Well, I’m here. I’ve been here, just not having a particularly awesome spring. Climate Change doesn’t just mean potential coastline flooding and droughts, it also means extended hayfever seasons. The pollen count here is the highest it’s ever been, and my allergies went along for the ride. I had the worst asthma attack I’ve had in over a decade and very nearly (probably should have) gone to the emergency room to deal with it. And with all the bullshit happening in the world and in the Nerdosphere, I just haven’t felt much like being very visible.
Doing this, writing about the way things are and the ways they could be better is great. It is something I’m passionate about.
It’s also fucking exhausting.
And I’m not just talking about the threats and name-calling. I’m talking about the blind ignorance and pigheaded refusal to except real world definitions for things in favor of your own skewed reality, and the constant repetition of the same tired bullshit I’ve refuted over and over and over again in the last 8 or so years.
So, I unintentionally took a little break.
And, now to cheer myself the fuck up, we’re going to talk about folks who get it and do it right:
Posthuman Studios, the folks who created Eclipse Phase, announced on their forums that they would be banning vocal MRAs (Mens Rights Advocates). It may take a while for that link to load, they’re getting a ton of traffic. Apparently over the last year, they’ve been invaded by dudes who refuse to stick to the topic of the game, and who have been obnoxiously shitting their anti-woman/anti-feminist opinions everywhere, to the point where they drove off one mod and several other forum posters. And being the awesome feminist dudes that Posthuman are, they decided enough was enough. They’d written the announcement and were getting ready to post when the Isla Vista shootings happened, and apparently enough was enough.
It only took two or three posts for the first “you can’t fight bigotry with bigotry” post to show up. But the majority of the people posting thanked them for their decision. Some, like the Geek Room-mate What Rules, had purchased the core book in the past but hadn’t really done much with the game, announced an intent to buy their entire catalog, while a small but vocal minority blithered on about how unfair it was. And demanded to know if strident anti-male feminists would be treated the same way. To which they responded, yes, if someone came on the forums with a bunch of off-topic hate-speech on any topic, they would be booted, but that feminists hadn’t been the problem, nor had any other group. Just the MRAs.
Several people, obviously misunderstanding what the MRA groups actually believe said that they had skimmed the wikipedia article on it, and that they didn’t think it was that bad, until they read the posts by actual MRAs in the comments and were all, “WHOA! Ok, my bad. Do NOT want to be associated with those people.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center considers Men’s Rights groups to be hate groups. Here’s one article explaining why.
Rather than tackling issues that could actually help men, like the fact that toxic masculinity means that few men who are sexually assaulted in this country report or seek the help they need, and that when they do they are frequently laughed at, or fighting to remove gender segregation from combat in the military, or countless other things that feminism actually does tackle, they instead focus their efforts on being shitbags to women in general and feminists in specific.
So, HUGE kudos to Posthuman Studios for standing up and speaking out.
And for the rest of you, yes, you have have the right to say whatever you want. SO DO I! And if you say something assheaded, which is your right, I have the right to call you out for it and to not invite you to my parties anymore.
And that also means I have the right to say, “Hey, this company did something I think is bullshit, I’m not giving them my money and here’s why.” It also means that I have the right to say, “Hey, these guys did something awesome! I’m going to support them, and here’s why!” or even, “These guys did something awesome, and while I’m not in the market for what they’re selling, YOU are and here’s why you should support them.” Or not support them.
Why are there so many people who seem to think freedom of speech means they get a “get out of consequences for my blatant fucking stupidity/racism/sexism/able-ism” card?
If there’s one (ha ha ha, just “one”) area I think our schools fail in, it’s teaching kids what the First Amendment actually says and does.
In other news, our 20th anniversary party/punk show went great! Lots of old friends showed up. Norwescon was awesome, and I got to meet Seanan McGuire. I’ll post more about some of those panels later. Right now I need to do laundry, all the laundry, and go pick up some icky tasting lozenges to get rid of a terrible case of Thrush.
If you like the blog or the podcast, please, please, please donate to keep us going. Donations go to pay for the podcast hosting and website domain, primarily.
Oh, and Honey Badger’s first two songs are available for download here, for free or pay what you want. We’re also part of a larger compilation to benefit a local venue, with a song written by yours truly. Check it out (we’re track 16). We’re in the studio right now and another several songs will be coming out soon.