It’s that time of the blog again! You post about things, and neckbeard fanboys get angry. Oh how they are angry. This time it’s reactions to my post on the lesbian rape thing in Abercrombie from the hub of enlightenment and intelligence Westeros.org (as in the forum primarily for A Song of Ice and Fire fans so… yeah). This sounds like a fantastic time to take the usual fanboy abloo-bloo regurgitations to task. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but refrained from lack of specific quotes. Well, now I no longer lack those. Hallelujah: given just a bit of rope the dudebros always hang themselves. It seems to be a fanboy thing, and most common it seems among the straight white… oh you know the drill.
I’ve come to think of these people as toddlers who were never potty-trained but refuse to wear diapers, by the way, and will treat/address them as such. Sorry about that. Aww who am I kidding, I’m exactly zero sorry.
It’s not so much what shes saying as the way in which she is saying it, with the random all caps sentences accusing Ambercrombie of being a rape monster, etc. Plus the there’s a snide comment down a ways about Ambercrombie fans that makes her sound like….well a bitch.
Yeah, i stand by my crazy bitch statement.
“You’re just a crazy man-hating feminazi bitch, also you are racist to white people.”
This is my favorite one. If it’s in a particularly unmoderated forum there will be “lesbian” thrown in somewhere, as they believe calling someone queer is a deathly insult. I don’t think this one needs examining, merely cataloging as a typical response of the dudebro and naturally replete with misogyny. This argument is generally accompanied by barely-literate typing and general inability to articulate like a human being.
You don’t think those two are linked? They’re all POVs from Aduan people who see the Gurkish as Scary Brown Religious Fanatics – which doesn’t make them right. In fact, considering that Abercrombie frequently uses the whole “turns out he/she was really an asshole from others’ POV” element a lot, I’d take their views of the Gurkish Empire with a massive grain of salt.
“You are interrogating the text from the wrong perspective.”
This seems to spring from a basic assumption that there is only one correct way to read a text, which must incorporate authorial intent into it: in this case, we should take into account Joe Abercrombie’s clever intent to subvert fantasy tropes (lol), because. Now if these fanboys were a fraction as literate as they’d like to think they are, they would have heard of the death of the author, and how much of lit crit happens in this manner–without considering the author’s intent, and letting the text stand for itself. And if you let Abercrombie’s text stands by itself, you get a hideous collection of run-of-the-mill fantasy racism, misogyny and there’s the rape thing, and a lot of terribly written female characters. Take the worst of George R. R. Martin and multiply.
The other trouble with this defense is that the fanboys are dead-set on the reading they like (while simultaneously accusing the opposing party of the same sin), and they will have no other reading or interpretations largely because anti-racist or feminist critiques give them major rashes. The “wrong perspective” they so despise is that of a woman, a person of color, or indeed that of any minority: these are people who are proud of not being affected by sexism, racism, or homophobia–and fall all over themselves, therefore, to dismiss the concerns of anybody who is. There is a mix of “you are not being intellectual enough” rooted in the tone argument too–while failing to recognize that they are not, at all, being intellectual because their reaction is one of tantrum-throwing you broke my toys. They react to someone they perceive as being too angry by… pitching a little-boy fit. Well, well!
So the author of the article reads through two and a half Abercrombie books, several torture scenes, including the torture and sexual mutilation of the torturer himself, some very horrible deaths to many people, and at the end of the trilogy is suddenly outraged because of THIS SPECIFIC horrible act, which is horrible and makes Abercrombie horrible What a joke of an article.
“How dare you focus on the abuse of women or people of color? WHAT ABOUT THE MENS.”
This ties into the very first one, but becomes a little more specific. The neckbeard believes all suffering should be treated equally but, mostly, it is the suffering of straight white men that matters the most. Accusations of “double standards” will be leveled (“you don’t complain about the violence but you complain about rape? Hypocrite!”), as well as reasoning that never goes very far beyond “well this act of racism or rape only exists to emphasize the character is awful” and we’ve already been over using abuse of women to further men’s characterization, sweeties. This is where that lack of self-awareness will, again, come into play: neckbeards react with extreme prejudice when one of their own, such as Abercromblah, is slighted… with the very incoherent defensiveness they project onto the opposing party. See also: Alyssa Bereznak and the case of the Magic: The Gathering champion.
