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Old 03-20-2015, 11:43 PM
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Default Toxic Technology

I've a link to a video documentary about misogyny on the internet which I want to post. It could go in LadyShea's Gender thread or Ymir's Geek Girls thread. It covers stuff we've already discussed there and elsewhere, like rape culture, gamergate, Robin Thicke—yeah, maybe too much to provide real insight or depth—but hey! This is mainstream TV so power and kudos to Wark and her team for getting it to air at all.

As I say, it could have gone in any number of other good threads, but I want to use it to seed a thread addressing questions about the basic malignancies arising from new, specifically information, technology. Wark's version of the question is "Is the internet just making us face something old and unpleasant that it would be relatively safe to ignore, or is it creating a new kind of misogyny that threatens new harms and needs new responses?

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  #2  
Old 03-21-2015, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

This is really awesome, mick. Thank you!

In fact, I have SO MANY THINGS TO SAY about it that I'm just going to say them and not try too hard to be cohesive. I am sorry, but not sorry enough not to do it.

That "man up" guy has no idea what he's talking about. None, and it drives me nuts when men say things like this, because it would actually be pretty easy for them to learn more about sexist double standards. There's tons of information already available on the subject, or if they'd rather just experience it, it is super-easy to simply choose a female sounding username and see how differently people respond to you in various forums. There is no excuse for anyone not to know that there is a very pronounced double standard. His examples of abuse are someone saying they hope he gets cancer and that he looks like a middle aged lesbian. That is nothing. Nothing at all. I honestly think that, for a lot of men, nothing is going to click with them at all, but sometimes I fantasize about them being constantly sexually harassed and violently threatened by a bunch of big, gross dudes saying disgusting things about them every time they disagreed with them, although I probably wouldn't even wish that on them. It is very, very different, and it's maddening to see men acting like they're so much tougher than women when there's objective evidence that women experience much greater volume and severity of harassment and threats on a regular basis. Any woman who has actively and publicly participated in any widely read internet forum has experienced so much worse than that, and the evidence is all over the place.

FURTHERMORE, it also drives me nuts how comfortable men with their feelings of ownership and belonging. They're often so casually entitled that it never occurs to them that they aren't just naturally experts and owners. It's getting to the point now where I am regularly patronized about 'internet culture' by people who haven't even been alive for as long as I've been involved in internet culture. Even if there were some sort of argument that some people have greater ownership or belong in internet culture than others, I would almost always win. It is my internet.

But the sort of misogyny you see on the internet used to happen in private spaces. In smaller social circles where it didn't get out, and women often felt like they were pretty much alone, and that it was just something you had to tolerate for the privilege of being in a male profession or hobby or other social space. That's why the internet has been so great at bringing these things to a head, because women started being able to share experiences without being shouted down, and we found out that, yeah, other people have noticed things like mansplaining and grunching and all kinds of other neologisms that we thought we were alone in. On the internet, you can totally ignore what I'm saying, and I fully expect most people to do that, but you can't interrupt me or stop me from saying it, which is exactly what happens in person.

So of course it's coming to a head. Women who didn't know that men can be like that are finding out, because of the internet. Women who did know but were silenced in public can finish what they're saying and even find other people who have shared their experiences, and they all have access to public forums where they can finally complain and try to get something done about it. Germaine Greer is absolutely right that women don't know how much men hate them, but I think those of us women who've spent a lot of time in male-dominated spaces have seen enough of it to know. I have, and I'm about overjoyed to see it out in the open where everyone else can finally see it too, because I got pretty tired of being cast as some hysterical unreliable narrator, or accused of having ulterior motives. If you don't believe me, I can show you places where you can witness the things some men say and do.

As to the comedy, holy crap, I have gotten so sick and tired of 'male humor.' I've been hearing it all my life, and it never seems to change much. It is boring and it is stupid and it is not funny.

The better represented any particular group is, the more prone members of that group are to universalize their experiences and ignore or dismiss those outside them. People who use wheelchairs don't 'forget' to take bipedal humans into consideration. They know what stairs are for. And the same thing applies to women. The male experience and male gaze are so overrepresented in our culture that we don't go around being confused about things like why men put toilet seats up or get inappropriate boners or whatever. We've been hearing about the male experience all our lives.

So imagine female comics telling the type of jokes about men that male comics so often tell about women. They'd just look stupid because everybody knows this stuff. And a big part of the reason that I personally don't find a lot of that stuff funny is that they're puzzling over things that I often know the answer to. So it's like that poor comic I saw on TV once who told this big joke about what those strips of rubber on the sides of highways were, with a whole routine speculating about them, not realizing that it's pretty common knowledge that they're retread. That guy totally bombed with that audience for the exact same reason that jokes about women usually bomb with me. I know why women use more toilet paper than men! I know why they don't like the seat left up, I know some of the reasons they go to the bathroom together! I also know why women sometimes 'nag' men, and why they don't tell you what they're mad about sometimes.

As with the general misogyny, the increase in public hostilities has more to do with the internet shining light on things that used to be private. This is I think an overall good. I've spent a lot of time in male dominated spaces, and I experienced a hell of a lot of the same patterns of behavior in real life. There are men who tell misogynist jokes because they think it's some sort of absurdist humor. There are also men who tell misogynist jokes as observational humor. (Scratch a postmodern misogynist and often the only thing that scratches off is the postmodernism.) The latter think the former are agreeing with them, and oh man, that acceptance effect in the video is terrifying and has strengthened my resolve to scorn misogynistic humor.

