Fat, Feminism

Let Me Save You The Trouble: I Know I’m a Fat Cunt, and I’ve Already Been Raped

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:

1) The Rotund wrote about it;

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.

85 thoughts on “Let Me Save You The Trouble: I Know I’m a Fat Cunt, and I’ve Already Been Raped”

  1. Hey Kate,
    Did you hear KFC has a new menu item?
    It’s called the Hillary Special
    2 fat thighs with a small breast and a left wing.
    I think some of your readers might be interested.

  2. Please, that’s the best you can come up with when I just gave you more than twenty better examples?

  3. YES, YES, YES, Kate. I don’t understand why people don’t get it. I read over those threads and it just… it broke my head for a little while that people don’t see how much hatred is directed at women, especially women who speak out, and how many ways we are all told we are only worthwhile inasmuch as we cater to male desire.

  4. I don’t understand ‘fat’ as the be-all and end-all of trollery insults, but then again, I’ve already waxed poetic on my vision of the ideal (i.e: size 14) woman. …which is not fat, BTW, it’s average or thereabouts. And, given that, I think it’s probably a mistake to call anybody smaller Homer-Simpson-inna-Muumuu-sized (wassat, about a size 30?) ‘fat’. It’s just inaccurate, and insults only work if they’re actually true.

    No, I think the best insult is something along the lines of “I find you to be unbelievably stupid. Your premises are flawed, your logic is defective, and so it’s unsurprising that your conclusions are so completely nonsensical. I got an autistic neighbor kid who comes up with more intelligent and well-informed shit than you, and there’s no doubt in my mind that his future career as a retard shopping-cart-pusher will afford him a much greater measure of success than you could ever hope to achieve. In summary: please stop eating the lead paint chips, you witless twad.”

    …which’d make a fine response to anybody in those threads that was worth responding to. …assuming you could find one. I ain’t botherin’ to waste my time lookin’.

  5. I also love how they call Melissa a “dyke” when her own husband posts on the very same site. I only hope most of these “guys” are writing from prison, and that their sperm counts are somewhere in the negative range.

  6. Huey, I WISH insults only worked if they were true because it would make them a lot easier to shake off. I think, especially with trolls, insults play on the things we FEAR to be true. And that has less to do with what our head tells us is truth and more to do with what our gut, filled with messages since we were kids, tells us to be true.

  7. I think, especially with trolls, insults play on the things we FEAR to be true.

    Ooh, ooh, what she said! Fuck, TR, the whole time I was writing the post, I was meaning to/trying to figure out how to work that in. Thank you.

    (And don’t mind Huey. He always misses the point after a few drinks, but he’s on the right side here.)

  8. These guys are ridiculous! I don’t like censorship but do we need fools like this polluting the airwaves? Maybe they can do a podcast.

  9. Left Brain, I don’t like censorship, either. But I like it when the marketplace gives a big “Fuck you” to people who really aren’t worth listening to.

  10. Hey Huey: after a good night’s sleep, I’ve rethought my decision to let your comment slide, since there are a lot of people reading this who don’t know either of us.

    So. For the record:

    Things I Really Wish Huey Would Understand

    1) Your vision of the ideal woman actually isn’t all that relevant to the cultural conversation about fat.

    2) I KNOW size 14 is average. Point is, the average woman is treated as if she’s fat–meaning, treated as if she’s lazy, morally suspect, and unhealthy–so take a guess at how bigger women end up feeling. (Also, I am above a size 14, which is hardly relevant, but you don’t seem to know that.)

    3) “Fat” should not be an insult, whether it’s “true” or not, and there’s absolutely no difference in humanity between me or you and a woman who wears a size 30, or any other size.

    4) If I were going to respond to trolls, I would not insult autistic people while doing it.

    5) What The Rotund said.

    Okay, done now. Pants.

  11. Kate – I may actually know Huey through some other people and, if he is the Huey I know, he’s totally on the side of right.

