The Washington Post recently ran a piece by Michele Goldberg about feminist women who’ve basically been run off the internet by rape threats and death threats and endless harassment.
Reactionary fantasy author and racist shithead Vox Day (a.k.a Theadore Beale) couldn’t be more pleased. After posting several quotes from the WaPo article on his Vox Popoli blog, he did a little victory lap:
#GamerGate has them on the run. They can’t take the heat. What they call “harassment” and “abuse” is seldom anything more than free speech answering free speech.
Uh, not so much. No matter how far you stretch and mangle the definition of “Free Speech,” bomb threats and death threats and SWATting isn’t free speech.
But in Vox Day’s mind, apparently, it’s all good, because the barbarians are at the gate.
Open up your hate and let it pour over them.
Yep. He really did write that.
NOTE TO IDEOLOGUES: When you find yourself excitedly rhapsodizing about the power of hatred, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re the baddies.
Don’t think for even one nanosecond that they don’t deserve it every bit of the criticism, of the contempt, of the disdainful dismissal that overwhelms them. They are trying to destroy Western civilization. They are trying to destroy marriage and civil society. They are advocates of child murder. They are advocates of a philosophy that makes National Socialism look merciful and Communism practical and Fascism coherent by comparison. Do not hold back. Speak back twice as hard. Speak back until they fall silent.
I think poor Vox is spending too much of his time reading and writing terrible fantasy novels. He may think he’s rallying the troops like Churchill or, I dunno, Hitler, but all I can think of is this guy.
Oh, but he’s not done:
Women are particularly susceptible to shame. So shame them relentlessly. Shame those who agree with them. Mock their white knights who rush in to save them. Above all, dignify their views and voices with all the respect you would show to a particularly noxious fart in an elevator.
I think Vox has inadvertently given us a perfect description of himself.
Actually, I take that back. He’s more like a shart, a shitstain on humanity.
Eeeeerrrreeehhhh…not sure about that as a rule. I know you’re trying to teach your kids a good life lesson and kids don’t fathom contradictions very well, so I’m not criticising what you’re telling them. You’re right anyway. Let’s remember though that some evil people come across as very charming and fun because they need that image to help fight off suspicion.
Speaking of government and free speech, I was hanging out in the comment section of an article about net neutrality in The Guardian. Christ on a bicycle, the right wingers. They were insisting that the internet as we know it is doomed because we let The Gubmint make regulations on it so now The Gubmint is going to ruin it like Obamacare ruined health insurance! Internet Tax! Censorship! NSA spying! Government oppression! Waaah!
Also Ted Cruz is all over that bandwagon. Of course.
No. Just no.
The Just World Fallacy in action, here.
Lots of psychopaths are charming and fun. Charismatic. Good at comprehending what people want and playing to it. And plenty of good people suffer from social anxiety and/or depression, and not a barrel of laughs.
As a Rule of Thumb, this isn’t much better than the pretty=good, “only bad witches are ugly” fairy tale mentality, IMO.
Huh. In my own experience, people who skeeve me right the hell out generally turn out to be bad for my continued mental health. Part of it may be that I have always distrusted what most people call ‘charm’. People who are socially awkward, depressive or neuroatypical do not set off my alarms. The smiling guy with a handshake too honest for any honest man? Run, do not walk.
My son has made good friends – more than I had at his age. None of them are evil. They’re not the kids their classmates would consider ‘popular’, and I am sure there’s a connection.
When I say ‘evil’, I don’t think of what some people would consider ‘weird’. That’s my tribe. I mean people who consciously and intentionally use other people as things. They are dull and unpleasant to me.
Robert, I am so with you on the distrusting charismatic people bandwagon. Then again, I know my instincts come from my very specific life circumstances. In my toxic family growing up, the charismatic people were the manipulators while the awkward people…well, they weren’t always good either, but there was an honesty in their behavior. They weren’t going to trick anyone the way the charismatic family members could (and did, and still do).
I don’t talk to most of the people on my mother’s side of the family anymore, with only two exceptions. One who’s my sister (and I will always love her even though she has a lot of the charismatic manipulator stuff going on) and the other is one of my Aunts, who rubs everyone in the family the wrong way because she is honest in a way that makes people like them angry. Me? I always love honesty without exception. The only time honesty ever seems problematic is when it’s paired with some other god awful trait that I don’t want in my presence, but I’d still rather know about the bad than be blind sided by it.
That said, I am occasionally wrong about charismatic people. My girlfriend is charismatic, and when I first met her five years ago I mistrusted her immediately. It took me a few years to recover from the overall bad expectations I had of her personality traits and to see her differently. And there have been a number of introverted misfits that I liked from the get go since I related with them, who then turned out to by Nice Guys in waiting.
I still respond better to introverts than extroverts as a rule, but now I know that it’s really important to keep an eye out for exceptions.
…and I also know that one reason I don’t like extroverts is not because they are bad as a rule, but because they often tire me out and run roughshod over my boundaries and feelings without a glance back. Since I am quiet and kind of expect people to pick up on my energy the way I pick up very quickly on the emotions of others, this is something that comes across to me as selfish and obnoxious. But people who are also loud and extroverted and have no problem firmly establishing their needs and wants? That kind of thing is no big deal to them.
To each their own.
I still like that quote about real bad people being nowhere near as striking as their movie counterparts. Maybe if they all wore masks and capes, could expertly wield light sabers, and had tragic dark pasts that made them sympathetic I’d change my mind, but until then…
IME, evil people are more likely to be wearing a suit than a cape.
