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movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson

gendered abuse I have received

Because I think many people do not truly appreciate the level of specifically gendered abuse women on the Internet are subjected to, simply for being women daring to say anything publicly, I’m going to start collecting mine here. Just starting from now; I do not have the energy or strength to go back and gather the older stuff. I expect this post to grow quickly. (Comments on posts may have been deleted by me. Tweets may have been deleted by their original posters.)

posted Nov 22, 2016:

I’m pretty sure the real Albus Dumbledore commented on my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It sounds just like him!


posted Jun 09, 2016:

It never ends: this email greeted me first thing this morning. As you can see, this gentleman neglected, in his sputtering rage, to even tell me which review made him so angry. Not that it matters:


Imagine how small and sad your life must be to spend time composing an email like this.

posted Jun 08, 2016:

This was inevitable. I trash Warcraft and the he-man woman haters crawl under from under their rocks:



What a couple of princes!

posted May 31, 2016:

A late response to my review of Eddie the Eagle:


Remember, if you’re tired of mediocre men being treated as heroes onscreen while extraordinary women cannot get their stories told, that means you hate men. I mean, obviously.

posted May 17, 2016:

My review of The Angry Birds Movie got linked at a bunch of virtual cesspits including Reddit, 4chan, and 8chan (which is, yes, twice as awful as 4chan), which brought out the mouth-breathers:



The specificity of this guy’s fantasies! I hope it helps him get off.

Anyone know what grellish means? I don’t know in which direction I’m supposed to be hurt by this…

posted April 30, 2016:

My review of Ratchet & Clank is bringing out the little boys pissing their pants over the notion of a world not dominated by men:


Remember: If you’re tired of movies about men — or even about male alien cat-things and male robots — you’re probably a butch lesbian who wants to oppress and humiliate men.

Let the humiliation begin!

posted April 13, 2016:

My post about the ending of the movie Spring continues to draw vile responses:


I think the username “Dicksrapeyouhard” may actually constitute an actionable threat. (The commenter’s IP address has been noted.) Though I’m much more offended at being called a neoliberal, a term that this person clearly does not know the definition of.

posted February 10, 2016:

I knew my review of Deadpool would bring out the He Man Woman Haters Club, and I have absolutely no patience to deal with them at the moment, so I’ve already closed comments on that review. But not before these charming gentlemen stopped by:


I don’t know what it means that the only coherent bits in this comment are the insults, but surely there is significance there:


And because abuse is always more fun when it comes from multiple directions at once, I woke up to this on Twitter this morning:


I was wondering where my husband got to. Good to know.

posted January 21, 2016:

This might be my favorite idiotic misogynist slur yet (in response to my review of The Revenant):


That’s sort of beautiful, in an ugly way. I presume “camurcu” believes that getting married to “a real man” would somehow get me off this wrongheaded feminist path I’m on and set me on the straight and narrow. I wonder if “camurcu” actually knows any women… or any men, for that matter.

posted December 22, 2015:

Merry Christmas to me! A misogynist elf left this little gift in reply to my review of In the Heart of the Sea:



You… you… you… [sputtering] lady, you! You girl! You female who bleeds! If only you didn’t spend so much time being so emotionally overwhelmed by tampon commercials, you would be able to think logically — like a man who doesn’t bleed — about this movie that I am calmly and rationally disagreeing with you about.

posted October 23, 2015:

This was posted in response to my review of Goosebumps. It’s nice to know that the YA demographic is itself capable of creative writing:


This is so creative, in fact, that I’m still trying to divine how thundercunt is intended to be an insult. Is the author suggesting that I am being a woman in too loud and unignorable a way, when I should be quiet and demure and keep my opinion to myself, like a proper lady? I’m not sure thundercunt works as an insult at all, though. It sounds like I’m being called a female force of nature, which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

posted October 02, 2015:

My post examining the ending of Spring now drives a man to concern over my sex life:


Remember, guys: If you disagree with a woman, the best course of action is to disparage her sexually. It will let her know you’re a strong, virile sort of man.

posted September 06, 2015:

In response to my review of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, this charming comment:


A clucking hen with fish gills sounds like a comic-book monster designed by a five-year-old.

posted August 22, 2015:

Woke up to this on Twitter this morning. Lovely start to the day:


Dude on Twitter (now blocked, of course) thinks feminism isn’t modern, and that “frustrated feminist” is an insult. (Of course feminists are frustrated! The world stubbornly insists on remaining unfeminist.) And since when is “young” supposed to hurt a woman? Aren’t we all commanded to remain forever young or face invisibility? Make up your mind, man!

posted August 05, 2015:

I just received this charming email. No indication what prompted it:


There is something very special about this cry of despair. I am confident in guessing that Jonathan is an especially privileged white man, based on his full name and place of work, as revealed by the work email he cleverly used to send this. And it’s clear from his howl that he is made very uncomfortable being asked to consider a perspective anything other than the especially-privileged-white-male one he is used to seeing in the media. And that he is completely unaware that everyone who isn’t an especially privileged white man has somehow managed to cope with this exact situation since forever.

