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On Friday, Anita Sarkeesian called out "toxic masculinity" on Twitter. Here's what happened next.

Anita Sarkeesian's Twitter notifications (Artist's conception)
Anita Sarkeesian’s Twitter mentions (Artist’s conception)

What a surreal life Anita Sarkeesian must lead, in which virtually everything she says and does becomes grist for the Great Internet Lady Harassment Machine, Sarkeesian Division.

Take the latest blowup, which followed a few comments Sarkeesian made in the wake of Friday’s school shooting in Marysville, which may have been triggered by the shooter’s angry response to a romantic breakup. On Friday, Sarkeesian posted a few thoughts on the matter on Twitter:

While it it not literally true that every single mass shooter in history has been male, we are talking about an almost exclusively male club: one recent attempt at crunching the numbers found that 97% of school shooters have been male, and 79% of them white. (The Maryville shooter was Native American.)

In any case, the notion that a crime so heavily associated with men might have something to do with our society’s notions of masculinity isn’t exactly a radical notion. Indeed, it seems rather obvious.

But to Sarkeesian’s many haters, on Twitter and elsewhere, it was as if Sarkeesian had just posted a video of herself drowning puppies. Cue the twitterstorm.

Here are just a selection of the literally hundreds of lovely comments that Sarkeesian had Tweeted at her on Friday and Saturday after making her original comments.

[Giant TRIGGER WARNING for violent, explicit threats, harassment]

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There were, of course, the explicit threats:

Google Chrome 4Google Chrome 5

And the implicit threats:

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And the sexual harassment:

 

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And those who merely expressed their hope that Sarkeesian would kill herself:

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Google Chrome 13

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Or die a horrible death:

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Or simply die :

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But not everyone wished violence on her. Some just told her that the threats and/or harassment she’s already getting is totally justified:

 

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(Apparently by “fishing” Mr. de Alba means “expressing an opinion or making an observation.” Also note that the tweets that set off this latest wave of harassment didn’t contain the #GamerGate hashtag. )

Speaking of harassment, we’re just getting started in our chronicle of the latest wave.

Let’s continue with an assortment of Tweets using the c-word, a favorite slur amongst Sarkeesian’s detractors.

Firefox 18 Firefox 19 Firefox 21 Firefox 22

Firefox 32 Firefox 23 Firefox 24

Firefox 9

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Firefox 15

Why, yes, that is Suzanne McCarley, A Voice for Men’s “Assistant Managing Editor” happily adding her voice to the harassment.

Others pulled out the f-word:

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Firefox 28

She was called a “bitch.”

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She was called a “whore.”

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She was called a “terrorist.”

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And a Nazi:

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One fellow said that he thought Sarkeesian’s tweets were actually worse than the shooting itself:

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And one even declared her “officially worse than Wil Wheaton,” the former Star Trek:TNG actor who has won mass opprobrium from internet dicks for publicly expressing his belief that people  should not be dicks.

Firefox 31

To add insult to injury, a few reported Sarkeesian herself to Twitter for various imaginary infractions:

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Another asked why she wasn’t in jail for her, er, crimes:

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Just to remind you: these tweets are all from TWO DAYS’ worth of harassment and threats on Twitter. And this isn’t all of them.

At this point anyone who claims that Sarkeesian is “making up” the harassment she gets, or writing it herself, or just the work of a “few trolls,” is either disingenuous or delusional.

I’ll leave the last word to Sarkeesian herself.

EDITED TO ADD:

ATTENTION NEW COMMENTERS! I would like to draw your attention to this bit from my comments policy:

[I]f I’m writing about someone who’s gotten harassed by misogynists on the internet, and you want to talk about how much they deserved it, or what a lying liar they are? Well, fuck you! Your comments go right into the trash.

So take that into consideration. It might save you some time.

CORRECTION: I removed a screenshot of a Tweet that wasn’t threatening but was posted by a troll. See here.

 

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cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

I’m still chortling with glee over the fact that I got him to climb into the cauldron.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@t1oracle:

Argumentum ad populum is the predominant tactic in this thread. Have you been paying attention?

Argumentum ad populum is not a tactic, it’s a logical fallacy. When the majority in a group disagrees with you, that’s just the majority disagreeing with you. When someone tries to use that observation as proof that they are correct, then you’ve got yourself the ad populum fallacy.

