YouTube comments aren’t “just the Internet.” They’re not the product of a group of otherwise nice guys who suddenly become evil when they wear a veil of anonymity. YouTube comments are actually a nightmarish glimpse into the sexist attitudes that define the fabric of our own existence in the “real world,” a world that, like YouTube, is owned and dominated by men. The most terrifying gift that the Internet has given us is that it’s shown us how men honestly perceive the world: as a place where women exist exclusively for their sexual pleasure.
In the wake of VidCon, and as more and more women start speaking up about the harassment they face online, it’s time to start realizing that our narrative of progress is deeply flawed. Things aren’t getting better for women on the Internet; they’re deteriorating and ignoring the problem amounts to being complicit in it.
“Yes, poor little old you. There we were, discussing rape, violence against women, systemic oppression and other manifestations of sexism, and you had to jump in to remind us that “not all men” do these things. Why don’t you really say what you want to say? “I HAVE NEVER RAPED/HIT/ASSAULTED A WOMAN!” Right? Isn’t this what you really want to say? Yes, make a discussion that is about the plight of MILLIONS of women about poor little old you. I mean, millions of women are being assaulted and oppressed, but you’ve never done it, so why are we making you uncomfortable with these discussions?”—Brenda Wambui breaking down the ridiculous “Not all men!” phrase over at Medium. Top-notch work. (via itmac)