A Side Jaunt of Internet Politics


I try to avoid side posts other than the meat and matter of the blog, but occasionally an issue comes up that seems to me worth remarking on, and in this case it is at least relevant to this blog.

You may have noticed that this blog has an overtly left-wing perspective that is actively sympathetic to, among other things, feminism. This perspective is in part the product of extensive reading. Some of that reading consists of academic tomes and philosophy. Other parts of that reading consist of blogs and casual conversations. And one of the single biggest sources for my viewpoints are a wealth of feminist bloggers. It is my genuine belief - and I say this as someone well familiar with academic popular culture studies - that the best work in the field is often done by feminist bloggers. They have quietly reinvented or helped to reinvent a wealth of new perspectives that have been jaw-droppingly lively and productive for understanding media.

Among the ones who have influenced me - and this list is not a list of the greats, but an idiosyncratic list - are places like DC Women Kicking Ass, A Random String of Bits, Game Girl Advance, and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. These are, of course, just the ones I happen to remember - there are many more stray LiveJournals and the like I've read one or two posts by and not written down or remembered the name, but have been quietly influenced by and responding to for years now.

I say all of this because there is a well-documented problem of female bloggers getting viciously trolled and abused, with threats of rape and sexual violence against them and horribly derogatory personal attacks. The Guardian ran a chillingly good story on it this weekend, but it's not the first thing I've seen on the topic. It's a real problem.

I love the feminist blogosphere. They are among the giants whose shoulders I stand upon. And so I want to make this post. Partially because raising awareness of the issue matters. Partially because it's important to stress that this is a human issue, not a women's issue - anyone who is interested in having a world with more exciting, moving, and interesting comments and observations in it wants more women bloggers.

But mostly to say this:

I have very, very good commenters on this blog. But then, I'm a male, and apparently that helps me. I can't imagine most of my readers are the sorts of people who send vicious abuse to female bloggers, mostly because I can't imagine that what I write would be of interest to an asinine cave troll who would do things like that.

All the same, if there is any blogger, anywhere in the world, that you would e-mail to berate for their physical appearance, that you would threaten or joke about raping or hurting, or that you would advocate violence against, you had damn well better be willing to make those exact same threats to me. Because if you would do that to another blogger, then I am every bit as much your enemy as the person you are abusing. I despise you. I think you are a miserable piece of shit. The Internet is brightened when your power goes out and you are made to shut up for a bit. I am the person you hate. Me. So whatever hate you want to spew, spew it at me too, you fucking coward.

As I said, that's not to, I don't think, the overwhelming majority of my readers. But it needed to be said.

Hand of Fear post will go up tomorrow, with a staggering epic of a Deadly Assassin post due on Wednesday. I think it's gonna be a good week for the blog, personally, and I'm looking forward to seeing the comments and discussion on it.

But seriously. Go compliment your local feminist blogger. I bet she's awesome.


talestoenrage 9 years, 2 months ago

I definitely agree. And to go along with the sentiment of this post, I want to put a link to a female blogger I follow regularly, Ragnell.


She mostly talks about comic books and feminist issues (with a sideline into literary characters and their behaviors), though she doesn't have much to say about Doctor Who. But she's ferociously intelligent, even if she can't update as much as I'd like because of her job in the army. If nothing else, she's really taught me about the potential of Wonder Woman as a character, who I'd always been dismissive of before.

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SK 9 years, 2 months ago

Just promise never to use the word 'privilege'.

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WGPJosh 9 years, 2 months ago

Missed this post yesterday, but definite props for coming out in support of feminist bloggers and big ups for mentioning DC Women Kicking Ass, which I follow regularly and whom I'd like to consider one of my Internet friends. We've had quite a few stimulating discussions/communal rants about the portrayal of women in popular media as it's one of my huge pet peeves as well.

I'd also like to submit lesbian culture site afterellen.com, which just launched a new column about psychoanalyzing elements of contemporary pop culture: It reminded me a great deal of the work Phil does here and well worth perusing. Also, gay-nerds.com which, although originally created as a safe haven for gay male nerds has grown to be a great gathering place for everyone across the GLBTQ spectrum and their allies. I'm quite involved over there too and can definitely speak for the sincerity of the community.

Other fantastic female writers you should definitely be paying attention to are Carolyn Michelle from GameSpot, Sara Lima from ComicVine, Laura Hudson from Comics Alliance, Blair Butler, Morgan Webb and Abbie Heppe from G4 and Heather Anne Campbell from...Heather Anne Campbell, which is a pretty cool place to be writing from. They're all fantastic people and some of the most brilliant and erudite people I've ever had the honour to dialog with. Go show them some support.

I may have my disagreements with Phil from time to time, but I couldn't agree more with him here, support his call to arms 100% and would support him more were it mathematically possible. It's very true so much of the best work in academia is done by feminists, but it's also sadly true women still suffer such intense marginalization and misrepresentation in society and female bloggers in particular can have the most horrific things said and done to them by just speaking their mind and being themselves. We can all work together to make the Internet, and the world, a nicer place for everyone to live and communicate, so let's start now.

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Henry R. Kujawa 8 years, 9 months ago

I've always been the odd man out. when I was very young, my FAVORITE tv show was FIREBALL XL5, where the hero was an astronaut-policeman, and his GIRLFRIEND was a doctor. So I grew up always believing that men and women were and should treat each others as equals.

But then the world around me was inhabited by men who thought women were there to be taken advantage of or used or "owned", and women who felt that all men were stupid cavemen to be looked down upon. Where is "MY" Venus? MY Billie Young? MY Sarah-Jane? (Or my Jo Grant, for that matter?)

Tragically, my father had what apparently was a pathelogical distrust and hatred for most women. And growing up with THAT made it EXTREMELY difficult to put filter out his bad influence completely no matter how forward-thinking I was trying to be. I sometimes think he never should have married. And when anyone responds to THAT statement that I wouldn't have been born then, I say, NONSENSE, I just would have been born to OTHER parents. (That's how I see the universe working, anyway...)

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