I wonder if anyone has ever written to Roger Ebert or Mark Kermode to complain that, as straight white men, they were not relatable to anyone not standing in straight-white-man shoes.

I shouldn’t gloat, but it’s fun to see white men forced to confront the reality that theirs is not the default perspective on the world.

posted July 21, 2015:

Another fine example of gentlemanliness checks in regarding my post examining the ending of Spring:


Douching is actually incredibly bad for one’s sensitive ladyparts; douches are products designed by the capitalist patriarchy to shame women for the natural functioning of their bodies and get us to spend money we could otherwise blow on feminazi uniforms and custom underarm-hair braiding. So I’m fairly confident in saying that there’s probably no such thing as a feminist douchebag.

And lest there be any mistaking the reality that women can be misogynist, we hear from a charming and supportive lady, in response to my review of How Do You Know:


I presume she got her husband’s permission before logging on to the Internet, reading anything that might infect her delicate and beautiful mind, and expressing an opinion in public.

Jennie’s husband must have been feeling particularly generous, because he also permitted her to comment on my review of Minions:


I know she didn’t mean to do so, but I thank Jennie for pointing out just how male-dominated even cartoon characters are! Tom & Jerry. Alvin and the Chipmunks. When will it all end?

posted July 06, 2015:

In response to my post about the paltry number of female protagonists in U.K. wide releases in the first half of 2015:


I really don’t understand how highlighting the gender disparity onscreen makes me a whore. I really don’t understand how I’m part of the problem. (At least this guy recognizes that there is a problem.) And I really don’t understand how statistical analysis based on what’s up on the screen demonstrates that I’m dumb.

But then, I’m just an irrational girl who emotionally overreacts to everything. Unlike randy savage, who is calm and reasonable and has facts to back up his position.

posted June 12, 2015:

In response to my post examining the ending of Spring:


Another man who thinks that feminist is an insult, and that he is wounding me by calling me one.

posted June 05, 2015:

In response to my review of Spring:


Shrill is one of those words intended to shame women into shutting up, lest a man perceive us to be unpleasant oh noes! What would we do without the good opinion of all men everywhere all the time?

Ain’t gonna happen, dude. Your discomfort is the point.

As for bra-burning: Only a man would suggest something like this. You guys have no freakin’ idea how much the damn things cost. Burn one? Might as well just light a wad of cash on fire.

(FYI, the Spring review and my post examining its ending are doing a wonderful job at the moment of freaking dudes out over the idea that a man is not automatically deserving of an amazing girlfriend just because he’s a dude. It’s almost like these guys hate me pointing out how male ego-stroking isn’t a ton of fun to watch.)

posted May 17, 2015:

Posted to comments following my Where Are the Women? ranking for 2015 films, though this was in response to a comment by reader amanohyo:


Poor Klokinator has never has sex with a feminist, who have been scientifically proven to be better in bed.

posted May 10, 2015:

In response to my review of The Voices:


The fact that feminist is considered an insult in some quarters says it all…

posted April 13, 2015:

In response to my analysis of the ending of Spring:


Spoken like a man who is terrified of women with opinions.

posted April 10, 2015:

In response to my review of The Voices:


As yet, “Kieser Sozay” has been unable to explain how complaining about a certain depiction of women being murdered is equivalent to hating men. Perhaps it’s unfairly denying the liberty of men who wish to murder women?

posted April 08, 2015:

In response to my review of The Voices, from someone who apparently believes he has verbally raped me:


posted April 04, 2015:

In response to my review of Get Hard:


I probably shouldn’t say this, but the crazy power I have to take toys away from angry little boys is pretty sweet. The looks of dismay on their faces when their fun suddenly disappears is beautiful.

Some general love for my work:


He deleted this tweet, but not before it ended up in my in-box. (Power Beaver is now my new superhero identity.)

