Several years ago, when that awful Expelled movie came out, I did a radio interview with Mark Mathis, one of the producers. It was hilarious. I was talking about their dishonesty in getting interviews and how the movie was misleading propaganda, and by the end, Mathis was reduced to shouting in answer to every question, “HE’S AN ATHEIST!” That’s all had to do, he thought, to rebut me: expose the openly known fact that I also proudly mentioned on the header of my website, and he’d crush me (and with some members of the audience, it was probably true.)
For some reason, I remembered that when I was reading Milo Yiannopoulos’s attempted rebuttal of Brianna Wu.
Wu is one of the hated targets of gamergate: she’s been the subject of well-documented, open and virulently hateful threats. This is not something anyone can deny, and any gamergater who wants to argue that they’re all about “ethics in gaming journalism” ought to be deeply concerned that this taints their movement, and must be repudiated.
He has instead written a screed in which he attempts to destroy her credibility (which is weird, since her personal credibility doesn’t matter — the threats and frantically obsessive maliciousness by gamergaters is what’s out there), and he does so in a strangely bigoted way: by accusing her of being a trans woman. Repeatedly. At length. As if this somehow transforms the death threats into righteous actions.
Maybe it works for his audience, though. Read the comments (never read the comments!) and you find hundreds of enthusiastic people cheering Milo on and debating the worth of trans people as human beings.
But this irrelevant hurling of red meat to bigots seems to be Yiannopoulos’s standard strategy. Try reading FEMALE THOR IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PROGRESSIVE HAND-WRINGING AND MISANDRY RUIN A CHERISHED ART-FORM. Seriously, that’s his title. He’s very upset that Marvel has created a comic-book superhero who is a woman.