    But, yeah. We fight against these messages and know in our heads how false they are, but we’ve all still got that inner 13-year-old, I think, who BELIEVES it.

  12. Someone who thinks “… his future career as a retard shopping-cart-pusher” is an appropriate thing to say is “on the side of right”? Do you mean “right” as in “correct ‘n’ super-duper”, or “right” as in “asshat wingnut troll”?

    Because, dayum. That’s some nasty ableist stuff right there.

  13. Lauredhel, see my point 4 above.

    What we’re saying is, Huey’s heart is generally in the right place, though his mouth is very, VERY frequently in the wrong one.

    I don’t dispute your assessment of what he said one bit. Well, actually, he’s not a wingnut. But I believe I have called him both an asshat and a troll to his face. That’s completely fair, as is “nasty ableist” with regard to his above comment.

    I just like him in person anyway. It’s not entirely logical.

  14. Now, I may be missing something. It’s entirely possible. But Huey’s comment about autistic = retard shopping cart pusher, taken at face value (which, coincidentally, is the only way I can take it) sucks.

    So, apparently it’s acceptable to insult autistic people as long as you don’t insult fat people.

    I guess as an autistic fat person it’s a 1/2 win for me.

  15. What Huey said is totally not acceptable. I not only do not endorse that comment, I’ve said twice here that I think it was a shitty thing for him to say.

    Once more for the record: HUEY? THAT WAS A REALLY, REALLY SHITTY THING TO SAY.

    But Huey, as a person, is acceptable. Because I know him, I see the shitty thing he said through that filter, rather than taking it at face value. That’s why my automatic response was “Don’t mind him.”

    Upon further reflection, I realized that my other readers don’t have any other context for it, so I’d better clarify that I had numerous issues with the comment itself.

    Huey’s a good guy who said A REALLY FUCKING STUPID, SHITTY THING up there, and that’s where I’m coming from.

    I’m not asking anyone to like him, just trying to explain why my initial response was an eyeroll, not outrage.

  16. And Gossamer, I just realized you might have been talking directly to him, not me.

    I might be feeling a tiny bit defensive, as it turns out.

  17. Kate, sorry, not trying to make you feel like you need to defend Huey. Just wanted to say that I didn’t like what he said.

    I just don’t like how when you are a member of more than one marginalized group, you often run into the sentiment “we may be x, but at least we’re not y,” when you happen to be both. That’s all.

  18. I just don’t like how when you are a member of more than one marginalized group, you often run into the sentiment “we may be x, but at least we’re not y,” when you happen to be both. That’s all.

    I’m totally with you there.

  19. I think we’re all in agreement, Gossamer. I second what Kate said about Huey regarding both his acceptability and his way of expressing things. Because I know him, too, and see things through that filter. It’s interesting – and IMPORTANT – to be reminded that not everyone has the same filters.

  20. Wow, I did not have the stomach to scroll through the comments at Shakesville, but I’m glad, in a horrified way, that you did. Thank you for articulating the ways fat and rape are used rhetorically to dehumanize women. I linked this from my LJ because it’s relevant to a discussion I was in yesterday.

  21. Yeah, Laura, it was no fun, but when Melissa told me she was choosing not to delete those comments so people could look at the threads and see what it’s really like for women bloggers who speak their minds, I decided it would be even better to have the highlights all in one place.

  22. I had to stop reading the comments, although I left one of my own about the First Amendment (which is that congress will make no laws abridging the freedom of speech or the press, but doesn’t say anything about a corporation’s right to fire the asses of anyone who is just plain repulsive in what they say).

    I think that what I’m left with is the rage that was generated by this whole thing. There are just men who don’t get it (not all…but there are many). I remember when the whole Anita Hill thing went down. I was at my parents’ house watching a news piece about it and my dad started going on about how much ado was being made about nothing, etc. Then he said that he was afraid to get into an elevator alone with a woman anymore, afraid that she might accuse him of something. I turned, shaking, to him and responded, “Well, dad, I’m afraid to go out of my house at night.” And walked out. It just infuriated me.

