Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

John Oliver Misses Mark On Online Harassment

Having run my blog for more than five years, I’ve gained my fair share of both lovers and haters. As you can tell from the “colorful” comments I posted above, some of my haters have been particularly creative in expressing their disdain towards me. Especially in my earlier years, I’ve been engaged in endless flame and block wars with trolls and haters, some of whom even drew comics about me killing myself (sorry, I don’t have that example to share). My experience on Tumblr, dealing with the feminist hate mob, was especially worse, to the point where I inevitably had to take off and leave that Celestia-forsaken site.

So yes, boys and girls, contrary to what internet trolls will tell you, the internet IS serious business. This is not about free speech. Death and rape threats are not free speech. Doxxing someone’s personal information and leaking it is not free speech. Posting naked photos of your girlfriend because she dumped your sorry ass is not free speech. Sending a SWAT team to someone’s house because they pwned you in an online game is not free speech. Online harassment is not free speech. It is serious f***ing business, and John Oliver was correct to highlight this very real and very serious problem.

However, as you can probably guess, I do have a few minor issues with his segment—the least of which was him showcasing Anita Sarkessien and Briana Wu as poster childs of harassment. (Though as much as I detest those two, I do not believe they deserve the level of violent vitriol being flung at them.)

First off, let’s address John’s insipid “white penis” remark. As I just showed, I’ve received my fair share of violent harassment, and I’m a dude with a “white penis.” Many dudes with “white penises” have received such harassment and worse. In fact, studies show that dudes with “white penises” are actually harassed more online than women without “white penises.” And no, feminists, this isn’t me “derailing” an issue: this is me demanding that we focus on all victims of an issue and not just a select few to fit a political narrative. Online harassment affects everyone, not just women, and ignoring the male victims does them more harm than good.

And then there’s John asinine reaction towards “don’t take naked pictures.” Apparently, to him, advising women that they should avoid taking naked pictures to prevent them from being leaked online is like advising someone to avoid living in a house to avoid burglary. Wow, that’s a pant-on-head retarded analogy! People live in houses for their own basic survival. That's something you can't avoid. People take naked pictures of themselves for their own gratification. Most people go without taking naked pictures on a daily basis. So, yeah, the best way not to have naked pictures of yourself leaked online is to not take naked pictures in the first place. I don’t even know why you would take naked pictures of yourself for no other reason than to have other people look at it. If you don’t want others to see you naked, then don’t get naked. That's not "victim blaming"! Creeps who leak naked pictures are responsible for their own actions, but sometimes, their actions are easily prevented and curtailed by taking precaution.

This segment would have been vastly improved if John had included other more gender-neutral examples of online harassment such as doxing and swatting. Being sent a death threat online may be traumatizing enough, but having a team of jackbooted thugs break into your home in the middle of the night and point military-grade weaponry in your face because some twerp online sent them to your house as revenge for you beating them in Call of Duty—well, I’d wager that’s much more PTSD-inducing!

As I said before, online harassment is a serious issue, but people like John Oliver do people no service by addressing an issue that affects everyone and focusing solely on a few affected by it.