You haven’t heard about suffragettes fighting for the right to be stay-at-home mothers, not because it’s frowned upon but because there wasn’t a need to vocalize support for the status quo. If someone tells you “your only meal option is beans,” you don’t need to stand up and demand beans. The beans are right there, beaning around in front of you.
"Last week, Amazon informed us that for ten dollars per month, Kindle users can have unlimited access to over six hundred thousand books in its library. But it shouldn’t cost a thing to borrow a book, Amazon, you foul, horrible, profiteering enemies of civilization.
For a monthly cost of zero dollars, it is possible to read six million e-texts at the Open Library, right now. On a Kindle, or any other tablet or screen thing. You can borrow up to five titles for two weeks at no cost, and read them in-browser or in any of several other formats…”
Max Temkin is very good at using social justice language. He’s very good at making himself seem sympathetic and reasonable. Rapists are perfectly capable of doing all of those things. They aren’t non-human monsters that leap out of closets, with no awareness of society or communication skills. They’re people, like any one of us. They can be intelligent. They can be involved in social justice. They can create awesome games. They can come across as reasonable, kind people. They can, in fact, be reasonable and kind people in every way except for that pesky raping thing.
Is Max Temkin a rapist? I don’t know. I do know that he’s written a manipulative post, though. I know that he’s spreading harmful rape culture myths under the cloak of being a “feminist and an advocate for women’s rights”. I know that he’s using intimidation tactics against someone who, because of his platform and wealth and gender, has far less power than he does. As one tumblr user put it, this is an epic piece of mansplaining.
YouTube comments aren’t “just the Internet.” They’re not the product of a group of otherwise nice guys who suddenly become evil when they wear a veil of anonymity. YouTube comments are actually a nightmarish glimpse into the sexist attitudes that define the fabric of our own existence in the “real world,” a world that, like YouTube, is owned and dominated by men. The most terrifying gift that the Internet has given us is that it’s shown us how men honestly perceive the world: as a place where women exist exclusively for their sexual pleasure.
In the wake of VidCon, and as more and more women start speaking up about the harassment they face online, it’s time to start realizing that our narrative of progress is deeply flawed. Things aren’t getting better for women on the Internet; they’re deteriorating and ignoring the problem amounts to being complicit in it.
I agree with her argument, but I don’t like the (deliberate?) misinterpretation of Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign. He’s not saying that life for LGBT people gets better because society is progressing, he’s saying that life for many LGBT kids gets better once they have autonomy and are not completely under the thumb of parents and school administrators.
Earlier this year, after a woman was allegedly assaulted by members of the Naval Academy football team, she was questioned for 20 hours by 12 attorneys and forced to answer questions about her sexual history. She was asked whether or not she wore a bra, how wide she opened her mouth during oral sex, and if she considered herself a “ho” after the alleged assault occurred.