This one, in reply to my review of Cinderella, is, by comparison, downright old-fashioned and chivalrous:


I wonder if I would shock him if I showed a bit of ankle…

posted April 01, 2015:

In response to my review of Furious 7 (and I suspect there will be many more):


posted March 10, 2015:

In response to my review of Cinderella:





In response to my review of It Follows:


posted in:
maryann buzz
  • Jules

    This is absolutely disgusting. Keep doing what you’re doing, MA!

  • what’s horrifying is how each of those trolls are getting a nice warm feeling inside their empty lives, having gone out of their way to TRY to humiliate a woman, any woman. It’d be pitiful if they ever deserved any pity in the first place.

  • LaSargenta

    If we come across other gendered abuse you previously received on the site, shall we add it in the comments?

  • Matt Clayton

    It’s appalling. I may disagree with you on some reviews, but some comments on your Cinderella review are uncalled for. The gendered abuse needs to stop, but some people don’t get it or choose not to.

    You have every right to criticize a movie if it’s not to your liking and frankly, your honesty is refreshing.

    On an unrelated note, I was glad to learn there was someone else who didn’t like “Avatar: The Last Airbender” either.

  • LaSargenta

    I’m pretty sure we’ve all disagreed with MaryAnn at one point or another; I wouldn’t be surprised if *she* hadn’t changed her mind about a movie or two in her life. I know for a fact I would love it if she would take back everything positive she said about Thor. It was, for me, a colossal bore and I would have walked out if it weren’t for the person I was with who wanted to see the whole thing.

    Thing is, the gendered abuse by some isn’t ever going to stop. This is the wages of breathing while female.

  • Constable

    After my fan rage died down I had to admit that the episodes she was reviewing did indeed suck. I like the new series better, it has a female lead that is the incarnation of healthy self-confidence.

    It’s always funny to me when people get mad at MaryAnn for doing her job as a critic. Nothing is more boring to me than when I walk out of a movie with the exact same impression as my friends. I like friendly arguments most of the time.

    The stupid thing is that most of the above comments are completely undermined by their ugly language and thoughtless insults. I think you’re right, some people just don’t get it.

  • Constable

    No, what’s truly horrifying is that some of them aren’t even trolls. Ignorance isn’t blissful in the slightest.

  • althea

    [ Thing is, the gendered abuse by some isn’t ever going to stop. This is the wages of breathing while female. ]

    Somehow, this is the saddest thing I have heard in a long time.

  • Sam

    Only 1 example for It Follows! The comments underneath your review of that are almost all horrendously misogynist and awful. (Not mine though. My comment is great)

  • LaSargenta

    Lol. ;-) Of course! It’s wonderful!

    Go check out her review of Scott Pilgrim for more. I think the review of The Lorax also attracted a bunch. Depending on your mood, it can be entertaining.

  • Danielm80

    Kyle Baker just tweeted a quote from the Havamal:

    He who knows not and knows not that he knows not, is a fool – shun him.
    Who knows not and knows that he knows not, is ignorant -teach him.

  • This isn’t about disagreement. It’s about shutting women up. Men who say the *exact* same things to do not get abused like this. Often they get no pushback at all.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That seems backwards. Or maybe not. Aphorisms: not always clear.

  • If you want. But I’m only going to add to the original post above going forward.

  • Well, not breathing. As long as we breathe quietly. It’s the minute we open our bitch mouths to do anything other than suck a cock that we get all the abuse we’re asking for.

  • LaSargenta

    If that were the case, women who have the temerity to leave their home unchaperoned or unveiled in many places wouldn’t be attacked. Nope, I stick by breathing while female. I live in NYC and am generally pretty damn fortunate in my random luck at being born here; yet, yet…ultimately, like in that Lizzie Borden film, we are all born in flames.

  • Beowulf

    I don’t think that cohort is as small as you think it is.

  • Oh, sure. But I was speaking specifically of the sort of abuse I receive as a result of my work here.

  • LaSargenta

    Nope. Not backwards.

  • Matt Clayton

    That too, absolutely.

  • Bea Harper

    I don’t always agree with your opinions, but you deserve none of this. Keep doing what you’re doing and let these people wallow in their own narrow-mindedness.

  • LaSargenta

    From the review of The Skin I Live In from 2011:

    Maryann, you have sever sexual hangups, anyone who reads your ramblings and agrees with you might as well seek psychiatric help.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    I was thinking about this and how it even ranges from grotesque down to “benevolent.”

