Something lacking in a lot of communities is tolerance.

No, not the taking-it-on-the-chin attitude, the ability to let people do what they want even if you don’t agree with it. And let’s be frank: this is all within reason, so anyone who was thinking in their head “but what about [insert the worst things ever]?!”, it’s clear to me what the line is. Yes, this line changes with each person, and for this very reason it complicates things. There are clearly things we should take with 0 tolerance. Knowing when to apply tolerance or not is a lacking skill – this is my point.

Take these copy-pasta definitions:

  • The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others. (Wordnik)
  • The quality of allowing other people to say and do as they like, even if you do not agree or approve of it. (Collins dictionary)

Regarding beliefs/opinions and whatnot, personally, if they are not harming anyone or anything I believe it is fine. I may not agree with what they believe in, but they can do them for all I care. And if I have to converse with someone who has harmful views? I got a chance to change their viewpoint. I can expose them to ideals and concepts to better them. The most powerful thing you can do is change someone’s harmful thoughts. Being a positive source of exposure can achieve this well, and/or making them accountable for their actions. We know shaming does not work well in terms of changing minds. [1] People online like to share their thoughts and express their opinions and this came be overwhelming to some. [2]

But before you attack someone online (or even offline in the verbal sense), think about what your end goal is. Do you even have one? Is it to cause them emotional pain? People talk of cancel culture a lot nowadays. Personally, if a harmful person gets de-platformed due to cancel culture, then fuck yeah I’m all for it in this scenario. Take a look at Cry. He was cancelled because he groomed minors (and more). Thank fuck people chased him off online so he could stop getting monetized for playing games and being able to exploit more people. Without an audience online, he has less chance to harm someone. And then there’s cases like Jenna Marbles. She did harmful things (e.g. black face. Stuff not in the same vein as Cry at all)in the past and gave audience to them, but this was in 2012 and such. She (rightfully) apologised and took the videos down after backlash. But this wasn’t enough for some people, and this is where people should’ve called it a day. It got so bad, sadly Jenna took down her socials and no longer does YouTube. If you go to her last viewable video, it’s filled with comments of lament and longing. Jenna was a perfect example of when people go too far with their axes. The deletion and apology was enough. If she did it multiple times after that, then 100% go for it, but she didn’t. I’m certain the online presence that did it had only one goal, and that was to remove & shame her.

But check this: having role models who are able to recognise their bad past actions and apologise is important. Let someone have the ability to change. Show people that individuals can change.

There was no aspect of this case that should’ve led to Jenna being pushed away from what she loved doing.

“If you like X, you’re an X” fallacy

J.K. Rowling. People call her a TERF, but there’s people out there who believe that anyone who likes her work (most notably Harry Potter) are supporting her views. Being a TERF is not a necessary condition for liking Harry Potter. It’s ludicrous the people that think it is. It’s a non-sequiter, if you will. And if you are one of the people that get upset over this, ask yourself why. Is it because you can’t separate works of fiction from author? Is it because your anger is misdirected at someone who is in fact your ally, but you choose to attack them and divide even further?

News to you all, you can dislike/hate a person but still like their work. Also: you can be a TERF and still support trans people. The whole meaning is lost between the "sides" & mudied because of a lack of understanding from people, but that's for another day.

I love Harry Potter (well, the lore. The books/movies? Ehh.). It seems a lot of these people who wrongly say that you’re XYZ for liking her work are young – typically minors. This is a theme going across other works with other problematic artists/writers etc. Not all of them are, and I don’t want to put it down to simply people being immature. I also like H.P Lovecraft’s work, and he was problematic. I’m a POC, by the way. I’m saying this because once again, I know there’s people out there who will think “oh, but it’s because YOU’RE not the one X hates!”. Got ‘em.

It’s difficult

I know.

I can be tempting to comment on that bigot’s newsfeed. Real tempting. And I’m no different! I scroll past and see shit I don’t like all over the place. Sometimes I think about it later, but I’ve learnt – or am learning - to build up resilience to it. I know that my spur-of-the-moment comment of anger likely won’t help and would probably just waste my energy.

Resilience is an extremely important life skill to hold. People may have to go through hardships to improve it, and this is seen all the way from an early age – from simply another child being chosen to use your favourite toy instead of you. Hardships shouldn’t forced on anyone to increase resilience, of course! This much is obvious. Not all stress is bad, etc. [4] The ability to bounce back, the ability to keep on going regardless, the ability to overcome challenges is an excellent life skill to hold and continually improve.

All in all, it’s our own responsibility to be able to judge the right action for the situation. At the end of the day, it's not on you for someone to change - it's on them. Just take a second thought before your next comment.


[1] On shaming, bullying

& here.

[2] College students' social networking experiences on Facebook

& here.

[3] Jenna's last visable video upload

[4] Child resilience