by Thinking Girl
As you know, I’ve been getting some anti-feminist trolls around these parts. It’s been going on for some time now. First, it started as challenges to the ideas I presented in posts, mainly from men who believed in some sort of biological essentialism and felt that differences between men and women were enough to justify widespread social oppression against half the population, or from men who believe that men are oppressed by patriarchy and women are in fact privileged by femininity, or from men who are anti-choice and want to force women to continue and complete pregnancies that they do not want.
Then, I wrote about PUAs. and the heavy trolling really began. I can’t even pick out all the examples of men wanting a male perspective to be put forward, because there’s not enough of THAT enshrined in cultural discourse, from men telling women and especially feminists what to do to land a man/end women’s oppression/forget about their troubles, from men demanding to be spoonfed feminist theory, from men who think it’s really women who have the upper hand and don’t believe in women’s oppression, from men who have called me and other feminists stupid for putting forth ideas they just don’t comprehend, and so on and so on. I responded a bit to these general comments here, here, here and here.
Then came the really really bad stuff. It’s nice that the death threats against all feminists have stopped coming.
Now we’re back to the “you’re not really oppressed, you have no idea what oppression really is, you hateful feminist bitch.” And another one from the comment moderation pile that is just waiting for a lancing from me.
My blog buddy Geo wrote to me about these trolls. Geo is one of the nicest friends I’ve met on the internets. He is very compassionate, and very very wise. He is concerned that this is getting to me, and that my energies are being diverted away from A) my work and B) my well-being. I don’t disagree. He’s also concerned that responding to trolls in anger only A) adds fuel to their fire by letting them see that they’ve pissed me off, and B) alienates potential allies. I don’t disagree with that, either. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since Geo wrote to me, and here’s what I came up with.
I think the thing with trolls is that they want to get your attention, they want to make you upset, and they want to control you in some way. However, what they don’t realize is that they betray themselves in their comments. They betray just how threatened they are by what is going on with feminist work, how their paranoia plays out in a defense of their privilege and power. These guys are freaked out, scared by the shifting cultural discourse of rights for marginalized peoples. This scares them because they experience the world as basically satisfactory. They don’t really want the social order to change. They want to maintain their power structures that keep them on top, while simultaneously covering them up in libertarian rhetoric.
And so, I think it is a very good thing to expose this weakness, this fundamental weakness in the minds and hearts and ultimately in the power of these guys who troll around feminist sites leaving hateful comments – by the way, you don’t see me doing that with MRA , PUA, white supremacist sites. I also think that this doing this, exposing the weakness and hatefulness might be helpful in showing potential allies how far these people are willing to take things, and just what kind of shit we’re up against. I don’t plan on doing this a lot, but I think it might be helpful and instructive to every now and then publish one of these hateful comments, and point out its weaknesses, to build solidarity with those who are supportive of true equality. So, while I absolutely want to create a safe space here for women, feminists, feminist allies, and myself, I also do want to let folks see exactly what kind of hateful bullshit is being directed at women. By exposing this, I hope to shine a light on just how threatened these misogynists are by what we are doing, and that in itself is a positive thing.
So, in that spirit, here’s the latest bilious venom being thrown my way:
You are an idiot | IP: 18.104.22.168
You will get to 30, and realize that you “want” children, but no man will have you because of your man hating attitude, you will either have to defraud them by tricking them into getting you pregnant, (which isn’t punished as it should be because of screaming feminists like you) But you’ll claim, it’s “your” baby and it’s “your” right to have one. Or you could take the right road now, denounce the parasitic entity on our society that is feminism, and have a remote possibility of a family. Or you could get some cats.
The crazy old cat lady.
Remember, Men are not the enemy, feminist leaders are. Don’t worry, the Mens movement is getting stronger by the day, thanks to the same freedom which allows you to post this uninformed drivel, allows us to build our network.
One day you will see a million Man march, burning wallets as a symbol of the oppression Men suffer at the hands of ever demanding Women. We will demand Male birth control pills, after all it’s OUR body. We don’t have a choice to NOT become a father, yet Women at any time, even two weeks after birth can choose not to be a Mother. We want that freedom, and we will fight for it.
