Sunday, July 10, 2011

Marked As Spam

On my Nothing to Do post I had a post marked as spam, which turned out to be a long defense by a male acquaintance of mine when I called him on his sexism. Amusingly, part of his defense is that sexism is worse for men - specifically him - because "I find myself constantly subjected to sexist comments and expectations, ie., stereotypes of me being, by sheer virtue of my virility, someone who is easily seduced, lustful, stupid, and who is expected to flatter women. Or, if none of these are seen in me, stereotypes begin to surface that qualifies me as a homosexual".

Nevermind that these are all ways in which a sexist society propagates itself - I'm just stunned at the pinwheeling of defensiveness even while having to underline "the sheer virtue of [his] virility"! And gods, someone might think he was GAY! How awful!

And of course, since he's a good liberal man, he could never possibly be sexist! Or homophobic! His objections to think he is lustful, stupid, or gay are completely liberal objections that certainly don't stem from assumptions about gender or sexuality - he's entirely pure minded and I'm just a horrible, strawmanning, emotional, woman - so what do I know? I've certainly never been at the receiving of so much sexism as someone assuming I was easily "easily seduced, lustful, stupid, and who is expected to flatter women". I've far easier just had to deal with assumptions that I was idiotic, over-emotional, crazy, ugly, and wanting offers of oral sex when I was twelve! So much better than his horrible life of being assumed to be "easily seduced, lustful, stupid, and who is expected to flatter women".

Flattering women.... RAPE would be better!

My favorite quote from below was how "I've spent a lot of time working promoting feminism and gender equality, so if you're going to call /me/ a bigot, you're being quite rash." His advocacy on behalf of women is clearly visibly in his response to my irrational, impassioned words by pointing out how much he SUFFERS from sexism at the hands of women.

Here is the conversation, in it's entirety (and no, this doesn't violate SLs TOS - you can't replicate in SL run places, but you can outside of that):

[2011/06/03 21:15] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Hello Deo.
[2011/06/03 21:15] Deoridhe Quandry: Hello!
[2011/06/03 21:15] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: What're you up to this evening?
[2011/06/03 21:16] Deoridhe Quandry: Hrm, managing my breedable pets, going through notecards, chatting with a friend... lots of stuff, really!
[2011/06/03 21:18] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Ah nice. I'm terribly bored, sitting here in Blarney Stone, listening to women confide the full extent of their self-esteem in their pixilated "physics." Tis a sad, uneventful night here indeed.
[2011/06/03 21:19] Deoridhe Quandry: o.O;; Huh?
[2011/06/03 21:19] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: You haven't seen the new "physics" add-on?
[2011/06/03 21:20] Deoridhe Quandry: I have, but I'm not sure... how women can tell about their self-esteem to a physics layer?
[2011/06/03 21:21] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Bouncing breasts, and its ability to lure half-witted sops, how else Deo! :-)
[2011/06/03 21:22] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: I've met some decent folk at Blarney.. But tonight it's all people like that.
[2011/06/03 21:22] Deoridhe Quandry: Yes, but that's your interpretation of why they use a phsyics layer, not them confiding in anything... and while one could confide in an inanimate object, others couldn't necessarily know about it.
[2011/06/03 21:23] Deoridhe Quandry: I mean, I had someone once tell me I dress up my avatar in different clothing because I was trying to attract men. That was is /interpretation/ of my clothing, as was the guy who said my clothing meant he didn't want to talk to me at all because my clothing made me non-sexual.
[2011/06/03 21:24] Deoridhe Quandry: As far as I'm concerned, both men interpreted my presentation to their own ends. Neither were accurate.
[2011/06/03 21:25] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: No no, trust me, these women were bragging and boasting about themselves with a clear love of the affection showered on them by desperate men. I completely understand people dressing up nicely for themselves.
[2011/06/03 21:25] Deoridhe Quandry: That doesn't necessarily relate to self-esteem, though, much less the entirity thereof.
[2011/06/03 21:26] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Hahaha, it's an caricaturization Deo ;-)
[2011/06/03 21:26] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: a*
[2011/06/03 21:26] Deoridhe Quandry: Oh, so you're being prejudiced against them because they're in female avatars and boast about attracting men. 8/
[2011/06/03 21:27] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: More because I see things like this:
[2011/06/03 21:28] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: [21:08] [Name Redacted 1]: doesn't [Name Redacted 3] have nice boobs?[21:08] [Name Redacted 2]: i can see them bounce
[21:08] [Name Redacted 3]: l never see them bounce
[2011/06/03 21:29] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: (lots more for me to filter out, but that's the jist :-P)
[2011/06/03 21:29] Deoridhe Quandry: So they're.... admiring each other positively and that means... theyr self-esteem is based on attracting men through avatar physics. That's a gross mischarictorization.
[2011/06/03 21:30] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Deo, with /these/ women, what I've seen, it usually is. You should spend some time at the Blarney and just listening to what people talk about.
[2011/06/03 21:31] Deoridhe Quandry: I get you odn't like the women. I'll remember to never talk to you about personal stuff in case I might be one of /those/ women.
[2011/06/03 21:34] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Not because they're /women/, Deo. It's because they're a certain type that I don't particularly favour. And you're not one of those kinds, Deo.
[2011/06/03 21:39] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: But, I know, my caricatures aren't for everyone. They're biting and satirical, harsh and burdensome. Would you really expect anything less from a pious Nietzschean? :-)
[2011/06/03 21:40] Deoridhe Quandry: I would expect better than hackneyed and thoutless sexism from any philosopher.
[2011/06/03 21:41] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Sexism?
[2011/06/03 21:42] Deoridhe Quandry: Yes. Your interpretation of women admiring each other being FOR MEN and ABOUT MEN, as well as your charitcorizaiton of admiration between them as being the sum total of their self-esteem is so cloyingly and idiotically sexist that it makes me feel physically ill.\
[2011/06/03 21:43] Deoridhe Quandry: And that you thought it appropriate to express it to me, another owmen, with the sickening conceit that I am somehow different because you know more sides of me than you do of them, as if I would find it a complement to have you insult my gender ot me, also makes me ill.
[2011/06/03 21:44] Deoridhe Quandry: I know you can expect this kind of things from a lot of men, but I really expected better than you, and I'm disappointed ot be wrong.
[2011/06/03 21:45] Deoridhe Quandry: On that note, I have avatar physics, my breast bounce, and other women have admired them. Now I'm one of THOSE women.
[2011/06/03 21:45] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Well, I'm surprised you're blowing this out of proportion. Gender relations has a tremendous impact on people's choice of fashion and what they choose to pride themselves in.
[2011/06/03 21:46] Deoridhe Quandry: Oh great, minimization right out of the gate. That's the beginning of sexism bingo. Have a good day, I won't speak to you further. If you think I'm "blowing it out of preportion" then kindly go away.
[2011/06/03 21:46] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Sure, they can bounce. I never said that in and of itself was indicative of wanting to impress anyone. I said for these specific women, who sit around bragging all day about their affairs in the Blarney, that caricaturization is accurate.
[2011/06/03 21:47] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Chuckles... Deo, you're not being rational, and you're not reading what I'm /actually/ saying.
[2011/06/03 21:47] Deoridhe Quandry: 1) calling me irration. Second bigo square. FUCK OFF.
[2011/06/03 21:48] Incoming message from ([Childish, Sexist Asshole])
[2011/06/03 21:48] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: You're /not/ being rational.
[2011/06/03 21:48] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Read what I'm /actually saying/.
[2011/06/03 21:48] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Do you sit around in bars bragging about affairs? No.
[2011/06/03 21:49] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Did I say that having physics automatically implies low self-esteem for wanting to impress members of the opposite sex? No. You're /not/ reading what I'm saying.
[2011/06/03 21:49] Incoming message from ([Childish, Sexist Asshole])
[2011/06/03 21:50] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: /And/ you're allowing your emotions, and traditional strawmanning male chauvinism, to cloud your reading. I've spent a lot of time working promoting feminism and gender equality, so if you're going to call /me/ a bigot, you're being quite rash.
[2011/06/03 21:58] Incoming message from ([Childish, Sexist Asshole])
[2011/06/03 21:59] [Childish, Sexist Asshole]: Unless if, of course, you are a person who does sit around taverns bragging about their affairs, then you have no reason to be offended. (I also censure men who do the same thing) But I know you're not that kind of a person.

