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Maybe I Need to Take a Break from the Internet

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No, not because I’ve ever experienced anything like the author has, but because every time I read something like this it makes me so angry I can’t breathe. (The comments don’t help.) And I don’t want any of you reading this headline one morning over your soy lattes and arugula and tofu breakfast burritos:

“Tenth-Tier Blogger Dies of Anger”

Scott has another post on this here. And there’s still more discussion here.

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  • efgoldman

    When my daughter was writing for a major gamer site, I learned very early not to read the comments, because I was in no position to hunt down and hurt the mom’s-basement-dwelling drooling mouth breathers who wrote them.

    • Ken

      You could hurt them, but you couldn’t kill them. That which has no life cannot die.

      (Blatantly stolen from the South Park “World of Warcraft” episode, of course.)

      • ChrisTS

        Still, it’s worth a try.

        • john not mccain

          Noble sentiment but wrong this time. They are like that thing that killed Tasha on TNG.

    • guthrie

      Plus quite a lot of them probably didn’t live in their mothers basement and would be impossible to make out in a crowd. As far as I understand it, misogynists don’t have it tattooed on their heads or on a t-shirt.

      • Anonymous

        Yes. Thank you.

        • guthrie

          My pleasure.

    • DrDick

      Reading Pandagon comments convinced me long ago that to be a feminist blogger you have to have iron clad guts and bulletproof undies.

      • Ahuitzotl

        and 4 locks on your door

  • Yeah. I read that essay and the first comment on the thread where I read it was an attack on her for writing “an opinion piece.” It was all too factual, to me.

    • What’s that saying? “Every comment thread discussing feminism proves that feminism is needed” or something like that?

      That comment, by the way…so we can revel in its stupidity:

      This kind of thing isn’t new and it won’t stop. Women who are confrontational with men get confronted by men. Men who are confrontational get confronted by other men as well, men are just more suited deal with a confrontation, physical or otherwise. What happened to this women has been happening to women for years, the only thing different is that in this case the internet multiplied everything.

      This woman is drawing the wrong lesson. She is focusing on what everybody else can do better, something she can not control, instead of what she can do better, which is something she can control.

      A friend of mine likes to say, “You can talk yourself into an ass-whuppin.” Just as men should be considerate of her and (other women’s) feelings when they decide what they say to and about women, this woman (and other women) should be considerate of men’s feeling when the speak to and about men as well.

      Our not having any knowledge of the kinds of things she said or posted before the insults and threats started really skews our outlook. It leaves us free to assume that she is this innocent flower who never did anything to anybody and these mean men suddenly started bullying her in mass for reason at all. Life doesn’t work like that. For the most part, if you leave people alone, they leave you alone. The fact that this woman says that in college she was a “self-confident loud-mouth” combined with the fact that many different people made pages and pages of insult posts about her, many of them people that actually knew her offline, tells me that she wasn’t very considerate with her speech before this incident. “You reap what you sow” and “where there is smoke there is fire” both apply. Any innocent person can have one or two lunatics take time to insult and threaten them, but dozens and dozens or maybe even hundreds and hundreds of people taking time to insult and threaten her most likely means she did something or said something to provoke them.

      What you say matters.

      For the One-billionth, men and women are different.

      Women can do certain things and get away with them, while men can not get away with those same things.
      Men can do certain things and get away with them, while women can not get away with those same things.

      We can fight and argue about whether it should or should not be this way, but we can’t dispute that it is this way.

      Bitch had it coming.

      • Shoulda fought a duel or something, if she was so worried about being stalked by the other students.

      • efgoldman

        Kinda’ wish yo had blockquoted rather than bolding.
        And: the mean, aggressive, confrontational women just forced you to read her stuff and get all up in her face, didn’t she.

        Kee-riste.

        Didn’t any of these klowns ever have wives? Girlfriends? Sisters? Daughters? Mothers?
        Were they all raised by wolves, or what?

        • cpinva

          “Didn’t any of these klowns ever have wives? Girlfriends? Sisters? Daughters? Mothers?
          Were they all raised by wolves, or what?”

          no and no.

        • Hogan

          Rabid hyenas. Wolves would never put up with that shit.