You keep going on doing what you’ve been doing, adding more heat to the pressure cooker of Mens rights, and when the time is right, BOOM, it will be unleashed with a fury that will make the feminist movement seem insignificant.
you’re pretty funny! boy, did that give me a chuckle.
Actually, I’m almost 31, and guess what? that ol’ biological clock STILL hasn’t kicked in. Maybe mine is broken? or maybe it’s just a social construct based on patriarchal power structures the goal of which is to oppress women to assume and enforce the idea that all women want to bear children and exist within the narrow frame of the traditional patriarchal family unit.
If no man will have me because I hate them so much, then how will I successfully trick a man into impregnating me? Ah yes, right, because women are all manipulative lying seductresses and men are ultimately uncontrollable sexual animals under women’s spell and powerless to resist their feminine wiles!
As for men not being the enemy – well, sometimes this is true! I’m happy to report that many many feminist allies are men! Men lend a unique and important voice to feminism, and I’m so glad that so many men are willing to embrace the idea of equality for all, regardless of sex and gender! Hooray for pro-feminist men!
Now, here’s the funny thing: feminist leaders are the enemy! that is hilarious! you’ve got some sense of humor, idiot. Feminist leaders have done so much for women, and continue to do so. And of course, you know this. Feminist leaders are YOUR enemy, certainly, because they have questioned your unearned privilege as a man, they have challenged existing power structures that have allowed for your success and control of society, and they have shown that the arrangement by which you gain your privilege is unfair and unjust. you, as a man, experience the world as a pretty good place, considering that pretty much every social institution caters to you and enshrines your ideas, issues, and concerns in its discourses, places you at the centre of everything, and instills privilege and power over half the human population. Of course any counter-discourse that questions and challenges this social order would be a perceived threat to you! You poor little thing – your power matrix is slipping!
so of course, the only answer is to go on the offensive. No wonder I see you here at my blog. It’s all so predictable. Sad, really. But, also, very good, because I’m sure that predictability will come in quite handy to us raging feminists. ;)
ah yes, building the Men’s Rights network. Guess what? we’re kinda doing the same thing.
oh suffer the menz, the oppression they face at the hands of women! pity! shame! It’s so funny to me that this battle cry is the central tenet of MRAs, considering how ridiculous it is to think that women, the oppressed sex class, actually has enough social power to oppress men right back! There is no such thing as reverse sexism – how could an oppressed class actually have enough social power to create vast wide-reaching social structures to oppress their oppressors? The menz as put-upon and oppressed simply doesn’t work, logically. but I’m sure that’s exactly how it must feel to you, as a threatened patriarch. sorry I don’t have much sympathy for that.
Besides, feminists don’t want to reverse the social order to make it a matriarchy. We just want our rights to be substantive and inalienable and equal and respected.
But, there is one thing you say that really REALLY cracks me up – male birth control! don’t you know how easy it is not to get a woman pregnant? it’s called abstinence, and it goes both ways my friend! Also, there’s this device that has been around for a really long time, perhaps you’ve heard of it – the condom?
Ah, but I jest. no seriously, I would love to see a male birth control pill or implant come onto the market. I think men absolutely should be asking for it! It would take the responsibility off of women to prevent pregnancy and put it on men in a more equal way. But it’s funny, the drug companies have historically focused on women’s birth control because the men who controlled them thought women should be responsible for preventing pregnancy, and that men wouldn’t actually use birth control if it were available to them. And, based on how many men I know who do everything they can to avoid using condoms, I think they might have a point.
But, it’s good to know that what I’m doing here is making a difference. Thanks for letting me know how valuable my work here is in identifying patriarchy as a primary source of gender oppression and ways we can all work to dismantle it and bring about a more just society. I know it must be hard for you and your little friends to accept that women are people too, after so many centuries of treating us like shit on your shoe. But, like I say, something we feminists are doing is working, since we’ve got you scared shitless.