Author Archives: David Futrelle
By all rights, the furor over rocket scientist Matt Taylor’s cheesecake shirt should have died down by now. After being chided earlier this week for marring the celebration over the landing of a space probe ON A GODDAMNED COMET by doing interviews in a tacky shirt covered with half-naked ladies, Taylor offered a brief but heartfelt apology. You would have thought we’d all be able to move on.
Not so fast. Because these days apparently no controversy can ever be over as long as it serves someone’s interest to keep it going. And so a loose but very familiar coalition of reactionaries and antifeminists and angry techies have started flogging an amorphous cause they call #Shirtgate or, more popularly, #Shirtstorm, purporting to be outraged that Taylor was “humiliated” into apologizing.
Five Reasons You Should Not Marry, or Date, or Probably Even Live in the Same City With a Fan of Return of Kings
So Return of Kings, which seems to be working hard at becoming the most abhorrent publication known to man, has a post up by regular contributor “strongsloth” titled 5 Lines That Potential Wives Cannot Cross — that is , five rules that Mr. Sloth thinks men should enforce with any woman they want to make their wife.
These rules are, naturally, horrific. So horrific, in fact, that they essentially provide us with Five Reasons You Should Not Marry, or Date, or Rent Apartments to, or Probably Even Live in the Same City With Anyone Who’s a Fan of Return of Kings.
So let’s go through them one by one. Do not date or marry a ROK fan because:
Woman slams sexist shirt; Twitter douchebags tell her to kill herself. Worst offender? A contributor to A Voice for Men
Very cool: We humans have landed a space probe on a goddamned comet!
Not cool: when one European Space Agency dude gave an interview about the landing, he was wearing a shirt festooned with cheesecake images of scantily clad women.
Even less cool: when Atlantic magazine science writer Rose Eveleth pointed out that this choice of attire doesn’t exactly broadcast the message that women (other than scantily clad ones) are welcome in STEM, she received a torrent of abuse from angry Twitter dudes, including requests for her to kill herself.
The cherry atop this crap sundae? The nastiest Twitterer of the bunch, who not only went after Eveleth but her defenders as well, is a regular contributor to A Voice for Men.
It’s Veterans Day, #GamerGaters. Lay off the military imagery and remember those who fought in real wars
Today is Veterans Day in the US, a day to honor those who’ve served in the armed services. That is, real soldiers, who have fought in real wars.
As one person with a silly name but a good point wrote on Reddit:
There are many examples of military-themed calls to action and propagandizing in [Kotaku in Action, the main GamerGate subreddit] used to rally their users into a virtual “battle” against ideas that they don’t agree with. …
Today, take a step back and remember that very real people fought in very real battles and answered very real calls to action for their country. Today should serve as a sobering reminder of not only those who served, but also how ridiculous [GamerGaters] sound when they pretend that this is some type of war they are nobly fighting for when there are those who actually serve bravely for their country.
GamerGaters love comparing themselves to soldiers fighting a war against, well, whatever it is they think they’re fighting a war against.
This tribute to “the millions of gaming dead” is the most ridiculously overblown GamerGate video you may ever see
Today, the most pretentious, and also probably the most ridiculous GamerGate video I’ve seen so far.
Over black-and-white footage of assorted video game shooters, the YouTuber who calls himself PowerIndustry tries to provide a bit of inspiration to his comrades in the virtual trenches who have chosen, as he puts it, to “stand and fight.”
For those who can’t make it through the whole nine minutes– and there may be more than a few of you – here’s Mr. PI’s basic argument.
Oh, Twitter, how I love you and hate you. On the one hand, Twitter can be a powerful grassroots organizing tool, a personalized media aggregator, a way to meet and interact with friends and colleagues, and of course one of the world’s most effective distributors of cute cat pics and fart jokes.
On the other, it can empower harassers — from individual stalkers to virtual mobs — and provide a way-too-easy way to send anonymous threats.
And unfortunately, Twitter hasn’t made much of an effort to deal with its abusive users. It can take days, weeks, sometimes months for the site’s harassment cops to do anything about persistent harassers, and all too often the suspended harassers pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and go right back to harassing their enemies with brand-new accounts — a blatant violation of Twitter’s rules that seems to be very seldom punished.
But there’s some good news on this front. Twitter is teaming up with Women, Action and the Media (WAM), a small feminist nonprofit, in a pilot program designed to fight this kind of harassment. WAM! has some experience here; this is the group that pressured Facebook into taking hate speech more seriously.