#gamergate antifeminism antifeminist women dark enlightenment entitled babies evil SJWs harassment literal nazis men invented everything misogyny MRA oppressed white men reactionary bullshit red pill

With #GamerGate floundering, the Internet Douchebag Squad whips up a #Shirtstorm

Graph tracking the decline of #GamerGate, and the sudden surge of #Shirtstorm
Graph tracking the decline of #GamerGate, and the surge of #Shirtstorm, posted by GGer @Eggkin “thanking #shirtstorm & the femloons for keeping the spark alive.”

By all rights, the furor over rocket scientist Matt Taylor’s cheesecake shirt should have died down by now. After being chided earlier this week for marring the celebration over the landing of a space probe ON A GODDAMNED COMET by doing interviews in a tacky shirt covered with half-naked ladies, Taylor offered a brief but heartfelt apology. You would have thought we’d all be able to move on.

Not so fast. Because these days apparently no controversy can ever be over as long as it serves someone’s interest to keep it going. And so a loose but very familiar coalition of reactionaries and antifeminists and angry techies have started flogging an amorphous cause they call #Shirtgate or, more popularly, #Shirtstorm, purporting to be outraged that Taylor was “humiliated” into apologizing.

So many of the angriest voices in this, er, conversation are #GamerGaters it looks a lot like a sequel. Call it GamerGate Part Two: The Straw Graspening. And it’s not just me making the connection: #GamerGaters and #Shirtstormers, often one and the same, are making the connection:

Heck, our old friend Milo is making the connection:

Oh, it’s a veritable #GamerGate Old Home Week! GG mainstays Thunderf00t and Mundane Matt have rushed out videos about The Shirt.

People are making graphics covered with hard-to-read text:

B2hh9YqIUAA6Tua.jpg large

There are giant complicated conspiracy theory graphics covered with red lines and angry red text. This one notes that Chris Plante, who wrote an article criticizing Taylor’s shirt, also wrote one of the now-notorious “Gamers are Dead” pieces.

Apparently there were a few dudes who were none too pleased with Plante’s story on The Shirt:

#Shirtstormers wrote angry “letters” in too-small-type. (Click here for larger, more readable version and here for one with angry graphics, too.)

While others tried to draw a parallel between Taylor’s alleged “humiliation” and … rape.

Neo-reactionaries and “Dark Enlightenment” types see opportunity in the #Shirtstorm hashtag.

As do MRAs:

As does this familiar name:

They’re all there, all hoping to turn a debate over a shirt into another endless internet Benghazi.


399 replies on “With #GamerGate floundering, the Internet Douchebag Squad whips up a #Shirtstorm”

It is funny though that the Dawk promotes the anti-feminist ramblings of someone who has made a living promoting education based on Judeo-Christian teachings. It would seem his concern for secular education is nothing compared to his desire to dismiss the experiences of “difficult” women.

Whelp, that broke my brain, time for bed!

It needs the hair, and it also needs to be lying on a bearskin rug.

(With or without the wife? Haven’t decided that part yet.)

Wow, I didn’t start studying feminism academically until my junior year in college, and my alma mater, well, let’s just point out that they didn’t even start admitting women at all until the mid-70s and they’ve not yet come to a point where women are even 40% of the undergraduate population, and even *there* CHS was not considered a feminist and she was considered, and discussed, but the conclusion was not that she was a feminist.

FWIW, they didn’t kiss in the final scene. I remember reading an interview where del Toro said they filmed a version of the ending where they kiss (which implied that Raleigh and Mako get together), but it felt weird so they stuck with forehead-touching which was more open to interpretation.

My friends and I interpreted it as them being really close, to the point of them treating one another as brother and sister.

Well sure, they don’t actually kiss, but there’s stuff like this:

And kiss or no kiss, their relationship is arced like a romance. There’s nothing particularly subversive about it. (It would be subversive if, say, the lead woman ended the story disliking the man.)


I agree that Pacific Rim doesn’t subvert the “guy gets girl” trope, but I what I wanted to point out that it wasn’t really as clear-cut that Mako and Raleigh were going to end up being a couple.

Like, in that scene you posted above, IIRC that happened earlier on in the movie. My personal interpretation of their story arc is that while they were initially maybe attracted to one another (Mako looking at a shirtless Raleigh), their relationship grew into friendship rather than a romance.

But that’s just my interpretation. Yours makes sense too. There’s going to be a sequel (and maybe a part 3) so I guess we’ll find out there if they really do end up with one another or not.

I wish Mako was the main protagonist instead. She was the far more interesting character and contrary to what studio execs think, that would not have driven away the vast majority of male audiences. It was a decent movie but suffered from a lack of compelling main character IMO. That would have been fixed if they focused more on Mako and made Raleigh a supporting character.

