The ‘Excellent Human Being Awards’ and Why It’s Weird that They Should Exist

February 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm (Uncategorized)

I, like many people, follow Wil Wheaton on Tumblr and Twitter and Google+ and basically everything–mostly because Wil is on everything and advocates first adopter policies like me. People know Wil mostly for Wheaton’s Law: “Don’t be a dick.” It’s a great law.

(okay, other people know Wil for staring in ‘Stand By Me’ and “Star Trek: TNG” and other things like that)

Lately, Wil has been talking a lot about the head scratch-worthy political climate that is going on in the good ol’ US of A (as many people are) and a lot of what he says boils down to “How can you think to do things like this? You’re being a dick. Stop it right now.”

It’s a good couple of questions, Mr. Wheaton. I can’t answer any of them.

David Willis is a webcartoonist. (web comic artist? Content creator? He makes his living by drawing comics and posting them on the internet, and he talks about Batman and Transformers a lot) David has this truly unique position of being a white, straight male between the ages of 18-45 who has less (if not none whatsoever!) internalized misogyny and ‘white male problems’ than most WOMEN–and it’s really sad and scary when you think just how unique this position is.

You see this when David posts comics like this one from Tuesday in the comments section of just how many people fail to understand the straw man’s position is not actually a straw man. It actually happens. People routinely say these things verbatum in forums all over the internet. (oh, internet. Where would we be without an anonymous location to dispose of all our hateful thoughts?) It also gives me hope when David’s Twitter feed is routinely littered with things like “Man, I was not prepared to deal with this much white male privilege until tomorrow.”

Hell, David’s own WIFE has realized that she holds more internalized misogyny than her husband does.

So why talk about these two fairly unrelated men? (I mean, I think they’re both aware of the other’s existence, but I don’t think they’ve traded cell phone numbers)

I was thinking earlier about how I’d like to give both of them some kind of award. Like on Tumblr people always say “YOU GET ALL OF THE AWARDS”. But a physical award. A sort of Excellent Person Award.

And then I realized how problematic it was that I wanted to make an award to give to people who are pointing out how horrifically wrong certain aspects of society are and trying to change it.

I mean, shouldn’t that be an ordinary thing? Realizing that oppression of people based on who they are is completely wrong, realizing that any sort of contrived privilege is wrong, realizing that the world has moved on past the 1800s and backwards thinking should be corrected?

How ridiculous is this? Both that it’s taken me so long to realize this, and that it exists to begin with.

And how can we even begin to change this?

Now, not every aspect of what either Wil or David are saying is completely true. Some things are wrong, because they are only human. But it’s just very hard for me to think about how a lot of people can take what they do say, and laud it all as completely incorrect.

(I know it’s all based on what you’re raised around, but even that’s hard for me to understand, based on my own rather lax upbringing in the ‘these beliefs are correct, and do not think otherwise’ department. I mean, besides the whole ‘don’t steal/kill/hurt people because that’s mean and wrong’.)


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