Robin Williams’ daughter being chased off Twitter is a high-profile example of an everday occurence

and it must stop. I’m tired of tolerating an internet where people are unfairly targeted for their race, gender, sexuality, etc. In my latest for The Daily Beast, I didn’t want to target the “trolls”, but those who shrug this off, claiming it’s not a big deal, who say “That’s the Internet”.

Nope. That’s cover that allows this toxicity to continue. We can and must do better.

CollegeHumor hates “fake” nerd girls

Disclaimer: I’m aware the CollegeHumor article is a bit old. But I only saw it recently.

LOL! So check these silly women who think they’re nerds cos they wear glasses. Ha, what fakes! Let’s take Tweeted pics and make an article mocking them for thinking they’re nerds!

pic

LOL, high five bro!

We’ll show these dumb womin that it’s wrong to call yourself a nerd because… well, because! It’s too difficult to explain and if I have to explain then you’re obviously not a true nerd. And who doesn’t want to aspire to be a self-loathing, hateful, vengeful manchild — I mean “true nerd”?

What you mean let people call themselves what they want because it has no fucking impact on my life? That makes no sense! I must defend the kingdom of nerdom if people aren’t nerding in the perfectly right way that I’ve arbitrarily determined! Dammit! People can’t just enjoy themselves: they need to enjoy the things I love in the right, special, sacred way I’ve determined!

This is for men. When you come in here, with your women parts, it upsets the balance. And that’s wrong because… you know. Because it is upsetting! Stop it, just look at that list and laugh at those silly women that deserve to be shamed on a widely read site for doing a harmless activity!

Hey! We mock men, too, so it’s fine! Things are equal! How come feminists always talk about how people are equal but then when they get targeted they want special treatment??! Huh: What you mean recognising the world is unequal doesn’t negate treating people equally? That makes no sense. Women are just being hysterical as usual! They should get over themselves, they just need a man in their life.

Everything is fine and I’ve never seen or experienced an environment that constantly judges and negates me for my sex, race, sexual orientation – THEREFORE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN TO ANYONE ELSE. That’s logic! And I should know, bro, I’m a totes true nerd! Let’s go be offended by Star Wars…

So I watched an Avril Lavigne music video…

This one:

It’s called “Hello Kitty” by one Avril Lavigne. I believe she’s famous for having trouble with skateboarding children, who she would see at a later point?

So, the music video starts off with this young woman speaking with a thousand voices in Japanese and pointing at me.

Why is she pointing?

Why is she pointing?

I don’t know what I did, but she’s quite excited.

Then she’s morphed into a room accompanied by disapproving, silent Japanese ladies. This will be their face and general demeanour throughout the entire parade of American teen-pop diabetes-inducing shitstorm the video is.

Come play with us.

The colours made my eyes crawl inside my skull to die in pleasant darkness.

Then the music skips tragically on her saying “Ka”, so she says, “ka-ka-ka-kawaii“. And that’s when my brain shook its head, put on its hat and left via my nostrils. It knew the actual music would start.

SPIN FOR NO REASON, AVRIL! SPIINNNNN!

SPIN FOR NO REASON, AVRIL! SPIINNNNN!

She plays a guitar which apparently contains the trapped soul of Skrillex.

DO SOMETHING WITH THIS FLUTE OR WHATEVER MUSIC PEOPLE CALL IT!

Help! I’m trapped in the body of a shittily programmed guitar!

Then she does this weird… “dance” thing?

I can move my kneeeeeeeeeeees

What is she holding? Why is she now wearing candy spectacles? Why is she dancing with that… thing? It looks like the Staypuff Marshmellow Man’s aborted child.

KEEP YOUR EYES ON IT, AVRIL!

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 12.47.15 AM

And on it goes.

This blistering, glittery-nailpolished middle finger to music; this blackboard scraping called vocals; the music sounds like the someone throwing a small angry police car around. It’s not so much music as it is glorified white noise, allowing this pop-star to use the colour palette of Candy Crush as a weapon against common decency.

And where the fuck is she? It’s like a racist’s fever-dream of Japan, after taking too much LSD. Everything looks like it takes place in Willy Wonka’s sweatshop.

This would, of course, be nothing without the lyrics. WITNESS THESE GRAND POETICS TO MAKE EVEN DANTE ALIGHIERI WEEP.