“He is really nice in real life! He has woman friends, some of whom are feminists!”
This is fun. Remember Jay Lake? Remember how much offensive shit he’s said, the kind of racist claptrap he’s written? How he likes to use having adopted an Asian girl as a shield against being called out for his racism? And then one day he declared he no longer felt safe attending WisCon!
What this tells me is that the likes of him, and likely the likes of egomaniac Borker, would never dare to say half the shit they do face to face. Bacigagaga’s ode to racism? Can you imagine him saying even a fraction of that in a Chinese company? Even by his own admission he’s a coward. These people, in short, fear they will get punched in their useless faces or have stiletto heels shoved up their nostrils. Of course you think they are nice at cons! They have to be, not least because being at cons is a PR thing for them. I mean what do you expect? Do you believe Lake and Borker and Bacigagaga would spit on potential money vending machines?
With regards to the friends thing: well excuse me, I don’t think any one of us can claim we lead lives free of misogynists and homophobes and racists, that we spend every waking minute in the company of ~social justice warriors~ who spring to CALL OUT CALL OUT the very moment something amiss is uttered. No. What happens in real life is that we tolerate, or put up with, that crap. Sometimes because it comes from family members, or people you befriended before you realized they were douches who held shitty beliefs. Perhaps they are ”nice” and supportive in other things even, or financially helpful, or bake you cookies. There’s a point where you don’t tolerate it anymore, and severe all ties, but mostly we never come to that. It’s possible Butcher’s or Borker’s feminist friends, or Bacigagaga’s anti-racist friends (if they are even anti-racists who are aware of that article about China or aware of why The Wind-Up Girl is fucking terrible), put up with them because social niceties in real life are like that and people are confrontation-averse. It’s particularly worse if you are related, either by blood or marriage. Imagine a Thai woman finding herself with Bacigagaga as a son-in-law. Gosh.
tl;dr: Shitty writers who write shitty prejudice-reinforcing things being nice at cons or having feminist/anti-racist/LGBT friends? It means precisely, exactly fuck-all. This extends to you too, neckbeards! You may think your Asian friend doesn’t take offense at your jokes about driving or accent or, good fuck, small eyes. You may be right but, equally, chances are good that you are oh so wrong. They may simply not want to be ostracized from their social circle. Your lady friend who doesn’t tell you she finds your sexist jokes offensive? It’s dangerous to do that in real life, for a woman, because she’s going to be thought of–yes–a man-hating feminazi. It’s called trying to survive and keeping quiet even if all they want to do is punch you in your fucking useless face.
contrary to what the naysayers argue, the series does improve. Harry’s mysogony always and I mean always gets him into trouble, and by the later books he actually does ditch most of the sexism… In book 7 he actually acknowledges that his attitude is bad, and that it is “retrograde” and stupid.
“You only read one book out of twenty-seven! This invalidates everything you have to say.”
Like I would willingly read more than a book of that tripe? It amazes me that fanboys expect people to read shit they find offensive or just plain terribly written beyond the first five pages–and even then, it’s not enough that you have read a whole book, no. You should give the author a chance. A second chance. A third chance. The douchecanoe quoted here thinks I should have read up to book seven of Dickden Files. Are you shitting me? My time is precious and the likes of Butcher don’t deserve it. There are better books to read! Books neckbeards are too stupid to appreciate, yes.
Do you think he’s a murderous rapist in real life who fancies prepubescent girl? You’re crazy. Also, Allecto. YOU ARE JUST LIKE HER, you crazy crazy bitch.
This is a classic straw man. Because neckbeards are not very intelligent, or very good at reading, or very much good for anything, they immediately conflate “this writer writes things that contribute to rape culture” with “she thinks this writer is a rape monster!” even when nothing of the latter sort has been said. It’s the defensive animal instinct: the writer in question is very much One of Them–if not a beloved icon–and anything attacking the writer’s text becomes an attack on them all, as a tribe and subculture. It’s emblematic, as well, of their inability to think critically, which contributes to their neckbearddom to start with.
