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.
December 1st, 2014 at 7:30 pm
People often find it therapeutic to verbally pummel others online. What’s ridiculous about it (as you noted above) is the fact that these people would not say these things in a face-to-face conversation. I think a lot of people are becoming more aware of the fact that the internet is leading to personal schisms. It’s becoming no different than a form of cosmetic surgery. Yet, that doesn’t appear to be an urgent issue to people since they fixate on the narrow issue of cyber-bullying rather than the overall problem of egocentric attitudes.
November 22nd, 2014 at 5:31 pm
I’m not sure if you intended to, but I took your interest in my blog as a desire to enter my competition to win a free download of my iBook. Please find included a redemption code. I hope you enjoy. YRHH7K9W4EKP
November 22nd, 2014 at 9:59 am
What is a “MRA”? Is an “anti-feminist” a person who is against feminists, or against women being equal to men?
The term “feminazi” is one I’m actually familiar with, although have only heard it on talk radio before this.. It seems to be applied to feminists, who in the opinion of the person using the term, go “too far”. In some cases, (where the speaker really thinks women are or should be “less” than men), it is merely insult in place of logic and reason (because such people don’t have any). However, as with most concepts, there are those who go overboard. When a “feminist” starts to try to force women to be “more” than men, or to denigrate or work to “destroy” men (in general), then perhaps the term becomes somewhat more accurate.
The term “nazi” is applied in many cases where a person is perceived as being unpleasantly and unrealistically aggressive. In the medieval re-enactment culture, there are “costume nazis”. These are people who go around and gleefully point out any historical inaccuracies of your costume, no matter how much you might like it because of how it looks or fits your character (or budget or what was available at the time).
November 22nd, 2014 at 2:39 pm
MRA means men’s rights activist. They appear to be mostly a hate group that directs their hate towards feminists. If you want to look more into them, one of their most popular groups is called “a voice for men.” But I’d suggest thinking critically about everything they say (as you should about everything you’re told).
Anti-feminism is a new group that has popped up. It’s mostly a social media thing. Look up “why I don’t need feminism” to learn more about them.
“Feminazi” is a term mainly used by MRAs and directed towards all feminists, but it’s especially directed towards those with an online presence.
November 24th, 2014 at 1:48 pm
I’m still trying to get my head around MRA, and if you can logically separate MRA from anti-feminism. Do you consider the following link MRA, anti-feminist, or both? Do you think it’s possible to be anti-feminist without necessarily being MRA? http://thoughtcatalog.com/tara-kennedy-kline/2014/11/i-am-a-mother-of-two-children-and-i-cannot-and-will-not-support-feminism/
November 24th, 2014 at 1:52 pm
I don’t think it’s either. I think it’s just someone who doesn’t actually understand feminism. MRAs and anti-feminists tend to label themselves as such.
November 24th, 2014 at 3:20 pm
As with most organizations, there are some who are focused on the goals of the organization, and “extremists” who have goals which far exceed the original goals of the organization. I would not say the author of that link “does not understand the feminist movement”; I’d say she has a really good grasp on what the feminist movement is meant to be. But is concerned about what the extremists are trying to do to men in general and her sons in particular. Perhaps she (and everybody else) would be better served by her guiding the movement back to its roots, but that is not the path she took, and without knowing all the facts, we cannot fault her for her choices.
I would say that MRA is meant to be a counter to the extreme feminists, but tends to be populated by those who don’t want women to be equal. Again, the author of the link seems to have a pretty good view of what the MRA SHOULD be for (actually, that there should not be a need for such an organization), but likely does not subscribe to the hatred or desires for the “old ways” which MRAs often seem to espouse.
And I think “anti-feminist” is out and out hate. If a person is opposed to the idea that women should be treated on their merits and not all lumped into one, inferior, category, then there is something wrong with them. If they wanted to call themself an “anti-extremist-feminist”, then MAYBE there would be hope for them.
November 24th, 2014 at 4:25 pm
The problem is people assume that the extremists are the majority. However, like in every other group, the extremists are merely the most vocal minority. People need to realize that the radfems are not all feminists. In fact, the radfems have no real power, other than the power to make the rest of us look like assholes. Boys aren’t being attacked. They aren’t getting a worse education for feminism. They aren’t being treated unfairly. Those are misconceptions caused mostly by MRAs spreading lies about the state of education and feminism effect on it.
Anti-feminism is actually less hateful than MRAs. The MRA movement could, if they wanted to, work with feminism to end the issues faced by males in our society. However, they are more interested, as a whole (I won’t say there are no MRAs who would be happy to act), to blame feminism for the issues faced by males and attack feminists rather than actually solving the issues. Most Anti-feminists simply don’t know what feminism is. They think that because they don’t feel discriminated against no female does, and they are under the impression that feminists just sit around and feel sorry for ourselves and cry victim.
November 22nd, 2014 at 9:35 am
People are nasty online because of the anonymity. It is perceived as being “safe”, with no repercussions. Why is it worse on video? I don’t know; I can’t even understand the desire to vilify or assault those who disagree.
Here are some guesses, though.
1) Perhaps it is related to the underlying program, youtube vrs wordpress, and the way they support comments. I know wordpress seems very good at suppressing spam, while the previous location of my blogs was terrible at it.
2) Perhaps there is a feeling of “inferiority” in the responders, since those making videos seem “superior” to those merely writing. Whereas wordpress, the responder is “equal” to the presenter in medium and length, so they are less encouraged to be vicious.
3) Perhaps more “morons” go to youtube as they are unable or unwilling to read, and thus respond in a moronic way which does not require skill, thought or reason. .
I follow any blog which interests me “forever”, despite a new one coming out. Is there really anyone who stops following a blog just because a new one comes out? ..
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November 22nd, 2014 at 4:55 am
A worthy insight into something I’ve never understood namely that where the intellectually challenged try to gag the right of others of worthy cause to speak out – I feel I ought to consider writing a little satire on this subject matter. Satire is a fine weapon when making idiots look exactly what they are, and further the satirist doesn’t care a jot as to the response of the cruel types out there. Wise words you have written here.