  23. Right on, Spinsterwitch. Can’t remember who said it, but runs along the lines of “Men’s greatest fear is women laughing at them. Womens’ greatest fear is men killing them.”

    Or something like that. I’ve read some things about male psychology which say that a lot of men don’t think the same way about death; that some of them actually look forward to a noble death, so they don’t empathize as well with womens’ fears.

    (For me, that also made much more sense out of the phenomenon of men pushing for sex in the face of the possibility of fatal STDs — not the noble part, though, just the rest of it. They’re more willing to risk death b/c they fear it less than we do.)

    Doesn’t make the psychology of the commenters any less uber-creepy; but it does make me less panicky, and not hyperventilating b/c I’m thinking “why is he thinking that?”, in the event that I’ve got to defend myself should one of them physically attack.

  24. Kate, thank you for compiling this list. I know it was a horrible experience, because I read through the comment threads myself, and I still want to vomit. This kind of hateful crap needs to be exposed, not swept under the rug or minimized.

  25. A few minor points in this discussion clicked into place something I’ve been thinking about censorship for a while. (They may be a little off-topic, for which I apologize.) I’m pretty strongly against censorship in any form. Left Brain and Kate noted that they’re against censorhip, then Spinsterwitch made the note that the government can’t constitutionally censor people, but the market can. As I said, I don’t let the old censorship any, but this isn’t really the same thing.

    Censorship, as far as I’m concerned, ends when we start talking about yelling fire in a crowded theater or provoking violent action. The fundamental problem with the DJs’ comments were that they reflected the sickening way that society perceives of women, their bodies, and power. But what makes their bit most horrifying to me (and grounds for active, aggressive censorship) is that it actually encourages violent beliefs and behavior. Any doubts on this point are cleared up reading the comments you’ve selected, Kate. (Which, honestly, I couldn’t get through.)

    So if you’re experiencing cognitive dissonance over censorship, you might consider that balance. It’s, of course, a fine line between tasteless and incitive speech. But, seeing them shut down, I have zero qualms. I would as happily condone censorship if they encouraged their listeners to hang black people or lynch gay people. If the government can’t, it’s nice to see that the market does it right every once in a while.

  26. Ahem… “I don’t let the old censorship any” should be something like “I don’t like censorship.” I’m still a bit muddled and woozy from scanning your selected comments.

    Also, I didn’t actually say it: great fucking post. Your point about demoralizing by claiming ownership of bodies is perfect, and perfectly put.

  27. If Don Imus can get essentially fired by making a racist comment, how can these guys continue on the air? It isn’t censorship if advertisers refuse to hawk their products on a program that condones and promotes violence against women.

  28. The right-wing extremists are fueled by hypocrisy and live in a world of doublethink.

    The Doublethinkers can fervently believe in diametrically opposed thoughts at the same time.

    And here we see a perfect example:
    There are no First Amendment rights on corporate-owned property (leafletters at shopping malls), yet corporations have no right to stop the First Amendment rights (radio hosts begging for their followers to commit mass murder).

    Re-read 1984- 2/3 of that book is the GOP platform.

    The Neo-Cons’ symbol is a boot stomping on a human face – forever.

    PS: Thank the gods Falwell has finally left the planet!!!

  29. Hey – I really like this blog. I’m doing something similar with my own blog, called Fat Feminism, which examines the fat women are portrayed in popular culture. I explore movies, music, television, celebrities, fashion, gaming, online communities, merchandising, toys, art, and social tropes about fat people.

    I am going to add you to my blogroll, and if you like mine, maybe you could add it to yours, too:


  30. What a difference a day makes! I can’t believe I missed something this big, I’ve only been out of town for 2 days..Honestly, after reading your post, I’m glad I didn’t have to hear it first hand from the DJ’s themselves. Still, it’s important to analyze things like this, I’m grateful to you for posting it. And your spin on it was very insightful, it helped me to sort out what it all really means.
    That doesn’t mean I’m not left with a feeling sad about it, but I’m armed with knowledge now. My thoughts are with Melissa.