          • Barry Freed

            That’s because they’re easily fooled by the hyenas pseudo-penis.

            • MAJeff

              GENDERFRAUD!!!!!

              • Barry Freed

                Where’s Sharculese when you need her him?

          • jim, some guy in iowa

            rats

            • LittlePig

              et tu, Charlie Brown?

        • herr doktor bimler

          Were they all raised by wolves, or what?

          Unfair to wolves. I mean, I was raised by wolves, and…
          Whoops, my mistake, it was biologists. Near enough, though.

        • Origami Isopod

          Didn’t any of these klowns ever have wives? Girlfriends? Sisters? Daughters? Mothers?

          “Their” women are priceless jewels who require protection. “Other men’s” women are fair game.

          But, more realistically, many women are physically, emotionally, and/or sexually abused by male relatives or significant others.

      • brad

        To me, an all too easy example of it all is some forms of Islam being pretty much the final remaining pockets of civilization where the female form has to be covered.
        Because men can be aroused by you evil, dirty women, and it’s your fault, not on us to have a basic goddamned level of self control.
        And even today in otherwise seemingly good lefty blog commenters that mindset shows up in something like the brief but horrific blog “Fixing Amanda Marcotte” (no link because fuck, ow, it hurts just to consider). Fixing her for what? The “frame” was that she’s too wordy and needs editing, so of course it’s not to fix her flaws and make her datable. No shades of Freddie’s boners.

        Meh. I apologize for ranting, and for whatever degree I have and do participate in all that misogyny.

        • brad

          And before my new tone troll shows up, please insert “invented” between “her … flaws” because that’s how I mean it.

        • Rigby Reardon

          the brief but horrific blog “Fixing Amanda Marcotte”

          That is a seriously creepy site. Yeccch.

      • And that guy does not understand that what he says she ought to have done is exactly what bullying from people who think like him caused her to have done: she started acting smaller, more passive, softer, she stopped speaking up in class. It’s called negative reinforcement, and the people who do it know exactly what they’re doing.

        • ChrisTS

          Exactly: “You women should be polite, nice, and non-confrontational. Then men won’t stalk you online (or in person) and assault you with threats of sexual violence.”

          Also: “You should smile more.”

      • pete

        I just specifically registered at TPM in order express my support for the author and my horror at that and an even sicker commenter. I dont know if they ban people over there. It might be useful if others commented, if only to push the garbage lower down.

        • jim, some guy in iowa

          that ends up being the thing, doesn’t it? they get away with it so often because there’s little to no moderation from the host or from within the group of commenters

          • When they were on Disqus there was downvoting and a flagging system. Soon before they switched to their new platform they had a decent group of volunteer moderators. It seemed to help keep things fairly non-stupid.

            The new system originally just filtered 4 letter words. Then they took that off and it seems to have no brakes and the last time I checked you might as well have been in Politico’s comments section, which I’ve only visited once because the bile ate through my HAZMAT suit in about 5 seconds.

            But really, I think that’s the environment Marshall et. al. want, for whatever reason. I mean, it seems to be catching eyeballs.

            • Another Holocene Human

              Exactly. I think he has confused “uniques” and “obsessive 47th chairborne freedumb fighters reloading umpteen times”

              or maybe his dumb advertisers don’t care

            • Origami Isopod

              But really, I think that’s the environment Marshall et. al. want, for whatever reason. I mean, it seems to be catching eyeballs.

              I’ve really never been impressed with JMM’s cluefulness on feminist issues — it’s kind of a “bare minimum” thing with him — so I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • Oh, bspencer, you’re definitely NOT a “tenth-tier blogger!”

    You’re… What? Maybe 5th-tier?
    But rising-up the charts with a bullet!!! ;-)
    LOVE YA!!!

    The Reich-Wing misogynist commenters reaction to intelligent women on the internet – aka: non-Conservative ones – is to try to scare the living shit out of them with threats of brutal rape and murder.

    These guys are insecure little dickless bully-boys with penis-envy, since their dick’s make a Cheetos curved orange puff look like John Wadd’s johnson in comparison to their own tiny quarter-of-a-roll-of-dimes when fully erect, sized “manhood.”

