Accidental Companion Piece

March 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Earlier this afternoon I read the following companion piece articles: this Daily Dot article by Aja Romano enumerating the various and sundry ways women are suppressed in tech, and this “ethological study” of the American Bro, literally the worst person alive, written by Vice’s John Saward. The only thing is, these articles are not actually companion pieces; they just work well as a unit. Indeed the violently sexist bullshit Romano decries is precisely the violently sexist bullshit that Saward discusses — it’s just that Saward’s American Bro is more conspicuously disgusting than the sexist coders and geeks who make sure the tech space is as hostile for women as possible, because like, meritocracy. Bro.

Please enjoy –although that is not the right word– the following excerpts, and then go read both articles. In terms of identifying sexist tropes, and more importantly explicating the various cultural pathologies that are born of and fueled by toxic masculinity — you won’t do much better than this. Or worse, is probably the more appropriate term.

From Romano’s article:

[In order to suppress female participation in tech] Make sure she knows that whatever her level of actual talent might be, her most important assets are T&A for the men around her to enjoy. Make sure you alternately objectify her or pretend she’s invisible when she attends tech conventions, and never, ever, encourage her to speak, because you might not like what she has to say.

If she starts opening her mouth and talking anyway? Dismiss her as frigid, or call her a whore, or of course, “bossy.” If she complains about how she’s being treated? Tell her not to get “personal,” to “watch your tone” and “take it offline,” to suck it up because hurling abuse at women is just “part of the culture.”

Oh, and ask more men to join you in ordering her to “shut your fucking face, bitch.”

Make sure she knows she’ll be punished for opening her mouth.

Is she still talking? Quick, find excuses to stop listening. Brand certain words as buzzwords that signal that an Agenda is taking place. Make sure as soon as someone drops a buzzword you stop listening.

Privilege. Intersectionality. Misogyny. If words like these find their way into a conversation, take that as a signal to downvote that conversation, or dismiss the person who used them as an angry social justice warrior. Make it clear you don’t approve of anyone who might be a feminist with an agenda coming into your environment and looking for “storms in teacups” to get upset about.

From Saward’s:

He has existed for as long as there have been gluttonous men dedicating ceremonies to their own existence. Anyone who objects is either a slut or a hater or a minority, and you need to GET ON HIS LEVEL, SON. The only things that change are the miscellaneous wristbands he wears, and the brand of energy drink on the promotional T-shirt they gave him. He is a chest-pounding, chandelier-swinging, Godzilla-id mutant who does not need friends, just a hierarchy of other men around him who will simply acknowledge the noises he is making, his indignance, his fury. He doesn’t want relationships; he wants witnesses. Don’t listen, just turn up the volume. Amplify this moment. He is memorializing his past immediately—minutes after something has happened it has become lore in the form of a mobile upload. He is grinning as he walks along club lines he thinks he can cut. And when the bouncer doesn’t care who he is, he shouts to neighboring galaxies that this place is fucking gay anyway, you bitches, and then he laughs and laughs, and he and Ryan and Tyler and Kyle shove each other until they reach a crosswalk, where he leans over to WAITWAITWAIT, look at this text, Rachael wants it, she so wants it, bro. She needs this dick to survive. Nothing has ever been as essential to one human’s survival as his dick is to Rachael’s at this moment. His shirt has come untucked, it never fit in the first place; he is thinking about Rachael, and cumming in Rachael’s mouth, and then ignoring Rachael for the rest of her life. But he is also thinking about where the fuck can I get something to eat?

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