Letter to the Internet RE: Feminism   Leave a comment

Hey Internet,

Can we stop threatening to kill, assault, rape and otherwise harm people already?

I say this because I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion on sexism and feminism lately. From catcalls in New York, to Dr. Matt Taylor wearing a shirt with sexy women on it, to someone threatening a school shooting if Anita Sarkeesian came to speak (GO UTAH! Way to make America proud!), to the pay gap, to the…

Look, it’s a big topic. But it is also one that needs to be discussed. There are a lot of real problems, arguments to be made, and solutions to be found.

But it won’t happen until people chill out and actually, you know, try to have the discussion.

Let take Anita Sarkeesian as an example. Whether you agree with her or not, (I personally find her too sex negative for my taste, she tends to over- generalize, and takes things out of context) she is the perfect example of how not to respond to someone criticizing your position.

When she came out and started talking about video games and sexism, lots of people disagreed with her, and others supported her.

That’s the normal part.

The part where things start to go a little awry is when people started threatening to kill her, leaking her personal information online, making flash games about abusing her, and ultimately making her flee her home and call the police.

All because she thought video games might be a bit sexist and exclusionary, and that 50% of the population might enjoy them more if they weren’t.

This happens pretty much anytime a woman speaks up on the internet about feminism (See Gamergate). Even when they make good points, or bring up legitimate issues. Well, unless they disagree with feminism, that is.

There is no good reason for this. Absolutely none.

I’m not saying that people have to agree with someone’s bad arguments. There are plenty of those out there, and we need people to point them out.

I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to also bring forward your own poor arguments. Just expect them to be refuted, and be open to learning why they are viewed as poor.

Through this, we create solutions and grow as people.

But when we do things the way the internet prefers to do things, we completely kill rational discourse.

Because of all the threats thrown at her, no one can ever seriously argue against Anita Sarkeesian again.

No matter how calm, kind, or rational your critique is, you will get roped in with people like Thunderfoot and the Amazing Atheist.

Even if they were making nice, logical arguments (although they aren’t; both put so much venom in their videos even a rattlesnake gets jealous, but that is part of their brand) you get thrown in with all of the other less intelligent fans.

You know, the ones actually threatening to rape her and burn her house down. (I also understand that it’s just people on comment boards, and if that’s where it stayed, it be less of a problem.)

If I were to speak out in her defense, I get labeled a wimp, a “beta-male”, or a social justice warrior. Someone who just white knighting to impress anonymous women online. As opposed to trolling them online and accepting my loneliness as a bitter ball of righteous indignation.

I can already hear the counterpoint, “Women do it too! They are just as bad as men, if not more so, due to institutional oppression, societal protections, etc.”

I agree. No, not completely. I understand both sides have their loudmouthed, idiotic spokespeople. But, even though I would like to say so, they are not equally to blame.

But I don’t see nearly as many women threatening men by posting their personal information, making dozens of vitriolic and hate spewed videos and blog posts about a single person, creating games about abusing them, threatening to shoot up their events, etc.

(If I’m wrong in that regard, please feel free to show me. Unlike most people on the internet, I’m willing to change my opinion when I’m presented with evidence to the contrary. I don’t buckle down and shove my head even further up my own rectum.)

I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that, until a few years ago, video games, internet, conventions, and other nerdy things were bastions for younger, single, dejected men. I’m not trying to stereotype, but I am at least two of those things, and I flocked to the internet like a moth to flame.

Women have started “invading” these things, and people just don’t like to share.

But since we share 50% of the population, and women aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. So we should share the internet and video games too. Women are pretty cool.

You can call it feminism, equalism, “beta-male” talk, etc. I don’t really care.

Everyone deserves equal rights, equal opportunities, and equal treatment. We should all strive to make that a reality.

No one, and it is sad that I actually have to state this, deserves to be threatened, to be harmed, or to be assaulted for saying their piece.

The people who do so, male or female, need to grow up.

Thanks for reading,



P.S: Let me know how you feel about this in the comments. I love discussing the issues. 🙂

Posted 11/23/2014 by Shay in Personal Thoughts

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