I’m on #teamwerejectyourfalsedichotomy *and* #teamnotgonnashutup

So, the whole #teamelan vs #teamdianne thing that’s been keeping a large segment of  the twitterverse, bookface and the blogosphere hatertained this weekend?

If you haven’t already read something about it, you can get up to speed on the background via Butterflies and Wheels and Popehat. Short summary: some guy called Elan live-tweeted how he ‘schooled’ another passenger on a plane for being annoying, with thousands of approving retweets, then a storify of the tweets went viral, with high-fiveing blog posts and FB shares showcasing the storified tweets to a readership beyond Twitter. Elan’s justification was that the other passenger had been rude to the flight attendants therefore he was standing up for service staff against obnoxious customers. Then some others started saying “wait a minute” about how the narrative looked very much like the live-tweeter being a smug bully who escalated a situation that the flight attendants had already handled, making life much harder for the flight attendants in the process, for no reason other than having an internet connection and time on his hands.

So now there’s much debate/stoush about how much of Elan’s live-tweeted narrative is fact or fiction or a combination of the two[1], and there’s many #teamelan folks very very upset that Elan is being criticised for his narrative celebrating his self-described bullying behaviour, because [insert justification for why Diane deserved it here] (so shut up).

There’s also much criticism of those not on #teamelan[2] for not just “letting it go” because “it’s only Twitter”[3] (so shut up).

Then there’s the mocking of those criticising Elan (not least from Elan himself), mockery for being so gullible as to believe the epilogue (a report from a purported relative that ‘Diane’ has terminal cancer and that’s why she was behaving in a self-centredly irritating way about the flight being delayed upsetting her Thanksgiving plans) because there was no independent verification of her medical condition[4] (so shut up).

I’m not engaging directly in the twitterstorm on this, but I commend everybody who’s not shutting up about what the initial reaction to Elan’s tweets revealed: tens of thousands of people cheering a man on while he told a story of harassing and bullying a woman who was a total stranger, a story of harassing and bullying a woman who couldn’t get away from him in a confined space, a story of gleeful satisfaction with how he was making her soooo upset. A story where he gutlessly didn’t reveal his own seat number in the notes he sent to her seat number. A story where he showed zero consideration for the passengers who were sitting next to her while he was upsetting her. A story where he showed zero consideration for the flight attendants who had to deal with her not calming down despite their best efforts because he kept on harassing her to keep her upset for the duration of the flight.

It doesn’t matter whether Diane actually exists or not. What matters is that this story told by a man to justify the harassment and intimidation of a woman in a confined space was so widely celebrated as “hilarious”. But don’t you go looking behind that curtain to examine the general approbation of keeping women down by policing every little deviation from patient compliance, little ladies. Just smile at the super-hilarious ‘schooling’ of that uppity bitch over there, and learn your lesson about how not to end up like her (so shut up).

Right. That sort of bullshit couldn’t possibly matter at all. #teamnotgonnashutup

Footnotes:
1. Elan Gale is a reality-TV producer who is known to have live-tweeted fake stories about ‘schooling’ women before. (back)
2. See what I did there? It’s true! Not being on #teamelan does not mean that therefore one is on #teamdiane! #teamwerejectyourfalsedichotomy (back)
3. Yeah, what could anybody possibly learn from studying patterns of interaction on a a real-time global self-publishing media platform that encourages rapidfire responses anytime anywhere? #teamnotgonnashutup (back)
4. That there is no independent verification of any of Elan’s narrative either seems to have passed these mocker’s scepticism filters entirely. (back)



Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, Life, media

Tags: , , , ,

8 replies

  1. The things I miss by concentrating on Tumblr.

    • And called it! Elan’s now tweeting that he made it all up. So now there’ll be a new wave of “so shut up” pushback about how none of the criticism counts because Diane doesn’t actualy exist. I’ll just repeat my last paragraph:

      It doesn’t matter whether Diane actually exists or not. What matters is that this story told by a man to justify the harassment and intimidation of a woman in a confined space was so widely celebrated as “hilarious”. But don’t you go looking behind that curtain to examine the general approbation of keeping women down by policing every little deviation from patient compliance, little ladies. Just smile at the super-hilarious ‘schooling’ of that uppity bitch over there, and learn your lesson about how not to end up like her (so shut up).
      Right. That sort of bullshit couldn’t possibly matter at all. #teamnotgonnashutup

  2. Not to mention that one of his “schooling” phrases in his nasty little fantasy was “suck my dick” or something along those lines. Yeah, sexual harassment makes you such a hero, dude.

  3. There was a very good blog post about this by a American WOC blogger. I will try and find it again. She made some excellent points.

  4. I haven’t followed the entire thing, but I notice in the comments I have read, more claims that Diane has been “saintitfied” (by the Elan critics) than any evidence of anyone saying anything much positive about her.
    Because don’t any of us dare judge a man as having behaved worse than a woman in a given encounter.

  5. Well said.
    It’s amazing if he thinks this story reflects well on him, including if he thinks making it up reflects well on him.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Ophelia! I guess it depends upon his personal metric for “reflecting well” – his “hilarious” story netted him somewhere near 100K new followers on Twitter, and he strikes me as the sort of person who thinks that sort of reflection is very important. After all, if they like the story enough to follow his timeline, then they’re probably not the sort of people who are going to unfollow him just because he’s now saying it was pure fiction.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: