Some history: In 2007, I tried to take Shakesville onto its own server. For reasons and by means I don't pretend to know, we attracted the attention of some very determined (and rather notable, if you read about this sort of thing) spammers who registered their objection to Shakesville's very existence by slamming us from here to Helsinki and back again. With the assistance of an extremely tech-savvy, talented, and generous gentleman, CW—who is also the lovely Mustang Bobby's brother (and whose résumé, suffice it to say, shows decidedly more impressive things than donating time as Shakesville's webmaster)—we finally blocked the spam.
Our self-appointed nemeses responded by hacking the fuck out of the site.
CW tried valiantly to stop the onslaught, to no avail. He said he'd never seen anything like it, particularly because of the way in which they were targeting the site.
It was, evidently, something about the combination of a fat woman who does fat acceptance and anti-rape advocacy that had piqued their ire—because every post about fat acceptance or sexual assault brought a new round of "Fuck, the site's down again." This post, of all things, an innocuous post about fat and beauty, was truly the beginning of the end. The site crumbled under the strength of the attack.
I don't know what put me, in particular, on their radar—or, perhaps more accurately, in their virtual crosshairs. I'm hardly the only fat survivor who produces this type of content, but, whatever the mysterious reason for the assault on the site, I retreated behind Google's massive firewall, where Shakesville remains.
All of which I share to explain, for the benefit of Shakers who have recently arrived, why this thread (to which I direct you with a strong trigger warning) is not in the standard archives, but instead in what is the weird three-month record of that drama.
That thread, ugh that thread, is what we refer to as the Unmoderated Rape Thread, where every comment of any tenor left was allowed to appear on the page, in response to my post criticizing "shock jocks" Opie and Anthony for a bit in which one of their guests "hilariously" talks about "fucking to death" former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former First Lady Laura Bush.
The Unmoderated Rape Thread is a collection of some of the most vicious misogyny, fat hatred, disablism, rape threats, and death threats you will hopefully ever have the displeasure to encounter.
And the reason I bring it up again today is because it got a new comment this morning.
Get a sense of humor… enjoy life…. learn to laugh…. or get out of our way. We have a GOOD life to live. Turn it off retardsThree years later.
Three years later, and there are still people who feel the irresistible need to exhort me to "get a sense of humor," despite my having written, right in the post: "Naturally, I'll be called a humorless feminist. Fine. If not laughing at a bunch of men sitting around talking about fucking women to death makes me a humorless feminist, then I wear the badge proudly—because I'm not just a humorless feminist; I'm a bitch who was nearly fucked to death. Isn't that just fucking hilarious?"
(It's Fat Princess on steroids.)
"Get out of our way," urges the commenter, proudly aligning hirself with the clamoring horde whose defining ideology is "People Who Object to Rape Deserve to Be Raped" and whose intellectual capacity for expressing said philosophy ranges from
The only tragedy is that a bullet didn't rip through your brainstem after you were used for your one and only purpose in this world. You should consider yourself lucky that some man finds a hideous troll like yourself rape-able.—to
YOU ARE A STUPID WHORE, that WAS LUCKY TO GET FUCKED UP THE ASS!!!! STOP COMPLAINING, FAT WHORE!!!! YOU'RE PROBABLY TOO UGLY TO GET RAPED!!!! YOU DESERVE TO BE ABUSED, YOU FAT FUCKING CUNT WHORE!!!!!! SPREAD YOUR LEGS, AND TAKE MY HARD COCK IN YOUR HAIRY VAGINA!!!!!!!!!!! YOU NEED SOME DISCIPLINE, WHORE!!!!!! SMACK!!!! WHACK!!!!!!! OWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! ME TARZAN, YOU JANE!!!!!!!!!It's difficult to imagine the profound corruption of empathy and decency that creates in a person the unshakable compulsion to try to silence an anti-rape advocate three years after the fact.
Easier to understand is this: Such obligatory displays of menacing tribalism—get out of our way—are a creation of the rape culture, which depends on its monstrous progeny for its continued survival.
The rape culture creates the narratives which sustains it, then sends its horrible little memes out into the world, where they insinuate themselves into every last nook and cranny of the larger culture, disguising themselves as conventional wisdom and jokes and other deceptively reasonable things. And anti-rape advocates hunt them down, teasing them out of the various strands of the culture, wrenching them from the shadows where they lurk or revealing them hiding in plain sight, deconstructing them, picking them apart, exposing them to anyone standing nearby.
That's when the jack-booted enforcers of the rape culture show up to silence us. Even three years after the fact.
And so it goes. Tidal wave against teaspoon.
I am tempted, momentarily, to be discouraged by a comment left on a three-year-old post, reiterating the same tired bullshit, so tiresome, so predictable, as if the comment were left not by an actual human being, but instead some demonic ventriloquist's dummy being worked by the rape culture itself (or maybe just Bernard-Henri Lévy).
But then I see the comment for what it is: Desperate, pathetic, flailing, insecure, weak. They may be strong in number, but I have the strength of rectitude.
Tidal wave against teaspoon.
The author wrings out her shirtfront and gets back to work.