Comic subtlety meets internet rage

So, Richard Glover of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote a thought provoking (albeit not that awesome) column about the stubborn tendency towards denial or overreaction when presented with facts that either challenge or support ones underlying ideologies. Read that original column first, it’s a nice enough read and obvious that it uses subtle humour and some hyperbole in jest.
Anyway, after the column had been linked by some US right-wing website, Glover was met with some serious internet rage by right-wing whiners:

After 25 years writing this column, I’ve had my first experience of an internet hate campaign. So far, more than 2400 people, nearly all American, have emailed me. More emails come every time I hit the send/receive button. About 5 per cent contain threats of violence. Even stranger, quite a few threaten me with sexual violence. They say, in various forms, that they want to rape me.

That’s hilarious in a weird way. I suppose most of those emails were written by men, as studies show that men are more likely to engage in internet fora and the like (among other reasons due to the often appalling sexism). 120 threats of violence isn’t that surprising, but quite a few rape threats? Considering the demographics of homosexuality in the US only around 8 percent of men identify as gay or bisexual (in 2010). Why would those other ~90 percent threaten him with rape? Well, rape is about power, not sex, so uncontrolled show of violence again? I fear this also shows something else: maybe “good old” homophobia rears its ugly head again, as well as sexism – being penetrated resembling women, and seeing them as weak. I guess it’s not hilarious after all; it’s rather demonstrating how wide-spread sexism and homophobia still is? Fuck that. :(

So, it’s going to be interesting to see with what further nonsense those right-wingers have come up.
Glover first gives us some background how this mess came about:

Here’s how it started. Last week, in this spot, I wrote a piece about climate change. It was critical of both the left and the right and contained some comic hyperbole about both: that environmental zealots wanted us all to live in caves and that climate-change deniers should tattoo their beliefs on their bodies so they couldn’t later deny their role in preventing action on climate change.

After that, Glover elaborates on some of the best bits he received. From being labelled as commie (kinda expected) to alluding to becoming worm fodder. It’s quite funny. Weird, but funny. A good read. And sad, as the reactions seem to support those awful stereotypes of – you know – gun-toting, rather uneducated ‘Mericans. I don’t know such obnoxious characters, I’ve only met pleasant, open-minded, welcoming and caring US citizens. Seriously folks, where do you hide ‘em? ;-)
I bet there are left-leaning idiots too, but the right-leaning ones don’t seem to hold back from showing off their stupidity as much.

Without further ado, hop on over to the SMH and have some lulz reading A climate change wave of hate.

2 Responses to Comic subtlety meets internet rage

  1. mirax says:

    I wonder if you’ve read this Guardian article about male rape – especially in the war arena?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/17/the-rape-of-men

    Sexism and homophobia will be with us for a very long time and we are doomed to constantly battle both. Came over from B&W and just wanted to convey my best wishes for your battle against depression. I am woefully ignorant about such illnesses but a very good friend just ‘came out’ as bipolar – I use the term as she simply kept the fact secret for many years (I guessed something was wrong but put it down to other factors) . So at the moment, I am at the beginning of my learning curve.

    • lost control says:

      Yeah, I’m aware of that article, but have only skimmed it. There’s only so much one can read. The idea of non-gender-specific rape used like a weapon during wars wasn’t exactly news to me, but the lack of support for male victims is appalling, if I remember the gist of the guardian article correctly.

      But I noticed one sentence in my post which I wrongly worded: “Well, rape is about power, not sex, so uncontrolled show of violence again?” I need to amend that one. I’m not yet sure how.

      Don’t worry too much about your ignorance of mental health issues, it’s not surprising as there’s still some lingering stigma attached. Heck, my first small bouts/episodes date back for a very long time, but I’ve only been diagnosed two years ago. I was rather ignorant, too. I know that there are some books by depressives about their experiences (I read some) which convey a quite good understanding about “what’s going on”. I bet there are similar books from bipolars, which might be helpful for your understanding if you’re so inclined. Anyway, from my perspective, offering your friend to be available for talks if she wants them is probably the best you can do. I can’t speak for bipolars, so I won’t dare to give tips. But I guess listening is most important, asking questions should be fine. Providing tips probably not so much, except when you’ve got a good grasp due to long experience.

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