  31. I am a 34 y.o. man who was raised to respect ALL women. Those posts were just wrong. I strongly believe people have the right to say whatever the fuck they want. But to write stuff like that about someone you don’t even know is just dumb. What bothers me though, is because i am a 34 y.o. white male, if i say certain words or make certain comments when asked MY OPINION about someone’s weight or looks or whatnot i am accused of being just like those guys who wrote those posts. I don’t care what race or religion or size you are, if you suck, you suck. Asshole-ness and Dickhead-ness does not discriminate. If your are an asshole or a dickhead, you’re an asshole or a dickhead! I don’t go around degrading people who are fat or ugly or gay or whatever, and i feel i have the right, to respond to a question, asked by a friend what i think of someone. If they overhear and get offended than that’s on them and they have the right to say whatever they want about me. I’m not trying to justify myself and say it’s o.k that if i say someone is fat, i’m voicing my opinion. You are what you are, and most people brought it upon themselves. I’m a drug addict, alcoholic tattooed loser. If you are fat,butch,gay biker chick i’m cool with that, and if someone says “look at that fat-ass fugly dyke biker bitch” be proud, don’t have a fucking parade over it, but be proud.Just remember, FUCK EVERYBODY! PEOPLE SUCK! If you think i’m a piece of shit because of that last comment about the parade please re-read the post. This is a good blog or website or whatever, not big on posts or blogs or podcasts or any of this stuff, i’m just sick of people being grown-ass babies and acting like crying because some fucking idiot made some stupid comment about whatever. “Feeding the fire only makes it hungrier”. You can take this comment however you want, i know who i am and i’m fine with it.The more blogs that pop up every time an insulting comment is made it just creates more insulting comments which create more blogs and so on and so on and so on……

  32. Sean, commenting on insults doesn’t “create” more insults out of magical fairy insult powder. The assholes and dickheads create more insults.

  33. The mark of a great jerk, is when they get so angry and rediculous, they make a insult that makes no sense what-so-ever. Like the, “Put them in a washing machine with Magic Johnson and open a bag of razorblades”.

    What?! Ok that right there, is certifiable proof that you are working with some really talented morons. I mean that they are talented in the act of being moronic. Sure I think you say, it’s easy to be that dumb, after all it’s stupidity right? No no, that kind of stupid, comes from years of hard work.

    What I’m saying is that Anthony and Opie are real losers, like the king of losers. They shouldn’t be talking about someone not getting any, because I’d be surprised they’d get laid without having to pay for it. There, that’s my emotionally stupid comment. It’s nothing nearly as accomplished as what Anthony and Opie have come up with, but I have yet to hone my skill at moronistry.

  34. sean: “If they overhear and get offended than that’s on them and they have the right to say whatever they want about me. “

    Spoken like an entitled white male who has never had anyone insult him or attempt to degrade him in any way, shape or manner. And who has never had to fear walking out into the night or anywhere by himself.

  35. i know it’s probably obvious to say this, but these guys are just insecure idiots. they can’t respond on an intellegent level so they’re rude and abusive. they go for what they know will upset and offend ANY woman, picking on her appearance and threatening her, because it’s the only way they can feel in control against a woman who is more intellegent, or proud and capable enough to say what she thinks.

    once, when i was talking home from the swimming pool, a bunch of guys started singing, who let teh dogs out (nice) how dare i look unattractive, therefore it was ok to abuse me. i told them to f off. they threatened to rape me. they couldn’t handle the fact that i dared to respond to their abuse, that i didn’t just take it the way that they seemed to think i should, for daring to be an ‘unattractive’ woman. guys like this are stupid and insecure. they can’t handle the fact that women are just as capable as men, and like generations of guys before them they need to find something wrong with us, some way to keep us down so they can feel better about themselves.

  36. 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.


    also tells you something about the sort of person who’s willing to unleash the worst words in their stomach because…what? Someone’s gone after their favorite radio host? For saying similarly hateful shit? Well, gee.

