I didn’t want to write this post yet because I still would like more comments on my last post, but I feel I need to write this post.
Many years ago, probably as many as ten to six already, I used to watch a lot of youtube videos. That was during the time, and a bit after it, of the great youtube atheists. Back when there were a handful (okay, more like two) of really well known atheists that made daily videos on youtube. Very few of those people are left, or, at the very least, very few make videos anymore. That was the whole reason I stopped, almost completely, watching youtube videos: most of the people I was subscribed to had stopped making videos and it was becoming very difficult to find people worth following.
About three or four years back I was lamenting the loss of a particular youtuber. A man who at the time was in University and made wonderful philosophy, music, and atheism videos. He was also a feminist. In my opinion, he was the best youtuber at the time. Now I’ve learned that another youtuber who I feel to be his equal has left. She actually left back in August, but I only found out tonight. She was young, and I can’t blame her for leaving because she had been dealing with a lot of online abuse. Unfortunately to put your voice online is to be subject to a certain amount of abuse, but it boggles my mind that people who would be so nice in a face to face conversation feel it appropriate to tell someone to “go die” online. But I’m sad to see that she has gone.
I’m sad because of the saying “the only thing needed for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” She was one of the good “men” doing something, but now she’s gone. And I think it’s partially due to the fact that more good “men” did nothing that caused her to leave. I saw plenty of comments saying things along the line of “go kill yourself feminazi” in her comment section but, while there was plenty of debating, I saw no comments chastising the people telling her to die. Nobody asked why they would say that, and nobody pointed out the hatefulness behind those words. And that really isn’t uncommon. It’s almost just accepted that people threaten to kill people online and it’s not taken seriously. That frightens me.
So now there’s one less good person on youtube trying to make a difference. There is one less person willing to say that they are a feminist. There is one less person willing to have a reasoned discussion about feminism to bring about understanding and end misinformation. There are plenty of MRAs and anti-feminists willing to abuse any feminist who makes their voice heard, but there doesn’t seem to be very any people speaking for feminism. I know that there are still a number of atheists on youtube, and a number of them seem to support feminism, at least that’s the impression that I get from comments that they have made. But while there are youtube atheists that openly oppose feminist, the ones that support it seem to avoid talking about it. I think that this is a problem. It makes youtube a hostile place for feminists, and it makes it seem acceptable to say things like “go kill yourself feminazi” to anyone who openly professes to be a feminist.
I have to say, I’m really glad I found wordpress. While there are anti-feminists and MRAs here, they aren’t so much more vocal that the feminists. And the conversations are a lot more civil. I haven’t been told to die for being a feminist here. In fact, minus a few exceptions, I’ve been able to actually have good conversations with people that I disagree with without it devolving into name calling. It’s not perfect, but it makes me glad that I moved away from youtube when I did.