    Example: I had what I felt to be a negative experience debating with a friend online. I sent a message saying that while I was unhappy about it, I was sure it would have gone better in person, better understood tone, yada yada. The response was nice, but did include a bunch of statements of reassurance, that I am doing fine, etc…

    As much as I appreciated the friend-affirming response, I have to wonder. He didn’t respond to me as his equal, but as someone looking for his approval.

    I notice these little things more as I get older.

  • RogerBW

    It’s with added “oh, hey, here’s a way I can get my point across”. (The point, all too often, is “I am not actually fit for civilisation”, but still.)

  • Constable

    aaaand… Mike holds the lead.

  • If it’s the same Mike. I can’t tell.

  • Constable

    Either way it’s kind of impressive.

  • Nina

    It’s so heartbreaking and frightening that you receive enough of this to merit keeping a record of it here. :(

  • LaSargenta
  • Posted it. Thanks.

  • Nina

    Drukin the lurker is a piece of work. He calls your reviews “uncalled for” and “unwanted”, yet doesn’t stop to think for a moment that bashing someone online qualifies as “uncalled for” and “unwanted” behaviour?

  • Constable

    These people must feel lost when commenting at male reviewers, it seems like most of their arguments are more or less “you’re a woman so what do you know.”

  • Danielm80

    I scrolled through Ichi’s Disqus history. Most of his comments sound like this Bloom County strip:


  • LaSargenta

    I should not have clicked on that link. What a worm hole. I used to love that strip.


  • LaSargenta
  • Oh, that hit my radar instantly this morning. And now it’s added to the post.

  • Arthur

    Too bad there’s no way of canceling their internet privileges.

  • LaSargenta

    Stumbled on a quoted bit of abuse from way back in your Meet Dave review. (Yes, from your link in the Human Centipede comments.) I gather you erased the original comment you quoted from, and according to Anne-Kari it was someone with Serra in their name: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/2008/07/meet-dave-review.html#comment-912390666

    you’re some kind of public prostitute

  • Danielm80

    The comment she quoted is still there, and it isn’t abusive. It says that MaryAnn has the right to walk out on a bad movie, because she isn’t a prostitute, and she doesn’t have to give in to every demand “the public” makes.

    MaryAnn’s response to the comment, however, was perfect.

    “Serra” appears to be a reference to Inara Serra on Firefly.

  • LaSargenta

    Oh, shit. This does not bode well for me getting work done today if I’m missing stuff like that. (I thought I had read every comment thoroughly.) OK, I’m deleting my comment above. You want to delete yours?

    Thank you for looking!!

  • Danielm80

    Nah, I’m going to edit my post so that people think your deleted comment was incredibly offensive: “How DARE you say that about women and Cthulhu?!” They’ll drive themselves crazy trying to imagine what scandalous thing you wrote.

  • LaSargenta

    Excellent!! Now this thread is cluttered. MAJ might want us to be begone.

  • BraveGamgee

    Just for fun of it, I thought I’d draw a version of Angry Woman Power Beaver the super heroine. (I tried sending it in an email, but my email hasn’t been working consistently as of late). You’re honestly one of my heroes, MaryAnn. Keep the awareness of female representation in movies going!

  • a

    Do all kinds of gendered abuse get posted here? Or just the special ones?a

  • LaSargenta

    Ya know, once again, it is just the fact we are breathing while female. I’ve been called a whore for working on construction sites. Italians of a certain generation have called me a whore for touching them on the arm in a noisy place to get their attention, because, of course, the only reason a woman would need their attention is if she’s selling sex, right?! Not like, the pile drivers and generators and air compressors are all making it impossible to hear each other and some jackass foreman needs to be somewhere other than where he is Right Now for a concrete placement, eh?

  • So much for vaunted male “logic.”

  • Constable

    What logic? Most popular TV shows aimed at young boys depict brainless heroes and imply that intelligence is evil. Look at Lex Luthor vs. Superman, Thor vs. Loki, Captain America vs. Red Skull. The vast majority of male heroes are dumb powerhouses who punch their problems away.

    Japanese Anime of the Shounen type are flooded with this trope.

    That being said, the love interests to these heroes are just as brainless as they are most of the time.

  • RogerBW

    Never mind “aimed at young boys” – this is nearly universal across Western culture now. Scientists and other smart people are socially awkward and physically incompetent and wear thick glasses and don’t enjoy sports like normal people and you wouldn’t want to be one of them, they work so very hard, you’re so glad you’re a beta. The occasional exceptions to this only emphasise how standard it is elsewhere.

  • Bluejay

    Yet another reason why I love Legend of Korra.