  37. Having been raped myself, I just… what’s wrong with these people? How can anyone say things like that to another person? I mean, they’re people too. They’re all someone’s son, someone’s friend… I just don’t get how anyone can be quite so *much* of an asshole, and to see so many of them… =/

  38. “i’m just sick of people being grown-ass babies and acting like crying because some fucking idiot made some stupid comment about whatever.”


    The problem isn’t a single stupid comment. The problem is a series of repeated, continued comments. Especially when it’s a series of comments which society seems to accept.

    In this case, the comments advocate that it’s perfectly alright to rape a woman who speaks her mind. (Such as, for instance, me.)

    And noone’s silencing the radio people who said that. Noone in authority is contradicting it. Noone in authority is even saying ‘um, maybe that was a daft thing to say’.

    In the places where people are saying that it was a daft thing to say, there are great crowds of people saying the various things Kate quoted in this article.

    In other words:

    Radio idiots say ‘women who are stupid enough to become powerful should be fucked to death’.

    People protest officially.

    Officials do nothing.

    People talk among themselves, saying ‘this can’t be right’.

    In the places where they’re saying ‘this can’t be right’, they get overwhelmed with people saying ‘not only is it right, women are whores who want nothing but the cock, rape them all’ … or other nasty things like that.



    So. Sean, do you think maybe, just maybe, we can have your permission to be a touch upset about that?

  39. Oh Dear. I can only hope Melissa knows she’s not alone, that most people do NOT think like those mean assholes. Most people know the truth: That rape is bad, full stop. That no one, no matter how “fat” or ugly deserves to be raped. And that even in the worse of the worst situtations, saying cruel things to someone is NOT RIGHT.

  40. Spinsterwitch touched on exactly the thing that bothers me most about these puerile posts: the sheer level of rage in all of them. It made my skin crawl. What is it about women that makes some men so vilely crazy? This is the kind of thing I expect to hear right before the crowd gathers and rocks start flying at my head, or steel cables start whipping my back. This is the sort of thing women hear before they end up in the emergency room. And yet what has Melissa done? She has expressed opinions.

    Our thoughts make this kind of man insane with fury. Our clothes make them crazy with rage. Our facial expressions make them vile with language. Our words make them unable to reason like rational beings.

    I think we need to let this kind of man know we are not afraid of him, even if we go to our rooms to shudder and cry over his vileness afterward. I think we need to make him aware, if not directly, then broadcast, where he will see it, that he cannot shake us. That history has judged him and his kind as incapable of controlling a sandbox without fouling it up, and so it has turned to people whose first reaction to changes in time and civilization is not “Hulk smash!” That he and his kind are clearly the signpost of a dying age, where they could swagger and strut and bully the planet, while those with a real contribution to make worked in corners, until they could take it from him–as we are doing.

    Our opinions and thoughts have power, because we work with them. And most of the time–not always, but most of the time–we build. We don’t smash.

  41. As a man, a real man I might add, I am horrified by Antony and Fuckwad’s “jokes” on this show. Anybody daring to make such harsh and hurtful comments, especially in public deserves to a. lose their job, b, be put in jail and c, get acquainted with the biggest fag in the jail. And fucked. To death. These people are sick and I fully intend on telling them so.

    Women are not objects of men’s desire, no matter what they do or think. Even what their job is. (Prostitutes, pornstars) That’s up to them if they want to take that path. Any real man would see this and realise women are to be respected and listened to. They are our mothers, our wives. BEhind every great man, there is a woman greater (or rolling her eyes) and this is completely true.

    To all and any who threw meaningless rhetoric insults at Melissa and Kate Harding.

    You’re pathetic and will never amount to anything.

    I had to say something. I am displeased with these “men”.


  42. Can’t remember who said it, but runs along the lines of “Men’s greatest fear is women laughing at them. Womens’ greatest fear is men killing them.”