Final note: One thing that struck me re-reading this was how the person characterizing men as unintelligent and easily seduce was him. It's not an opinion I've ever had, nor one I expressed. I just expressed dismay at the idea that one could tell the self-esteem of female-bodied avatars (who may or may not be offline women) by their conversation about breast physics, and then described this as sexism - which honestly it is. We ascribe women's self-esteem to their bodies because women are primarily judged by their bodies and praised for their bodies. The commentary on the appearance of the Secretaries of State since they became women, and compared with similar lack of commentary when those Secretaries were men, shows this pervades at the highest level when appearance is less than important to what the women are doing.

This follows through on female shaped and presenting avatars even when we can't know the genders of the people behind the avatars. Primarily what I objected to, though, was that the characterization of "women confide the full extent of their self-esteem in their pixilated 'physics.'" and the subsequent defense of this as both accurate and useful as a topic of conversation. I am a woman. I have an appearance. I have a history of judging other women based on their appearance because it's what I was raised to do. It is only recently that I've realized how pernicious, and how sexist my own actions were - steeped in an assumption that female-presenting bodies exist for me to look at them in a way I do not assume for men.

Yes, I just said I made these sexist assumptions - because even being raised a feminist, and even being female and subject to a lifetime of sexist behavior, does not stop me from buying into and expressing sexist behavior.

(Edited to add - A month or so after Redacted 1 (I think) requested I redact her name, [Childish, Sexist Asshole] requested the same - though not entirely politely. I complied anyway, after blocking him. This one's for you, [Childish, Sexist Asshole]!)

Unexpectedly Caught


  1. Great post! I have had similar conversations with men who were convinced they were paragons of feminism, but who somehow see nothing demeaning at all when they tell me I am too sensitive to their plainly sexist remarks, and that my emotions are interfering with my thinking. I never could respond with the wit that you do, I just sit and steam. "Sexism Bingo" put me on the floor!

    1. To be honest, a lot of it is longstanding practice. I've been reading a lot of blogs and responding to a lot of comments, and a lot of l'esprit d'escalier. After enough times of thinking of what you wish you'd say, some of it sticks.