I was really disappointed that the whole mind-meld thing of Pacific Rim didn’t seem to be fleshed out. If it had, then I could easily interpret the forehead touching at the end differently. You’re going to be close to someone you just shared brain-space with, basically becoming them temporarily, no matter what the previous relationship was like.

(Seriously, mind-meld! Why would they have to talk to each other when piloting the mechs?)

Sorry, I can’t let this go:

As a pansexual lady, I love sexy ladies! Even if they’re on shirts!

As I pansexual lady I love actual sexy ladies, not the physically impossible, airbrushed, male-gazey, objectified female forms the patriarchy holds up as ideal.

Also, I’m not entitled to boner-pleasing ladies if those images harm women as a group, and the fact that you’re basically saying “so what if it’s hurting women, I like to look at it!” makes me doubt your commitment to feminism. But good job being one of the cool girls, I guess.

Eh, having to sign a paper that you won’t rape someone is kinda iffy, to be honest. Yes, nobody should EVER do that, but having to sign a special paper, yeaaah, that’s strange. Because it more or less turns the ide “innocent until proven guilty” on it’s head.

$20 says “signed a paper promising not to rape anyone” was actually “agreed to abide by the con’s anti-harassment policy”.

An additional $100 says “only white men had to sign it” is shit that never happened.

You are missing the point. being expected not to rape or harass is not terrible. however being forced to prove your innocence, when everything the accuser has against you, is your race and your gender is terrible, wrong, sexist and racist.

Where and when did this happen? I find your complete lack of identifying details (like even the name of the conference) suspicious. Surely, surely, you wouldn’t misrepresent something like that, would you?

“Define what you mean by “destroyed”.”

That’s not a definition, it’s an example. And not a very good one, since the people in the A+ movement don’t consider it a destruction thereof.

It’s the same old pattern of dudebros getting irrationally and completely disproportionately defensive and, dare I say, offended at the offense of others who only displayed some mild criticism. While telling the original offended party that they’re the ones who need a thicker skin, of course. Happened with “guys, don’t do that”, happened with “hey let’s look at these obvious sexist tropes in vidyagaems”, and now it’s happening over an obviously inappropriate-for-work shirt. All the same tactics, all the same bullshit arguments and false equivalences to social justice arguments purely as an attempt at a “gotcha, feminoids!”. Because mild criticism directed at the privileged people in society is the worst, most offensive behaviour ever EVER, right. I ain’t even surprised at this point.

kittehserf: “But this is a feminist blog for mocking misogyny, so don’t come in telling a bunch of feminists what feminism is.”

Well, I didn’t do that. My understanding was that believing that women should be equal under the law — a belief that Sommers has expressed, not necessarily sincerely — is a feminist belief. That doesn’t make her a feminist. And the only one telling people how to behave seems to be CassandraKitty. But she is a regular and you are a moderator, so I am fine with no longer continuing the conversation.

To be clear, again, we are all in agreement that Sommers isn’t a feminist, including Grumpy. The question of why some women like Sommers choose to make a living working against women’s rights, the contradictions of their words and actions, is a common one. It’s one that this blog sometimes look at, and that feminist studies study. Raising the issue is not the same thing as calling Sommers a feminist.

Kat Goodwin:

And, no, having somebody actively trying to destroy feminism and feminist gains is not a good thing for feminist efforts.

I didn’t say it was.

FFS. You said:

Sommers has obviously chosen a different path – but even she has feminist beliefs, and is marked by the advancement of the idea of feminism from the past. And that’s a good thing for feminist efforts, even if Sommers is not. There’s nothing wrong with looking at that contradiction — that she holds feminist beliefs and yet works against feminism as her career. We’re not going to be able to do much about what she’s trying to sell if we don’t look at it and consider where it comes from.

These are your words, that you have posted, that we can go back and read. You did indeed say that Sommers has feminist beliefs, and that the fact that she has a career and is a professor and all – that this is a good thing for feminism. I’m telling you that no, Sommers making a living attempting to destroy feminism and all that feminsists have worked for is not a good thing. There is no silver lining there. Saying that well, at least women can have jobs and go to school now, because here’s this antifeminist woman who has done so is fucking asinine. That’s like saying, in the middle of a flood, that well, we should be thankful for all the water because at least there’s not a drought!

And fucking no, we can’t know what the fuck beliefs she has. We can’t read her mind. The fact that she is taking advantage of progress and advancements brought about by feminism does not make her a feminist or mean that she has feminist beliefs. All evidence we have about Sommers points directly to the contrary.

The question of why some women like Sommers choose to make a living working against women’s rights, the contradictions of their words and actions, is a common one. It’s one that this blog sometimes look at, and that feminists study. Raising the issue is not the same thing as calling Sommers a feminist.

