Monday, December 6, 2010

The echo chamber (or yet another reason I f*cking hate the internet)

Okay, folks. Today’s post is extra disgusting, so I’ll start off with a few side notes before I get into things. Consider yourself warned.

First of all, things kind of exploded over the weekend thanks to my original post about Paizo, then my response to LPJ’s comment on that post. I was angry and my response was pretty vitriolic, so I was pretty surprised when Paizo’s Erik Mona posted a thoughtful and not bile-filled response to what was admittedly some pretty inflammatory stuff. There’s some good stuff that has happened in the comments, so I recommend taking a look if you haven't already.

With that said, on to the awfulness!

So one of the things that I’ve found very discouraging since starting this blog is the fact that internet culture is saturated with downright hatred of women. I know that I’ve hyperbolized quite a bit here, but I don’t use this term lightly. There is so much stuff on the internet that displays a level of disregard for women that is quite frightening, and unfortunately internet culture tends to dovetail with geek culture and gaming culture quite a bit.

Case in point – demotivational posters. It got started with and quickly became an internet meme to make your own. I have a friend who has a demotivational poster screensaver slide show, and I noticed while watching it that it had so… many… boobs. So I got curious and did a little digging. (affiliated with the Cheezburger Network) has a lot of egregious ones, but for the most part they don’t get beyond fanservicey boob pictures. But… brr. There is some frightening, frightening stuff there!

First of all, just looking through the tag cloud is an… educational experience. But man, it seems like every tag leads to porn. (Case in point: the first three results for Pokemon are hot chicks in various states of undress. I’m not sure what to make of this…)

If you look at images tagged geek, fully half of the results are variations on a theme – large chested ostensibly available women who like geeks that mostly look like this:

Of course, the first image actually spells out what the other posters only imply. REAL geeks are never women. If a woman says that she’s a geek, clearly she’s just trying to have sex with male geeks. All in all, offensive, but pretty mainstream – at least for the internet.

Of course, the a subset of the geek tagged posters are tagged with sammich, which ups the distastefulness to a whole new level. Most of these, excepting the ones that are literally about sandwiches, are variations on the theme of “stfu bitch and go make me a sammich”. And of course sometimes “a woman’s domain is the kitchen” is stated outright:

The sign on the right says “iron my shirt bitch”. Charming. Also – both of these were tagged “feminism”. Wow. I have such respect for the mind that can conceive of such irony. (/sarcasm)

The LEAST distasteful images you’ll find (besides the ones actually about sandwiches) are the ones about women being too stupid to do anything properly besides making sandwiches. There are lots of those, so I picked the two worst from the first few pages:

So with the one on the left, you get “go make me a sammich” bukkake. (I’m not going to link to bukkake. If you don’t know what it is, please don’t Google it at work.) Which, you know, is just charming. And on the left you get the added message that the only thing women have to offer in the workplace is their fuckability. Ugly chicks need not apply. Both of these display a level of misogyny that is honestly pretty shocking.

But wait! It gets worse! Check these out!

Awesome! So these not only imply that women are subhuman creatures with intelligence only barely sufficient to breathe, spread our legs, and pile condiments between two pieces of bread – they also imply that violence against women is, yanno, funny. If they fail to give you the sexual and gustatory satisfaction you desire, then clearly they are not performing their function.

I guess I’m being a humorless sexist here, but I fail to conceive of a universe in which the caption “LIPSTICK: looks better on my cock now go make me a sandwich” is anywhere even approaching appropriate, let alone funny. And as for jokes about murdering women, well, who doesn’t love those – huh?

And oh look! Two more tagged “feminism”!

So on the left we have yet another example of how Xbox Live is a wretched hive of scum and villainy. If your girlfriend interferes with your gaming, then LOGICALLY the proper response is torture. I mean, duh. But then, us wimmenz are pretty silly for not wanting our partners to smack us around. It’s good for us, right? And I know they only do it because they love us!

Ugh. It’s shit like this that makes me f*cking hate the internet. Sites like Motifake just exacerbate the problem of sexism because men with misogynistic views get to surround themselves in an echo chamber of like-minded people until they think that shit like this is funny.