But whatevs. If you get to call an observation a logical fallacy, do I get to say you are using Argumentum ad tedium?

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty:

We should make that into the troll challenge for this thread. Instead of a challenge the troll has to meet, we see who can make this dude fall for the best bait. It’ll all be quite misandric. >:D

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

t1oracle must have a really hard time with fiction novels and most TV shows. “You expect me to believe that people might live in a post-scarcity society? Change the channel! Honey Boo-Boo is a real person!”

JV
JV
7 years ago

@fromafar2013

Social conditioning. Social conditioning… how can someone be born with something that takes social conditioning in order to develop???? Also epigenetics is just environmental factors that change the way genes are expressed without underlying changes in DNA structure, and also occur throughout life, not just prior to birth. Perhaps you should do more research.

Way off topic at this point, but hey, it’s the comments section. It’s been my experience that people are born with personalities. Of course social conditioning can influence them, but due to inherent personalities, that conditioning manifests differently in people. Just anecdotally, my 3 kids (all boys) have exhibited aspects of their very distinct personalities literally from birth, and have remained amazingly consistent as they’ve grown. Ask any parent of multiple kids. Not only is it amazing how such different people can result from the same parents, but also how early those traits emerge. Of course, those traits do no have to determine one’s destiny (to a point). But knowing one’s traits can help greatly, and understanding that it’s not just conditioning that developed them can help a person accept and utilize them to their benefit. I’m not talking about gender roles, either. Lots of people don’t fit neatly into those roles (myself included). I mean traits like introversion/extroversion, etc.

@t1oracle has dug himself a hole with regards to the whole masculinity thing. I think his point is that some people’s personality traits are more in line with what is considered traditionally masculine qualities. Men and women, both. And vice versa. Not that those qualities are necessarily male or female, although they TEND to be, for a variety of reasons. Probably the whole masculine/feminine thing needs redefining or scrapping altogether in terms of gender. Certainly there are aspects of traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity that are beneficial to humans in general. And, I believe, there is a need for social constructs that address the experience of living with either a male or female body, specifically.

At any rate, the controversy (not the abuse/threats) caused by Anita’s wording in her tweets is totally understandable, given the use of loaded phrases like “toxic masculinity” paired with something like a school shooting. The same shit would happen in reverse if a writer tied a toxic version of femininity or feminism or whatever agreed upon term is the female corollary of “masculinity” to a tragic event, no matter the adjective used to qualify it.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

Certainly there are aspects of traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity that are beneficial to humans in general.

Please don’t go the evopsyche route. You seem like a reasonable person. Don’t burst the illusion and show that you aren’t.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

At any rate, the controversy (not the abuse/threats) caused by Anita’s wording in her tweets is totally understandable, given the use of loaded phrases like “toxic masculinity” paired with something like a school shooting.

Oh, nevermind.

fromafar2013
fromafar2013
7 years ago

You know, in the cauldron, the one that I’m using to melt down masculine identities in order to make some scented candles.

Oh! Is that how Man Candles (Mandles?) are made?!

http://www.yankeecandle.com/browse/_/N-1z141b4

Now in NEW super MASCULINE scents like;

CAMOUFLAGE

MAN TOWN

AND

MMM, BACON!

*lions roaring*

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

@ JV

You realize that you contradicted yourself multiple times within your middle paragraph, right? You seem confused.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Question – what does camouflage smell like? Mostly sweat irl, I’d assume, given what it’s used for.

I do not want a candle that smells like mansweat.

t1oracle
t1oracle
7 years ago

“What was the gender of the police officers who shot these black men? That’s right. Overwhelmingly male. I have seen videos of female cops standing by and watching while her male coworkers brutalize citizens so I’m not trying to exonerate female cops from the fucked up police culture we have in the US. But the cops who react with disproportional violence when they feel even remotely threatened? Pretty much all men. And we’re right back to toxic masculinity. Which you are still obtusely refusing to understand because you want recognize the purpose of an adjective.”
If the female cops watch and do nothing, then their behavior is toxic too. If they encourage the behavior, suggest it, or even order it, then there are equally toxic. Unfortunately, you don’t have those statistics. Regardless, the behavior of these cops has nothing to do with their masculinity or femininity. This goes back to the whole correlation does not mean causation concept that every one of my detractors here has ignored.

