A few days ago, Diabetus made a post on his Formspring which
referenced our blog. I recommend that everyone read this post
This is going to be a long response to his post. I have been working on this
ever since I first read it. Please take the time to read it if you have asked me
a question and haven’t gotten a response. Our inbox is flooded with questions
(over 300 now), and many of them are abusive. We will try to answer as many
legitimate questions as possible, but some are bound to slip through the cracks.
Anyway, on to the response:
What Diabetus got right
Many people have commented that we only have negative things to say about
Retsupurae. This is a silly complaint, since this blog was specifically created
to criticize their behavior. They don’t deserve a cookie every time they fail to
insult and dehumanize some group of people. Here, though, Diabetus is
apologizing for past behavior based directly on a previous post of ours.
So, it makes sense to highlight the progress he’s made.
In his post, Diabetus claims to regret making transphobic and homophobic jokes.
He realizes that making such jokes prevents Retsupurae from being as inclusive
as it should be. In his words, the jokes were “tasteless” and “lazy”. He ends by
apologizing for the comments that he made.
This is good. This is progress. However, we shouldn’t be complacent, as there is
much more progress to be made.
What’s special about homophobia and transphobia?
At the time Diabetus wrote this apology, we had other blogs up addressing issues
such as body shaming, cyberstalking, and the trivialization of
the experiences of breast cancer victims. However, he dismissed these
other issues as “farcical”. Why is Diabetus able to see some problems, but is
blind to others? Those already familiar with the social justice movement can
easily see that he is blinded by his privilege when it comes to gender issues.
Body shaming, cyberstalking and breast cancer are not issues limited to women,
but they disproportionally affect women to a large degree. If you believe he is
sensitive to women’s issues because of his opposition to PewDiePie’s rape
“jokes”, I will address that in the next section.
But wait, if Diabetus is cis-hetero, why is he not also blinded by privilege
when it comes to homophobia and transphobia? There are two explanations I see
for this. One is that he may be (or may have been) “questioning” on his
sexuality, gender, or orientation. There is no direct evidence of this, but
it’s always a possibility. The other explanation is that our education system
has done a much better job of bringing lesbian, trans, and gay issues to light.
It would be a tangent to dive into this topic, but here’s one piece of evidence
for this: there has been a trend of seeing a larger percentage of the population
identifying as homosexual. This is great news, not because
homosexuals are “better”, but because more people feel they are free to express
their sexual identity. There is no doubt that this is also true for trans
people, and I welcome seeing more of the population identifying as trans in the
What about PewDiePie?
In case you’re not aware, Retsupurae has recently made a video mocking the
popular Youtube LPer “PewDiePie”. One of the main complaints that Slowbeef and
Diabetus had about him was that he would often make rape “jokes” which amounted
to little more than talking about raping various objects or people in the video
games he played. I will not link his channel for this reason.
Unfortunately, while Retsupurae is obviously right in calling out this behavior,
their criticism was unbelievably anemic. To them, the problem with rape jokes
apparently has nothing to do with the feelings of rape survivors or people who
must face the very real fear of being raped every day of their lives. No, the
problem is that the jokes aren’t clever enough. Slowbeef even made sure to
distance himself from feminism while complaining about the rape jokes (from
Retsutalk episode 10). What’s wrong with being a feminist, Slowbeef? Are
you against gender equality?
This PewDiePie incident would have been a great opportunity to educate people on
rape culture, but instead we get some weak criticism of a Youtube personality.
In short, no, Retsupurae does not get a cookie for being against some
unfunny rape jokes. End of story.
Where do we go from here?
So, we’ve seen some tiny signs of progress from Retsupurae, and we should make
the most of it. Diabetus realized that his background has blinded him to certain
social issues. The next step is to show him the other issues that he’s still
unable to see properly. That’s what this blog is meant to do.
Another important step for Retsupurae would be to examine their previous videos,
delete the ones they’ve found offensive, and explain why they’ve done this in
the next Retsutalk. In my estimation, this would amount to a large number of
videos, but hopefully they find inclusiveness and the fight for equality to be
more important than a channel’s view count. This really is necessary if Diabetus
is to be taken seriously in his apology.