harassment threats twitter

Twitter “progressives” bombard Jen Kirkman with death threats after missing the point of a joke

Jen Kirkman on Drunk History
Jen Kirkman on Drunk History

So yesterday comedian Jen Kirkman posted a little joke on Twitter, as comedians are wont to do.

Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people.

Before we look at what happened after she posted this Tweet (which has now been deleted), let me just say a couple of things about the Tweet itself.

Jen Kirkman does not actually “LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people,” in part because she (Kirkman) does not LIKE murder and in part because she does not believe that Hillary has, in fact, murdered a lot of people.

The joke is a clear reference to the right-wing Clinton-haters who have been trying their best, for the last quarter century, to convince the world that Bill and Hillary have been secretly knocking off their political enemies, mob style, racking up a CLINTON BODY COUNT that is now said to number 48.

In other words, the joke is not actually a joke about murder. It s a joke about the right-wing idiots who think that Hillary goes around offing people like some pastel-pantsuited Tony Soprano.

[UPDATE 8/5 Kirkman herself made clear that’s what she meant in a Tweet today.]

Unfortunately, many of those who encountered Kirkman’s Tweet on Twitter — a large number of whom seem to be former Bernie Sanders supporters who’ve gone over the Green Party’s Jill Stein — have kind of missed the point just a little, misreading it as some sort of creepy celebration of drones murdering children in Afghanistan, or something.

And instead of stopping for a second to ask themselves, “wait, is this comedian lady who does those hilarious yet disarmingly earnest segments on Drunk History really mocking or even advocating the murder of children, why would she do that, that can’t be right” many of these people decided to advocate the murder of her.

Here are a small fraction of the Tweets sent to her.

Bacchus @thebacch Ain't no one buying your shit -- we're just hoping you meet the same fate as those dead children you're mocking. … 10:45 AM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets 4 4 likes Follow Nick @jinkiescoob I LIKE that people have threatened to murder Jen Kirkman … 1:03 PM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets 2 2 likes 3 Aug Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people. Follow #ITSINOURHANDS @moonpyramid @JenKirkman Jen Kirkman thinks this is a funny fucking joke. Smug bitch, like most moron HRC elitists & paid trolls. 11:10 PM - 3 Aug 2016 Retweets likes Follow Victoria Chase @Victoriam_chase @PoliticsPeach @JenKirkman who is this ignorant bitch who need his/her ass kicked!! 7:45 PM - 3 Aug 2016 Retweets likes 3 Aug Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people. Follow José Sáez-Peñalver @JSaezpenalver @JenKirkman Louis C.K. should have facefucked you that day, you whore. 6:32 AM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets likes Follow the good posts guy @Lowenaffchen @JenKirkman you don't get to complain about your mentions after tweeting "murder is good". sorry 12:27 PM - 4 Aug 2016 8 8 Retweets 67 67 likes 3 Aug Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman I LIKE that Hillary has murdered a lot of people. Follow Juan C. Rodriguez @MrRodriguez89 @JenKirkman you're a massive idiot and deserve whatever harassment you get. Fuck you ya piece of shit!

After Kirkman noted that she would be handing the operation of her Twitter account to someone else because she was tired of reading all the death threats, some of her Twitter, er, critics, did little victory dances of sorts.

midnight velvet @JoshJDee ? @JenKirkman 1:54 PM - 4 Aug 2016 View image on Twitter Retweets likes Follow haram bae @lastlivingrose aw damn, just missed ya! anyway i wholeheartedly agree with everyone who said you deserved to be murdered next … 1:11 PM - 4 Aug 2016 3 3 Retweets 13 13 likes 3h Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman Follow Professor Pikachu @crystalproteins @JenKirkman see ya cunt 1:04 PM - 4 Aug 2016 Retweets 10 10 likes 3h Jen Kirkman ✔ @JenKirkman Follow soft money @LazyVodkaVideo @JenKirkman this is funnier than any joke you've ever written. 1:44 PM - 4 Aug 2016

And yes, that last dude is using a photo of a young Josef Stalin as his avatar. You know, the Russian dictator whose actual non-fictional not-a-joke STALIN BODY COUNT added up to something close to 20 million.

Someone even took the anti-Kirkman struggle to Wikipedia.

The people bombarding Kirkman with threats and abuse aren’t Trump fans. They aren’t Trump fans pretending to be BernieBros. If you don’t believe me, go look at the accounts of the people whose Tweets I quoted above, or go directly to @JenKirkman’s mentions now, where you can find hundreds if not thousands more Tweets like this.

These are people who, in many instances, consider themselves progressives, radicals, anarchists, “revolutionaries.” These are, in more than a few cases, proud supporters of Jill Stein, a woman whose presence in the race makes it all that much harder to defeat the unhinged Muslim-hating racist Donald Trump. That strikes me as something of an irony.

In Milan Kundera’s The Joke, set in Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1950s, a young Czech intellectual and Communist Party member is tossed from the party and sent to work in the mines after he jokingly writes “long live Trotsky” on a postcard.

These days, we’ve got Twitter for that.

NOTE 8/5: Just a reminder for new commenters: defending or excusing harassment is against the comment policy here. I’ve been lax on bans in this thread so far but that’s over now.

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Hey, It’s Some Men Against Assholes and Misogyny!

Jen Kirkman (Men Against Assholes and Misogyny Not Pictured)
Jen Kirkman (Men Against Assholes and Misogyny Not Pictured)

With all the assholery that I’ve been writing about lately, I wanted to highlight something that wasn’t assholish. That is, in fact, anti-assholish. And that’s comedian Jen Kirkman’s new tumblr blog: “MA’AM” – MEN AGAINST ASSHOLES & MISOGYNY, which she describes as “a place for men – not afraid to call themselves feminists – to write from their heart to help educate men who may still hold some sexist attitudes towards women.”

Kirkman started it a bit over a week ago after going on a sort of Twitter strike, frustrated by all the misogynistic assholes that kept popping up on her timeline.

Here’s how she explains it:

Sometimes I would get sad when I was batting away dozens of hate-filled things while in my timeline my male comedian friends were just joking along having fun – as we all should be.  And I felt like I was alone on the playground and I wanted them to speak up for me.  Not “beat up” the specific people attacking me … but I wanted my male comedian friends to write, in public, about things they have expressed to me in private about how much they feel for the women in their life who are still spoken to this way.

So far she’s gotten a lot of followers — she picked up a thousand in the first 48 hours — and a ton of submissions, some from fellow comedians (Greg Proops, Michael Ian Black), some from regular dudes, one from her dad.

The submissions are, I suppose I should say, a mixed bag. Some of the essays are great. Some are a bit mansplainy, or White Knighty, or otherwise a bit problematic.

But that’s kind of inherent to the project. Jen is challenging guys who don’t spend all day every day thinking about feminism, but whose hearts are basically in the right place, to stand up against the asshole misogynists of the world. And a lot of guys are responding to her challenge.

Oh, BTW, while we’re on the topic: Jen is also pretty fucking hilarious.

Here’s some of her standup:

And here she is narrating some Drunk History. (She really was drunk.)