Fancy seeing you here

Lindy West gets a torrent of abuse for…the horrible crime of arguing that

comedy’s current permissiveness around cavalier, cruel, victim-targeting rape jokes contributes to (that’s contributes—not causes) a culture of young men who don’t understand what it means to take this stuff seriously.

What kind of abuse? Silly. You know what kind. She screencapped a slew of it. Ugly, nobody wants to rape you, cunt, fat, panties in a bunch. That kind.

Take a look. You’ll recognize one or two of the fun-loving abusers.



  1. Robert B. says

    They’re not refuting the rape culture, Joe. They’re defending the rape culture.

  2. hjhornbeck says

    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar @3:

    Sure Robert… by claiming it doesn’t exist at all.

    I think they know it exists, they just give it a different name. What we call “rape culture” is what they’d call “having a laugh” or “the way things should be.”

  3. Claire Ramsey says

    also, “I am a very sick narcissist and the only real human in existence” and “I am entitled to everything I want every time I want it because I am the only real human in existence”

  4. great1american1satan says

    I’d REALLY rather not see that shit, but can someone who did just tell me which slymies were there?

  5. great1american1satan says

    OK, I just ate the bitter pill and skimmed the names with only a moment of elevated blood pressure. I only recognized “ElevatorGate.” Anyone catch anybody else?

    I think the worst part of the article for me was when she mentioned backlash from IRL people she knew in the comedy community. That’s a little worse than internet flame, though flame on this level is pretty fuckin’ bad.

  6. says

    Ah yes, sorry great1 – the other is “Clem Burke” who is a nym of a very persistent woman-harasser on Facebook (and when he gets obsessive enough, outside it, including here).

  7. great1american1satan says

    That one did look a bit familiar, but I didn’t know from where. Now I know. Bel Biv DeVoe.

  8. great1american1satan says

    The BBD reference was because of a rhyme from the middle of their song “Poison,” not because I thought that band was involved in internet harassment.

  9. Rieux says

    This is just yet another wave of the ongoing consciousness-raising exercise that some of us (mostly male, I suspect) have been going through in the just-under-two-years since someone had the gall to say “Guys, don’t do that” on the Internet. It’s this constant tsunami of potent hatred of women—rape threats, murder threats, misogynist insults, and the like—that is continually directed at any woman who speaks up about these kinds of issues in any forum with some kind of connection to the Net.

    The portion of this avalanche that’s taken place in the atheist/skeptic community matters a whole lot to many of us, but clearly it’s not just our community in which this is going on: the news over the past two years has involved lots of other settings: tech-professional and science-fiction conventions, Kickstarter, now popular media involving professional comics (?!)… in what online community does this not happen?

    (Actually, to invoke a subject I used to yammer on incessantly about on this blog, I’ve never seen it happen in Unitarian Universalist online communities. AFAIK (though consider the source), this kind of hatred is all but nonexistent in UU circles. More power to them.)

    Anyway, the most fundamental problem I have with (the arguably-good-faith subset of) critics of online feminism is that they don’t see this ongoing massive flood of bloody hatred as something that demands analysis and, more to the point, very serious attention. Someone—and it would appear that it’s a lot of someones, who exist in a lot of different communities—is doing this stuff. Even if you think that feminism-writ-large, or feminism in this or that incarnation, has serious analytical problems (and, for the record, I generally don’t think that), what about this? Can you seriously brush off all of this nastiness, this unstoppable wave of online brutality, as “just a few idiots”? As “what do you expect to find on the internet”?

    I suppose that, pre-June 2011, that was my general attitude on the subject. I certainly don’t treat women in the way Lindy West was treated, even if I dislike them, and surely the same goes for several of the folks who consider themselves good-faith critics of feminists within (e.g.) the atheist movement. (N.B.: None of us deserve cookies for deciding not to act like Neanderthal assholes.) I presumed that people who did behave that way were few and far between—in society in general and certainly in my proud nonbelieving community. But the past two years have been a very ugly education for many of us on that point.

    None of this is to deny the serious privilege I enjoy as a straight (and cis) male. To the contrary, the previous paragraph is not much more than an illustration of male privilege and the blissful ignorance it can engender. But my goodness: consider that privilege, to that extent, duly checked.

    The whole story is just endlessly disgusting and disheartening, and I can’t understand how anyone with an ounce of empathy could avoid treating it as a matter of overwhelming concern—and far more so than, say, the supposed offensiveness of one man telling a bunch of others to “shut up and listen.”

    How can this—this utterly consistent and enduring response to women who dare to speak up in public fora, this unerringly reproducible result—not be a central focus of the public discussion of feminism, and of gender more broadly? In this community, or in any other in which virulent misogyny rears its head?

  10. says

    Well, you see, Rieux, people have their own very, very important ideas and concerns to get across. Stopping to deal with this crap would slow them down.

  11. great1american1satan says

    Tis a damn fine point, Rieux. I am particularly baffled by Richard Dawkins’ pathetic presence in this whole affair. The most generous interpretation of that man’s attitude toward sexism in the West is that he has his head so far up his ass he can’t see the mountains of flaming shit that atheist sexists are dropping all around him.

    I hope it’s comfy up that ass, Richard. You’ve been there a long time now.

  12. Rieux says


    Tis a damn fine point, Rieux. I am particularly baffled by Richard Dawkins’ pathetic presence in this whole affair.

    I certainly recall the sorry “Dear Muslima” episode in June or July 2011, and I vaguely remember Dawkins engaging in some kind of at-best-clueless, at-worst-disgusting tweeting a handful of months ago. Has he done something in that vein more recently?

  13. Funny Diva says

    No disrespect, Ophelia, but could I just take your word for it? Or would that be unforgivably unskeptical of me and force you to take away both my atheism cred and my frozen peaches?

  14. Silentbob says

    @ 14 Rieux

    Well, he recently spoke out against racism and sexism… directed at white men. And went on to speak out against sociology.

  15. great1american1satan says

    I think siding against Ms. Watson after she documented the rape and death threats and so on was spectacularly vile. Was he ever apologetic about that? Genuinely? Has he ever denounced the harassers? I find his self-aggrandizing website too disgusting to search for the answers on, so I’ll have to take someone else’s word for it.

  16. says

    Dawkins loves dropping truth bombs on Twitter. And by “truth bombs,” I mean “boneheadedly dumb pronouncements about complicated subjects he hasn’t bothered to understand which, were they stated in the midst of a book chapter full of caveats and hedging, might look reasonable, but in the stark simplicity of the 140-character medium, really just make him look like an arrogant asshat with a ton of unexamined privilege, who likes saying provocative things for the attention.”

  17. says

    And there’s also the posting of Ron’s 3 blog posts on the RDF site, with the inaccurate description “about the Women in Secularism conference” – and the not posting anything else about the conference. It was Dawkins or Cornwell or both who made that decision, and it was a remarkably hostile one.

  18. great1american1satan says

    Yup. Fuck tha RDF comin’ straight from tha underground.

    I can understand how the lies might be hard for outside parties to understand the significance of because they and their effects are convoluted. Recent posts by Benson & Svan on the subject have been hard to follow. But the hate speech is extremely fucking unambiguous.

    It makes me wonder what kind of asshole someone like Dawkins must be behind closed doors with his friends, if he finds any of this remotely acceptable and isn’t disturbed by it. I’m glad I don’t know him.

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