    They believe women should be seen and not heard.
    That they should be obsequious and subservient.
    That they should walk behind them, barefoot and pregnant.
    That they are there to serve them.
    And, they love to tell their women, “‘Get your biscuit’s in the oven, and your buns in the bed,’ darlin’!”

    They are pathetic, scared little boys, who will never grow-up – because being a man isn’t at all about reaching adulthood still being an angry, frightened, hateful, and jealous little boy.

    • cpinva

      this is probably true for the most part. however, how does one distinguish between the juvenile twit camped in mommie’s basement, and the actual psychotic, who might well show up on your doorstep?

      • Aye, and there’s the rub!

        I don’t blame the women who err on the side of caution.

        But that’s the entire point for these dickless sociopaths – to make women feel defenseless for giving their opinions without prior approval from men, and to make them stfu.

    • Joey Maloney

      This is a very comforting story to tell ourselves, and for that reason I suspect it might be wrong. I think it’s equally likely that some of these men are not Cheeto-stained basement dwellers, but generally well-adjusted individuals who have wives and mothers and daughters and girlfriends and treat them well enough.

      The problem is that being well-adjusted to this society means internalizing a lot of contradictory messages. In this case, specifically, on the one hand bitchezamirite, but on the other hand it’s no longer quite acceptable to spout that shit in many public venues. If nothing else you can lose your job over it.

      So all that psychic pressure has to go somewhere and, look, here we have a mode of communication that offers a powerful sense of anonymity, where it feels like (and often enough is the case) where you can say whatever you want without consequences. This is the electronic and gender political equivalent of road rage.

      And now I’m late for class, so, apologies if this seems poorly-fleshed-out or incoherent.

      • LittlePig

        This is the electronic and gender political equivalent of road rage.

        Well put. A last bastion of white male privilege, ‘privilege’ as it feels like … where you can say whatever you want without consequences. All swallowed anger has got to go somewhere. And all too often it goes to full-on assaults.

        “Gettin’ away from the untermunchen,
        Sure would help a lot.
        Wouldn’t you like to get away?
        Sometimes you want to go
        Where ev’rybody knows their place
        And you are the Master Race…”

    • JL

      Gotta say, I don’t agree.

      When it comes to research on, say, rape, we know that male acquaintance rapists (who are most rapists) tend to be charismatic, often popular, often having lots of consensual sex. They often appear to be pretty well-adjusted folks (and this can be very frightening for their victims, who thought they knew and liked this guy). I don’t see why this would be different for the people who make rape threats.

      This is, of course, scary, because it means that we can’t easily tell who these people are from their appearance and their life circumstances. But failure to acknowledge it is failure to acknowledge the problem that actually exists.

      Also dick size has fuck-all to do with it. Some guys who have no dicks at all, or very small ones, are fantastic feminists. Some guys with dicks like porn stars are misogynists.

  • I eat koose and koko for breakfast, but these type of things are one more reason I am glad I live in Africa. It is not that we don’t have rape or violence against women in Ghana. We unfortunately do. But, the psychotic stalking of women with such threats like serial killing seems to be a phenomenon largely confined to white American men. I am not sure what it is about American culture that produces such people. But, there is certainly a national and racial as well as gender angle to this.

    • That’s true. I don’t think there are lots of black men wasting their time on this nonsense. This seems to be almost entirely an aggrieved white male problem.

      • On what do you base this statement?

        • Honestly? It’s just an educated guess. I concede it’s certainly something I could be wrong about. I’d be surprised if it’s a bunch of black men talking about the rapeability of various online feminists.

          • Interesting. Given that I’ve yet to encounter a race or ethnicity that doesn’t contain men who are very hostile to feminism, I think you can feel safe in not giving any particular race or ethnicity a pass.

            And if we broaden the definition of this sort of behavior to include attacks on women who for whatever reason have an online/public presence, we can probably include Martians.

          • flaminglingo

            I think it’s safe to say most of these online harassers are white men because white men dominate the English-language internet, especially on politics websites. This probably has to do with who has the money and time (i.e. an office job that lets them use the internet during the day and internet access at home).