  • Danielm80

    How does the Hulk fit into the trope?

  • Bluejay

    Arguably, doing mad-scientist experiments with gamma radiation (at least in the TV and movie versions) is what got Banner into trouble. And in Avengers 2, doing mad-scientist things with Loki’s staff was a Bad Thing for Stark and Banner to do, leading directly to Ultron.

    And it’s pretty obvious the Hulk is a powerhouse who tries to punch his problems away.

    On the other hand, it’s also true that Stark’s and Banner’s intelligence is as much an asset as a liability, and gets them out of trouble after getting them into it.

  • Bluejay

    Look at Lex Luthor vs. Superman

    That really depends. There are stories in the comics where Superman is plenty smart (see for instance Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman), analyzing DNA and working on robots and whatnot at the Fortress of Solitude. He’s a scientist’s son and has “super” Kryptonian intellectual capabilities. (And he memorably outwitted Luthor and Zod in Superman II.)


  • Danielm80

    All true, but I think the Hulk is an interesting contradiction: Bruce (and David) Banner’s main goal in life is to not be the Hulk, while people in the audience are rooting for him to turn into a monster and smash things. It would be interesting to see a Hulk film that’s treated as a horror movie and makes the audience question its desire to see the horrible monster.

  • Danielm80

    And, of course, Batman is sometimes called the World’s Greatest Detective, although the movies and TV shows hardly ever emphasize that part of his personality.

  • Bluejay

    Yeah, the Hulk is basically a werewolf that people want to turn into a werewolf.

    There are other comic-book versions of the Hulk in which the Hulk retains Banner’s intelligence and consciousness. That might be interesting to see onscreen.

  • Danielm80


    This is basically Nova’s long origin story as scientific superhero. I hope she’ll be inspiring to readers of all genders and ages, but especially girls who are interested in studying and pursuing science.

  • Bluejay

    I am *so* looking forward to that.

  • Bluejay

    And Spider-Man is a science whiz who designed his own web-shooters. Doctor Strange is a neurosurgeon. Hank Pym’s Ant-Man is a scientist-inventor. Mister Fantastic is a science prodigy. Professor X and the Beast are scientific geniuses. Etc…

  • Danielm80

    When I was studying screenwriting in college, the teacher pointed out that movies are a visual medium, and long stretches of dialogue don’t always translate well to the screen. I wonder if the people making films and TV shows are afraid that explanations of scientific ideas or deductive reasoning won’t work onscreen.

    There are plenty of movies and TV shows where dialogue and exposition work really well, of course (Sherlock, the CSI series, most of Quentin Tarantino’s movies). It would be great to see more shows that trusted kids to follow complex ideas.

  • Constable

    “House of Cards” also does a great job of managing lengthy exposition.

  • Constable

    I think the Hulk is somewhat too aware of this trope for his own good :)

  • Constable

    It has to do with genera but overall, media that follows this trend tends to be quite popular.

    For young girls it seems that the common “hero” type is either the emotionally unstable and dangerous or the passive and content.

    Either way, even if you dislike shows like Korra you have to give them credit for bucking the trend however slightly they do.

  • Constable

    Ha, stole the words right out of my mouth.

  • Danielm80

    There are lots of examples aimed at adults. The Before Sunrise series is almost entirely dialogue. But are there movies or TV shows for kids that use a similar technique? In the comic books, Spider-Man sometimes defeats a villain with an invention and then explains the scientific principles. Encyclopedia Brown talks at length about how he solved the mystery. There are all kinds of written stories about the value of intelligence. (Bluejay provided a whole list.) I’m wondering why there aren’t more visual examples, outside of Korra.

  • LaSargenta

    Peabody and Sherman

  • What logic?

    Really? I’m talking about the stereotype that men are calm and rational (as opposed to us hysterical women who are absurdly emotional and overreact to everything). That men are (supposedly) logical and reasonable has long been the justification for their dominance in government, the sciences, and basically almost every human endeavor that isn’t about taking care of babies.

  • Bluejay

    “It’s amazing that we’ve never had a female president. A big part of that is that we have men in this country that are so sexist, that they say things like, ‘We can’t have a woman president. ‘Cause you know what’s going to happen if we elect a woman, right? Once a month she’s going to have her period and have PMS and go crazy. She’ll ruin the country.’ We have men who actually believe that a woman, because of her biology, has her judgment impaired once a month. Well, I’m a man with a penis and testicles; my judgment is impaired every five to seven minutes. And I’ll be honest with you: I wake up some mornings with my judgment impaired.” — Hari Kondabolu

  • Constable

    I’ve always assumed that this was an idea that went out of style shortly after Women finally got the vote. It may have more to do with how I was raised and where I went to school, but I never heard anyone using such a stereotype in anything approaching a serious discussion. My grade 5 teacher even used female students to keep order by putting them in groups of rowdy guys. I’d say the stereotype has swung the other way, any more guys are seen as wild cards as far as reliability or maturity goes.