Mom’s not home tonight [1] [2]
So we can roll around, have a pillow fight
Like a major rager OMFG [3]

Let’s all slumber party [4]
Like a fat kid on a pack of Smarties [5]
Someone chuck a cupcake at me [6]

It’s time for spin the bottle [7]
Not gonna talk about it tomorrow
Keep it just between you and me [8]

Let’s play truth or dare now [9]
We can roll around in our underwear how [10]

Every silly kitty should be

My thoughts correspond with the notes above:

1. Where is your mother?

2. It’s not night-time at all in this music video.

3.  What is… nevermind.

4. You can “party” and “slumber”; and you can have a “slumber party” – but you can’t “slumber party”. You are not using those words correctly.

5. OK, now I don’t know what you mean by slumber party. Is this only something “fat kids” can do? Do thin kids not enjoy Smarties?

6. Dear god, who else is at this daytime event where you slumber party that “someone” must throw dessert at you? Won’t your poor mother on her night duty have to clean up?

7. OK, now I’m convinced there’s more than one other person at your day-time event.

8. But now this reads as though no one other than the person you’re singing to is there. Who else would the bottle spin toward? I’ve never played, but I did see attractive people play it in high school.

9. Wait, is spin the bottle finished?

10. Is that before or after truth or dare??

And so on.

This bizarre explosion of “culture” has some racism going for it, too, with its portrayal of everyone who isn’t the white American woman as mindless Japanese drones. So yay for integration. Or whatever.

Conclusion

Whoever decides whether humanity should continue or die will surely be yearning to push the red button after hearing this – because afterward they won’t be able to hear anything else like “Please, no!” Imagine we sent this off as part of a collection that constitutes who we are as a species; imagine intelligent aliens found it. I think it would be immoral for them not to destroy us, as the sound of a cat getting its tail stepped on screeches lyrics about bottle-spinning and day-time slumbering partying. If you’re not diabetic after this, I admire you: the twee and candy-coloured hatred for all things humanity has built in its long march away from oppression makes avoiding sickness difficult.

But whatever. Don’t watch it. Just know it exists. And I watched it for you because I’m apparently a masochist.

“I do not condone rape” but…

This comment appeared on a local site about rape culture and what it is.

Comment
I’d rather not link to the comment directly nor name the individual, since I’m unlikely to change his mind. But it does set up a good basis to respond to yet more nonsense about women and sexuality and how men should consider both.

Let’s look at what this bro thinks about silly sluts and rape, then.

>> “I will start off by saying that I DO NOT condone rape. Boys and men should adhere to a girls [sic] or woman’s right to say NO.”

Good start. But don’t be surprised that people (like me) now read this as “I’m not racist but…”

>> “That being said, I too don’t feel much sympathy for a girl or woman dressing and acting like a “slag” and then being raped.”

Read that again. “I… don’t feel much sympathy for a girl or woman [acting like a slut] and being raped”.

So, sympathy for a rape victim is eroded due to learning that a woman was “acting” in a way you, personally, deem sexually provocative.

Of course!

There’s no way that people confuse friendliness for sexual advances; men have never mistaken amicability and Platonic interest for flirtation. And there’s no way women dress in a way that is revealing, enhancing of their features, etc. because it makes them feel great in their bodies (but almost always for a short period of time, because they live in a society that constantly pressures women into hating their bodies because they’re not photoshopped).

No: You are the Royal King Mister Master who can perfectly identify what “asking for sex” behaviour looks like.

Slutty, as Madison Moore highlights, is “when someone else’s sexual behavior makes you uncomfortable.” But probably also means you find them attractive (since people find tentacle hentai porn and consensual adult incest uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean they’ll call such things slutty).

So how that mitigates rape is mystery and only highlights women are people – but only up to an arbitrary point you have defined, premised on their sexuality. Which can’t be their own, of course, but must be defined by the loudest bigots.

And, here is a shocker: There is nothing wrong with women wanting sex and doing what they can or want to get sex. And, further, even if a woman is naked in bed with you, it may come as a surprise to learn that forcing yourself on her, ignoring her rejections, is still wrong. It’s weird, but women surprisingly are not objects making sounds to play hard to get. They aren’t setting up a challenge that manly men must overcome.

>> “The guy raping a girl/woman like that should suffer as much as their victim did, but the victim should also take responsibility for her actions that lead to this wrongdoing.”

What does “take responsibility” mean? And used so casually alongside someone who is, you know, raping seems to equate the two.

