23 April 2010

Conclusion: Sady Doyle and Amanda Hess are the loveliest ladies on the internet.

Adrienne and I both have been sort of obsessively checking the comments here lately, me with a certain kind of dread and her with a little glee. It's crunch time in the semester, so really, I'm sort of just cranky, and also, my criticism of Doctor Who fan culture has brought several angry men out of the woodwork in order to PROVE ME RIGHT in my sense of not feeling welcome in the community. (Not just here. I have also gotten emails.) Luckily, I have also received some nice emails and comments telling me thank you or assuring me that they are lady-friendly DW fans who think I'm pretty awesome. The encouraging-to-discouraging ratio has been pretty even, which is wonderful. This may be because I won't go near the DWO Whocast forums (Paul told me they've been getting some feedback, and I imagine most of it is there), because frankly, I only have so much stomach for personal insults and anti-feminist tirades. And since people have felt so strongly about it that they needed to email me or come over here and comment, I can't imagine that to be a non-occurrence on their forum (particularly since Paul made a point of being anti-"censorship.").

Anyway, I have yet to receive much internet harassment. However, as these two posts on Amy Pond alone have received more comments than the entirety of my blog before them put together, I am reeling a bit.(There was also Andrew, who felt the need to BOTHER ME ON TWITTER. It is apparently so goddamn terrible that I OPEN MY MOUTH ON THE INTERNET that he has to try and muzzle me everywhere. He also called me a pseudo-feminist, which may be the biggest compliment I have ever received from an anti-feminist.) So reading this post about the internet harassment of feminist women bloggers made me a happy lady. Also, I am glad that I have not gotten this amount of vitriol. Maybe it is because I am mean, like Sady, and also definitely because I'm not a well-read blog. (Apparently, a sign of your popularity is receiving gendered insults, or told you want to be/should be/are too fat or ugly to be raped. That is the world we live in.) A sample:
SADY: Hello! And, in related news, I hate you! Because we are on the Internet. Where ladies are hated abundantly!

AMANDA: With much vigor and from many angles! I really, really identified with Annaham’s post, mostly about how shit on the Internet does affect me, but I’m not allowed to talk about it because “it’s the Internet.” But there. I said it, it does.

SADY: INDEED IT DOES! I once spoke to someone who was like, “all you ever talk about is who hates you on the Internet today. And why are you letting it get under your skin?” And I was like, “Because they hate me! I don’t care where they are! Being on the Internet makes it WORSE, because I can SEE them hating me, FROM MY BEDROOM!” “I have a phone with e-mail on it! I can see people hating me WHEREVER I AM IN THE WORLD!”

AMANDA: Yeah, or from my office? For my career is located on the Internet.

SADY: PRECISELY. And, I mean, I really identified with Annaham’s piece too. It said stuff I had been struggling to say, for like the LONGEST time, but in an actually sensical way that could potentially persuade people. Rather than me being like, “AND ALSO, in the SUBWAY, people are mean!”

AMANDA: For me, it wasn’t so much that I couldn’t figure out how to say it—though she said it very, very well—but that I didn’t want to, because I don’t want to tip my hand toward awful, anonymous commenters, or show any weakness, or risk being eviscerated for acting like a victim. It’s not that I feel that I’ve been victimized. I just want to be able to talk about this shit, basically, and there’s no space for that. So she’s very brave, is what I’m saying.

SADY: Exactly. Because, the thing is, when you talk about Dicks On The Internet Getting You Down—or, worse, snap at one of them—people think you are just hypersensitive, and a whiner, and petty, and whatever. They think it’s a personal problem. Whereas, me, I’ve talked to a lot of ladies who are on the Internet. I’m really into building Internet Lady Community, because it’s not so easy. And here is the one way I have learned that you can start a passionate conversation with a lady who works on the Internet: MENTION MEAN COMMENTERS. Because we all get it! In super-intense ways! And at high volume! Every single lady on the Internet gets this thing!

AMANDA: Oh yeah. None of us is immune. And it’s not subtle, either. It’s obviously—just obviously—targeted at shutting us up.

SADY: Yes. It is not personal, it affects ladies qua ladies, it hurts and saddens, and I believe in ye olden tymes we would refer to this as a “Really Fucking Obvious Feminist Issue.”


AMANDA: I can’t wait to hear the troll perspective on this. Oh please! Yes. Explain the various ways that voluntarily reading and commenting on my blog oppresses you! Go on! Or perhaps you’d like to argue as to why you are doing me a service, and why I ought to be praising you for your volunteer work in the comments section? I am interested in considering all of these possibilities.

SADY: “One time I was on the Internet, and someone disagreed with me! I politely explained why she was a stupid little girl, and then, she YELLED at me. My oppression, it is intense at times. And yet, I soldier on!” — A Commenter.

AMANDA: In conclusion, BONERS.

SADY: It is a regular BONER PARTY, out there on the Internet. And it makes my lady boners wither away in despair. Though not really! Because also, I keep blogging. At this point, mainly just to piss them off. Do you hear that, Feminist-Blog-Hating Internet? YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR FEMINIST BLOGGING!

AMANDA: The world will never shrink this feminist boner!
"The world will never shrink this feminist boner" may be the best rallying cry ever. If ever this blog makes me sad again, I will just read Sady and Amanda and remember that mean and anti-feminist commenters can go suck it. Thanks, ladies!

UPDATE: About two minutes after publishing this, I read Kate Harding's piece about the subversive act of being a woman who thinks she's awesome in public, referencing Sady Doyle's unbelievably bad-ass "fuck you" to her troll Freddie. It's good, you should read it. And now my good mood is now going to last all fucking day.


Adrienne said...

Yes, I do in fact look for new comments gleefully. Partially because I'm just a huge fan of the word glee and am also fairly angry that this wonderful word has been overtaken by a tv show. Tangent? Yes, indeed. I also have before and will again participate in discussions (usually about gender) that will make my stomach hurt and fill me with dread. I definitely understand.