    Margaret Atwood. Whenever I think of that quote I imagine some MRA whining about how laughing at someone is kind of like killing them, so have a little respect.

  43. Kind of a late (as in, two months’ late) entrant, but…to Meowzer, who pointed out that Melissa is married and is not a dyke—well, so, and what if she were? You know.

    Thanks for being brave, Kate—I certainly wouldn’t have had the stomach to compile all that vitriol, at least not without editing for spelling and grammar. Though it’s funny (yet not-so-funny) how the most violent trolls also tend to be the ones without grade-school education, so leaving their remarks uncorrected is always illuminating. Not so bad to be an autistic shopping-cart-pusher, by comparison.

    Will I ever get to go to a Blogher conference? only if they throw one in the Sonoran Desert, which is where me and my belly live.

  44. to Meowzer, who pointed out that Melissa is married and is not a dyke—well, so, and what if she were? You know.

    Unnarrator, I’m pretty sure I can speak for Meowzer when I say: good point.

    However — and this comes up a lot when conversations about fat acceptance veer toward healthism, too — I also think Meowzer’s point was well worth making.

    It’s two separate issues. 1 is that trolls are bigoted assholes. 2 is that they’ve got the facts wrong.

    With regard to 1, “So what?” is absolutely the correct answer. But that doesn’t mean 2 shouldn’t be addressed at all. The belief that any woman who speaks her mind and identifies as feminist must be a lesbian is pervasive and insulting to all women — including lesbians. Not because there’s anything wrong with being gay, but because it reinforces a concept of femininity — of “real” womanhood — that’s strictly demure and submissive to men. It reinforces the belief that no heterosexual woman can be intelligent and outspoken and have a loving relationship with a red-blooded male whom she respects. And, following from that, it reinforces the belief that lesbians are lesbians because they can’t catch a man, not because they don’t want a man.

    So pointing out that no, Melissa is not a dyke, is important. But pointing out that “dyke” is not an insult to any reasonable person anyway is also important — thanks for making sure that got said.

    Like I said, it’s the same thing with “fat is unhealthy” arguments. Fat is not unhealthy, so it’s not okay to let that misinformation stand — which would also mean letting trolls set the terms of the debate. But then there’s the other issue, that even if a person IS unhealthy, that doesn’t mean they deserve scorn and hatred, or that they’re morally inferior to healthy people. Both points are really important.

  45. Yeah, you’re totally right. I tend to forget that getting the facts wrong is equally as insulting as, um, being insulting. Actually it may be even more “headdesk” because it’s so bloody irritating on top of being insulting. And anyway I swiftly reached a place in my life and brain where that same “insult” yelled out of car windows just made me and my then-girlfriend grin, raise our held hands together and holler YEAH BABY! More for us and less for you, sucker.

    BTW as the author of a relentlessly self-absorbed I-ate-cereal-today blog, I’m very admiring of yours—its focus, tenacity, hilarity. Thanks for all the hard work and clear thinking.

  46. What bothers me though, is because i am a 34 y.o. white male, if i say certain words or make certain comments when asked MY OPINION about someone’s weight or looks or whatnot i am accused of being just like those guys who wrote those posts.

    Um, Sean, it’s not really the same to say that you think someone is ugly (which you are perfectly entitled to do) and to say that you think they deserve to be raped and murdered. You might get accused of being sexist or anti-fat, but if your comments are “she’s too fat for my tastes” rather than “she’s too fat to be treated as a human being” then I would not automatically think that you were a murderous jerk.

    Anyway, I’m way late to join this thread but I just ran across this blog last night. Excellent stuff.

  47. Wow what a bunch of insults. Insecure much? Given what I’ve read, these guys sound like they’re compensating for something they don’t have or think they don’t have. If someone else’s confidence can threaten them that badly they’re sad little scraps of humanity indeed.