And since we’re asking women to “take responsibility”, I hope we’ll be consistent and demand the rapist’s parents also “take responsibility”; and I hope his teachers and lecturers “take responsibility”; his friends too, for not stopping him or teaching him, should “take responsibility”. I hope society “takes responsibility”. And books – whatever books he happened to read – that we find the authors and demand they “take responsibility”. Who else? Obama? Yeah, him too.

We’ll eventually find everyone and be able to account 100% for all the responsibility because obviously the person most responsible is irrelevant until we account for 100% of everyone involved toward the rapist raping – or the “rape occurring” like some malevolent Sauron-like disembodied force.

We do this for all other crimes, too: we demand the victim who is shot in his home take responsibility. We blame the victims for their murder and their physical assault, we worry that the perpetrators lives will be ruined (not their victim who is probably deceiving us right?); we distrust murder victims, we think they’re probably lying (dead but also in terms of deception)

Look, murder victims, just take responsibility for what happened, ok? At the funeral, let’s raise this and point this out to their families – because we do it for rape victims, so it means we do it elsewhere too. We’re totally not hypocrites!

>> “If you’re going to act in a certain way, you will attract the wrong people who WILL take advantage of the situation, no matter if it’s right or wrong.

Yes. But also note wrong people are still wrong. You’re not casting some magic spells that summons evil people.

>> “Girls should be taught from a young age that their actions and manners have consequences and if they don’t want these horrible things to happen to them, they should act responsibly and do what they can to prevent it from happening.

That’s right: The best way to avoid rape is not to be a slut. If you’re raped, it means you were being slutty/are a slut. That’s some perfect logic. QED. It’s totally not about how stats indicate rape victims are targets of someone they know, sometimes someone they themselves are attracted to, often someone they’re already in a relationship with.

Nope: rapists are like vampires and your slut behaviour is the open window (magic spells remember?). So just shut it. So obvious. And it’s so obvious and no woman has ever considered this because their brains are probably too small. That rape happens so often is obviously perfectly proportional to all the sluttish behaviour – or what I’ve called slutty – that occurs.

>> “No prevention method is 100% full [sic] proof and you may [be] the unlucky 1 to fall victim to rape or any other violent crime. The best you can do is everything in your power to prevent it from happening to you.

“Fall victim to rape”, like how you fall victim to disease, you know? Same thing.

Also, it’s not about luck so much as it is the way much of society – people like yourself and media portrayal – undermine rape s an actual serious crime, due to viewing women as not being allowed sexual identity. And it’s not an “unlucky” few.

>> “Girls, you know these things happen & there are men who don’t take NO seriously. Don’t give them the slightest idea that they can have their way with you unless you choose it. You are 99% in charge of your own fate, your life, your experiences and your body. Be responsible for your own fate, your life, your experiences and your body.

Yeah, “girls”. Don’t give “the slightest” indication you’re interested because, as we know, we all perfectly interpret flirtation, interest and so forth. And also once you show even a little bit of an interest, it means sex must happen. That’s the law, right? I think it is.

It’s so great to know that we’re 99% in charge of our fates: it’s not up to politics, economics, technology, other people’s whims, our bodies failing, strength, support. No: it’s just us. If you have a chronic disease, just think that crap away! You’re in charge cos it’s your body. QED.

So be responsible. If anything bad happens to you, you clearly wanted it cos you’re 99% in charge of what happens to you.

If you can find a more solipsistic perspective of life, I’d be surprised.

>> “Most men I know would never rape anyone, but there are many rotten apples, both male and female, out there. Protect yourself as much as you can.

Most? Most?!

Who are these minority of men? And are you doing what you can to prevent them raping? If you aren’t doing what you can to prevent them raping, then you’re not “taking responsibility” for these men. In all seriousness, I don’t know how you can say this without being concerned and fearful of such people and you know, potential victims (who are just sluts, so who cares?).

This is basically what you said: “There are a few men I know who would rape, but there are also some pretty crappy women, too.”

This attitude and dismissal and equivocation is part of what creates a prevalence of victim-blaming, slut-shaming, dismissal and derision of women as persons who are victims – not instigators – of one of the most horrible acts imaginable.

There is nothing wrong with wanting sex, desiring sex, flirting and having multiple partners. And further there’s nothing wrong later not desiring sex. People who feel “led on” have no right to “take” sex (i.e. rape) just because they (thought they) were promised it. Women aren’t Amazon.com – they’re people who are allowed to change their minds. If you feel hurt, too bad. You’re not that special and people can and are allowed to change their minds and do what they wish with their bodies, without it being about you.