RE: the delightful beauty manual comment:
Wait, what does happiness have to do with being better groomed?
Oh, MEN LIKE HIM were much happier when women were better groomed and attired, is what he meant. I see.
The next words out of this guy’s mouth had better not be what I think they’re going to be.
Damn. I hate being right.
Oh, I forgot. The 1950s. That magical leisure era when parenthood didn’t require any work.
Examples of how men dressed in the 1950’s
OMG, me too! Even the word sounds skeevy to me.
‘Charm’ has a sort of hypnotic, witchcraft connotation to it, like it’s a thing that can be switched on and off to trick people into doing things.
If Beauty Manual Dude is demanding that women go back to vacuuming in pearls and high heels, then he needs to start wearing a wool three-piece suit to baseball games and barbecues. With matching tie and handkerchief. Don’t forget the fedora, m’hypocrite.
Re: the ever so stylish fifties. Both my parents were kids during the that decade, and my mom in particular has a lot of stories that include details like “dad was mad because company meant that he couldn’t just wear his undershirt” and “the car broke down while we were riding to school, and mom was just mortified because she was wearing shortie pajamas.”
It’s totally possible that my grandparents were just weirdos with no sense of decorum…but I kind of doubt it. Who on earth could work a regular job either inside or outside of the home AND keep up that level of razzle-dazzle 16 hours a day? I think the standard that Dad read the paper in a jacket and tie and Mom served dinner in a cocktail dress existed only in magazine ads and sitcoms. I wonder if my grandkids will one day watch CSI reruns and read vintage Cosmo and decide that the early 2000’s were better because even forensics specialists wore sexy clothes to the office and women went to bed in expensive lingerie with full faces of makeup.
Evil itself, I think, is essentially dull and petty. Throughout history we’ve come up with countless new ways to thrive and relatively few new ways to victimize. Evil people, though? Often charming, appealing, exciting, until the masks come off. Then tedious as well as terrible. People who aren’t evil but the nonetheless bad for you can be even more interesting.
When I was a kid I thought that married couples in the fifties actually slept in two twin beds because that was how TV depicted it. Luckily, I outgrew the presumption that television and movies reflect reality. The manosphere never did.
Can we take a moment to appreciate that this man seems to think that the problem with fascism was that it wasn’t coherent? Like…
My MIL would have been a teen in the 50s. She says people paid a lot more attention to certain details like ironing, but clothes then HAD to be ironed regularly. People wear a lot more knits and synthetics now.
Apparently no one misses the ironing enough to go back to the old style.
Family photos from the era do suggest a certain crisp 50s aesthetic, but these were working class people, so it wasn’t Dior dresses and heels… more homemade shirt-dresses and sweaters with slacks for the big family photo-sitting. The young people WERE youthfully beautiful, especially by contrast to their now-septuagenarian selves, but they weren’t any better looking than their grandchildren and great-grands are now, either. And the parents in the pics look a lot like the middle-aged+ folks they were… they gained weight and got wrinkles and paunches and went bald as surely as they do now.
I think it’s weird that the manosphere reifies the 50s look so much: short-haired women EVERYWHERE. Seems to me like hardly anyone in the US had long hair then except, like, Amish women, very old ladies, and maybe a handful of beat poets somewhere.
Re: charisma, yeah, I’ve certainly met people who seemed… oily, you know. I know someone, though, who knows how to use hir considerable powers of flattery and button-pushing and plain old guilt-tripping to creep a little closer and subtly convince me I was overreacting the last time I cut hir off. A period of relative peace and normalcy ensues. I feel good about it.
Followed, of course, by a whole lot of obviously inevitable and escalating boundary-crossing– whereupon I cut hir off again… after an embarrassing amount of emoting on my part.
Lather rinse, repeat. ugh I’ve got to admit, it’s probably partly the charisma that sucks me back in for the nth time. It’s not the only thing, but it’s not a non-factor either. That’s why they keep it up: it works! They know what to say– when they’re working you up, you can feel really understood and maybe that’s what makes it all hurt the more when they start working you over. You think but they know me! so it seems like deliberate, targeted cruelty when they both take away the “kindness” and start hitting you where they know it will hurt the most.
I try to remember they’re not so much deliberately trying to hurt me as they are manipulating me like a vending machine to get their own bottomless needs met. When they run out of dollars, they start pushing buttons. When they run out of buttons to push, they start beating the machine. And they do this to almost everyone in their life. It’s not actually personal.
They don’t know me, they don’t know anyone, they hardly even know themselves.
But it has taken me a long time to get that far.
sez bodycrimes: “Don’t you think it’s particularly comforting, though, that Theodore Beale is a washout? He’s a has-been musician, a has-been games creator, and a writer and publisher of schlock that doesn’t sell?”
When you’re listing the manifold manifestations of FAIL for which manly manospherian Theodore Beale is manfully responsible, you can’t forget about the Warmouse…
I’d like to think that somehow the gaping itself was gaping. Perhaps it’s like spin 2 particles, but with gape. Oh yes, I went there.
I apologise for that breach of humour that even people that get it probably won’t find funny, it’s a natural reaction to awful writing I’m afraid.
Sorry, just noticed my mistake. I meant spin 1/2.
Cubist – thank you for reminding me of the WarMouse. It sounds like a webcomic character – a vainglorious and bombastic mouse warrior, whose dreams of conquest and command are constantly thwarted by his own gross incompetence and unpleasant personality.
He has a webcomic about mice. It’s called Hypergamouse and spoiler alert: it sucks.