ISO easily digested resources for calling out an online misogynist?
May 22, 2018 12:38 AM   Subscribe

Do you know of a nice simple primer that I can send to a garden-variety unthinking online misogynist? Just enough to get the wheels turning in his head - maybe with links onward to more?

A male opponent in an online game is making misogynist remarks & gendered insults about a female team-mate of mine. I don't want to bug her about it because I'm sure she gets it the whole time & is sick of dealing with it.

I've already pulled the guy aside and said "dude that's not cool, think about your language here", but he insists he sees nothing wrong.

I'd like to be able to point him to an external resource & then close down the conversation before it blows out of shape & distracts us all from the game.

I'm male, if that's important. All help appreciated. Thanks.
posted by rd45 to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The most important thing about speaking up is not what you say but that you do it. When someone is a toxic asshole and no one reacts counter to shut it down, the tone of the environment has been set; toxic bullshit has been "normalized" as acceptable.

If it's not just you listening to Toxie, but there are other people around, the best thing you can do is to speak up every time and say, "yo, that's not cool." "Stop that noise." "No one wants to hear that." Just reject every bit of garbage that comes out of his mouth. Don't let him own the room. If enough people do that, he'll get the message.

Maybe at some future point the door can be opened to education, if he shows some interest, but right now what most needs to be done is the space needs to be reclaimed for everyone.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:13 AM on May 22, 2018 [18 favorites]

Yeah, that. If he doesn't see anything wrong with it he's not going to bother reading about it. Call him out, when it happens, in the place it happens.
posted by corvine at 5:40 AM on May 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I've already pulled the guy aside and said "dude that's not cool, think about your language here", but he insists he sees nothing wrong.

Nthing that you have to keep calling it out as soon as you see it, he's not going connect the dots to some article about why men shouldn't be misogynistic jerks.

My strategy, if I have the time and energy, is to neutrally ask men to explain their language or explain the "joke." Not in a sarcastic or egregiously "faux dumb" way, just straightforwardly -- most of it doesn't actually make literal sense.
posted by desuetude at 6:56 AM on May 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

(Also, thanks for being a dude who calls out other dudes. It's really important.)
posted by desuetude at 6:57 AM on May 22, 2018 [8 favorites]

Oh man, I can't remember if it was here or on Dear Prudence, but I definitely recall reading a delightful story about a lady with a Bigoted Older Relative who discovered that the Holy Grail to shutting BORe down was just pretending she didn't hear/understand what BORe was saying and asking her to repeat it. And repeat it. And repeat it. As many times as it took to become ridiculous to everyone.

Eventually she'd just get scowling silence in reply and victory was hers. It actually got to the point where BORe was almost trained out of it: after awhile, it only took one or two "I'm sorry, what was that?" or "Didn't quite catch that"s before she just stopped and made mean faces. Eventually this lady's whole entire family started using this tactic and the BORe was vanquished (or at least shamed into mostly silence).

Anyway, this tactic might not work as well in a text-based forum, but I 100% agree with the advice to continue to call it out as you see it, even if it's just a quick "not cool, dude". He may not be ready to change his ways just yet, but you'll be helping to set the tone for the space that that kind of sentiment and language is not going to pass without comment, making it more welcoming for everyone except bigoted jags.

If there's a way to reach out privately to your teammate and touch base with her, that might not go amiss. You don't have to make an after-school special out of it or anything, but a quick "Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I'm seeing this garbage and it's not okay" might be something she'd be happy to hear in conjunction with you continuing to call this d-bag out. She probably has her methods for pushing back as well, but there's nothing quite like knowing your teammate has your back.

As far as resources (assuming it gets to a point where you feel like this dude would be willing to investigate them), Schrodinger's Rapist might be a good litmus test. It is not 100% on the mark content-wise for this situation, but it is written on the premise that most dudes want to be decent but maybe don't have a full understanding of the daily deluge of nonsense that women have to deal with and why even innocuous actions could be perceived poorly under the wrong circumstances. If he reacts poorly to a piece that assumes he's a good person but probably has some blind spots, he's not yet ready for anything that assumes that he's harboring toxic attitudes and is not currently behaving like a good person.
posted by helloimjennsco at 7:51 AM on May 22, 2018 [11 favorites]

"Wow, do you feel that way about your mom also?"

"Grow up, 12 year old!"

"such a troglodyte." Neanderthal, Cro-Magnon, Caveman.

"Do you have no women in your life?"

"Zip it, incel."
posted by at at 8:52 AM on May 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

> "Zip it, incel."

Please no. This is just the other side of that same misogyny coin. Men internalizing that their worth is measured by their ability to convince women to have sex with them.
posted by desuetude at 1:30 PM on May 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

yeh I'm probably not going to go with insults in return, but everything else here is great advice, thanks!
posted by rd45 at 2:51 PM on May 22, 2018

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