search burger
search ×

About the Cancel Culture and the need to make everything so public

We have heard a lot about it, many opinions have been given on it, but has anyone really understood what Cancel Culture is?

By Myra Geraldine Meterangelo

After #metoo, #cancelculture was also elected “word of the year”. The first, a movement that came to light following the numerous complaints of sexual harassment suffered by women in the entertainment world.

The second is a term linked to the first because it supports the complete elimination of certain characters from the scenes, for their sexual misconduct. Cancel Culture then became the nerve center of an international debate from the moment in which numerous writers expressed themselves on the subject, through an open letter in Harper's Magazine.

But the question remains.

For me the question stayed alive for weeks, reading about it, documenting me, indeed doubts about what Cancel culture were multiplied.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

How are you finding joy today? 🥰 Repost: @girlgaze - - - - - - Your joy is important 💗 By illustrator @mimimoffie #girlgaze

Un post condiviso da Official Page (@metoomvmt) in data:

A definition of the concept of Cancel Culture 

I was able to get a more concrete idea of ​​Cancel Culture, and necessarily Call-out-culture, by reading the words of Loretta Ross who defines Cancel Culture as a culture: “where people attempt to expunge anyone with whom they do not perfectly agree, rather than remain focused on those who profit from discrimination and injustice”.

I instinctively wondered what the difference was between these two concepts.

Cancel Culture acts like a reaction to errors. In other words, given the greater exposure and visibility of public figures (and therefore their ability to convey messages and influence normal people) how does society react to the mistakes made? We speak of cancellation because the desire to totally exclude the subject concerned from any environment is increasingly widespread.

While the Call-out Culture is a form of protest that aims at denouncing and exposing the media and virtual problems that are thought not to be given due attention.

The power of online communication is fundamental to make the Call-out Culture a tool that can be used by anyone who, however, has a very blurred boundary with Cancel Culture. It takes very little to go to the side of those who want to do “Internet justice”, having started with all the good intentions of those who would have wanted to give space to a particular problem and make the whole society aware of it. If it were not yet clear, Cancel Culture is a harsh exasperation of the Call-out Culture and has in itself toxic aspects that do not produce a critical discourse.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

"Dear Survivor,⠀ ⠀⠀ As a Black woman working at the D.C. Rape Crisis Center in the 1970s, I had no idea we were making history. I knew then that I was a rape and incest survivor transforming my rage into activism to help other women in my community. But it is only forty years later that I've developed a historical perspective that enables me to situate our work into a long legacy of Black women standing up for ourselves against those who would silence our voices and suppress history. We confirmed our realities as Black women surviving white supremacy, and even without any apologies from our oppressors or our abusers, we forged ahead to build an anti-violence movement that has rippled around the world.”⠀ ⠀⠀ — SpeakOut Speaker Loretta J. Ross (co-founder of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective), excerpt from, “Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change The World”⠀ ⠀⠀ Artwork by @broobs.psd⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #rapevictim #rapesurvivor #breakthesilence #survivorloveletter #traumasurvivor #nomeansno #traumarecovery #traumahealing #lorettaross

Un post condiviso da SpeakOut Speakers Agency (@speakoutspeakers) in data:

Cancel Culture and Feminism 

It is not my intention to propose the brick from which everyone runs away as soon as the theme of feminism is introduced. So why Cancel Culture and Feminism? What is the point of contact?

The answer is so trivial that it is difficult to recognize. The point of contact is humanity. It very often happens that human beings lack sensitivity, in other words the ability to identify with a situation that happens to others and in which one should try to adopt an external point of view to really understand what happened.

Visualizza questo post su Instagram

They were called "dollies" by male bosses and told that "women don't write here." But in 1970, the women of Newsweek got fed up. Forty six of them sued the magazine for gender discrimination in the first lawsuit of its kind—paving the way for female journalists. In 2009, as a young writer at Newsweek, neither @jessicabennett (the author of Feminist Fight Club) nor her female colleagues had heard that story, despite struggling with many of the same issues of sexism as their predecessors, albeit less overt. In fact, nobody in their office knew the story. There was no record in their library; no archives to be googled. With the help of an old feminist text by the writer Susan Brownmiller—who had briefly served as a Newsweek "mail girl" in the 1960s, alongside Nora Ephron—they tracked down the women from that lawsuit, piecing together an oral history. They reported it in secret, knowing that their editors would never approve. And they even submitted it — at first — without their names. 🗞The story would ultimately be published in Newsweek, on the 40th anniversary of that lawsuit, but not before the magazine's editor recused himself from the process, the PR department refused to pitch it, and they were one foot out the door — prepared to walk out. That story would ultimately become the opening chapter to a book by Newsweek's first female senior editor, Lynn Povich, which was the basis for the Amazon series #GoodGirlsRevolt. It was also inspiration for the real-life #FeministFightClub on which this account (and the book associated with it!) is based. ✊🏼✊🏾✊🏿Here's to celebrating what's changed, calling out what hasn't — and remembering the women whose shoulders we stand on. For the 31 days of #womenhistorymonth, we’re highlighting the stories of feminist fight clubs you may not know, but should. 👭 #31daysofFFC

Un post condiviso da Feminist Fight Club (@feministfightclub) in data:

Many discriminations originate in the lack of understanding of a situation, of a state of mind. The concept of feminism, having overcome the banal connection between feminism and female issues, carries on various struggles that do not concern only the female sphere and this is how it connects to Cancel Culture.

I would try again. The point of contact between feminism and Cancel culture is given by a frame that we see frequently repeated in the world we live in.

Today it has become almost normal to see another subject suffer and feel gratification, or rather rejoice because “the other is in worse shape” instead of trying to improve oneself. To get almost obsessed with the lives of others, indistinctly, just to be able to feel good knowing that there are those who are worse off than us.

Aim for downward parity. 

We are constantly spectators of a world where an individual does something wrong/negative and, implicitly, deserves to be eliminated, deleted, canceled. The fundamental aspect, in my opinion, that makes this Cancel culture toxic is the lack of awareness.

Who could claim they have never been wrong?

Call-out culture is the answer you are looking for if, net of an objective analysis, you still believe that the behavior adopted is absolutely and unquestionably negative.

And, I promise, I come to the end of this reflection. 

Cancel culture and Call-out culture have become known above all because they are also implemented towards famous people. Sometimes the character cannot ignore the person so we cannot find ourselves justifying the person just because the character has won our sympathy or our esteem in the past.

So “I don't buy Woody Allen's book” becomes a sensible statement, behind a conscious reasoning of Call-out culture.

Speaking of Cancel culture, erasing and completely removing from memory a person or an action is not only wrong but also improductive. Reporting a mistake and giving relevance to the problems inherent in our society is right when you have the aim of improving yourself and improving the world in which you live. Doing it with sensitivity and critical thinking is a must.