(another reblog from Tumblr…hoping to just establish this blog as the place for writing)
There are probably some guys who are feeling strangely smug right now and thinking, “I wonder if Keiren sees what’s happening to Anita Sarkeesian and realises THAT’S a REAL problem—not some artist/blogger wanting to have an opinion and having male comic pros tell her she’s wrong.” And contenting themselves with this thought, thinking, “I can’t say that to her because well…she’ll just be all feminist and stuff.”
And you’d be correct.
THIS is what gets me about some of the people (ie, “men”, and yes NOT ALL MEN!) I’ve been trying to engage in conversation—okay, so you can see the extreme version of what women go through and most of you are willing to be standup guys and say THIS is unacceptable, but you’re completely unable to see that you contribute daily to the toxic environment that enables this extreme reaction. These guys don’t come out of thin air…they’re not hiding in their closets saying these things to themselves… to them this is just an extension of other conversations they’re having about women and women’s opinions.
These guys, generally, would never think of actually committing this violence…but they think of the threats as being the logical extension of the other aggressive actions/thoughts they get to have every day without being checked.
I’ve seen many of you express that this particular guy must be mentally ill to tweet those things. Because after all, what he is saying is much worse than calling women with opinions, “hysterical sarcastic Social Justice Warriors just out to take all the fun out of things for men”, or “hysterical feminazis”, people who “just need to complain”. Those are the mildest end of this spectrum.
Sometimes, when I listen to my teenagers get into a loud argument about something, I will call time on it before it gets to its conclusion. Ty will ask me why, “They weren’t hurting each other—they get to talk.” And my explanation is always the same, “I know how this goes—it starts off harmlessly, but if they keep that energy going, eventually they get so caught up in wanting to be the ‘winner’, to be ‘right’, that it will get vicious and potentially aggressive.” They haven’t yet learned how to have a calm respectful discussion—they have to be taught that. They learn by being taught.
I don’t want to have to tell my kids (and by extension, others), “here’s why you should not have threatened that person. Here’s why you did NOT get to hit them.” I want people to know that they should not live in an environment where that seems like a logical end to what should simply be a discussion, however vigorous, or passionate.