  48. Look, the one thing to remember is that these are empty little men, character-wise, who are as lost as lost can be and clueless about what it truly is to be a man; so they turn to the only version of ‘manhood’ they can understand or aspire to which is a couple of other guys just like them via the two jokes on the radio show. The only thing these guys will EVER perceive as achieving manhood is being hostile and preying on people they believe to be weaker than them; easy targets. It’s actually not only women they will attempt to do this to but anybody that they view as vulnerable to be ganged up on. They are really just human jackals. Unfortunately, human jackals and bottom-feeders like that come from both genders, too, because I’ve met both kinds. To be clear, I’m not minimizing what they said but it has more to do with their empty characters than it does with gender. There’s simply a lot of people out there these days that are just empty shells.

  49. Wow, Tamora Pierce commented on this blog! Is it the real Tamora Pierce? I read all her books when I was 16. That is so cool.

  50. Oh gosh Kate – I sooo relate to this. I had a <a href=”http://thestumblingblock.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/moral-equivalency/:<horrible experience with a guy I’d know over 27 years. Long story short – once he realized I told law enforcement on him and his facade was busted he went postal.

    He (like these horrible trolls) posted some just disgusting stuff about me. When he’d been trying to talk me into an affair I told him no. I also told him I’d put on 85lbs in the 27 some-odd years – from PCOS what-the-fuckery, surgeries, infertility drugs and a severe c-section that left me with hernia. I NEVER lied about my weight. He wrote that my “cunt smelled” and I could never “use enough baby wipes to get rid of the smell” and I was such “a lazy fat assed cunt” that that was the reason I was divorced. – Um, I am meticulously clean and I divorced my husband because he was abusing me and the courts agreed with me. I also dress well – despite the looks and comment about my weight.

    I have been sexual and emotionally abused in my life too – when I was much thinner. God people really suck don’t they.

    Oh and here’s the money shot – this ex-friend? An OPIE & ANTHONY FAN!! Puke puke puke puke.

    BIG HUGS all around ladies.

  51. Really late, but it’s a point I haven’t seen addressed and needs to be:


    Anybody daring to make such harsh and hurtful comments, especially in public deserves to a. lose their job, b, be put in jail and c, get acquainted with the biggest fag in the jail. And fucked. To death. These people are sick and I fully intend on telling them so.

    This? Is not okay. I have problems with this comment and how it has apparently been left to stand without clarification or correction for almost a year.

    1. The point of this, as I read it, isn’t just that women don’t deserve to be fucked to death. NO-ONE deserves that. Even if they’re fuckwads. Even if they post comments like the twenty-two quoted above. NO-ONE deserves to be fucked to death.

    2. Just as most rape isn’t about heterosexuality or homosexuality, neither is prison rape, which is a huge, massive problem with the United States penal system and should NOT be trivialised and SHOULD NOT be used as ‘a just punishment’. It is never a just punishment. Put it this way: it’s hard enough for people outside of the penal system to get away from their attackers. If you’re in the same cellblock as your rapist, for years upon years with no voice, no legal resource, no alternative other than being told by prison guards to find someone who would rape them a little more gently sometimes — it drives them to suicide, to insanity, to huge emotional and mental problems. NOBODY deserves that. It is not just. It is not a justifiable part of the prison system. I have huge problems with rape EVER being used in this fashion, and I have larger problems with prison rape because of the circumstances I outlined above.

    3. You have no idea what that job means to them, or their kids, or their partners or their housing situation or their finances. Yes, posting comments like these is shitty. Advocating punishing the entirety of the commenter’s family because of those comments is just as shitty.

    4. WAY TO MISJUDGE WHAT PRISON SYSTEMS ARE FOR. As much as we would like it to be, posting shitty comments is not a crime. Yes, it’s fucking hideous that they felt the a) need and b) justification to post them. Yes, it incites violent, degrading behaviour. But I do not agree with advocating prison terms.

    Rape is not funny. The above four points aren’t funny either.

  52. If I hadn’t had a comments feed I’d never have read this post and I wouldn’t be feeling so sick now.

  53. Spikae,

    You respect women, but the guys who say these things should be jailed and raped by “the biggest fag in the jail?”

