Kathy Sierra and Woman-Hate

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So everyone's been gabbing about the vile treatment given to Kathy Sierra.

There was also this response, in which the author pointed to an anti-woman (not anti-women) "hate site," this one against Xeni Jardin of boingboing.

The one thing I have in common with the all this is that I find both targets of hatred in these cases to be extremely annoying.

I cannot stand Xeni Jardin. I find her to be exceptionally lame and tiresome and uninteresting. She often acts as though she is some sort of expert when she's really just spouting either the same old boring nonsense, or complete B.S.

Even more greatly afflicted with this disease is Kathy Sierra, who I had never heard of before OSCON last year. Some highlights from the live IRC transcript among those of us in the room (not a consecutive log):

<089>    WITH PASSION!
*    t4g3r has changed the topic to: OSCON - Donkey Story
<089>    We're getting in the mood for some kind of passion or something.
<odwquhbw> What are you passionate about?
<f7wig> I'm passionate in my dislike of Paul Graham
<4t36rfd> I'm passionate about dongs.
<pudge_> i am passionate about hating this talk
<8rfh>    That is a great thing to say. People aren't passionate about what they suck at.
<089> "I can talk about passion and really get people involved because... I'm a woman!"
<casv> wow, 089 is on his period
*    t4g3r thinks that people who suck at stuff might still be passionate about their stuf
<089> I'm really having a hard time with all the loaded words in this talk.
<089> "better": the first highlighted word in the presentation that's not a
<4t36rfd> Seriously, everyone should read Kathy's blog regularly.
<4t36rfd> She and MJD's are the two most fascinating blogs I read
<f7wig> who's kathy?
<pudge_> what's a "blog"?
<pudge_> um, this is why i don't LIKE those games, i don't want just a bigger challenge, i want it to get easier as i get further into the game
<pudge_> also, what game do people play more than any other game?
<pudge_> a game with no levels, no increased challenge, no real goal
<pudge_> Solitaire.
<pudge_> i've never heard of "Emo" before last week
<4t36rfd> pudge: You're so out of it.

Anyway, my point is, some of the "hate" of these women is totally unacceptable. The guy going after Kathy on that web site should probably be in jail, or at least face a heavy fine. The guy going after Xeni is far more harmless and has committed no crimes that I saw, but he's crude and nasty and not someone I'd want to spend time with.

But on the other hand ... I think these women are really boring and what they have to say is insipid, and I can see why people don't like them totally apart from their gender, and a lot of insecure people who dislike someone then go on and find where they are vulnerable and attack that, even if it doesn't actually reflect their own views.

So this guy with the death threats might not hate women at all; he could be merely antisocial, and figured that playing the role of the misogynist would be a "successful" way to express his hate toward this particular object of his hate; that is, it would have the most dramatic effect on the object of his hate. And if so, well, he sure was right about that.

Not that it matters so much in this particular case, but I see so many people talking about rampant woman-hate online, and I think it tends to be far more simply insecure people who are exploiting a vulnerability to make themselves feel more powerful, and that it is less about women than it is about that need for a sense of power and security.

Does anyone really think the GNAA is anti-Jew? Maybe some of them are, but most of them are just trolls who know that being anti-Jew is one of the biggest taboos in our society, so that's what they exploit, in order to have the most dramatic effect.

I don't think hating women is such a huge problem online; I think antisocial behavior is the problem. And there may be no cure for it, so you better buck up now and get used to it (not the death threats part ... that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law). I am not saying it's easy. It's damned hard. It goes against our every instinct to just ignore these apparently hate-filled trolls. But it is not going away, and just like terrorists, if you react by recoiling and changing your behavior, then that is precisley what they want, and they've won, and they will be empowered and they will keep doing it. slashdot.org

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on March 31, 2007 8:33 AM.

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