Table of Contents
- The Aftermath of Cancel Culture
- Promoting Social Justice Through Cancel Culture
A call-out is defined as when someone makes the wrongdoing of an individual known to a broader group of people, generally on social media. What makes them so authoritative is when the group decides to ostracize the call-outee collectively. Blackballing the victim on the wrong end of the call-out may pressure close friends and significant others to cut ties with them, hence the social isolation component of call-outs. Social isolation and public shaming are both forms of emotional abuse, and one can observe the devastating effects of a successful call-out when the target is forced to leave to stop the oncoming trauma. In today’s modern-day society, our cancel culture can directly parallel to the Puritan ways in The Crucible. Although calling out individuals may eliminate the use of slurs and offensive jokes, it is ultimately doing more harm to our society than good.
The Aftermath of Cancel Culture
To begin, society must reject call-out or cancel culture because of the bullying aspect that is included within callouts. In the INVISIBILIA podcast, Emily and Herbert, the two call-outers interviewed for the podcast, both stated that they felt much power and exhilaration when they called people out. “That’s what I was getting high off of. I fed into it really hard,” (Vasquez Castro, Invisibilia). Similar to bullies, Emily and Herbert both exhibited feelings of euphoria, and these emotions outweighed any feelings of empathy they could have for their victims. Consequently, as they continued to call people out, they were “addicted” to the feeling shunning others for their mistakes. As our society continues to accept cancel culture for what it is, we, in theory, become more amenable to bullying.
From recent observations to personal experiences, the most alarming part about our cancel culture is that it involves a system of people working together for a malevolent cause. It should look and feel morally wrong to anyone who has any experience with call-outs. For example, one of my peers, Gabriel (name changed), recently made a racist comment that caught fire throughout my grade. As word continued to spread, further labeling my classmate as a “racist,” he became more isolated in the social circles. People would take extra steps to ridicule his statements and current behaviors publicly. From a person that was thought to be a nice guy at first, to the lowlife Gabriel is made to be now, our call-out culture has, in turn, eliminated any respect or social status he might have had within our school. In our world, the use of canceling has been normalized, actively sought after by hopping from one victim to the next, making the group feel accomplished by collectively destroying someone’s career. It is shocking how drastically similar we are to the 16th century Puritans in this way. Throughout The Crucible, the reader can observe how uptight the Puritan lifestyle is, through depictions of punishments for doing simple misdeeds, such as dancing. When we continue to call-out members of our society, blowing simple comments out of proportion, we are just as bad as the Puritans.
Promoting Social Justice Through Cancel Culture
In this exceptionally controversial issue, some detractors believe that one of the profoundly misled ways of thinking is those call-outs are an acceptable way to promote social justice. Those who support this claim argue that a call-out is presumed justified when an individual does something wrong. Taking a step into a typical social media user’s mind, when a call-out has gone successfully, they have done a righteous deed, “cleansing” the world of another ignorant entity. They are self-justified to the instigators, the outsiders, and the targets themselves. Considering the relevance of cancel culture, some can claim that society accepts that two wrongs make a right. However, such opinions are relatively dogmatic and inattentive. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil” (Matthew 5:38-39). Jesus emphasizes the importance of repaying evil with good, a point that can be analogous to the call-out culture. The majority of today’s society thinks otherwise. Call-outs are unique because they mask the real intent by pretending to be a justified accusation when, in reality, it is just another form of harassment. By confronting an individual because of their wrongdoings, the group undoubtedly proves that they are no better than the guilty. No positive resolution results from singling out a liable individual, eliminating the need to expel them from society publicly.
In our world, bullying comes with an extremely negative connotation, so what about cancel culture makes it socially acceptable? Society must strive to eradicate the double standard and perceive the detrimental effects of call-outs and abuse. Keeping this in mind, we must endeavor to rid our society with the double standard, in regard to physical vs. cyberbullying. To call-out an individual based on mistakes implies superiority and flawlessness. However, mistakes are inevitable, and to claim perfection is utter fraudulence. Cancel culture may seem necessary on the surface, but in reality, it exemplifies more negatives over positives. Ultimately, the ramifications of fighting fire with fire engender no benefits and only lead to devastation for the guilty.