FangedFaerie (fangedfaerie) wrote,
  • Mood: angry

Penny Arcade vs. Shakesville

So that business between Penny Arcade and Shakesville snowballed. I'm not going into all the other people who've responded to this war, but there are a few points that I haven't seen anyone else make.

Penny Arcade made t-shirts (and pennants?), with a sports-team-esque logo: Team Dickwolf. Courtney Stanton countered with a Dickwolves Survivors Guild t-shirt. Penny Arcade later pulled their merchandise, and Stanton also pulled hers, with plenty of commentary and discussion around both.

Mike/Gabe, who seems to me to be clearly hurt and angry about being accused of supporting rape culture and thus rapists, has made snarky comments all along the way (often infuriating the other side). His worst two moments include misunderstanding the word "hypocrisy" when he posted on the Shakesville blog a list of Penny Arcade's previous descents into debauchery (I'm not going to get into the nuances of her personal "safe space" and triggers); and when he said he's going to wear his Dickwolf t-shirt to the convention after this shitstorm.

But Mike/Gabe was also the one who told at least one person who was crossing a line to knock it off on Twitter. What else he and Jerry/Tycho may have done, we don't know. We have no idea what kind of emails they received. I haven't seen them publicly disavow connections to people who went over the line until this point, but they may very well have been 1) unaware of the nasty things other people were doing because they don't regularly read Shakesville or other Advanced Feminist Blogs nor the related umpteen comment threads and/or 2) PA was trying not to stir the assholes up further.

EDITED TO ADD: Being silent about what other people do on the internet ≠ consent or approval. Also, being silent ≠ consent to sex.

When they DID comment on the behavior of others, it was after Mike/Gabe's family were threatened, and that point Gabe begged everyone to drop this already, lines have been crossed and it's time to stop. Jerry/Tycho also commented, saying that they were all talking past each other and nothing productive could be done beyond this point.

Sadly, Melissa McEwan says that the nasty emails she received increased, but to me it looks like she implied that this increase was somehow Gabe and Tycho's fault, and that they should apologize. Then she opened two threads on her blog and invited the whole internet to come vent about it. She got over 1800 comments, which means traffic and money, so she can smugly say (but to be fair, has not) that not only did her community get the last word, but she made some money off of it, too. Never did Melissa say that the whole fiasco went too far, probably because (and here I'M being snarky) she enjoys clutching her pearls on her fainting couch and swooning about being a victim.

And don't dare try to frame this as a "minorities have no power" argument on the heels of Melissa pointing out that her blog has made Real News and that she's been otherwise acknowledged in the wider world. She has power, and she knows it. The folks at Shakesville never saw the connection between claiming that they were/are silenced when others criticize their arguments, and the concern that some PA supporters had about freedom of expression. It's terrible that this boils down to a war between feminist bloggers and comic artists.

But here's the really ugly, nasty part.

Several people, Shakesville regulars included, responded to the threat against Mike/Gabe's family with a "Well, sucks to be you, but we've already gotten a bajillion hateful comments and threats, so now you know how it feels, you misogynist privileged white male." The idea that they should say they were sorry--even in a manner of sympathy--to Mike/Gabe was scoffed at, at best. They have disavowed any connection to people who would ever cross a line regarding the Penny Arcade guys.

Not only is that playing Oppression Olympics. Not only is their claim to being better than that a No True Scotsman fallacy. That threat wasn't actually directed at Mike/Gabe. What I have not seen ANYONE acknowledge was this:

The threat was directed at "his" woman and child(ren).

An unnamed woman and their offspring, the "property," if you will, of a man that they're getting a good hate on. Isn't that EXACTLY the kind of awful misogynistic shit that people at Shakesville are trying to Teaspoon away? And they SHRUG at that!

Sure, it was somewhat offhand. But, best case scenario, it was a "joke."

Goddamn ironic, that is.

P.S. To the Shakers: You understand that comparing a troll on the internet to a literal in-the-flesh rapist trivializes the definition of rape, right? The hypocrisy, it burns.

Not that you haven't done that before, what with your gendered insults: dudebros, mansplaining, flouncing, and variants of douches and bitches and cunts. Feel free to use bad words all you like, but the hypocrisy still burns.

(For those who enjoy rubbernecking, this is a fairly complete timeline.)
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