Saturday, 19 October 2013

Dealing with it - Online Misogyny

Newton taught that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; A mantra that applies to every mode, module and altercation of life. Reactions are mutually constitutive to actions and without them actions would hold no meaning, it’d be cause with no effect. Does this mean that all reactions are expected because, after all, they are natural and cannot helped on a purely physical basis? Yes. Does this mean that as a adolescent, or adolescently minded, male I hold no control my natural libido and act on it when it takes hold in the presence or sight of an attractive female? No, it just simply isn’t the case.
So imagine my irk when, as a music lover and margrave of manners, I am to read about one Lauren Mayberry who has come under fire by a unjust flurry of misogyny for simply existing as an entity in the social media. Now before you accuse me for a naive fool I do accept being in the spotlight whether it’s music, television or film one expects a certain amount of backlash. However, I can recall instances of Grimes and Lana Del Ray addressing this issues which obviously suggests that this is far too common of an occurrence to ignore. The crux of this piece is to delve into what it means to be a harassing knuckle-dragger in the internet age. 

Anonymity is a double edged sword. I can share my opinion online without the fear that a Kid Rock enthusiast, and potential gun-owner, will use my name to track me and subsequently kill my dog because I described his much loved metal-rapper as a pony-tailed grease monkey. That said, I believe this heinous entitlement that exists as our online personas does more damage than protection. In times where privacy remains our last treasured commodity to argue that we should lay all our cards on the table would be counterintuitive, we live too far into a paranoid culture for that to be taken seriously. What we must do is respect it; that remains the heart and issue of this Mayberry case, respect.

What I’ve seen with writers addressing matters of this nature is fueled purely by outrage, and rightly so. Comments such as “This isn't rape culture. You'll know rape culture when I'm raping you, bitch" have been regurgitated to no end and deemed a travesty and grounds for lethal injection. What I’m more vexed and interested in is the mindset of the man (or woman, considering the context of argument i’m entering) who wrote this: “It's just one of those things you'll need to learn to deal with. If you're easily offended, then maybe the music industry isn't for you”. This is the sickening fact. We live in society where troll-culture is shunned but expected. Such cynicism exists when discussing humanity’s lust and addiction for fear or war or greed not rudimentary sexism, nor should it. The internet is a miracle tool. The fact that it even exists is a testament to our advancement as a species and should be celebrated for that, not squandered so sexually frustrated cretins can fire biologically inaccurate and vile messages to artists who just want to share their talent with the world.

It boils down to this. Lauren Mayberry, on the behalf of the male population you have my sincerest apologies. Fear not though, while your creating fun and inspiring music for the enjoyment of the masses your antagonizers are likely to find themselves in their Mum’s basement crying and whining about why they got sacked from Sports Direct and that can’t get it up without wrapping a belt round their neck. Deal with that.

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