People on unfunnybusiness, lcsbanana’s blog and elsewhere have been making comparisons between Privilege!Fail and RaceFail!09. The tactics used by the racists and the anti-warning supporters have been scrutinized and found similar. (Some onlookers are saddened that avowed anti-racists are attacking sexual assault survivors and their allies using the tactics they recently so heartily condemned.) But an important comparison has not been made: how long it will take/has taken for each discussion to wind down.
I think Privilege!Fail is going to end really soon… if it hasn’t already. Liviapenn is never going to apologize; she won’t need to. zvi-loves-tv only needs to wait another week, maybe less, before everything returns to the status quo. Unlike Race!Fail09, nothing will really change and the audience will be smaller and much more self-contained.
Why? Race!Fail09 allowed a certain degree of emotional distance. For all the rage that poured out, it was easy enough to step back and think logically. You could be dispassionate about it. Privilege!Fail allows no such detached intellectual analysis. For one side, the whole issue involves emotion, deep gut-wrenching responses to the worst kinds of violation. And if you’re on that side, you just can’t sustain the response. It is exhausting. For some survivors, the whole discussion is potentially triggering, making it detrimental to their mental health. The only way to really prolong the discussion is to continually feed the rage… and really? That’s not the sane or emotionally healthy thing to do.
So Privilege!Fail just isn’t going to last as long. The emotional stakes are far too high.