    But this is coming from a white male living in Canada, so don’t quote me or anything ;)

  • Constable

    I also have a very clever sister who’s constantly fact checking me so maybe that’s why I find the concept so bizarre.

  • Yeah, this all makes it totally obvious that you’re a man! :-)

    No one has ever said to you, “What’s wrong, having your period?” No one has ever told you to calm down and stop being hysterical when you’re already perfectly calm and not at all hysterical. No one has ever called you a “crazy bitch” for daring to challenge a man’s perspective on anything.

    Just you watch how Hillary Clinton is treated by the American press as she runs for president. I absolutely guarantee you that there will be “serious questions” about a woman’s ability to lead a nation. Never mind that plenty of other nations have had female leaders and didn’t end up in wrack and ruin.

  • LaSargenta

    …while I, who will not vote for Hillary Clinton unless there is absolutely no other choice, would far prefer that the press focus on the fact she’s a hawk and that her campaign funding mostly comes from a small and rich pool of donors.

  • Bluejay

    There are valid reasons not to vote for Clinton. Unfortunately, the conversation will probably be dominated by all the stupid reasons.

  • Danielm80

    Presidential elections always make Americans look stupid. Obama was called a socialist and a terrorist sympathizer. Bernie Sanders will be called a socialist and a hippy. The attacks on Hillary may be twice as bad, due to the sexism. But remember: Obama won, even though he was born in Kenya. So it’s possible that most Americans will ignore the mudslinging and quietly cast their votes–or sit back and make popcorn.

  • LaSargenta

    Exactly. Like how she dresses. Or how her face looks.

  • There’s tons of legitimate stuff they could focus on. That doesn’t mean they will.

  • LaSargenta

    I don’t want to derail, just adding this as an example: http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Top-Comcast-Lobbyist-Hosting-Hillary-Clinton-Fundraiser-134215


  • Constable

    You’re right, I should just ask how things are instead of forming my own head-canon of reality. Paradigm shifts aren’t achieved from armchairs I guess…
    As far as the American press goes, I’ve pretty much stopped taking any content they produce seriously. Hillary Clinton seems about as capable as Obama based on my limited knowledge on the subject, certainly more capable than Trump. Even if she is a complete fool she’ll at least set a new precedent with her possible presidency.

  • I’ve pretty much stopped taking any content they produce seriously.

    But that’s not the issue. Whatever you consume or don’t, or take seriously or don’t, the media is producing this stuff and lots of people do take it seriously.

  • LaSargenta


    Pretty low-rent caliber of troll, but, adding it here to the rollcall.

  • I’m not sure which comment in particular you were linking to, but that guy has been banned and the entire subthread deleted.

  • Beowulf

    Speaking of deleted….
    I completely understand why the John Wayne image and the “c**t” comment had up this thread to make your point very clear, but I must confess to growing a little bit beaten down by seeing it every time I scroll down your pieces. It just makes me sad to see it again and again.
    A woman as President? Sure, that’s as likely to happen as a woman becoming Prime Minist– Ah, wait.

  • Danielm80

    I must confess to growing a little bit beaten down by seeing it every time I scroll down your pieces. It just makes me sad to see it again and again.

    Now you know how Anita Sarkeesian feels every day.

  • I don’t enjoy seeing that either, but it perfectly sums up the problem.

  • Beowulf

    Who dat?

  • LaSargenta

    http://www.duckduckgo.com is your friend.

  • Danielm80

    She’s the official popcorn brand of all Internet flame wars:


  • Constable

    I understand what you mean, saw a similar point raised in a multi-grain cheerios commercial of all places. Commercial success at all cost seems to be the flag that big media is waving around these days.

  • Bluejay

    Re Jennie Batra: I wonder how many misogynistic female commenters are actually misogynist men posing as female commenters? I don’t doubt that misogynistic women exist, but I think it’s probably also not an uncommon strategy for trolls to pose as women or minorities in an attempt to shield themselves from criticism. Batra’s insults and taunts (including the hoary old “u need to get laid” bit) seem exactly like what a male troll would say, without any nuance or details of personal experience that a woman might perhaps share when talking about women.

