Update: WHEE! Just as I finished writing this, I learned that they got suspended!!
So, the Opie and Anthony rape joke thing is back on my radar today, for the following reasons:
2) I just found out they’re losing advertisers — yay!
3) I revisited the Shakesville threads on it — Rape Is Hilarious, and Rape Is Hilarious Part II -- and discovered that, since the last time I looked at them, civilized discussion has been swapped out for a whole lot of hateful bullshit.
I don’t have anything to say about Opie and Anthony that The Rotund and Melissa haven’t covered. I do, however, have a few things to say about those comment threads.
First, if you are a guy still laboring under the impression that there’s no qualitative difference between the online harassment directed at women and that directed at men, I invite you to read those threads over very carefully.
No time? Here’s the Cliff’s Notes:
Shorter Melissa: Joking about “fucking a woman to death” is not actually funny. Also, it’s worth noting that I was almost literally fucked to death, so… yeah.
Actual quotes from commenters*:
- i hope you get aids while being raped by a homeless man in the alleyways of new york. you cunt. then again if any man would want to rape your gigantic ass, i’d be shocked
- Men like me make rape jokes as well as other dark satire all the time, and like it or not, whatever man you ever duped into spending time with you is lying if they say otherwise.
- Feminazi’s like you are ruining this country, ride a fucking bike you fucking moon of Jupiter. P.S. whoever raped you could have just waited at the exit of a bar at 3am and gotten it consenually without the beached whale-like “struggle” you probably gave. What a shit load of fuck.
- Your experience of being raped is absolutely not relevant. Think of the ramifacations of your actions before you make such an emotional based argument.
- NO ONE used the word rape. Rape was never really implied. Sure, Anthony said hold her down and the horror on her face. I’m sure “Homeless Charlie” isn’t exactly the best looking or kindest guy and that would have to happen for the situation. It DOES NOT mean or imply rape in any way.
- The only tragedy is that a bullet didn’t rip through your brainstem after you were used for your one and only purpose in this world. You should consider yourself lucky that some man finds a hideous troll like yourself rape-able.
- These fat whores would be lucky to even get raped by someone. I hope you whiny cunts find your way on top of a pinball machine in the near future.
- too bad that terrible rapist didnt kill your fat ass….Cunt
- Holy bunch of loser cunts, Batman! Someone should shove these bitches into a clothes dryer with Magic Johnson and an open bag of razor blades.
- Your so-called rape is a sham and you know it. You ‘claim’ it because you feel it clothes you in the sort of victim halo that gives you some sort of moral authority. What’s repulsive is the glory you revel in while re-counting a bullshit rape story. Get help soon.
- I guess the guy who raped you somehow left his dick behind, because you have a major pole up your ass. Pull it out and lighten up.
- hey Melissa, I bet you play a great Rusty Trombone
- RAMONE! Fetch this fat cunt another chin!
- For the last time….THEY NEVER SAID RAPE TO DEATH. fucking someone to death does not mean killing the. its an expression, thats it. it means fucking a female so well, that getting fucked like that again is the only important thing to her. youve turned her out, and revealed her for the cock hungry little creature she is. thats all it means. breaking down the spectrum of her human emotions to simply wanting to get fucked into another time zone. or fucking her to death. same thing. and thats basically want a girl wants, getting it so good she has to worship the cock. you know its true
- You’re a liar. You made up that story to further your feminist agenda. But if, by chance, you aren’t lying then at least there was a time in your pathetic life when you fulfilled the only purpose!
- Don’t lie just because he dumped you after he was done with you. It was the best fuck you ever had.
- Listen cunt, you obviously have no clue what you’re talking about. You’re an emotional, illogical, imbecile that has no ability to rationally think about anything… I realize you’re probably an ugly, uninteresting, unfunny pig. Why else would you be here? But that doesn’t mean you can ruin the lives of everyone else just because you’re a fat, miserable waste that cant stop shoving food down her greedy gullet. For once, why don’t you try actually using your fucking head for something other than devouring every edible thing in sight.
