on the people that use language as artillery to hurt others. And that hurt can take many forms. Whether it’s a direct attack as in the “Gay” example I provided or tricking people into thinking that changing the language changes the situation ala Carlin’s PTSD example.

Language is a powerful force and it needs to be respected and used responsibly as you would any other tool. What we say is not nearly so dangerous as how we say it. Please, think before you speak.