    Of course on the internet we really only have people’s word that they are what they say they are. Still, I wonder sometimes.

  • Danielm80

    It’s like asking how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. We’ll never really know. But I do know enough women who claim to hate feminism, or hate women, that I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

    Jennie’s comments could be a deliberate feint, of course: Even women disagree with MaryAnn; therefore she’s WRONG. But the comments make so little sense as rational arguments that they feel spontaneous and sincere. So I’m taking them at face value until we know she’s a dog.

  • Constable

    I’m sorry Jennie but fiction that puts women on the sidelines is fiction that is only using half it’s character and story potential. Read the Expanse series sometime, it features some of the most human characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about… and half of them are women.

    I know it hurts but the way women and, by extension, men are treated is a festering wound that needs cleaning out. Until the infection is cleared away no amount of apathy or self-willed ignorance is going to make this better. That may sound dramatic but I’ve seen what our culture has done to my sister and the thousands of girls like her. Where are the women? Well, many of them end up in a mental health system that is ill-equipped to deal with their problems. Only in the west do we tell our sisters and daughters and friends to starve themselves in the name of beauty. Only in the west do they listen.

  • Danielm80

    If you still haven’t figured out who Anita Sarkeesian is, you might try watching this series of videos:


    Some of the arguments he makes are overly simplistic or are broad generalizations, but he makes some really important points about the culture of the Internet.

  • Danielm80

    And it’s clear from his howl that he is made very uncomfortable being asked to consider a perspective anything other than the especially-privileged-white-male one he is used to seeing in the media. And that he is completely unaware that everyone who isn’t an especially privileged white man has somehow managed to cope with this exact situation since forever.

    A cartoonist named Dwayne McDuffie came up with something called the Rule of Three:

    And before I knew it, I had broken what I call the Rule of Three. And that rule is, in popular entertainment, if there are three black people in it, it is a black product. You can have two black guys, although it’s a stretch. If you have three, it’s a black show. And suddenly it was a black show. And somebody, I think the artist, did a pinup, with all the black characters. And somebody leaked it and said That’s the cover! McDuffie’s gonna turn the Justice League all black! He’s getting rid of the white guys! Never part of the plan, never even considered, but it freaked people out, so they’re reading this stuff looking for proof.

    But there is a hardcore piece of the audience whose back goes up whenever you go into these issues, and they don’t even realize it. And what kills me about it is that when they’re writing about it, they’re always hyperrational. You know, Look the fact is, there are more white characters, and if you picked randomly, you would end up with all white teams. And the fact that there were three black people on this team is statistically ridiculous. It’s obviously a quota.


  • LaSargenta

    Recently I came across a book in a giveaway pile when someone was moving: Emerson in his Journals. In there, I read (among many other interesting things) the following: “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  • M

    Don’t focus on them. It’s indicative of prevailing misogyny. But the trolls aren’t the root of the problem. They are a symptom. Just like the films are a symptom that something is wrong with our culture when 50% of humanity are not represented at all in major films. Or are never shown having a conversation in films. Ie women are not shown as talking to one an other about anything. Or if they are it’s about men. I’m glad you are around to ask these questions.

  • Jurgan

    I love the “sorry” at the beginning of the “angry lesbian” comment. I’m not trying to hurt your feelings or anything, but it’s my responsibility to let you know! What a burden for this white man.

  • althea

    I know it’s wrong – so wrong – but when I see a new post in this thread I smile broadly, knowing there will be something entertaining and probably very funny to come. Of course, almost immediately I think, “No no, that’s sad, we don’t *want* there to be more of these.” Still… :)

  • LaSargenta

    Urg. Me, too.

  • I do think the best way to deal with these cretins is to make fun of them…

  • bronxbee

    i don’t know why you block out some of their names. if they’re proud enough to sign their emails or tweets to you containing this language, they should be proud enough to see their names posted for a public shaming.

  • The only one I blocked was the one that came via email (and hence wasn’t posted publicly anywhere) and included a real name and real email address. Maybe I was being unreasonably fair and generous to that person. But I’m not trying to be vindictive here.

  • LaSargenta

    Recently, someone who was abusive to a blogger lost his job at New York Life due to his public (!) postings. They were very threatening.

  • The email above did not rise to anything like that level. If I had felt endangered, I would not have hesitated to pass on that guy’s info to his employer and to his local law enforcement.