- Man, you managed to clean up all that blood even though your fingernails had been torn away? That must have been painful? Yeah, right. You lying bitch. This whole thing is bullshit. She’s only trying to get her feminist friends to rally behind her.
- So does all that fat hide your funny bone? You humorless, ugly dyke cunt!
- When was the last time any of you have been within ten feet of a penis?
- You’re a boring fat hole.
- youre a fat cunt who doesnt have a sense of humor.
And that’s just a fucking sampler.
Do you notice a few recurring themes there?
Here’s what all those themes have in common: they’re the most shockingly cruel things people can think of to say. The things most likely to hurt. In discussions of trolling, I often see the argument made that “Trolls will say anything they think will hurt and/or get a rise out of you” — as if that makes their statements meaningless. And in terms of whether you should take any of it to heart (safety issues aside), that’s sort of true. These people’s opinions obviously aren’t worth taking seriously.
But the way they choose to express their hate is worth taking seriously. It is meaningful. Because it tells us a lot about ourselves as a culture.
The thing to remember is, these people don’t know shit about Melissa — or any other woman blogger they attack. When choosing the words most likely to wound, all they have to go on is their knowledge of what is most likely to make the average woman feel so totally mortified and ashamed, she’ll want to shut up and hide.
So first, check out how fucking obsessed these people are with Melissa’s weight. I only included the comments that incorporated both fat and rape or anti-woman slurs above; I left out all the isolated gratuitous swipes at her appearance, the photos of hippos and fat women and vegetables (which, you know, she’s never heard of). That might actually be the most prevalent recurring theme in the comments.
Now, if they knew anything about Melissa, they’d know she openly describes herself as fat and doesn’t apologize for it (yay!). But they don’t know that.
What they know is, generally speaking, drawing attention to a woman’s fat is an almost surefire way to utterly humiliate her. To make her feel so ashamed of herself she doesn’t know what to say.
And that, of course, is because, as a culture, we agree that being fat makes a woman — gasp! — unattractive.
And calling a woman unattractive works to humiliate her, most of the time, because we all know women are worthless if men don’t want to have sex with them.
Because getting fucked is our “only real purpose.”
So we deserve – need – to get fucked against our will to fulfill our purpose and remember our place.
Yet fucking is always about sexual desire, never about power and control. You should consider yourself lucky if a man finds you worth raping.
And you’re probably lying about being raped anyway.
These are the most devastating things people can think of to say to a woman in this culture. And they all come back to the same basic point: your body is not your own. You do not get to control it, you do not get to decide how to nourish it, you do not get to decide who enters it, you do not get to make statements about it. We will tell you what your body is, what should happen to it, what has happened to it.
And the second you forget that, we’ll be right there to remind you. What to do with a woman blogger who has a strong mind, a loud voice and a devoted readership? Tell her her fat ass deserves to be raped and murdered. What to do with a woman who becomes Secretary of State? Fuck her to death.
Fuck her to death. It was all right there in the first place. Really, all the comments directed at Melissa are a variation on the original theme. When a woman starts showing signs of power, the thing to do is fuck her until she loses it — whether because she’s mortified into submission, because she loves teh cock so much she gets all distracted, or because she ends up dead. The how doesn’t really matter. What matters is, you fuck her so hard she becomes powerless.
(But of course if she’s fat, she’s gonna need to lose some weight so you’ll feel more like fucking her to death.)
This is the exact same shit they pull out time and again, woman blogger after woman blogger. These are the words and themes they choose to wound and humiliate as deeply as they know how. You can have your brains and opinions, but we still own your body, you fat cunt.
The question isn’t whether we should let it hurt us, or even whether they’ll make good on their threats — we know the majority won’t. The question is: Why are they so confident that those particular messages will devastate us?
The answer to that is where you’ll find lessons about the culture we’re living in and what women experience every day. The answer to that is where you’ll learn what we’re fucking complaining about all the time.
*My apologies to Melissa for compiling a list that makes me want to retch, break things and sob simultaneously, and it’s not even directed at me, but I know she supports the larger cause here. Also, it goes without saying that she is superfuckingawesome and hot, to boot.