This year has been jam packed with scandals, revelations, disasters, and the same old crappy behaviors. We've witnessed some pretty hectic situations, where thousands of people have lost their lives. We've also seen some amazing humanitarian acts, where people have joined together in the face of destruction. Every one of us has gone on our own journey over this year, experiencing new things. Regardless of what has actually happened, we have maintained our relationship with the media and the internet. There have been moments where the internet has united us and divided us, but what have we learned from it? Here are some reminders of what our media culture has taught us in 2017.
1. Hollywood is more corrupt than we thought.
With the whole Harvey Weinstein scandal and the power of the #MeToo movement, the world has finally seen just how corrupt Hollywood is. #Exposed. More and more information keeps trickling out to the public via news articles and more importantly Twitter posts, revealing just how deep this kind of predatory behavior goes. We have been given privy insight into the disgusting culture of silencing victims and people's turning a blind eye to such levels of inappropriate behavior.
There is a continuous stream of allegations surfacing in regards to sexual misconduct from other huge names such as Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, and countless others. The coverage on this scandal from every media platform has raised awareness to this enabling and blinded culture within not just Hollywood, but every
other industry. The Silence Breakers being named TIME's POTY has shown that our society is finally willing to take the first steps towards change. We are finally
listening to the brave victims and giving them a space to speak, demonstrating that there are consequences for these predators. Without the influence of the media, these victims may never have come forward, but with the growing community of survivors forming on the internet we can hope these actions will become a thing of the past.
2. A lot of America actually think like Trump.
With the election that has made history - although not for the better - we have learned that there is a surprisingly large amount of people in America that hold incredibly bigoted ideas. As Trump has made extremely clear, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and basic narrow mindedness remains a huge issue within this country. The fact that he was elected proves there are millions of people who agree with him, which is a scary thought itself, but maybe this is telling us we need a more inclusive discussion.
Throughout the year Trump has somehow failed to really surprise us. He has disregarded legislations, implemented new ridiculous bills, and has become a laughing stock on Twitter. We've learned that he is quite tech savvy, despite his inadequacy in so many other areas, and we've become so desensitized to crazy news that anything he does no longer shocks us; we merely nod in disappointment that our predictions were proven right. His prominent presence on Twitter has been the main window into his mind, and it is safe to say it's a bit of a strange view. It has, however, allowed the public and the government to have some level of transparency, so we can keep tabs on his decisions whilst having zero power to change a thing.
3. Queer cinema is finally having its time in the spotlight.
This year has taken giant leaps in the area of queer cinema. With films like Call Me By Your Name
and Signature Move
receiving numerous awards during their film festival circuits, we are witnessing some genuine queer representation. The Golden Globes and Academy Awards are coming around soon, and these films are making themselves known to the general public... and people are loving it!
The typical hostile controversy surrounding previous queer films has transitioned into a discussion on the importance of film within LGBTQI+ communities. Minorities' voices are finally being given a platform where people are actually listening, and it's only continuing to make waves worldwide. With countries like Australia also legalizing same sex marriage, our culture is moving forward rather than backwards on this front. With the help of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, we have more access to a wider range of content which in turn exposes different perspectives. 2017 is showing us that people want queer representation and that there is an audience for such films, which means there will only be more to come!
4. Hipster racism is a thing and it's disgusting.
This is the year we realized what hipster racism is and just how un-cool it is. After filmmakers Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner released a statement defending one of their colleagues over allegations of sexual assault, another conversation was sparked over Dunham's hypocrisy. Zinzi Clemmons, an ex employee of Dunham's, wrote a statement on her Twitter discussing this extremely common type of prejudice now known as "hipster racism." She further explained how this mentality is held by many seemingly progressive members of our society. These people continue their racist behavior and speech but play it off as some kind of joke, hiding behind their politically correct charade. Numerous women of color came forward sharing their experiences of similar hypocritical behavior from white feminists like Dunham, opening our eyes to something we've always known to occur but couldn't quite define. This has also lead into the conversation of intersectional feminism, allowing more women of color to call out the white feminists and push for more education on this issue.
5. We are not prepared for climate change.
With the wave of natural disasters occurring this year it has become clear that we are nowhere near prepared for climate change. The insane amount of flooding all over the world has caused unthinkable amounts of damage whilst killing thousands of people. The hurricanes, earthquakes, and bushfires that have hit us are said to be some of the worst we've seen or experienced. The destruction caused by mother nature herself merely proves that we are not prepared to deal with so much of nature's force, nor are we actively attempting to prevent it. As global warming continues its cycle and as we continue to do nothing about it, these natural disasters are going to continue to wreak havoc.
However, in the face of such horrific situations, people have shown some pretty amazing humanitarian acts. With the help of Facebook and other media outlets, we have grouped together to show our support for those affected, sending money, clothes and vital necessities. If this year has taught us anything, it's that our governments fail to listen to their people and we are failing to listen to our planet. Maybe all of these disasters is just our earth yelling at us to make some changes!