    So the true punishment is to turn these guys into “women” through prison rape?

    The cognitive dissonance, it burns.

    In my world, a guy who uses the word “fag” doesn’t like women at all. Behind every homophobe is a man who fears and loathes women.

  54. I have problems with this comment and how it has apparently been left to stand without clarification or correction for almost a year

    Lindra, me too. It shouldn’t have been left alone. And my only excuse is that I must have skimmed his comment, because if I’d noticed that, I would have said very much what you said. Thanks for adding that.

  55. You said:
    “Let me save you the trouble: I know I’m a fat cunt, and I’ve already been raped.’
    Yes!!! You have a great post!!! I was laughing so hard as I read it. You have a great sense of humor!!!!!!! It comes in handy responding to those messages…You tell them nuts where it’s at!!!!!!!!
    My name is Mary. I am a 18 yr old. riot grrl, with tiger claws!!Roar!!! RAHR!!!
    I am a proud, liberated, empowered, riott grrrrl who LOVES LOVES LOVES sex and wants it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Im certainly NOT a prude as they accuse us fems of being!!! I wish to spread my liberation and empowerment around the blogosphere!!!!! You and your blog totally ROCK Kate Harding Yeahhh!!!!!!!!!!!! Roar!!!!!!RAHR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Let me give you an example of why we should speak, even when they try to steal our power. It might not make sense at first, but it is about obliteration. It was from Martin Niemoller, who resisted preaching the Nazi filth in his Lutheran church.

    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me–
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

    One more quote to keep you strong, though it is a version, and not the original:
    “If not now, when? If not me, who?
    Stay strong.

  57. I cried when i read this. I know we are supposed to be strong and stand up for ourselves, but it seems so hard when people dont treat each other like human beings.

  58. Thanks you Lindra, I was feeling some frustration as I read this comment thread just now, since like you said, it’s been over a year.

    And I too am a fat cunt who’s already been raped, so the trolls ain’t got nothing on me.

  59. OMG Tamora Pierce.

    Not the horrific prison rape thing, but how ’bout someone follows them around and flicks them in the temple every rude and unfactual(?) comment? Not much, but it’s still somewhat satisfying. And potentially useful! They’re discouraged from making the comment, AND they get someone to talk it out with. The treatment continues for a month, and if there’s no change, they get punched and then left alone. Or somesuch. I dunno.

  60. First? What Tammy said. I recognize the style, and I’ve read her blog for ages and heard her speak, so for those wondering, yeah, that’s definitely Tamora Pierce. But these words made me sick with their content, but also TERRIFIED. Because if I heard that while I was walking down the street, I would expect to be dead very shortly after.

    Secondly, and a bit belatedly, Kate, I know what you mean about Huey having his heart in the right place and his mouth in the wrong one. I have a friend, sweet as can be, who sometimes says the most stupid things, and I have to try to convince people who don’t know her that no, really, she’s a sweet girl, and her heart’s in the right place, she’s just… not good at expressing it all the time.

    Thirdly, to Melissa… you are a wonderful woman. Just the fact that you’ve apparently not gone running away from the internet, never again to post an opinion ANYWHERE… I know I’d be in tears. I would be curled up, sobbing, in tears, and terrified to ever say ANYTHING where someone might disagree with me. Thank you for being strong.

    Sometimes I really really hate humans. Right now, I’m hating those humans, the ones who said those things, and every other human who’s ever said anything like it. GRAAAAWR.

  61. Just thought I’d take a quick moment to point out the similiarities between these comments and the writings in the blog of the man who shot up the LA fitness gym.

    Sadly, his comments seemed more tame and sane than these men’s do.

    But they’re just trolls right? *eye roll*

  62. As written in “The Age of Sex Crime” by Jane Caputi:

    “Margaret Atwood writes that when she asked a male friend why men felt threatened by women, he replied that, ‘They are afraid women will laugh at them.’ When she asked a group of women why women felt threatened by men, they said, ‘We’re afraid of being killed.'”

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