Mod Note: If your comment takes the form “this is the Internet, everyone experiences harassment”, “these women should just suck it up when people send them rape threats”, “everything Sady Doyle has ever done is now invalid because she said some unwise, inflammatory things on NSWATM” or “#mencallmethings is misandric because not all men harass women on the Internet”, don’t leave it here. I’m having a bad day and don’t want to deal with it.
Also, trigger warning for rape threats and gratuitous, sexist insults.
Ugly. Gross. Slutty, so many times I’ve lost count. Wouldn’t fuck you with someone else’s dick. Ugly, rationalizing, unhitched and unhitchable. Hairy beast. No tits. Crazy feminist, once again so many times I’ve lost count. She’s stupid but at least she’s hot. Does menstrual finger painting. Wallows in piss and shit. Auschwitz pussy.
Not to mention the entire Spearhead thread devoted to how much I suck as a human being (Google if curious), which rapidly devolved from discussing my actual point (feminism and the MRM are both failing men) to discussing my ugliness, sluttiness, possible anorexia, likelihood of dumping my boyfriend, apparent belief that I deserve an alpha male badboy lover, et cetera.
For the past couple of days, the Twitter hashtag #mencallmethings has been exploding around the feminist blogosphere. Turns out a lot of women have been experiencing gendered abuse for having the temerity to voice their opinions about things on the Internet.
The vast majority of people who send random gendered abuse on the Internet are male– although I have no studies to back it up, I do have the anecdata that despite four years of involvement in the feminist community I have never actually heard of a message that was “I am going to fuck you to death with a strapon you filthy whore, you don’t even deserve to service a real man” while I have heard of quite a lot of “I am going to fuck you to death you filthy whore, your only use is as a cunt to service my cock.”
However, that doesn’t mean that men are never victims of gendered abuse on the Internet. In my anecdotal experience, men who blog about gender are not only insulted for their marginalized identities (“faggot,” “fatass,” “crazy”), but also for being supposedly feminine (“mangina,” “pussy,” “faggot” again). Because clearly the worst possible insult is being feminine! Also, quite often, they are threatened with rape. Once again, rape is treated as a punishment for being a sufficiently bad person.
What I find most interesting about #mencallmethings is how much they violate the first rule of insults: insult someone based on a trait they feel bad about.
Man Who Calls People Things: You’re a hysterical crybaby!
Feminist: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having emotions, especially emotions about things like people being raped. Stoicism is not necessarily a virtue.
Man Who Calls People Things: You’re ugly!
Feminist: Good thing I don’t believe that physical appearance is a determinant of a woman’s worth as a person, and that ugly people can still have interesting contributions to an intellectual discussion. I mean, it’s not like the treatment of women as sex objects is a core issue of feminism or anything.
Man Who Calls People Things: Slut!
Feminist: …dude, did you miss that whole SlutWalk thing? There is nothing wrong with having lots of sex partners.
Man Who Calls People Things: Dyke!
Feminist: Lesbianism is also not wrong. We went over this in the Second Wave. For Christ’s sake, you might as well insult me for working outside the home.
Man Who Calls People Things: Faggot mincing around with a purse!
Feminist: Not only what I said earlier, but also since I know you’re working on that whole “gay = femme = bad” thing, being a feminine man isn’t wrong either.
Man Who Calls People Things: The wild ravings of an escaped mental patient!
Feminist: Okay, really, I know ableism is kind of a new addition to the whole social-justice thing, but most feminists are down with that now at least enough to know that being a mental patient should not be stigmatized any more than having cancer is.
Man Who Calls People Things: Pussy mangina!
Feminist: …I happen to like vaginas. Vaginas are nice. You might as well call me a cupcake.
Man Who Calls People Things: Bitter, angry, humorless bitch!
Feminist: No, I don’t think being unfeminine is an insult either. Why do you ask?
Man Who Calls People Things: Feminazi!
Feminist: Yes. So?
Man Who Calls People Things: You’re a dumb bimbo little girl!
Feminist: Oh, infantilization of women and treatment of women as inherently stupid. I think I have bingo!
Man Who Calls People Things: Tranny!
Feminist: …I give up.
The Men Who Call People Things show a remarkable lack of empathy, I feel. If you want to make me cry, don’t fuck around with my appearance. Tell me my writing sucks. I just laugh when someone calls me a slut; I sit in bed for an hour questioning my existence when someone questions my writing. Of course, my experience is not everyone’s experience, and lots of women have insecurities around their sexual experience or attractiveness, but I’m pretty sure the “you’re a bad writer” insult is damn well universally wounding.
Of course, I shouldn’t expect much empathy. All these insults are coming from the people who think it’s a-okay to threaten to rape a rape survivor. I mean, say what you will about Liss’s politics, but I think we can collectively agree that there is a special hell for people who say “you fucking bitch, I’m going to rape you like your rapist should have.”
Not to mention that anti-feminists, in particular, should be very against Men Who Call People Things. Ever wonder why you get moderated all to hell at Shakesville? Because when she sees someone saying “I just have a couple of questions about abuse orthodoxy…” she starts thinking “I wonder how long it will be before this guy starts describing, in creepy detail, how he would rape me.” It poisons the conversation for honest dissenters, and that is not okay for anyone.