a massively extended version of ruthlesscalculus’ post
Full version of the My Little Pony ~Tomodachi wa Mahou~ OP theme song, “Mirai Start” by Suzuko Mimori.
There have been a lot of people lately saying the only thing standing between freedom and fascism is the right of...
So the “cute” thing to do right now is purposefully mangle Benedict Cumberbatch’s name on Tumblr, and I would really, really like to see that stop. Not for any great love of Benedict Cumberbatch—I think he’s a fine actor as well as an attractive enough person, but otherwise, I don’t know nor care much about him—nor because of any real defensiveness felt towards fandoms involving him. I think that Elementary is great, that Sherlock is definitely problematic, and that Cumberbatch shouldn’t have been cast as Khan in Star Trek. So that’s not my problem at all here.
My problem is that people’s names are intimately tied to their selves and their identities, and names deserve respect. Disrespect and denial of names often come up as tools of oppression for just this reason. Women forced to change their last names upon marriage, trans people badgered to provide their “real” names, African-Americans who are told their names are “fake” … on and on and on.
Am I saying Tumblr is oppressing Cumberbatch? No, no, no. Of course not. I’m fully away that’s he’s a ciswhiterichhetman, etc., etc. But I am not a ciswhiterichhetman, and the name I currently possess is not the name I have always had. I’ve had people purposefully mangle my name or purposefully use a name that is not mine. who have treated my name as something that is theirs to use and abuse, and that feels really, really crappy. Watching people gleefully abuse Benedict Cumberbatch’s name as a way of putting him/his show/his fandom in their place feels really, really crappy.
And frankly, I don’t trust a single one of the people going around saying “Beneful Cumberbund, haw haw!” or whatever. Not a jot do I trust them. Sure, today it’s just some big name actor—who, let’s face it, doesn’t need me or anyone else sticking up for him. But who’s to say that tomorrow I don’t say something that somebody thinks is Woefully Incorrect—incorrect enough that I ought no longer be afforded basic human respect? Who’s to say that tomorrow somebody doesn’t decide that I deserve to be taken down a few pegs?
Or that you deserve to be?
Names are meaningful, names are powerful, and names are important. Everybody’s name. Even (but not especially, mind you, as this is hardly on the scale of oppressive misnaming) Benedict Cumberbatch’s name.
Feel free to hate him, hate his show, hate his fandom, whatever. Plenty of fuel for those fires, certainly, and there’s no disrespect in critiquing an actor or show. I’m just asking that people lay off the “misnaming as tool of power” thing, ‘cause that’s a crappy thing to do.
Yes, even to Benedict Cumberbatch.
(Though, as stated before, not especially to Benedict Cumberbatch.)