How Women Are Treated On The Internet, Example #4,398,122

So, yesterday I wrote a thing about the Hugos and the Sad/Rabid Puppies horseshit, and that got linked around a bit as this blog fortunately sometimes does.

One person linked to it on Facebook, a reader of mine who is a woman, and she tagged me directly, which is all good. And then an exchange happened — well, an “exchange” is a very polite way to refer to this abusive intrusion by some ambulatory pubic fire.

Now, I’m not saying this exchange is an example specifically of the Sad and Rabid Puppies — he seems to be a supporter of it, and I’ve seen this kind of thing before from some of those supporters, nominees, and also from the connected joy-buzzer parade of Gamer.Gate.

What I will say, though, is that this is a pretty good example of what women get online. Women and also persons of color, too — it’s thick with heinous fuckery.

What follows is a part of that exchange. It went on for a while with me and him after this snippet. Nothing productive came out of it, really, and it ended up being not worth the time arguing (though it is worth noting that he was a thousand times more polite to me and tried to excuse his behavior to her because she told him to fuck off — which, by the way, came well after he started with the misogynistic slut-shamey rape-culturey bullshit).

The woman consented to me publishing this snippet, though I’ve removed her name and image (and his, too — regardless of how much as I’d like to run him over the public cheese grater I don’t think that does anybody much good). What follows is, I dunno if it’s triggery, but it sure is shitty.

The red square is the human turd-bucket, though that will become quite clear.


I don’t have much call to action here, really — women already know this stuff goes on, and it’s not like I’m sharing something new. But men are sometimes surprised at this, and so it seems important to highlight once in a while that the Internet can get venomous really fast. While it’s not our job to ride in like SAVIOR MENFOLK to thwart the internet’s many ogres, at the same time, it’s important to be be aware of this stuff and support the good people online. Help make safe spaces here. Moderate the septic shitflingers out of existence. Report abuse. And also ask our social media providers to offer better ways to report and signal abuse online. It’s up to us to curate a better social media feed for everyone, and demand better.


  • Unfortunately, while this example is particularly disgusting, women & people of color don’t have a monopoly on being victims of social media hate — all one needs to do is disagree with someone who has a particular axe to grind, or who feels the need to be outraged, or who is just a plain racist, sexist, homophobic, faithist, genderist asshole.

    Hate is the fire — social media is the gasoline.

    • And what’s your point?

      Look I know everyone is subject to online abuse (which is totally effed and NOT normal or ok or “just part of using the Internet)

      But whenever Someone says this they are essentially dismissing the very real issue of sexism (or any other ism) that rears it’s ugly head,

      If I say that women get more abuse online and someone’s like “yeah but-” NO there is no “yeah but”….just be like elsa and let it go

      It doesn’t mean that abuse that happens to white guys is any less bad or you’re a terrible person who doesn’t have problems

      But people should be able to point out these problems without a slew of “yeah buts” because it hurts people view that the world is an inherently fair place where (whatever ism) doesn’t happen

      Saying “just block them” focuses on the symptom…not the disease and ignores how the disease hits some people harder

  • I don’t usually join in on these blog entries. I’m a married white male with two kids in middle-America, which puts me, let’s say, at arms-length from having to deal with this type of shit-birdery. I don’t have exceedingly long tendrils rooted into internet culture, so I stick to sort of the same sites and again the shit-birds aren’t there, because if they were there I wouldn’t be. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what difference the sex of a writer should make. If it’s some really awesome writing, I don’t care if the person that wrote it has a whoozit or a whatzit dangling between their legs. I don’t care if they wear lipstick or a jock strap. Write a compelling character, in a compelling setting, doing compelling things, and that’s the alpha and omega for me. Why do these assholes care? I don’t want a man’s book picked over a woman’s book simply because of the sex of the writer, and I don’t want it the other way around either. The whole thing has reduced my desire to deal with people. I’m gonna go lay in the yard with my dogs.

    • BTW I have seen this in some on-line games, and the first thought I have is that these are most likely booger eating kids that think this is how they’re supposed to act. But most of the time they are at least high school, if not college age, old enough to know better. They should be happy that they even have a forum in which to speak to the opposite sex, since, well, they clearly aren’t speaking to many in real life.