And you know, jokes about sexual violence are shitty for the same reason that jokes about pets dying are shitty. Pets have short lives, so in any given audience, there's likely to be at least one person whose pet has recently died and who is going to be upset by jokes about the topic. It's the same thing with sexual violence, except that those disproportionately affect women. Some comedians can and do get away with both types of jokes, but if any given comedian wouldn't have the chops to tell a joke about a dog being killed, they probably shouldn't tell one about rape either.

And men are often very, very bad at telling the difference between amused laughter and GRIMACING. Women, including me, often just make a kind of appeasing grimace at men who are being abusive and threatening. Not because we think their humor is funny, but because we are trying to defuse the situation and get away from them. In that sports video, I couldn't fully make out what anyone was saying, but that blonde woman was intimidated, not amused.

I am not humorless. And there is a lot of pretty dark stuff I like, too. Every now and again, I do think a sexist joke is actually funny, but they usually have some sort of meta effect. If those jokes were funny, I would admit it. But they're not. They're just stupid and boring, and often really ancient. Like literally Vaudeville jokes, told with no irony at all.

That said, I am going to say something mushy now. :ff: is the best place on the internet, in large part because sexism has so much less sway here than it does pretty much anywhere else because people here are generally thoughtful and smart, and because most of the men here actually listen to women, which increases smartness and thoughtfulness for everyone, and which is still all too rare in a lot of places. This place is really great.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
That said, I am going to say something mushy now. :ff: is the best place on the internet, in large part because sexism has so much less sway here than it does pretty much anywhere else because people here are generally thoughtful and smart, and because most of the men here actually listen to women, which increases smartness and thoughtfulness for everyone, and which is still all too rare in a lot of places. This place is really great.
I agree with lisarea.

Also, when watching things like that, it makes me realize that gay men are just better than straight men.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:34 AM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Oh, me too.
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by erimir View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
That said, I am going to say something mushy now. :ff: is the best place on the internet, in large part because sexism has so much less sway here than it does pretty much anywhere else because people here are generally thoughtful and smart, and because most of the men here actually listen to women, which increases smartness and thoughtfulness for everyone, and which is still all too rare in a lot of places.
Ironically, I have not yet read pea's long reply because :tealdeer:
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisarea View Post
So imagine female comics telling the type of jokes about men that male comics so often tell about women. They'd just look stupid because everybody knows this stuff.
This made me think about Rita Rudner. Part of her routine was a new take on the old "men don't ask for directions" shtick, except, you know, funny. A lot of her stuff is old hat now, but it always struck me how she could p. much nail typical male stupidity without being threatening at all, and Pea's post made me realize both how deft Rudner was and how a male comic wouldn't need to cultivate that type of skill.

I just watched both parts of the routine below (sorry, terrible quality) looking for the bit I was thinking of, and it's not even in this one. (There's even a directions-asking gag, but thankfully she doesn't beat it into the ground 'cause she has more interesting stuff to say.) But I'm linking it anyway 'cause I worked really hard at watching it.

Anyway, it went something like:

"My husband told me we were out of sour cream. I said no, we have some. He said no, he already looked in the fridge. I asked him if he looked behind the milk. He hadn't, and of course he wasn't going to look now. Because if he looks behind the milk and it's not there, the milk ... wins."

Of course, there's a lot of poking fun at women in there too, which makes it easier for shrinking male violets to take. And she delivers all of her jokes with the same mild tone, which also softens it. Something male comedians also don't ever have to do for jokes about women that are 100 times harsher and about 1/100 as funny.


A small bit of her mild-mannered misandry starts just before the 15-minute mark.


Part 2 has a teensy bit peppered throughout.
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

I'm learning about "dark posts", the new kind of advertising that Kamilah was getting us to laugh at here ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamilah Hauptmann View Post

Did Trump have to pay for that ad? Maybe not, if Zuckerberg values one his best customers and offered him a freebee. But that's not the point I'm making. The real point is that Trump was already doing exactly this kind of thing as part of his successful (though not entirely winning) campaign.

The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz

From the linkAccording to Bloomberg, the Trump campaign sent ads reminding certain selected black voters of Hillary Clinton’s infamous “super predator” line. It targeted Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood with messages about the Clinton Foundation’s troubles in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

[...] the already weakening power of social opprobrium is gone when no one else sees the ad you see — and no one else sees “I’m Donald Trump, and I approved this message.”


And Zuckerberg is complicit.

From the linkIf Mr. Zuckerberg takes seriously his oft-stated commitments to diversity and openness, he must grapple honestly with the fact that Facebook is no longer just a social network. It’s an advertising medium that’s now dangerously easy to weaponize.
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Cryst. I read the thread from the top just now and then see my name mentioned and think OH GOD WHAT HORRIFIC MISOGYNY DID I DO?

Oh right, Toxic Technology was the thread.

:derp:
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Quote:
is the best place on the internet, in large part because sexism has so much less sway here than it does pretty much anywhere else because people here are generally thoughtful and smart, and because most of the men here actually listen to women, which increases smartness and thoughtfulness for everyone, and which is still all too rare in a lot of places. This place is really great.
I had to go and nurse my wounded privilege on several occasions here, which is pretty galling because like many privileged people I tend to think of myself as way to enlightened to have to go and do that ever.

I think that is pretty cool. You get to look outside of your bubble a bit, which is important if you want to avoid congealing in a stew of your own prejudices and assumptions.
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:22 AM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

Kinda sorta fits the thread title:



ss+(2017-06-17+at+06.55.24).png
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Toxic Technology

That really needs at least a screenshot or some examples or something.

And it kind of drifted from a complaint about their specific parents to a blanket condemnation of everyone in their age cohort, which kind of lets their parents off the hook, as though they're just helpless victims of their circumstances.
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