I had a blog draft started that talked about all the frustrations and anger and general mixed emotions I’ve been feeling over the past couple months as well as the wonderful conversations that have resulted from national news stories like the NFL domestic violence/Ray Rice fiasco and #gamergate. But it’s gone now. Why? I deleted it after my sister sent me a link via text message. The caption that came along with it? “I don’t even know where to start with this idiot.” Now, this is not something that is out of the ordinary when it comes to conversations that happen between the two of us. Normally it accompanies some sort of picture depicting something exceedingly stupid. Instead, I got a hyperlink to a post entitled “5 Reasons Why Girls with Tattoos and Piercings are Broken.” Now, I could provide a link to it, and I will if someone requests it, but I really don’t want to increase traffic on this site. What can be taken away from the article? Well, according to its author, women…wait, no, sorry…“Chicks” or “girls” or occasionally the c-word, which I never feel comfortable using…are dull, narcissistic wastes of space unless they are performing various sex acts or pleasing him in some other way. They are there to be eye candy, and anything they do to diminish their appearance is offensive. They’re insane, narcissistic Marxists one insult away from a breakdown. They are sluts. They are incapable of planning ahead/taking care of themselves. They are selfish. They’re boring. They’re mentally ill.
I read the entire article, hoping beyond hope that it was some sort of horrible parody gone wrong. Hoping that someone set out to write a funny article, but failed to make the humor apparent. As far as I can tell, it wasn’t a joke. This guy actually, to some degree, believes the ridiculous things he wrote. Then I stopped thinking rationally, and actually let myself be mad about it. Normally, I would write these things off. I would ignore them. I would realize that sometimes, people are insensitive jerks who care nothing about anyone other than themselves. I wasn’t able to do it this time. This article, which is now making the rounds on Facebook, was the final straw that broke what was left of my patience. Over the past month, I have seen women’s issues be poked fun at, pushed aside to address later, straight up ignored, and dismissed. I have seen people commenting on articles discussing the new domestic violence policies the NFL has put into place, calling the league the National Feminist League, and declaring the game for wimps and women because they took steps to address an issue that has gone without attention for far too long. I have watched and listened in fury as coworkers (women, not men) and even I have been criticized for not working enough, because we have to leave after working 8 hours to deal with personal commitments. I read comments on articles discussing #gamergate that are simply infuriating. I am at the point where all I can do is look at these things and think “How is it possible that we still face these issues? How is it possible these types of attitudes still exist? How do people not see that this is a problem?” I don’t have the answers. I don’t have a single response besides “people just suck.” I’m really hoping that someone else has some better ones.