OK, but:

And that’s because feminism is an idea, not an identity. Feminists are people who advocate the idea that women are innately equal and should be equal in the society, economically and under the law. But there’s a fair amount of variety in how they advocate for that. Does that mean that Sommers is a feminist? For me, she is not and works against feminism in the law, etc.

But, as we so often point out to folk, there are no feminism police who dictate what you get to call yourself. She does express support for part of the idea (above), she calls herself one which rather unwittingly supports feminism as a good idea, even if she then advocates against the idea. Her sheer existence as a working woman and a professor advocates for the idea of feminism, even as she advocates against feminist policies. She is damaging to feminism, to advances in equality; at the same time her life involves feminism. This is the conundrum of anti-feminist women. It actually is complicated. We’ll never know if she actually believes she should be fully equal or not, if she believes there’s discrimination or not; she isn’t an honest person. We do not have to accept her as a feminist advocate, anymore than we accept a man who says he supports the idea, but then works against putting it in practice. But that she espouses some of the idea of feminism — an idea that has helped her — in trying to advocate against the full expression of the idea, shows the power of the idea itself.

“She isn’t a feminist, but there is no feminist police and she has feminist ideas and she calls herself a feminist and she’s personally benefited from progress made by feminists so it’s complicated.”

…I don’t even know. Like, what are you trying to prove? Christina Hoff Sommers is not a feminist. She doesn’t hold any feminist ideas. Her existence is not a credit to feminism. Her work is not a credit to feminism. The fact that feminism has been successful is good. The fact that Christina Hoff Sommers has dedicated her life to tearing it down is not. Yes, she directly benefits from feminism. That makes her a hypocrite. Yes, she calls herself a feminist. This is part of a strategy to set herself – an antifeminist – and those who think like her as the “true feminists.” This is a strategy to invalidate feminism. Whether or not Christina Hoff Sommers thinks feminism is a good idea or not doesn’t matter, because of what she is doing right now. She is acting like she doesn’t think feminism is a good idea.

Saying that the existence of a successful antifeminist woman is indicative of how successful feminism has been is really just asinine. There has always been successful antifeminist women. Antifeminist women tend to be successful because they are antifeminist.

@Kat Godwin, I think the biggest factor you’re seemingly oblivious to is that there are several branches of feminism here among the regular commenters. Not all of us are liberal feminists; hell, I’d lay odds that libfems are just one of many here. Making assumptions about what a ‘feminist belief’ is, isn’t going to get anyone very far. I don’t think all of us even define feminism the same way. Trying to achieve agreement with the Hivemind isn’t going to happen because we’re not all starting from the same point of view.

FWIW, I don’t see any contradiction at all with CMS. She’s a privileged antifeminist. Who ever said she was like an educated JB was absolutely correct.

I think Cassandra already said this, but what’s complicated or interesting about CHS? She’s the girl who thinks that if she agrees that girls have cooties, the boys will let her in the treehouse. A very common archetype.

Here is a pertinent quote:
“Lifestyle feminism ushered in the notion that there could be as many versions of feminism as there were women. Suddenly the politics was being slowly removed from feminism. And the assumption prevailed that no matter what a woman’s politics, be she conservative or liberal, she too could fit feminism into her existing lifestyle. Obviously this way of thinking has made feminism more acceptable because its underlying assumption is that women can be feminists without fundamentally challenging and changing themselves or the culture.”
— bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody (via mahakavi)

I am old and nothing makes me feel my age as much as these kinds of discussions on how many impossible things we can believe before breakfast.

@Bina, not sure that was at me or Kat.

If it’s me, I was thinking more libfem/radfem/ecofem/socialistfem – distinct and defined branches, rather than personalized funfeminism. And by different definitions of feminism, I meant that while lots of people prefer ‘equality of the sexes’, I will always choose ‘liberation of women from oppression’.

Just out of curiosity, Kat, why are you so determined to pick a fight with me? It’s not going to happen no matter how much you try, just FYI, and I’m far from the only person disagreeing with you or telling you that your teal deers are boring, so your constant “but she said/did!!!” is a bit weird.

Also, what Sparky. Puddleglum, and Katz said. If anyone is really interested in what makes women like Sommers tick, I recommend Right Wing Women by Andrea Dworkin. It can be hard to find print copies, but there’s a free PDF available.

@ Puddleglum

Yep, primarily radfem here, with some strong ecofem and socialist tendencies here. I took that test once where they try to plot where on the feminist spectrum you fall and nope, not a lot of libfem going on in my case.


I wish Mako was the main protagonist instead. She was the far more interesting character and contrary to what studio execs think, that would not have driven away the vast majority of male audiences.