            And my experience with MRAs, in particular, is that the vast majority of them are white. I’ve encountered Asian and Black MRAs, but they are few and far in-between. It makes sense, since the MRM has no interest in combating racism or any issues that don’t primarily affect western, educated, middle classed, able-bodied, cisgender, straight white men.

            • Ronan

              id say a lot of it is just social networks, white feminsits are more likely to get grief from white men, and vice versa with black feminists and black men etc
              i strongly doubt theres any serious correlation on these things with white american dudes and pure misogynistic evil

              • Ronan

                I mean misogyny is going to manifest itself in different ways in different contexts. Ive never known an mra, or even knew what it was before being online but after hearing a little about them id notice certain arguments (primarily over father rights)being made in general life. i dont think most people think in these clear ideologically loaded ways, so theres some selection bias here b/c y’all are directly interacting with specific subsets of mras.
                ive no doubt mra thinking exists amongst all thenic/racial/class etc groups it just manifests itself differently
                maybe

                • Pat

                  This is part of the problem that we have here on the ‘nets. Comments are a snapshot of a mindset a person has at that time regarding that subject.

                  You’ve probably met dozens of people you cheerfully label mras in real life. In real life, they express a subset of the syndrome at various times. Here they can toss off an offhand comment, and can be labeled hostile bastards forever, because it never goes away.

                  Regarding sadistic and personally threatening comments: there are psychos. They are dangerous. There are also psycho-wannabes. They are pathetic. The most disturbing, and the more easily corrected, part of the article was how the police failed to assess the danger of online stalking. Stalking is a crime, but educating law enforcement of it has been an imperfect process.

              • Another Holocene Human

                Agreed.

                Plenty of self-identified Black sexist pigs on Black-dominated blogs.

          • Nobdy

            These kinds of comments are about a privileged group trying to use terrorist threats (and what are threats of murder and rape if not that?) to “put in their place” a group that impinges upon that privilege. White men are the movers and shakers and opinion makers in society (by and large) and even if an individual white man is of no particular importance he identifies and draws strength from that. I may not be the governor but at least I look like him and I COULD be him, I am CLOSE to being him, his interests are similar to mine, his power rubs off on me.

            When women dare to write online and challenge hegemony and try to become represented they challenge that feeling of superiority and power, which is fragile because it’s based on bullshit (Does Mitt Romney care about white wingnuts earning less than he pays for the upkeep of his horse? Hell no. Obama cares more, but Obama is other.) They then lash out using the tools of oppression appropriate for the situation. For minorities they use racial slurs and claims of illegitimacy (OBAMA IS FROM KENYA SO HE IS NOT WHITE AND NOT LEGITIMATE TO TAKE THE WHITE ROLE OF LEADER) and for women they threaten violence, and specifically sexual violence, because that’s been a traditional tool for oppressing women and keeping them subservient. They know that enough sexual violence exists in society to make the threat quite real (if nobody ever got raped then threats of rape would be as unaffecting as threats of incineration by magical fireballs) and every time they make the threat they reinforce their position, power, and superiority. It is a threat response.

            I think minority men are less likely to engage in this activity because they don’t feel naturally superior and empowered by society and the fact that the people in power look like them like white men do.

            -A white man.

            P.S. “BPspencer, if you post feminist things again I shall incinerate you with magical fireballs.” See? Such a threat is humorous in its ludicrousness, whereas the other kind would be discomforting and ugly even in this context where it would clearly not be intended as a real threat or even intended to cause harm. That’s because of the background of real violence and terror that’s out there in society and that they are exploiting to try (unsuccessfully) to maintain power and hegemony on the Internets.

            • Ronan

              This idea that only (primarily) white men do x is frankly ridiculous. theres no sense behind it. you see it all the time in ‘non white’ societies and/or communities. patriarchy still exists in societies/communities that arent dominated by white men
              I get it thatthe left doesnt like to deal with this b/c it opens them up to being labelled racist and/or colonialists. but its true

              you can read bell hooks

              http://imaginenoborders.org/pdf/zines/UnderstandingPatriarchy.pdf

              for example

              Im not saying anything one way the other here, who’s better or worse ?. . i mean why rank it? but claiming it doesnt exist outside of whatever group is PC at any given moment is ludicrous

              • Nobdy

                Nobody is claiming that sexism or patriarchy are whites only occupations. See Saudi Arabia. See numerous campaigns of rape in African wars. See sexism issues in Japan, sex selection in China and India, see whatever you like.

