The subject of Women and their experiences online are starting to dominate the conversation in blog articles or discussions. Especially in majority male fields like Tech, there is a growing objection to sexism and other injustices.
When hearing about continued harassment or ignorance to women, especially Women who are my friends, I tend to get really pissed. There is absolutely no excuse in this dayand age to be told that you can’t do a job because you are female. Not only in meatspace, I hear this shit, but I continue to hear instances of sexism from my friends all the time.
I also tend to stumble into these events on my own along with the virol of racism as well. (Which is another topic for another day.) For example: Whenever I am bored I love to browse 4chan or Reddit. Despite their reputation for being horrible places to visit on the internet, I love watching a good train-wreck. Pretty much almost anything goes on 4chan, and to an extent on reddit depending on what subreddit you browse.
Conversations on those sites can be very provocative and brutally honest. Sometimes, things can get TOO honest when discussing certain topics. On both sites there is a strong under current of Misogyny. In many cases, the mostly anonymous posters have little empathy for Women’s feelings. Aided by a combination of sexual frustration of young white males and general resentment against so called “Normies”, there is a lot of pent up rage against women.
Everyone by now, knows about the intense harassment of Anita S , a feminist vlogger who started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for her “Tropes vs. Video Games” series. The series of videos are an argument against the constant sexism in the gaming industry by highlighting the same overused tropes for women. When most games are using female characters as eye candy lacking in depth or not including them at all, Anita has every right to speak out on it.
Unfortunately an angry mob of mostly young white geek guys were VERY angry about this. They were so angry, that many of them harassed her or gave death threats. Even though Anita successfully reached her fundraising goal many times over, to this day the mere mention of her first name gets nerds angry on any gaming blog or forum.
If you happen to defend her like I am doing now, you will be called a “White Knight”, a whiny Liberal or worse. Sadly this is not the first time nor it will be the last time that outspoken women like her will be harassed by a mob of cowards.
Now the reason why I am writing about this is that I used to be one of those frustrated (but not as angry) males who seemed to blame the “evil feminists” for a lack of dating partners. I was so misguided, I nearly shelled out $2000 for a dating “bootcamp”. Luckily I was able to talk my self out of doing that and realized that issue was with me.
Thankfully I also never spent a dime on the numerous “PUA” books, seminars and other material that I illegally torrented. Sadly though I did manage to ruin a few friendships and alienated a lot of people from me trying to get laid. In the process I saw Women as a prize to be won and not as human beings.
In our popular culture, men are repeatedly drilled in their heads with the idea that you are nothing without a woman on your arm or your reward at the end of whatever journey/battle/fight is “the Girl”. Throughout most of my teenage years and twenties, I fully believed that shit. I had the constant belief that being in a relationship or having sex would validate me as a person, make me a man and put me in the category as a “normal” person.
I don’t have many regrets in my life, but I fully regret getting caught up in all of the hype and the major distraction of trying to get a girlfriend or trying to have causal sex when I could have focused more on school.
Hearing about the numerous things that nearly all women go through on a daily basis , I feel that I should try to make amends and point out all of the ways that even casual sexism can make things difficult for women.
For over eighteen years I have used the Internet. I used the Internet before even websites were common place. I have been socializing online well before that horrible buzz word “social media” was invented.
No matter what site I used, message boards, video sharing sites, aol, Facebook, I always would see the same things happen.
Out of the blue you will discover the site with curiosity. You will start to play around with it’s features. You will end up finding friends who share your interests or ideology. If you didn’t find the site interesting at all, at this stage you will stop going after only a few times.
Forming the site as a habit.
At this stage you will start going to this place more and more. You will either bookmark the site or have a prominent link to your profile (if applicable) on your blog. You will start to talk to your IRL friends about the site. They will not understand why you waste your time there. In some cases, you will even try to make friends IRL with your site’s buddies.
Addiction and dependency.
At this point, the addiction to the site is at a fully blown epidemic. You will start to skip work or school because of this site. Often you will even use the mobile app of the site. You will see your Internet friends as kindred souls.
Questioning the motives of members.
Here is when things start to get messy. You will start to question, either openly or privately the motives of your Internet friends. Are they your real friends, or are they just people who only exist on the Internet? Can they be trusted with even a small secret?
Disagreement with policy, other members or both.
Now, you will either start to tire of many of the sites members’ antics. You will also question how the place is run or recoil at any new changes. You want the place to stay the same, but the sites owners either don’t care or care about a select few people.
Boredom or Outright revolt.
The site now is no longer fun anymore. You are bored or fed up with newer users who don’t understand how good the place used to be. The current or new management doesn’t want to listen you bitch about things. At this time you are either outspoken against this place or are motivated to cause a rebellion. You also may be outgrowing the place after being on it for a few years.
Rage quit or banning.
You have been pushed to the edge. One day you will get banned for doing something stupid or suspended for revolting. In larger communities you won’t even wait for that to happen, you will leave first. Sometimes it’s accompanied by a sob story as a way to garner sympathy one last time. More than often you will use the delete function and leave it at that.
One day, often very quickly you come crawling back! You realize how boring your life with that social site is and try again. You may not have the same clout you once had. Hell, you might be ostracized enough to leave again. The main reason you came back is because you missed your old friends!
Secondary habit or “re-purposing” the site.
Sometimes a older site that you used to go to might be used differently. You aren’t as addicted but you will use it for another reason or at certain situations. Instead of being an active contributor, you will mainly lurk or view the service at certain times.
If you reached this point you will just stop going to that place PERIOD. At this stage, you have replaced it with one or more places. Then the cycle continues…..
I seriously need to grow the fuck up.
Really I do. Very recently after I had a session with my Therapist, I’ve come to the realization that in my early thirties I continue to live the lifestyle of a college student.
Since I work from afternoon to almost midnight, I tend to stay up late at night. Often I will stay up anywhere from 2 to 5am. I’ve tried numerous way to improve my sleep habits such as meletonin, ambien, no caffeine, turning off lights and a c-pap machine.
All of these have failed. So what I usually do when i’m up at night is use the internet. Sadly, it is also one of the few times I am able to socialize with like minded people. For a LONG time I’ve been very reliant on the internet to make friends due to the fact that its very hard to make new friendships after college. Just about all of my college friendships have dried up or faded away.
I’ve tried many times to change my work shift, but to no avail. I also feel very complacent at my employer due to the excellent health benefits they provide. That and my lack of college degree has kind of prevented me from seeking something else.
This lifestyle isn’t compatible with other people. I’ve found that out the hard way. I’ve already mentioned that finding friends is a difficult prospect, finding someone to date me who has not been already repulsed by my appearance is even tougher. Even getting past most of my issues, its kinda of difficult to find a woman who also works the same hours who isn’t already married or in a relationship already.
I COULD just go out to bars and hang out with drunk people, but at my age, drinking to excess at late hours is no longer attractive to me. Aside from the obvious health reasons, the prospect of getting a DUI isn’t what I need in my life now. (Remember I don’t have friends IRL, so I can’t get a DD to drive me home.)
I don’t know what I can do to change this. I’m at a loss. I just felt like venting for no reason.