Thursday, April 12, 2007

Take It Back, Markos

Take it back now. Your piddly little "all liberals need to die" eliminationist rhetoric is nowhere near comparable to having your photograph, name and address, and Social Security number posted on the internet in conjunction with violent sexualised threats and bizarre pornographic images. Call me back when someone writes about you, "fuck off you boring slut... i hope someone slits your throat and cums down your gob," but of course, they won't, will they? When was the last time anyone threatened a male blogger with grotesque sexual violence? I can't think of an instance, because the kinds of men who hurl these offensive grudge-fuck rape-fantasies into the ether don't do that kind of thing to other men, unless they feminise them somehow first. In other words, I'm not going to sit here and wait for the phone to ring.

This isn't the first time you've been called on the carpet for rank misogyny, such as when you suggested that "women's issues" (which are actually people's issues, and affect 51% of the electorate directly, and most of the rest of them indirectly* -- so much for your vaunted designation of being politically smart) needed to take a back seat in Democratic politics to "real issues." Yeah, that's great. There are "women's issues," and then there are "real issues." Nice.

Funny how that works, isn't it? As commenter kali at Feministe points out:
There’s a formula here, isn’t there?
Woman: I got multiple, specific, sexualised death threats that were sufficiently credible to concern the police.
Man: Someone wrote to me and wished that all liberals would die, and you didn’t catch me whining about it! Why don’t you shut up and stop whining? Be thick-skinned like me!

See also:
Woman: Women earn 77 cents on the male dollar.
Man: Men have to pay for dinner and dating, but we don’t complain! Except just now, of course. Life isn’t fair. Deal with it.

Woman: Women have to live with the threat of rape.
Man: Men have to deal with the threat of being suspected rapists! THAT’S WORSE! So stop whining about rape, it really hurts my feelings.

Patriarchy’s brave little soldiers! Awww!
That about says it all, as far as I'm concerned.

As I've mentioned before, people in the fucking fifteenth century (a few people, at any rate) had figured out the radical notion that women are actually people, and, in modern society, anyway, are entitled to all the rights and perquisites pertaining thereto. This seems to be a difficult concept for you to grasp. I'd suggest grasping it right smart, or graciously bowing the fuck out and keeping your trap shut about gender politics.

If Kathy Sierra wants to quit blogging because she can't take a year or more of specific, targeted, credible (to the point where she notified the FBI) death and rape threats, that's her business. Speaking as someone who has done a fair bit of techblogging myself**, I know that the IT world is persistently misogynistic and can be a rough-and-tumble place at times. Simply because that is so doesn't mean that Kathy Sierra's presence in that world should automatically generate death and rape threats.

This isn't about her; this is about a bunch of ornery little class-bully boys who are pissed off because not only has a woman horned in on their mystery religion, she has the temerity to be good at it, too. I'm sorry if you don't like that, but fuck you very much for blaming the victim. Grow up. Get your consciousness raised. For the sake of your new baby, at least, start treating women like human beings, if for no other reason than that your child needs a good role model.

As for me, there's only one rational response to all this, and that's to start studying programming again.

* For a really rank example of how a so-called "women's issue" affects men too, think of any of these self-styled "men's rights activists" and how they complain about getting "trapped" by women who get pregnant. If more and better birth control and/or abortion services were available -- which is usually considered to be the canonical "women's issue," there'd be an awful lot fewer unwilling fathers, MRA idiots or not, out there. Since this tangential discussion is on, once again how a feminist issue affects men -- this is bloody damn tiring, yawl -- I'm going to leave out the question of unwilling mothers, although I have written about that before.

** Incidentally, I hand-coded all the HTML you'll see in these blog postings myself, and I do it inline, as I'm composing in the Blogger web client window, so I'm not exactly a complete ignoramus myself.


Blogger Blue / Kay Olson said...

A look through the comments at Sierra's site after she announced these death threats showed quite a few people saying something like: "I don't understand why such a bland topic or uncontroversial blogger could inspire death threats." Even when these commenters gave her the benefit of the doubt and believed her, that thinking misses so much about sexism and misogyny being present everywhere and that women don't have to do anything to provoke it. It also subtly says that other women might deserve what they provoke. Well, or any person, I suppose.

Kos has some serious rethinking to do. And, I think, an apology to make, as well.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

There is the point that one could make that heated discourse tends to inspire heated discourse, but no matter how many asbestos suits you have to wear in a discussion, death threats are always over the edge. The fact that Sierra was such a bland, uncontroversial blogger (unless you're an insecure male programming-mystery-religionist) just points up the unbelievable misogyny of the case, to my mind.

Not too long ago here, I had some precious concern troll who had been going around to any and all feminist blogs it could find where there were threads on abortion, and posting these rank Ad Misericordiams all over the place, which was out of line behaviour for sure, but that troll was looking for abortion topics on which to have a fight. (How sad for it that I gave it its head in its hands to play with...)

9:59 PM  

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