Yes: Care should be taken that no one is hurt – through using protection, treating others as adults and persons, and so on. But until someone offers a definition of slut that isn’t merely the sounds people with conservative views of women’s sexuality (genitals are for pregnancy or for sluttiness and that is all!), I’ll continue to hear such claims as screams from the Dark Ages. Particularly when they promote dismissal of rape victims and think being slutty is (a) automatically a bad thing and (b) is a reason to think maybe this rape wasn’t so bad.

Human Rights Watch video on homophobic attacks in Russia

Good luck watching this.

Thugs. Terrified thugs launching fists at the harmless, at the innocent.

Gay rights isn’t just a gay problem, just like sexism isn’t just a woman’s issue, or racism isn’t just a non-white issue (all of this assumes sexism, racism, etc., only directly negatively affects one group, too).

Nobody is unaffected by these things: We just think we aren’t. Being straight I am affected by not being oppressed about my sexuality. But the point is, no one group alone should benefit from a lack of oppression – everyone should.

I have no idea what to do about that. I don’t know how to combat sexism or homophobia or any kind of bigotry. I’m not well-versed in the politics, in the psychology. I don’t know why it happens, how long it’s been happening. I don’t know where it began, where it exists, where it thrives.

I only know its wrong. I only know that more of us, at least, should proudly support and stand up against bigotry. But keyboard warriors aren’t sufficient; digital petitions aren’t enough; this attitude at the very least can be articulated “live” to friends, loved ones, when they make homophobic remarks, when they dismiss women as dumb, when they try sneak a racial “observation” through conversation. Maybe that will help, maybe it will make them think twice about being so comfortable in their lack of concern for people who aren’t part of their group.

Again: I don’t know. This realisation that things are wrong anchored by having no fucking clue what to do is, for me, almost as horrible as knowing that, tomorrow, bigotry will continue and innocent people will be hurt because they’re not the “right” sex, not the right race, not the right sexuality, not  physically built right, not the right height, not the right weight.

I hate this species.

(This is an important piece, by Marc Bennetts, on responding to Russian situation.)

Women don’t know how language works, the poor things: No means yes

Amazon was hosting a Kindle book called “LMR Exposed: How To Overcome Her Last Minute Resistance To Sex, Turn ‘No’ Into ‘Yes’ And Get the Lay!” It was pretty bizarre and rather horrid. I read as much as I could while it was hosted and have read the author’s “articles” before.

The Huffington Post quotes it:

“I’ve had situations where a girl is lying naked with me on my bed, still loudly proclaiming that we’re not having sex… Other times, I just forcefully removed the hand, stuck my dick inside, and she welcomed it eagerly once I was in.”

Charming no? Go rape! (LMR means “last minute resistance”. So, yes, there’s that.)

The International Business Times notes:

The book, which was available on Kindle, gives tips on how to convince women that resistance [is] “ridiculous” along with a “sneaky psychological technique that busts through LMR without her even knowing”.

Anyway, I wrote an Amazon review that went live – even though the book itself is removed. I mostly had fun writing my review, in an attempt at satire, since I was afraid of tackling it too seriously – which I’m sure others will and have done, better than I could.

The author found out about the initial 1-star reviews, and promptly responded in the obviously mature way that warrants taking him seriously as an adult. (If you can’t read the following image, please click here)

(Source: Huffington Post)

Allow me to fisk.

“A few individuals with nothing better to do have gone to my Amazon.com book page and left my latest book several 1-star reviews.”

Many of us spend our time doing many things at the same time; one of the things that matters is combatting bigotry and mistreatment of women, and underlying beliefs. Beliefs which, when truly believed and acted upon, significantly harm innocent people. That’s not a waste of a time – it’s a moral duty.

However, that’s done to a matter of degree and anchored by degrees of morality. I personally would’ve kept your book up – so that it could be critiqued and shown to be silly (and promoting harmful behavior).

But anyway, what do you care, right? It’s just one star reviews.

“Naturally, not a single one of these cuckoo social justice warriors have purchased the book or read it.”

Many of us have read you and read significant portions; besides which, if we’re wrong, just tell us why. Your book isn’t some philosophical thesis or scientific treatise – it’s a summary of pro-rape behavior. I doubt my perspective would be changed because I read through to the index. You have one, right?

“Your pathetic mob efforts have had absolutely zero impact on my business. Further, several hot girls have privately reached out to me in commiseration over the response to this article.”

Interestingly, this isn’t about you but about the beliefs you are espousing. But, sure, go ahead and view this as some personal attack on “your business”. And of course, I keep forgetting the measure of morality is how many hot girls reach out “in commiseration”.