Seconding. I would’ve liked it more if Mako were the main character. Raleigh was a bland white guy. Mixed him up with Chuck at some points.

@ kirbywarp

I was really disappointed that the whole mind-meld thing of Pacific Rim didn’t seem to be fleshed out.

True! One of the writers posted a lot of extra stuff on his Tumblr about the side-effects of the neural handshake and I was like, “Why was this not in the movie???” The ghost-drifting thing was kind of in the movie—when Chuck and Raleigh were beating up one another—but it was pretty easy to miss.

I could have lived with the implied relationship at the end of Pacific Rim, it was the fact that they made her pass out at just the right moment so that the bland white dude had to go defeat the monsters by himself and get all the glory that really annoyed me. From a storytelling POV it should have been her who landed the final bomb, in order to complete her narrative arc.

Women always become incapacitated at just the right moment to avoid threatening a man’s ego.

Ah, yes. The Dude Must Always Be The Protagonist problem. I never saw Pacific Rim (wanted to, but never got around to it) but that is like half my problem with Guardians of the Galaxy. “Ugh, why is this dude getting in the way of Gamora being awesome?”

The other half was the jokes about how sexually active women were worthless. Stay classy, friends!

Whenever dudes make those jokes all I hear is “I am terrible in bed and terrified that she’ll notice if she has anything to compare me to”.

Stupid question from me: is libfem short for libertarian feminist?

Because I always read lib as liberal, i.e. pro abortion rights, pro intersectionality, etc. I think I am going to get lost in terminology.

My understanding was that believing that women should be equal under the law — a belief that Sommers has expressed, not necessarily sincerely — is a feminist belief.

Yeah, see, actually this is the root of the problem.

Once upon a time, being a woman in a public space was a radical feminist act. Find some of those editorial cartoons regarding first-wave feminism conventions. Just being a woman, in a public space, was a radical feminist act.

It’s not a radical feminist act anymore. If we judge contemporary feminism by past standards, literally every woman who says a thing in public is a radical feminist. That’s obviously a ludicrous conclusion. So is trying to claim that CHS is a feminist because she thinks it’s okay if women go to college (but only to study the warm fluffy subjects like art history). Once upon a time that would have been a radical belief, but it isn’t today. If you want to set standards by the past, go all the hell the way back to the early 1800s and make every woman who talks in public a radical feminist, too.

Here’s the thing: feminists don’t want stuff, like the vote, and an education, and the right to exist without being sexually harassed, just so that they can say they have it. Feminists want women to have these things instrumentally, because having these things enables the attainment of The Good Life. No two people agree on precisely what The Good Life really is, but whatever your view of it, not having artificial barriers to your attainment of it is a positive thing.

CHS is in favor of re-erecting, or maintaining, barriers to women achieving The Good Life. Feminism is about dismantling these barriers. CHS is about using that dismantling to achieve her own version of The Good Life and then re-erecting them behind her so that nobody else can spoil her experience by sharing it. That’s the opposite of feminism.

Because I always read lib as liberal, i.e. pro abortion rights, pro intersectionality, etc. I think I am going to get lost in terminology.

I use libfem for liberal feminists. While there are a lot of points that I agree on with libfems, like those you mentioned, there are others I don’t, like the definition of feminism and stances on pornography.

An alternate term for libertarian feminist might be “unicorn”. I’ve only encountered one (she used to comment here).

While CHS might generally support the causes championed by first-wave feminists (and pretty much no other feminist causes since then, except women being allowed more career opportunities), I can’t help but think that actual first-wave feminists would be disgusted with the way that she frequently promotes ideas that men are superior and devotes much of her academic work to trying to debunk rape studies. After all, the idea that enslaved women and married women had no legal control over their own bodies because the law gave their bodies to their masters and their husbands respectively was a major issue that early feminist abolitionists took on. These women were horrified by and protested against the repeated sexual victimization of enslaved women in order to promote abolition, and they ended up seeing parallels between the enslaved women’s lack of sexual autonomy and the married woman’s lack of sexual autonomy.

Plus, given the harmful ideas that she puts out (i.e. “Don’t speak out if you’re a victim of some form of sexist abuse or try to protect other women from victimization because that means that you’re weak and not independent and that you think that all women are weak”) I’m pretty sure that she’s consciously using the feminist label in an attempt to undermine the actual feminist movement. She’s limiting the push to legal equality of the sexes to an extent that would’ve likely pissed off actual first-wave feminist. Not to mention that with her…er…scholarship on domestic violence and rape, she’s undermining lots of legal efforts to secure gender equality by promoting laws that combat physical and sexual abuse. But then again, “equity feminism,” much like men’s rights activism, seems to promote equal suffering, if it promotes equal anything, before it promotes any desirable form of equality.

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