Regardless, my argument is about perception. You say that African American females have been hurt too, however, they are not being shot. Sexual assault is horrible, but you can still recover from it. Death on the other hand is permanent. The underlying thread behind this meme of “toxic masculinity” is that masculinity is dangerous. The motive behind these police shootings was fear. These cops feared the masculinity of African American men and they took it out on them violently. Male cops are they only people who fear African American masculinity.

American females of many races fear black men, and in some cases this even includes black females too. They have all been affected by the idea that African American men are dangerous. These women will clutch their purses when they see a black male. They will walk quicker, cross the street, or move to the other edge of the walk way to avoid them. This is all behavior that I have personally observed.

You think your crusade of “toxic masculinity” is about white men, but it is the reality of the stigma faced by African American males. From police shootings to false incarcerations. The black male is the most vilified group in American culture.

@kirbywarp
“How about you don’t police what is feminine and what is masculine, hmm? That’s equality right there.”
I am not trying to police anything. I want people to feel free to express who they really are. I don’t want anyone to have to feel shame for their identity.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Shorter troll – what is racism?

t1oracle
t1oracle
7 years ago

@JV
“@t1oracle has dug himself a hole with regards to the whole masculinity thing. I think his point is that some people’s personality traits are more in line with what is considered traditionally masculine qualities. Men and women, both. And vice versa. Not that those qualities are necessarily male or female, although they TEND to be, for a variety of reasons. Probably the whole masculine/feminine thing needs redefining or scrapping altogether in terms of gender. Certainly there are aspects of traditional definitions of masculinity and femininity that are beneficial to humans in general. And, I believe, there is a need for social constructs that address the experience of living with either a male or female body, specifically.

At any rate, the controversy (not the abuse/threats) caused by Anita’s wording in her tweets is totally understandable, given the use of loaded phrases like “toxic masculinity” paired with something like a school shooting. The same shit would happen in reverse if a writer tied a toxic version of femininity or feminism or whatever agreed upon term is the female corollary of “masculinity” to a tragic event, no matter the adjective used to qualify it.”
I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted. Someone else understands. Thank you!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty:

Apparently, camouflage smells like “a natural, woodsy blend of fresh air, golden leaves and oak tree bark.” So, basically a pastoral hunting trip. I can feel the masculinity from here.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

I feel like there’s a joke about acorns somewhere in there.

t1oracle
t1oracle
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty
I am not trying to be mean, but have you considered adderall? I’ve heard the extended release is really effective.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
7 years ago

Oh christ. t1oracle, learn to blockquote, or at least put a frikken extra line break between the quoted part and your response.

Here, here, I’ll show you.

<blockquote>
QUOTE GOES HERE!
</blockquote>

RESPONSE GOES HERE! (notice the extra space)

t1oracle
t1oracle
7 years ago

@kirbywarp
Thanks. I’m new to commenting in WordPress, but I’ll use that next time.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Aw, is the widdle troll having a hard time keeping up? That’s OK, never mind, you can always take a nice nap in the cauldron. I hear that powernapping can really help put the zip back in your troll step.

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

You’re so mean, @kirbywarp, criticising t1oracle’s formatting. You might as well be threatening him with rape/death /sarcasm

t1oracle
t1oracle
7 years ago

@cassandrakitty
I’ve been able to read every post you’ve made here. So no, I am not the one having trouble keeping up…

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

At any rate, the controversy (not the abuse/threats) caused by Anita’s wording in her tweets is totally understandable, given the use of loaded phrases like “toxic masculinity” paired with something like a school shooting. The same shit would happen in reverse if a writer tied a toxic version of femininity or feminism or whatever agreed upon term is the female corollary of “masculinity” to a tragic event, no matter the adjective used to qualify it.

So folks, @JV? JudgyB1tch or t1oracle sockpuppet? Place your bets.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

I’ve been able to read every post you’ve made here.

Comprehending them is a different story.

So no, I am not the one having trouble keeping up…

That depends on whether we are measuring outputs or outcomes.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Read, perhaps. Understand, not so much.

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

Given the inability to differentiate between feminism and feminity, my bet’s on t1oracle sockpuppet.

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