“Finally, it is a very beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon here in Bangkok, Thailand. Tonight I will go out and celebrate life and most likely fornicate with a gorgeous young girl. Perhaps several.”

Good for you, but I think we know it probably won’t be consensual fornication. So to that extent, I’m quite worried. Not that you care about that silly liberal feminazi dogma called “consent”, eh? That’s not for “real” men, amirate?”

“I will have spent exactly zero seconds of my life thinking about you”

Er. Then why write this comment? You clearly did. Perhaps we should teach you about how time and numbers work?

“while you foam at the mouth for days straight from behind your computer screen thinking about me.”

My mouth is quite dry but I’m touched you care. And, again, this isn’t particularly about you but what you are espousing – and those views are tackled, in various ways, by many people.

“I (we) win.”

Yes, you do. Look at that empty Amazon page! Wow. Such space.

Um, but sorry – what do you win, exactly?

 

 

NoteNote – The note-naming convention specifies a letter, any accidentals, and an octave number.

I kinda defend Nickelback

As if it’s not enough that I “defend” “racists” and hunters, I’m now defending the worst of them all… like, ever, totally: Nickelback. Kind of.

I guest-posted on my friend’s Guardian blog about musical taste and shaming (and still snuck in a big of bigotry about better music, I think? Er, oops?).

Anyway, science is fun. Don’t shame people for their music taste and don’t be ashamed, say, for liking pop music.

Related: How horrible my experience was in retail – as I’m sure it is and was for everyone – but at least it means I can sympathise with these (mostly) horrible stories.

Golden Globes “Red Carpet” “reporting” makes me hate this species more

So there’s this thing called the Golden Globes, in which awards are given out to famous people for doing things for which they’re famous for: i.e. pretending to be other people on television. Famous people arrive, wearing clothes that cost an amount more than you or I will ever spend in several years, to an event to celebrate make-believe. An event where famous people sit for hours, listening to their colleagues name genres, then name names, then give awards – again and again and again – with shots of bored performers interspersed with laughter or smiles.

Of course, where there’s famous people, reporting – sorry “reporting” – is sure to follow.

Oh dear god no. Please, won’t someone do something!

Aside from dropping jewellery, famous people telling other famous people they had met before was also worthy of headlines.

Things got fantastically weird and idiotic – more so – when E! revealed it didn’t know how language worked – or perhaps did know, since anything they reported just was “fun”.

And if that wasn’t enough, they had a gritty sequel.

This was followed by “FUN FACT: WE ALL DIE ALONE”, “FUN FACT: CHILDREN DIE OF STARVATION WHILE OTHERS DIE FROM OVEREATING”, and “FUN FACT: EVERYTHING ENDS, ALL IS FORGOTTEN, EFFORT IS MEANINGLESS IN THE VOID OF NOTHING AND SUFFERING.”

The creepy obsession had a moment of self-realisation which was soon forgotten, as Gawker, who had been reporting on this non-event since it began Tweeted:

“We know this is a boring, stupid event, but we’re going to keep reporting on it anyway for your viewing pleasure because we need to meet the demands of our advertisers and viewership.” How cynical and insulting.

I love that we celebrate creative genius and brilliance; indeed, creativity is essential to any person, no doubt, each of whom likes a variety of creative mediums. TV is no different: Look how Breaking Bad worked Dostoevksyian magic and genius into itself and was the darling of TV critics; look how so many are enanmoured with BBC’s Sherlock with its wonderful plots and exquisite cinematography.

What I hate about celebrity culture is how we’ve turned celebration of the art into obsession of the performers. Yes, let’s award them as we do even for scientists. But, at the very least, can we question the purpose of the red carpet? Are we really reporting on famous people walking to an even more boring event? Are we really so cynical about what audiences do and should enjoy that we focus on what women are wearing rather than on how they did their art proud? Why do we celebrate or tolerate the creepy fawning and nitpicking and brazen abandonment of reason when it comes to celebrities? They’re walking down a carpet. Walking. Down. A carpet.

I’ve had enough of this and I hope more of you do too. Those sites whose Tweets I’ve captured have great content, but they morph into Mr Hydes of creepy stupidity and banality when awards happen. So do some people. We need to point out how stupid this is, because the performances and the art itself matter more. Let’s celebrate the art and artists for the actual wonder and joy they bring; not the dress they’re wearing or how much jewellery they’re dropping.