                The culture of sexist INTERNET commentary, on the other hand, seems to be a mostly white occupation. When these guys are unmasked they are nearly universally white. Some of it may be who has access to the Internet and who reads the kinds of publications where a lot of feminism is posted or whatever, but there is also what I describe above. Read feminism on primarily minority aimed publications like The Root and you do not see the same vitriol for the most part.

                • ChrisTS

                  Perhaps we need to narrow it further: “The culture of sexist [US] Internet culture” is primarily white males.”

                  I don’t know if this is true, in fact. My Spidey-sense suggests that it is.

                • Ronan

                  ok,ok i hear ya. im not sure I agree neccessarily but I hear ya non the less

            • Barry Freed

              This is a good comment.

            • Another Holocene Human

              I think minority men are less likely to engage in this activity because they don’t feel naturally superior and empowered by society and the fact that the people in power look like them like white men do.

              Wrong, they just attack women of their own race. Kick down, not up, unless you’re a dum-dum. The system will take you out quick for that.

    • efgoldman

      Jotto, Jotto, Jotto…

      the psychotic stalking of women with such threats like serial killing seems to be a phenomenon largely confined to white American men.

      I know you know how to use the internet….
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Dzhumagaliev
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrei_Chikatilo
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Martynov_%28serial_killer%29

      {No more, or the post goes to moderation]

      • efgoldman

        Noisewater, can’s take me out of moderation, please? i thought three links was the limit. Apparently it’s two.

    • Barry Freed

      I eat koose and koko for breakfast

      You are a very bad man.

      • Koko is spiced millet porridge.

        • Barry Freed

          I know, I’m just funnin’ ya.

          • LittlePig

            I snorted.

      • Hogan

        Or one who lives dangerously. It takes a braver man than me to eat a clown.

        • Just remember to spit out the rubber nose. Swallowing that bastard will lead to a long wait for passage.

        • herr doktor bimler

          Remember, like oysters, they will squirt water in your eye in self-defense.

    • brad

      Ummm, that sounds a lot, to me, like Russians calling serial murderers a phenomenon of the decadent west.
      I’d suggest, without any basis of direct knowledge to ground it in, that an equally plausible explanation is that in cultures where the rape and murder of women are more commonplace it’s both easier for a situation not to “need” to develop into stalking, and for stalkings to go unreported and unrecognized.

    • Totally false. Neither african men nor AA men are above stalking, harassing, beating, raping or killing women.

      • Did I not say that there was rape and violence against women in Ghana? Yes I did. What my claim was is that these type of internet threats of rape and killing like serial killings are disproportionately from White American men. I further noted that this disproportion was similar with serial killers. I know there has been at least one Black serial killer and Ng was Asian and Ramirez Latino. But, the vast majority have been White. So yes there may be a few Black men making these type of internet threats. Some may even be from Africa. However, I am willing to bet that they are seriously underrepresented compared to White American men. That said of course there is far too much violence against women in Africa. Just that most of it takes a different form.

        • What my claim was is that these type of internet threats of rape and killing like serial killings are disproportionately from White American men.

          Citations pending …

          • Well it is something to research I suppose. But, it seems like a good hypothesis. I don’t think it is far fetched to hypothesize that the forms misogyny takes are culturally determined and that different ethnic groups therefore would express such hatred distinct ways. One thing that makes me tend towards this hypothesis is the relatively low number of internet users in Africa. There are only 53 million or so internet users on the continent out of 900 million people or less than 6% of the population. In North America the numbers are much higher.

          • herr doktor bimler

            serial killings are disproportionately from White American men.

            This is an article of faith in FBI profiling circles but it seems to be selection bias. Murder (serial or otherwise) is largely a same-race phenomenon, and US law enforcement agencies put more effort into the investigation if a series of white people disappear or turn up dead, so naturally they find more white serial killers.

