False Balance, or Why We Make Fun of the #FTBullies Hashtag

Ophelia Benson linked this article from the New Statesman about Anita Sarkeesian today (TRIGGER WARNING: rape, violence, abuse, and overall toxic misogyny described therein). Here’s what caught my eye the most:

Hate sites

These take a couple of forms: either the creation of specific sites dedicated to trashing you (and again, to come up in Google searches of your name) or posting your details on established forums where haters like to hang out. In Sarkeesian’s case, that has involved posting her phone number and address. It’s hard to see that as anything other than an attempt to intimidate her: “We know where you live”.

But, according to people like Paula Kirby the real bullies are the people who won’t stand for this shit and ban the people who readily engage in it, a sentiment shared by commenter iamcuriousblue who seems to think that it’s not bullying to poison the well in my comments while not making any sort of response to the substance of my argument. Indeed, the general sentiment from Kirby, IACB, and other pitizens is that what they do is okay when they do it but when anyone else does something that maybe possibly somehow could be construed in that way it’s this Massive Evil Wrong Thing. Even if it’s as small as…oh, say, not putting up with people who will do everything in their power to not admit being wrong even when it’s blatantly obvious.

Or, for those of us who pay attention to US politics, IOKIYAR — it’s okay if you’re a Republican (I can’t find a link to that segment on MSNBC’s official site right now and don’t really have the time to scour, if anyone else could that would be great). Which I seriously think should be changed to “it’s okay if you’re a regressive”, because anti-feminism isn’t necessarily partisan.

PS: Anyone who posts something critical without any direct quotes from the links provided can have fun in moderation hell. I will NOT tolerate blind dismissal on this thread. I do not maintain a policy of free speech on this blog; I prefer instead to use the legally accurate term protected speech because this makes it clear that not all speech is acceptable. Dishonesty is not protected speech. You do not have the right to stifle discussion in my comments by repeatedly being wrong and insisting that every minute facet of your wrongness be dealt with as is satisfactory to you to move on. You also do not have the right to make demands about this space, because this is my blog and thus my space; it is egotistical and rude for you to assert any right to it, and dishonest for you to assert that regulating this space somehow undermines my arguments. There are plenty of very large, very public forums where dishonesty is not against the rules. Go there, because dishonesty is very much against the rules here.

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