I’ve been pretty quiet on this one since I too have gotten a lot of messages (although nowhere as extreme) that are essentially bullying on Tumblr and I did not want to welcome those back. However, I feel really strongly that attacking and harassing people is not okay and I am tired of not saying something out of fear of backlash.
In Tumblr becoming a place where so many people are being bullied without consequence, I have begun to question whether it is really a blogging platform we should all continue to use. This is not just an issue with Laci Green (as far as I know Tumblr has taken no action on this issue, but feel free to let me know if this isn’t true). I see posts on my dashboard every day full of people being harassed for their gender identity, their sexual orientation, or the color of their skin without consequence to the people doing the attacking. Laci’s attacks are not on this basis, but I do hope that Tumblr takes this opportunity while their is so much visibility in order to stand up against all forms of online harassment present on their site. It is unacceptable and it needs to stop. Nobody deserves to be endlessly harassed, threatened, and attacked.
Is Laci Green problematic? Absolutely. I checked out the issues around trans* people, fat shaming, and Islam that she has been called out with and definitely agree that these are huge issues that were not addressed appropriately and did not lead to all of the changes I would have liked to see. It is important to be critical in situations like this. I really dislike seeing these issues in sex education, because quite frankly we cannot afford to have our educators erase, trigger, and push away the people we need to be including. We need to continue to reach out to everyone and offer them the information that is truly vital to their health and well being. This is also why we need more people from every walk of life reaching out to their own communities as sex educators. We need more than cis DFAB white often straight people doing the educating.
However, I also do not think that being problematic completely discounts you either. Some of the issues in Laci’s videos were several years ago and have been taken down and addressed. This does not excuse her actions, but it does point to a learning process that is vital to feminism and sex education. Many (maybe most) of us who work, volunteer, and advocate for sexual health come to inclusivity and intersectionality as part of a larger journey. From my place of privilege, I had to unlearn a lot of what I had been taught and to accept/check my privilege as an advantaged starting point. It is certainly a process that does not end.
My hope for Laci is that she continues on her journey of unlearning and acceptance/checking of privilege and reaches that place of inclusivity and intersectionality that we need in all sex education and feminist dialogues. I hope she continues to reach out from her place of high visibility and to educate others because we need more people talking about these things. I know I have learned from her, and I am sure thousands of others have as well and that should not stop. I hope that these relentless and ridiculous attacks cease immediately and that Tumblr takes direct action to address the portion of it taking place on this site, and that leads to drastic changes that will be inclusive of protecting all people regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or anything else. We need it, and should accept nothing less.