Please do me a favor. If you ever find yourself speaking or typing words like the ones above? Shut up and walk away.
Cat Valente wrote a powerful post about Gender and the Fallout Over Christopher Priest, comparing the responses Priest received with the much more vicious, hateful threats and attacks women receive for similar posts.
Naturally, one of the commenters jumped in with, “I’ll probably get vilified for saying this, but I’m a guy…” Just in case you missed the point, he added, “Unfortunately, I’m a guy, and so far as I can tell, therefore I’m evil.”
I’ve seen this preemptive crap a lot lately. Look dude – it’s not that you’re a guy. It’s not that you’re white or straight or whatever. It’s that you’re being an dumbass and a coward.
A dumbass because nobody is saying anything about guys all being evil! Go read Valente’s post and show me where she says men are evil. Show me where anyone in the comments says it. Take your time, I’ve got all day. Nobody said it, nobody suggested it, and if you really believe that’s what’s going on, then I have very little hope for you, but I’d be happy to recommend some remedial reading courses.
A coward because in most cases, I suspect you know perfectly well that nobody’s saying that. You don’t actually believe Valente is suggesting all men are evil. You’re saying it to protect your ego. Because by preemptively writing crap like, “I know you’re all going to dogpile me for being male,” you’ve given yourself an excuse. Everyone who points out that your argument is full of crap isn’t doing it because you’re an ignorant, misinformed, condescending jackass. They’re just doing it because you’re a guy.
Let me break it down as simply as possible.
1) Blogger writes a post pointing out the inequality in how men and women are treated online. She gives multiple examples of women who receive threats of rape and death, where men receive far less viciousness.
2) Random dude reads this post and immediately feels defensive and attacked as a man.
Why is that, I wonder? Is it because harassing and abusing women is, in your opinion, part of being a man? Is it because you’ve personally done things like this and you dislike being called on it? What is it that makes you read this as a personal attack on your gender?
Because you know what? If you haven’t done these things, then it’s not about you! And if you have, then it’s not about you being a guy; it’s about you being an asshole.
Like I said, it’s not just one commenter. It’s one person after another pulling out this same rhetorical garbage, and it’s tiresome.
Enough from me. Go read Valente’s post, if you haven’t already. I’d also recommend Seanan McGuire’s follow-up thoughts about gender and literature.