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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

this is what I have to deal with on a regular basis

Just got this email from a charming gentleman:

Subject: You’re a first rate cunt

I gotta guess you didn’t like this movie. Also what world did you grow up in and where is that world . I guess you hate men and if they are white even more. I guess you were pissed and drunk when you wrote your review, new york city woman drinks too much and scared of her toys. I grew up in a military town old guys like this built our country as much as we all hate to admit it . Do you really enjoy being a hard ass , new york city woman ? Did I tell you what a cunt you are ? cunt

Of course, he didn’t bother to actually tell me what movie and what review of mine he was referring to — perhaps he believes all my reviews reflect a cuntish, manhating perspective.

Perhaps it does not occur to him that men like himself may not be worthy of respect from women.



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  • tomservo

    I offer an apology on behalf of all men who actually like women.

  • LaSargenta

    I’m really sorry to read that. You get a lot of these?

    Unfortunately, with only one word being changed, this just proves that Rebecca West quote about feminism and doormats.

    At least in my business, I usually get this to my face and in public so I can make some apt joke and humiliate the idiot in front of lots of other guys.

  • Victor Plenty

    MaryAnn, the man is delusional, clearly. Whether we agree with you or not on any particular movie, nobody with half a brain ever has to “guess” whether you like it. You make that so easy to discover, even a cave man could do it.

    His delusions just go downhill from there. The author of this hate mail has less grip on reality than Gene Ray, and deserves to be taken even less seriously. At least Time Cube is amusingly insane, and good for a few laughs before being ignored.

    Tomservo, your sentiment is in the right place, but I’ll go a step beyond it, and offer an apology on behalf of all humans who enjoy rational thought and intelligent discussion.

  • MaryAnn

    For those who don’t know that West quote:

    I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.

    She said that in 1913. It’s still true, a century later.

  • MaryAnn

    I offer an apology on behalf of all men who actually like women.

    Thank you. I do not assume, however, that all men think the way my correspondent does.

  • angel

    My guess? Michael Bay.

  • FrankS

    You know what really drives people like that insane? Send them a reply with an automated sounding message that says their email didn’t go through.

  • It seems unfortunate that you have to wade through such emails. Such self-anger and loathing bleeds out of some people at the least prompting because it dwells so close to the surface of their extremely thin skins. Someone who truly thinks well of himself could not direct such non-sensical ugliness toward another. He and those living in his sphere of infuence need help.

  • Ashley

    I LOVE FrankS’ suggestion. Do it.

    I also love that quote.

  • doa766

    lol, it’s so fun when ignorant morons try to redirect their anger for being an ignorant moron into someone who isn’t one

    “old guys like this built our country”

    I’m pretty sure he’s not talking about Bruno so I suppose this is about Transformers and Mr. Bay, Roger Ebert got a letter very much like this one about his review and he posted it on the front page with the the title “I’m a proud brainiac”

    I don’t think it did but you shouldn’t let this upset you in anyway, on the contrary you should be glad that your writtings have this effect on this sort of people, I would feel dirty if I knew that something I wrote or created was being enjoyed by this guy

    this is not about women by the way, it’s about how some people hate anyone who is smarter, more insightful or more knowledgeable than them, if it’s a woman or someone from a different place or someone from a minority then they hate them even more

  • JoshB

    I offer an apology on behalf of all men who actually like women.

    I’m really sorry to read that

    I’ll…offer an apology on behalf of all humans who enjoy rational thought and intelligent discussion.

    Are you guys kidding? You act like it’s a chore getting frothing-at-the-mouth hate mail. This dude is awesome.

    I guess you were pissed and drunk when you wrote your review, new york city woman drinks too much and scared of her toys.

    To know such details of MaryAnn’s intoxication status and obscure phobias? He must be clairvoyant. Only explanation.

    What toys is he refering to, MaryAnn, and why are you scared of them?

  • Well, better a first rate cunt than a second rate cunt, I guess.

  • AJP

    Idiots abound, the internet lets them express themselves in e-mail messages that can be held up for ridicule.

    I’m maybe guessing he’s mad about your review of Grand Torino?

