So the #gamergate fuckwads have taken to threatening universities with massacres for allowing women to give talks. If I didn’t already know they were pure scum, this would have informed me that their opinions need to be treated the same way I deal with nasty shit adhering to the bottom of my shoe.
I know quite a few of these shrieking shits think they are big-time heroes for managing to throw tantrums and threaten people for so long. They’re not. They’re the kind of people that every society has disavowed and discarded as it became more civilized. They have the same social value as contagious disease. They mistake small-minded spite for courage. They think that threats make them big, important men. They have to think that, because they’re shallow little personalities with nasty, small-minded ideas. They’re too terrified to fight fair in the court of public opinion, because deep down, they know they’re losers and will fail. So they have to send out death and rape threats, and rely on other cowards to give them cover.
Guess what? They’re still losers, and they will fail.
They managed to get this talk canceled only because their fellow cowards in the NRA have convinced Utah politicians that carrying guns around campus is what strong, independent people do, rather than the act of pathetic little assholes whose delusions of heroism allow them to ignore their innate cowardice.They don’t know what real courage is. They don’t know what everyday heroism is. They can’t know, because they’ve withdrawn into the fearful little bunkers of their minds, where they can pretend they’re important, rather than doing the hard and scary work of being out there in the world actually doing something important, without relying on the false security of a weapon to make them feel strong.
I’m ashamed to be sharing a planet with them.
They’re probably celebrating what they believe is a victory right now. That’s what people like them do: throw feces and howl in triumph when they hit something. Their fellow shit-throwers tell them they’ve accomplished something.
Meanwhile, the creative and innovative people keep creating and innovating, even if sometimes they have to dodge the shit, or pause to clean it up. The shit-flinging cowards who have to resort to death and rape threats to feel special may deceive a few folks into believing they’re important, but as time goes on, the stench gives them away, and they’ll find themselves pushed further and further away, walled off from the rest. The more shit they throw, the faster they make everyone else realize what disgusting little cowards they actually are.
Those of you who don’t have to hurl rape and death threats to make it sound like you’ve got a point, those of you who aren’t so terrified of women and minorities getting a seat at the table that you feel like you have to burn the house down, those of you who are tired of the stench and just want all of these violent little cowards to go fucking Galt already, you may feel helpless. You may be looking at the piles of shit and wondering how the fuck this is ever going to stop.
It stops when we keep rubbing noses in it. A lot of people – especially law enforcement and politicians, it seems – have just held their breath and stepped around the mess while other people quietly clean it up. Don’t let them. Enough of us writing to universities and legislatures and law enforcement, ensuring they have no choice but to smell the shit we’re dealing with, will eventually get through to them.
Don’t clean up these messes quietly with some misguided idea that we shouldn’t feed trolls or give them the time of day. Point to the piles they’re crapping out and complain about the smell. Show it to people who otherwise would’ve walked quietly around, saying “Can you believe this shit?” Make it impossible to avoid.
When you see people flinging shit, or making excuses for the cowards who fling shit, call them out. Pile on with the condemnation. Make people own their shit. Shame them for it. Demand better behavior of them.
Support the people like Anita Sarkeesian who get shit flung at them constantly. Watch their videos. Listen to their talks. Read their work. Donate to them, buy their work, speak up about how awesome they are.
And never, ever accept this shit as just the way things are. It’s bad, it’s disgusting, and it’s hard to clean up, but we don’t have to live with it forever.