  • LaSargenta

    I gathered the blogger wasn’t the one who reported it; instead, her followers were swarming.

  • Bluejay

    I’m not sure thundercunt works as an insult at all, though. It sounds like I’m being called a female force of nature, which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

    Insert as appropriate into this song. “Feel the magic, hear the roar!”


    I’d watch a gender-switched version of that, actually.

  • Danielm80

    I was going to point out that “thundercock” doesn’t sound like an insult at all, but I think the sword imagery in this video does the job for me.

    Also, “Thundercock” sounds like the worst metal band in history.

  • Bluejay

    Also, “Thundercock” sounds like the worst metal band in history.

    I don’t know — are they? You tell me.


  • Danielm80

    Can I resign from the human race?

  • Bluejay

    Heh. And they aren’t even the only ones.


    Very evocative song titles.

    With metal bands, though, it’s too easy. You know there’s going to be a band out there sporting the stupidest name you can think of.

  • LaSargenta

    I’m sorry. That just made me laugh. So did Bluejay’s and danielm80’s comments.

  • LaSargenta

    Jezus onna hockey puck!

    1986 is asking for their milquetoast wannabes back.

  • LaSargenta

    And this one wants to be P*Funk. But fails miserably.

    And, ya know? I’m sick of people shitting on Nick Drake. Yeah, some pretentious people hold him up like a Fisher King; but, I also like the work of the good musicians who admired him like David Sylvian (yeah, even the stuff in Japan). And, anyhow, the guy is dead so calling him names, funny song title though it may be, isn’t cool in my book.


  • Danielm80

    “Pink Moon” is such a well-constructed song that I still love it after hearing it a hundred times in a car commercial.

  • This Thundercocks has way better songs. “Smurf Meat Sweat Shop”? Har.

  • So much for Canadian niceness.

  • bronxbee

    absolutely not! we need decent humans here.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Why would you do that? We have the best beer.

  • BraveGamgee

    HEY! Not ALL Canadians…

    Sorry, I couldn’t help myself

  • LaSargenta

    MaryAnn (and anyone else with a brain here), have you seen this article: “Men Explain Lolita to Me”? It is an interesting read, musing on the nature of identifying with characters in books and empathy.

  • Danielm80

    She has seen it,* as it happens, but it’s worth posting again. It’s one of the best essays I’ve read this year.


  • LaSargenta

    Thanks. (This is embarrassing.) And, I agree, it is one of the best things I’ve read.

  • Bluejay

    Rebecca Solnit is great. I’m a fan of her books “Men Explain Things to Me” and “Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities.”

  • Nathan

    Careful, lest you irk Captain Reverse-Racism. His wrath be ironic and chronically misunderstood.

  • Nathan

    That’s what good ol’ Socrates did. :D

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Re: Angry Birds. Is that what happened? That would explain the frothy mix of contentless pseudo-intellectualism and just plain contentlessness. You may as well just cull the whole thread. Even our rejoinders weren’t all that clever – we had nothing to work with.

  • Danielm80

    I think she should apply for a grant and keep the thread going as an anthropological study.

  • Bluejay

    Google searches for “grellish” keep turning up this character, “Grell,” who is apparently “a Grim Reaper” with “long, dark-red hair, shark-like teeth, and red-framed glasses which are accessorized with a chain with skulls.” Gender indeterminate. Has a customized “Death Scythe” that works like a chainsaw. “A ruthless, bloodthirsty individual who is even willing to kill their own comrades once they lose interest in them.” “Fond of using double entendres.” Seems like kind of a badass, actually.


    So, I guess “grellish” means you’re like Grell? Because of your red hair and glasses and, um, shark-like teeth? It may have been intended as an insult, but I say take it as a compliment. :-)

  • I’d take it as a compliment, too. But even if intended as an insult, it doesn’t seem to apply here.

  • Liana Lopez

    I just skimmed through the comment section of her “Angry Birds” review, sadly, there’s still a lot more abuse that hasn’t been taken into account of or deleted. Some are even much worse than those on this page. Disgusting.

  • abuse that hasn’t been taken into account of or deleted

    Not sure what you mean by “taken into account.” I read every comment posted here, and I can assure you: I’ve seen the comments you’re referring to.

    I did delete lots of comments. I’m not going to delete all of them. They are a horrific illustration of the state of the Internet.

  • Jurgan

    re: June 9, 2016:

    Good thing he titled it “a letter from a fan.” Does he know what the word “fan” means?

  • I suspect he thought he was being funny or ironic.

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