  • It’s sad that the Internet, the world for that matter, is filled with these griefers who have nothing better to do than go out of their way to insult others… looking for a reaction so they can get their kick out of “ooooo I pissed someone off!”

    Best way to deal with griefers is ignore them. If they cross the line and threaten you, get the cops (FBI I think, whoever handles Internet crime) ASAP.

    I can only hope that 95-99 percent of your traffic are people who respect you, respect your opinions and your person, even at points of disagreeing with you.

  • mortadella

    Ah, that’s ugly stuff, that hate mail.

    I got a similar message from someone who sent our newspaper a letter addressed to me. But near the end of his rant, he started raving about the rats in his walls and how they whisper “cruel things” to him, which took the edge off signifigantly.

    Well, no worries MaryAnn. I think your work is very signifigant and I admire it very much. What was that OTHER Rebecca West quote? It went something like, “Any authentic work of art must start an argument between the artist and their audience.”

    So hey, good job.

    The guy’s obviously lower than a lurch, anyway…to quote a character from the Buffy comics.

  • Tony

    MaryAnn,
    Again I’m stunned that people are THAT bothered by your reviews. I mean they are only movie reviews. I’m not sure I get the source of the rage/anger/frustration.

    PS My wife and I agreed that the “C” word is like the worst word in the English language.

  • Patrick

    MaryAnn, I wouldn’t give these jerks the satisfaction of even posting the above–while I do understand the need to express your dislike of this kind of bile.

    You know what would stick in their craw? Post *fan* mail or fan art. Yeah, I’m totally inquiring what you thought of my amateur, hopefully flattering, caricature of yourself, sorry, I’m kinda shameless. But what I’m getting at is: don’t feed into the negativity with more negativity!

    I mean, someone takes the time to make a drawing for you to show how awesome they think you are, and they don’t even get a “thank you” or any kind of acknowledgment of it even being received, but some no-lobed imbecile calls you a vile sexist term and THAT get’s posted on your site! I think that’s worth considering.

    I’m just saying that’s life’s too short to spar or even acknowledge energy vampires like that to even bother opening an e-mail with such provocative subject lines. You’re an awesome person, with a warm humanity and a whip-smart mind–celebrate it with your fans! *That* will push there buttons!

  • doa766

    “Well, better a first rate cunt than a second rate cunt, I guess.”

    that made me laugh out loud, also the notion that a “hard ass , new york city woman” might be offended by being call that by some anonynous jerk

    it’s like telling a guy: “did I tell you what a cock you are? COOOOOOOOOOCK!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  • NorthernStar

    It’s amusing how people assume that a badly written, repetative rant that shows little understanding of even the basics of grammar is something that will affect the reader and show them the error of their ways.

    The only thing this shows up is the writer. And not in very good light.

  • MaSch

    That guy gives misogynistic morons a bad name. So glad I ain’t one of them.

  • Lisa

    it is actually a shock when someone goes off at you like that

    but you have to remember if someone is getting that angry with you over a movie review (or anything really) then his biggest problem is with himself and it’s nothing to do with you

  • Sarah

    Well, you were kind of asking for it. I mean, did you see what you were wearing?

  • Hank Graham

    Damn, somebody already got to the obvious joke about it being Michael Bay.

  • Brian

    “Damn, this uppity female is makin’ my head hurt with all her words. Big fancy words about a good old American movie. Only hateful East Coasters who hate America wouldn’t like this movie. Who does she think she is? . . .

    Wait a minute. I know a word. A reeeeal nasty one. I will say it over and over and make her feel bad. Yeah, that’ll show her!”

  • Kate

    An art history professor of mine once said “Why do we all get so angry when we disagree about art? Because there’s so little at stake.”

  • Mathias

    Why is it always men that send these heatful emails?

    MaryAnn, has a woman ever sent you a similarily disgusting message?

  • MaryAnn

    MaryAnn, has a woman ever sent you a similarily disgusting message?

    Not that I can recall…

  • tomservo

    The white/male/bigot as victim is an astonishing developement in our society. The world’s changed and they don’t like it, so they whine like the babies they think everyone else is.