            • Another Holocene Human

              Since most killings are same-race it’s really a function of the FBI not giving a shit about disappearing/murdered Black women. Like what happened in Cleveland. (Not Castro, the other one. Sowell.)

    • You can be insanely stupid, sometimes.

      • DrDick

        Sometimes?

  • Barry Freed

    Please do not take a break from the intertubz. I look forward to your posts all the time but especially on the weekends to let off some steam while I complete this rather overdue but soon to be finished (I hope) major project of mine (actually two of them, with more stuff coming down the barrel). I love all the crew here but SEK is nowhere to be found these days (at least nowhere that is here), Loomis is usually so dark – at least when he’s not posting Victorian cats boxing in George Washington’s crapper videos, there’s only so much snark to direct at the Air Force and all these red state abortion laws are so depressing and that other guy’s a ghost.

    And I think we can all agree that a newspaper or a magazine needs a comment section like a fish needs a bicycle.

    • efgoldman

      And I think we can all agree that a newspaper or a magazine needs a comment section like a fish needs a bicycle.

      Unless they’re willing to go to the time and expense of moderating (unlikely).

      • The NYT did for a while, then they decided it was easier to dump the trolls, the non-troll commenters (HI!) and the moderators in one fell swoop.

    • Sometimes I feel like I’m this blog’s “fun parent.” You know, the one that lets you eat cake for breakfast and stay up past your bedtime.

      Loomis is absolutely Downiest Debbie of all time. (But his Debbie Downer stuff is actually important, unlike my fun, silly stuff.)

      • but boxing cats! I also like the seventies food.

        • Oh, his silly stuff is great. I am absolutely a Loomis fan.

      • efgoldman

        Sometimes I feel like I’m this blog’s “fun parent.”

        Well, you both have the demonstrated ability to generate 500-comment threads. Who knew people felt so strongly about condiments?
        Lemieux gets close with some of the baseball threads.

      • You’d think I’d be a depressed person but I’m very much not. Black humor and booze, that’s the ticket.

      • Malaclypse

        Mom, can we have whiskey for breakfast tomorrow?

        • MAJeff

          It’s happy hour somewhere!

        • efgoldman

          Mom, can we have whiskey for breakfast tomorrow?

          Rye goes best on your shredded wheat, dear, but you might like bourbon on your Cheerios(tm).

          • LittlePig

            Pish posh. Cheerios(tm) is oats, friend, oats – Scotch is recommended. Corn Pops, on the other hand, definitely calls for bourbon.

        • I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.

      • Barry Freed

        You do good serious stuff too. Like this post. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. Here, let me mansplain it you…

        • Thanks, Barry! Nice to be appreciated.

  • Leeds man

    I got nothing except worthless fucking cowards.

    • And if they’re worthless, you can’t even trade them in. Might as well burn them in your yard and buy something new.

  • DN

    The article was awesome and the comments thread – even on TPM, for goodness sake – made my stomach hurt. It was justo depressing.

    Loom is is fun enuf when he’s on about vodka ketchup martinis and cell phones on airplanes. He’s a downer when he reminds us the ocean is being killed and our clothes are cheap because somebody died.

    DN

    • Barry Freed

      It’s a necessary downer though. And It’s another reason why this is such a great blog too.

  • I feel very bad when I see this sort of shit. I feel like it’s another species of man that probably has about 95% of the same DNA as me. And yet I know that they don’t, I know that they are physiologically the same and that given their upbringing I might be the same.
    So I’m trying to bring my son up so that he is not the same as those sick people. I think it’s working, he got genuinely angry about Russia’s treatment of gay people and he seems to be able to see that some stuff is unacceptable.
    It’s going to be a long hard struggle though because this society which glorifies violence, and uses sexuality as a commodity or a weapon will not give up. They just can’t. There’s too much money involved.
    One keeps trying, of course because the other outcome is sheer horror.
    Fuck it.

  • The intrawebz wouldn’t be the same without you but of course don’t do anything that would result in a motherless Lil Dudeh.

    For now can we discuss this headline?

    “TPM – RIP: Once decent lefty site decays into click bait fever swamp with a comment platform straight from the anuses of Beezlebub’s satanic herd.”

    Not an actual headline, but it should be!

    • Anuses?

