Or at least you’d think so if you’d ever been a woman on the fucking internet.
It doesn’t seem to matter how serious or frivolous the topic, how well-educated or not we may be, the second we open our mouths on the internet some jerkoff with a keyboard and a burning need to display his dominance over something other than his Harley Quinn dolls, excuse me, action figures will come bursting out of the woodwork like a fucking xenomorph and shit all over your metaphorical coffee table.
Cases in point are the sorts of comments I have gotten here since day fucking one. Men, nearly always men, come leaping out of the weeds to tell me how wrong I am about everything. EVERYTHING.
If I say, “You know, I don’t really like D&D. I much prefer GURPS or Warhammer Fantasy RPG, or Fate, or something,” Men will come tripping forth like a herd of clumsy gazelles to tell me to get my “bitch ass back in the kitchen,” and that I just don’t understand the beauty and elegance of D&D.
Mmmm, no, I prefer a system where armor does not make you harder to hit, but instead soaks damage, like in the really real world. If I’m gonna simulationist this shit up, I’m doin’ it right.
Ok, fine, we are not going to talk about GURPS range charts.
If I talk about comics, I either don’t understand them and if I’d read them longer (I have been reading comics since I could read) or apparently had a dick I would “get” them. That’s leaving aside the guys who just insult me in various creative and not so creative ways which, quite frankly, are the bulk of the comments.
And while I may not BE a superheroine, I have in fact spent days, weeks, years of my life traversing the world in spike heels, and I am going to tell you that NO ONE is fighting crime in those.
I have been threatened with rape, death, beatings, having my pets killed, having various things shoved inside my vagina. I have been threatened with doxxing and stalking. I have received the ever popular “you’ll get yours,” ambiguous threats. I have been called a dyke, like that’s an insult. I’ve been called fat, ugly, a whore, a prude, a slut, a monster, a traitor to feminism, and variations of stupid. Oddly enough, the stupid comments tend to come from folks who have trouble spelling it, let alone using it correctly in a sentence.
I have been assured that the pain and distress of someone raping you is nothing like the pain of a random dude denied the right to play a card game that uses rape as the points system.
I have been informed that by not allowing unfettered access to post whatever they want to the blog I pay for and maintain, that I am single-handedly destroying the First Amendment.
OK, guys who feel the need to have the First Amendment argument with me. Please. Read it first, ok? Could you at least make it challenging to destroy your arguments. Because I feel kind of bad for most of you. And I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: I’m not actually the government, or even A government. I’m a grumpy nerd girl with a bad attitude running on a fuck deficit the likes of which you have never seen.
Here’s the serious part.
The thing is, it got to me after awhile, and I had to take a break, which is why this blog has been sporadic. A year and a half of unrelieved rape and death threats after posting a very mild, “Hey, Penny Arcade guys, I got where you were going with the Sixth Slave and I kind of agree with you that it wasn’t a rape joke, and I’m really glad you think rape is a horrible thing, but your apology comic was a huge bucket of fail” will do that to you. For 18 months every time I opened my email, I would see a litany of all the ways that Penny Arcade fans thought I should be tortured.
It gets exhausting. It’s draining. Especially when it’s as fucking relentless as it was.
And this is the thing, when people say, “Well, both sides are equally to blame and could be more measured,” when it comes to internet stalking and doxxing and rape and death threats, all I hear is, “I have never encountered this in my life, nor am I likely to, so shut up with your whining,” at best. At worst, I hear, “You deserve this. You did something to deserve people threatening your life and your pets and your family for a year and a fucking half.”
That’s why anyone who claims “both sides” pisses me off so fucking much.
Because someone actually told me if I hadn’t been so confrontational about it…
It shouldn’t matter how confrontational I am. Nothing I said, nothing I have ever said, here or elsewhere about comics, rpgs, videogames, books or movies is EVER anything that any reasonable person should think merits rape and death threats.
Yet, I got them. And so do many, many other women who dare to speak out in geek space. And that is bullshit. So many great female-run nerd blogs are no more because of this shit. And if you condone that, if you just let it happen, if you call for “both sides” to be more reasonable, when one side is talking about geek culture and the other side is doxxing and threatening and, and, and… You are a giant fucking part of the gods damned problem.
Pull your fucking head out.
I got your confrontational, right fucking here.