  • Barbana

    Stay Classy Internets!

  • Dave_in_EH

    Just goes to show that old saw about the Internet giving people the security to be much bigger asses than they’d ever dare to be in real life.

  • GeorgeH

    My God, it’s like… witnessing a veritable grammar genocide right there.

  • virtonazrail

    Is this actually for real? It looks so much like you made a combo of all the stupidity I’ve read as “answers” and “criticisms” of your reviews! Oh the Horror! Madness!
    My gess he is talking about Gran Torino based on “I grew up in a military town old guys like this built our country as much as we all hate to admit it” (I’m using “” and not «» as «» I use only for quoting things actualy worthy of being called texts. And sometimes nt even all of those and just books) and as you gave a red light to it it fits.

  • Brian

    Why is it always men that send these hateful emails?

    Perhaps because most women are far less likely to feel threatened by an intelligent woman speaking her mind?

  • Muzz

    Gang, you’ve got it all wrong.
    This was just a coded invitation to join the Deadwood Appreciation Society.
    You’re supposed to write back and describe how you’ll skin the lilly livered cocksucker.

  • allochthon

    While I think there is some sound logic in the “don’t post it, it’ll only feed the trolls” argument, I think it’s equally important, if not more so, to share these evil acts.

    Many of us on-line women geeks (and offline non-geeks etc) get this treatment all of the time and raising awareness is an important step in combating it.

    For those saying “just ignore it:” Yes, that’s wise, of course, but the problem with sexism (and racism, and ableism) is how prevalent and ingrained it is. Unless people learn to recognize it, and stand up to say it’s unacceptable, it’ll never go away.

  • Tim1974

    I disagree with Mary Ann more than agreeing with her in reference to anything she reviews or her lack of concern for male nudity equality. However, this email is completely inappropriate. Using the “c’ word in reference to Mary Ann, or any female, is degrading and there is no excuse for using such a term.

  • Drew Ryce

    Oddly, and I am speaking as one of the old guys that built this country, he appears unaware that if he voiced this sentiment in front of us we would open up a John Wayne sized can of Whup Ass on his woman hating self.

  • Well, I’m obviously not one of the old guys who built this country.

    However, I’ve been working around former service members and ex-military brats most of my life and I don’t know any of them who would endorse the type of behavior shown in that E-mail. Or at least I know no such person among the people in that group that I respect.

    Whatever happened to the old-fashioned notions that (1) you show respect to a lady and (2) you don’t go acting like some goddurn no-account just because your feelings got hurt?

    As Drew implied, I suspect most of the old guys Mr. Anonymous is allegedly defending would be embarrassed by his behavior. Not to mention the fact that it hardly takes a lot of courage to post something on the Internet that would get your face slapped if you dared to say it to a person face-to-face…

  • tomservo

    allochthon, you wrote how you get this kind of garbage all the time. I don’t understand the mentality. When it comes to film/music/comic books geekdom, women participating equally in the enjoyment of nerdiness should be welcome by the male geeks. Debunking the lonely, girless fanboy loser stereotype is a good thing. As for the macho shitheel who started this thread, hopefully women don’t give him the time of day (sadly, that’s not always the case.)

  • LaSargenta

    Slightly off-topic anecdote that I think everyone here will laugh at:

    I get stuff like that IRL verbally. Not every day, but it happens. Rarely does the word cunt get used to my face, but, yes, I do overhear these things. I consider myself lucky that I get this face-to-face. Although it can be very threatening, it doesn’t have the problem (for me) of appearing in an anonymous, quiet setting — like in my e-mail inbox.

    So, the setting is a construction site, about 8 guys standing around on their coffee break, with the super, “Tommy”, holding court.

    Tommy turns to me and, for the umpteenth time, pops his cigar end out of his mouth and says “Barefoot, pregnant, and baking apple pie. That’s what a woman’s supposed to be doing.”

    Me: “Tommy, there is one job and one job only that is exclusively a man’s job…jerking off. ‘Cause if a woman does it for you, that’s a hand job.”

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