Nobody very much believes Abercrombie, Borker, Martin or Butcher is a rapist who fancies prepubescent girls in real life. I’m not interested in debating about Allecto but, like Valerie Solanas (also cited to “prove” that feminists are man-haters and that misandry is a Real Thing), she is an exception that proves the rule. You will find very, very few critics who honestly think these writers are part of rape squads in meatspace, are card-carrying Klansmen, or subscribe to a neo-nazi newsletter. But, as I’ve already explained in the Abercrombie post (and which seems to have escaped the charming little maggot here), what Abercrombie, Martin, and Butcher write still contribute to a greater narrative of misogyny, rape culture, and racism. From what they’ve written and how they conduct themselves online, I’d guess these writers believe they are progressive and liberal (as do the neckbeards who defend them to the death) and that they believe misogyny doesn’t count until someone’s being raped and racism doesn’t count until a POC is being lynched. They benefit from misogyny and racism, being white dudes; they almost certainly practice aversive sexism and racism without realizing it. And so it shows in interviews, in the crap they write, even while they trumpet their noble intentions to save all the womens and write the strong female charactahs.
And ultimately, that movement leads to “gritty”, because realism ultimately leads to the acknowledgement that the real world can be a real shitty, nasty place.
“This TOTALLY happens in real life! And happened in GRITTY MEDIEVAL times! What’s wrong, can’t handle realism, bitch? You censoring fascist.”
At this point screams of “censorship!” (yes, that’s Richard Morgan defending a fellow purveyor of grimdark: neckbeards of a feather…) with ridiculous analogies (“fatwa”, Nazis, Big Brother) and something about authors’ artistic integrity (lol) will fly thick and fast, not unlike a shit-slinging match among monkeys, with accusations that critics just want to impose their vision on the writer, and make Abercromblah/Borker/Butcher/Bacigag write things their way. Disregarding that no such assertions have ever been made, or such requests brought forward: zerglings are not as a rule equipped with critical thinking when the overmind is under threat. They also refuse to recognize that feminist/anti-racist critiques are not exactly going to silence the writer. If there’s an author who has gone starving as a result of his race/genderfail or homophobia… well, like the author who goes starving due to piracy, we once again run up against the bald-faced, shameless liar.
Tellingly, this type of comments will most often come from people whom racism, homophobia, misogyny or all three do not actually affect. Empathy? That’s for the weak. Behaving like a human being? Nah, that’s beneath them. The argument for realism, too, ignores that actual history is a great deal less cinematically gritty than the likes of Martin and Abercromblah would like you to believe.
This isn’t categorizable but damn look at them boys:
She confuses rage with anger, and it comes off less as an illuminating point and more as someone spewing seething disdain about the place without any real focus. And besides, an author can be honest and not hold back (Christopher Hitchens), while not spilling out in crazy land. She is little better than sitting down in front of Fox.
Edit: I mean, look at the name of her blog. Look at the disdain with which she holds others, even though her own intelligence is nothing to give anyone pause. Her abuse of fans, who rightly wish to defend the work of something they enjoy, is laughable. She is building a web site and an internet presence – though i have no notion of how popular she is – off of being like Ann Coulter. Saying anything to get people to listen. She is the type of person that makes the world a dumber place.
On one hand he hates Ann Coulter (who’s said misogynistic things), on the other apparently Christopher Hitchens–author of this nice-guy, sexist ridiculous piece of shit and who’s known for being an all-around turd (does anyone live nearby and care to take a piss on Hitchens’ grave? No?)–is his personal hero. This guy can’t even manage to be internally consistent. And, of course, the Fox comparison: even though Fox News is the most likely to espouse views this man and his breed are very likely to adore, with all the religious backwardness, racism and misogyny that implies… it’s like, man, he isn’t sure what side he is on. Apart from “stupid,” possibly.
Fanboys are such insufferable roaches. Maybe I should take on George R. R. Martin next? But that’d require that I reread his books, and that’s just so not on. :(