      • Honestly, you would be both surprised and depressed to find out just how many of them are old enough to know better but do it anyway. Don’t pass this off as just a bunch of kids even though they do attract kids who want to be edgy. There are a lot of adults, with careers and often families, out there doing their best to silence women, marginalized people and anyone who supports them. And they know that 99 times out of 100 or even more, they’ll get away with it too.

      • The kids picked up the attitudes from someone, most probably men they used as role models. The backlash against treating women as human is pretty virulent. I read recently where someone postulated the whole mess in the Middle East was a reaction to the western idea of women’s humanity.

  • God, I miss the days when these sort of exchanges used to shock and horrify me, rather than just fill me with heavy-hearted resignation. I was so innocent back then…

    I think the Mars Exploration Program has got it wrong. Why don’t we pack up all the Whiny Puppies and GonadGate supporters and send them off to Mars instead? They can live their lives according to whatever stupid, bigoted rules they want, and the rest of us can carry on living like normal humans without them.

  • I posted your Hugo Awards rabid/sad puppies “thing” on G+ yesterday (didn’t tag you). Had to delete it this morning. No nastiness directed at me, mind you, but the comments were not moving in a direction that I cared to go.

  • “While it’s not our job to ride in like SAVIOR MENFOLK to thwart the internet’s many ogres, at the same time, it’s important to be be aware of this stuff and support the good people online. Help make safe spaces here. Moderate the septic shitflingers out of existence. Report abuse. And also ask our social media providers to offer better ways to report and signal abuse online. It’s up to us to curate a better social media feed for everyone, and demand better.”

    Chuck first, I love you. You are my favorite writer of all time and I love you (also you were really nice to my baby at GenCon and that was awesome).

    I just want to say that I always really appreciate the way you handle all this shitfuck. You are supportive, and thoughtful, and above all else, openminded and willing to learn. In other words you are everything an Ally should be.

    That being said, I just want to clarify something. It is absolutely true that it’s not your job to ride in and be a white knight. I can hold my own and speak for myself please and thankyou. HOWEVER (however,however,however) it is really, incredibly, life alteringly important that allies not only report and moderate and curate, but say their piece to the pieces of shit spouting this nonsense. My doctoral work was in toxic masculinity in video games and I’ve long been saying (but only now really seeing) that as important as my voice is, the real change will come not from my telling a misogynistic asshat he’s a sexist fuckweasel but from all the people he thinks are cool doing so.

    When I tell an asshat that video games are sexist and so is he (In much nicer, and more patient words because I really am a kind human being who likes to reason with people when she’s not preaching to the choir) he can just write me off as a “crazy femnazi” or whatever other ignorant pejorative he wants. What needs to happen is for the community at large to start shunning these morons. The straight white men that they actually respect need to tell them that they have no desire to associate with people spouting such irredeemable bullshit. The people who make the things they’re into need to tell them they don’t need or want him as a customer. The people he wants to spend time with need to not want to spend time with him. His subcultures as a whole need to tell him ‘no thanks’ until he chills the fuck out and learns to be a respectful human being.

    So I hope that your desire to not be a white knight didn’t stop you from telling that guy that you had no interest in him and you don’t want him as a reader, a friend, an acquaintance. In fact until he stops with the macho rhetoric you’d be fine if he just disappeared.

  • Well that escalated quickly. As it, unfortunately, so often does.

    My one solace in this is that people who don’t have an argument will quickly resort to what makes their opponent most immediately vulnerable to personal attacks (gender, race, religion, orientation, whatever) because they aren’t intelligent enough to make a decent point. Or even to insult people creatively. Like, “Oh, you’re YET ANOTHER sexist calling me a cunt on the Internet? I’ve NEVER heard that one before. YAWN.” It’s a little depressing that this is my reaction at this point, because I’ve seen so much of this BS.

  • It’s exchanges like these that cause me to generally hate the human race. If these two were speaking face to face he would NEVER have dared to say such a thing. Everyone just forgets about manners on the internet, and it shocks people when I don’t freak out over an opinion or insult.

    Random Idiot: “Yeah, go die bitch.”

    Me: “Okay, see you in hell.”

    That’s basically how our exchanges go. It’s best to not entertain these idiots and move on. Honestly society really isn’t worth it sometimes.

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