Internet misogyny is really ridiculous

posted by Jeff | Sunday, December 3, 2023, 2:08 PM | comments: 0

I remember early in my observation of online behavior that there were always some people who were next level horrible humans, but they were kind of a shocking exception. As was the case in polite society, for the most part those people were cast off into the shadows and you didn't really encounter them that often. Well, except in male-dominated gaming communities, and it's still bad there. But lately I've encountered it in really unexpected places around interesting women that make stuff and do things, and share that on the Internet.

This year, for example, I came across Xyla Foxlin, by way of Simone Giertz ("yetch," if you didn't know). Simone makes the most random things mostly to see if she can, and some of them, like her puzzle table, and "Truckla," are brilliant. These two are friends, and Simone appeared with Xyla in her very own plane, so that's how I discovered her. Xyla is also a maker of things and an engineer, but with big things like campers and bass guitars. More recently, she built a carbon fiber rocket, and I could not even believe the kinds of comments that people posted.

"Someone else built the rocket... Xyla. You just danced and watched.

Worse yet, she built that rocket, not her first, in part because, as she said on Twitter:

"Some asshat from NASA called me Joe’s “PR girl” at the rocket launch today, and I’ve spent the day trying to talk myself down from quitting rocketry forever. I’m 25, I’ve been dealing with this shit for over a decade in STEM, and it STILL gets to me sometimes."

What is wrong with people? Who actually says shit like that?

When I was trying to better understand the electricity in my house when my solar plant had an issue, the algorithm pointed me toward Lexi Abreu, an electrician who posts her work on social media. She does some commercial work, which is even more interesting because of how this big load stuff would feed theme park attractions. Even better, she points out stuff that was installed not to code. So a few days ago, she posts a reel on Instagram with some random comment superimposed that says:

"She would be so much happier just at home with a husband and kids but do you."

As ridiculous as that seemed, there were plenty of reactions exactly like it in the comments to that video. This gem, for example:

"you will be more happy at home with kids, that's a woman's unique role in life, but im not hating, shes actually putting in the work unlike the rest just saying they can do it. and it also brings issues too because she gonna need someone who makes double her money for it to work out. which is even harder to find now a days."

My initial urge is to make a comment about literacy, but for real, how does anyone in 2023 think this way, let alone (attempt to) verbalize it in public? 

No woman needs me to save them, that's for sure, so I bring this up mostly because I know that a lot of folks will just let this sort of thing stand, of any gender. Usually it's the racism and religious bigotry that I see the most, but this is a good reminder that old fashioned misogyny is alive and well. We can't let this stand. We know it's still a huge problem, sometimes just by way of math. That women make less money to do the same jobs as men is real. I was talking to a woman recently whose boss said to her, "You should just stop talking," in a meeting, in front of other people.

It's hard to believe, but technically things are the best they've ever been when it comes to discrimination and hate based on gender, race, sexuality, etc. What's most ridiculous about it is that the bad parts that remain are louder than ever, and society tolerates it. I like what David Letterman has said in a number of interviews recently. When asked if the desire for equality and just generally being nice to each other has gone too far, he suggests that it's probably OK to overcorrect, and then back off. I couldn't agree more.


No comments yet.

Post your comment: