misogyny online

March 27, 2023

i wasn’t really planning on posting about discourse, esp. since a lot of people seem to use this part of the web to escape it, but oh well. i was pretty much born on tumblr; it’s where i learned to code, and alas, it is also where i learned to get irritated during 3AM scrolling sessions. and lord forgive me for i have scrolled.

but anyways, something that just drives me insane is the wave of cutesy, unbearable MRA-ish rhetoric that has been circulating that site for the last few years. a lesbian will get online and make an obviously satirical post about how men should be feminine, and before you know it, the comments are filled with people posting pics of the most mid white men you’ve ever seen and super subversive takes like “let men be masculine.”

it’s so unserious i can’t take it. it’s also crazy to me that half the userbase will readily admit this is their way of owning the misandrists or whatever. like lmao, if you’re such a reactionary AHEM i mean contrarian that you can get goaded into full-blown anti-feminism because of 200 note tumblr posts then you need to get a grip. like i don’t care.

i don’t understand how you can get online and make a post like “ummm did you know women,,,, can lie,,,” and think you’ve said something illuminating. like wow, you are so brave and strong for regurgitating cultural narratives that have dominated society for hundreds of years. but right, “we don’t talk enough” about how women can be bad.

and it’s so funny bc most of these people would likely describe themselves as feminists. i think it speaks to a broader issue where people treat ideologies like stickers to decorate a name tag rather than complex schools of thought. there could be thousands of books on a topic dating back since the written word began and you’d still have a bunch of people distilling it into 10 words or less and thinking they’re qualified to be experts on the topic.

i try really hard to be patient about it. “they’re just working things out,” i tell myself. “it’s normal to have some growing pains.” but they are so smug, so self-assured as they go, “it’s so simple!” about topics that are anything but. and it’s infuriating because you want to scream, of COURSE it’s simple when you flatten a complex topic into a singular witty tweet. it’s easy to do that. i could do that! but it would be vapid and ultimately a disservice to my politics! your garbled TLDR will never stand up to scrutiny because you haven’t given it an iota of thought!

HOW on earth you can feel comfortable assuming a tone of confident authority when you do not understand the most fundamental basics of what you’re speaking as an authority about is beyond me. but it happens ALLLLLL the time. it’s why you have people with hammer & sickle pins on their kankens who’ve never heard of & do not care to know about the labor theory of value, why people who are most condescendingly vocal about antiracism are often the first to microaggress you at a work meeting, and also why people feel comfortable calling themselves feminists when their idea of activism is saying “let women wear makeup!”

it’s this brand of “activism” that says you don’t have to really do anything. you don’t have to examine your biases or question why society is structured the way it is. you don’t have to study or read or think. all you have to do is convince yourself you’re ontologically good and incapable of harm and slap on a handful of labels and boom! you’re progressive. but to me, that’s just fashion. that’s not real.

i could make a much longer and more emotional post about how this really, really hit me when tara reade credibly accused biden of rape and everyone tore her to shreds. i realized that the “solidarity” with women people showed during #metoo was all posturing. people are feminists when it’s politically convenient. it was the first of many times that i would realize how tissue paper thin people’s allyship generally is, not just when it comes to feminism, but tara reade’s story really got to me. i felt really hopeless about it for a long time. still do, a bit.

a decent number of leftists came out in support of tara reade, but a sizable chunk later revealed they were really only trying to ~stick it to the neolibs~ and never truly cared. it was just a convenient political bludgeon to gleefully point out the hypocrisy of “believe women” turning into “what was she wearing” within minutes. but in reality, those same leftists are out here making jokes about how “when the revolution comes we get to fuck the boss' wife!”

but if i say “this relies on misogynistic logic that frames women as spoils of war, passive agents who only exist to be sexually humiliated as proxies to hurt the men in their lives, this is why i don’t trust your allyship,” i’m the bad guy. i’m divisive, a leftist infighter, a naughty feminist ruining the joke. like, fine then. that is fine with me. sure. i will get a shirt that says i <3 leftist infighting because i’m very willing to die on the hill that women’s rights aren’t superfluous add-ons like extra onions on your discourse sandwich.

this is already getting way longer than i meant for it to, but another thing!! i remember when andrew tate was arrested, there was this semi-popular post that was like, “i don’t care about his rhetorical misogyny, i care he was trafficking women!!” and i think that perfectly illuminates what i’m so fed up with. this idea that misogyny is purely discursive and has no bearing on material reality is so pervasive online so OF COURSE the discourse is incoherent and divorced from reality and i am so so so soooo so so so sick of it.

but i’m glad i now understand what a lot of people are really doing when they finger wag at me about politics. they are wearing ideology as fashion, as aesthetic, as a brand, and they’ll abandon it in a heartbeat when it isn’t trendy anymore. and when they do, i’ll still be here, as always, listening to mitski scream compliation. what else is a girl to do!

other updates: (1) helping my friend with their portfolio site & thesis page, it looks pretty banger imo. i discovered you can password protect https pages pretty easily too! (2) still working on moving, it’s been a bit of a mess… (3) i checked out some neopets userlookup stuff bc i thought it’d be fun to make a few themes and put them on my code page, but my god the styling options are so limited. everything is bound by tables to begin with, which…bruh. i mean i get why & i still wanna try it out but i’m just sooo spoiled by css variables and media queries now. you can’t even use css grids!! oh, the agony.. (4) rewatched madoka magica. cried again.

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