Richard Armitage: Why praise needs to be tempered with honest criticism

[This post is critical of Richard Armitage. For me “critical” is a different category than “negative,” and “critical” is not necessarily evidence of being “unhappy.” However, if you’re a reader who books anything that isn’t 100 percent positive about Richard Armitage into the category of “negativity” and can’t differentiate between “critical” and “unhappy,” why not just close this post now?]

Things I have been trying to say about the Cybersmile posts:

1. The message that it should be an individual’s goal or responsibility to make others happy, retweeted and reinforced, as well-intended as it might be, is a message that women have been hearing for centuries, one which we don’t need reinforced. It is a message whose side effects for young women are particularly detrimental. I would never tell my nieces that how others feel about themselves is somehow their responsibility; I would tell them that everyone is responsible for how s/he feels about him/herself. Moreover: realizing that each of us is responsible for our own emotions is a key step in the path to achieving adulthood.

2. Richard Armitage’s directions about online behavior have been, are being, and will be used by a segment of fans to try to control the behavior of others. Attempts to control the behavior of other fans are typically pointless, in that they cause more strife than they prevent, and are destructive not only to creativity and fan diversity, but also to the notion of a Richard Armitage fandom itself, in that attempts to control and preach provoke rather than soothe controversy.

3. Without a concrete definition either of “bullying” or “cyberbullying,” anyone can label any behavior or statement s/he finds distasteful as “bullying.” We have seen concrete examples of this already. The more exactly the word is used, the more power it has; the more widely it is applied, the less meaningful it is.

OK, so much to the Cybersmile stuff as it regards ethical prescriptions. Next, to the picture of Richard Armitage that it creates.

~ by Servetus on July 6, 2015.

2 Responses to “Richard Armitage: Why praise needs to be tempered with honest criticism”

  1. […] Continued from here. […]


  2. […] that connection concrete. My original discussion of how disturbing I found that choice is recorded here and here. Cybersmile announced Armitage as its ambassador on June 3. His initial Cybersmile piece […]


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