      Anusi?

      Anuskind?

      Republicans?

  • Karen

    This is an excellent summary of the white conservative male view of women. For the faint of heart who can’t bring themselves to click on the link, the writer flatly and openly states that countries go down the toilet when women learn to read

    • efgoldman

      Not stepping out of the boat, thank you. I’ll trust your reporting skills.

    • Anna in PDX

      Not clicking. Is it that Kim Du Toit article? That one is actually almost funny in its evopsych earnestness.

      • Karen

        Nope, David Warren. Kim du Toit if du Toit weren’t married or had a daughter. Warren is a divorced father of two sons and a convert to Catholicism.

        • Opie Elvis

          And seriously deluded by pious arrogance.
          Fools click links where angels fear to tread or something like that.

        • herr doktor bimler

          a divorced father of two sons and a convert to Catholicism.

          And a misogynist? Surely you are making that up.

          • Karen

            Yes, well, I realize that must be hard to believe; Catholic converts are usually such enthusiastic feminists.

    • guthrie

      I felt I was reading a normal enough literary type essay then ran into this:

      What was the cause of the Baby Boom? The standard answer is, it came from the War: that after a good war, the population is restocking. There is some truth in this, and after the First World War I think the birthrate rose a bit. But not for long, and as I learnt from Michael Roberts, in countries like France it fell and fell. After the Second World War it kept rising — a phenomenon that extended into the early 1960s. And then it reversed itself, at the very height of our post-War prosperity, and has continued falling, mostly, since. What can explain this?

      From what I am able to understand, faith explains it. There was a remarkable revival of Christian faith, and of all the trappings of it (including “family values”), which began in the horror of that last War, and persisted right through the ‘fifties.

      Um, no, if anything it was faith in the continous growth caused by new technologies and new ways of doing things and organising and increased exploitation of natural resources. Not Christianity.

    • Karen, I am starting to worry about you.

      (No, but seriously, how do you read this crap regularly without bashing your skull open on your keyboard?)

  • Anna in PDX

    Well I am a horrible person because I looked at the post quickly, my eyes picked out the phrase “tenth-tier blogger dies of anger” and I thought Yes! Breitbart is still dead!

    The pushback on female writers on the Internet is a very depressing thing. I have started trying to stay away from the big unmoderated sites and get feminist thought from heavily moderated sites like Feministe. I also like the positive feeling I get from reading sites like Making Light or Scalzi’s Whatever. There are some wonderful bloggers out there who really get this stuff and take the time to use their bully pulpits for good.

    Obviously this is a daily stop and I love your Internet culture beat, bspencer.

    • Thanks so much, Anna. I’ve always enjoyed your comments. (Even when I was mostly a lurker.)

  • Gregor Sansa

    I’m sorry, somebody has to say it. The noun is “breath”, the verbe is “breathe”.

    • I know that. It was a typo.

    • rm

      It is a truth universally acknowledged that any comment which corrects someone’s usage will itself contain an error.

    • herr doktor bimler

      It is ‘verb’ as a noun; Gregor is thinking of the infinitive form ‘to verbe’.

    • The cartoonist was Breathed.

  • Cheap Wino

    What is it about anonymity on the interwebz that misogyny and u.g.l.y. sexism is so out in the open? Maybe it’s just me (anecdata and all) but open, vile, outrageous abuse of women is so much more prevalent than outright racism online. At least the racists are either reduced to stormfront psuedo-intellectual idiocy or dog whistle language.

    The whole Rebecca Watson elevator incident opened my eyes to how awful things could be. The more I pay attention the more obvious it is that disgusting misogyny is acceptable, almost mainstream, internet commentary in a way that racism isn’t. How fu*ked up is that?

    • Nutella

      abuse of women is so much more prevalent than outright racism online

      I don’t know about that. It depends on what sites you read.

      Example: Hacker News, a discussion site on issues of interest to VC-backed software startups, is notorious for sexist comments but when they get the opportunity they’re more than happy to be racist, too. It’s just that more of their topics are about women in computing than about non-whites in computing so there aren’t as many racist threads. They did a fine job of producing insersectional racist and sexist comments on a post about contributing to Black Girls Code.

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