Sexists, Periods&online forums.Oh My!

**Originally published over on culturedvultures.com in 2014**

I ventured out of my bubble, and I’m never ever doing it again. I feel that I’m not the most uncultured in the world, I pride myself on keeping up to date with current affairs and my opinions are in general well researched. That all being said, nothing prepared me for the horror that is the website ‘Return Of Kings’.

If the articles didn’t show an abhorrent lack of respect for women, the comments certainly did. The first article I found myself at was titled ‘A period is no excuse for a woman to be a bitch’. The gist of this article was that women should shut up, and that periods aren’t that bad; the writer has Crohn’s disease which is vaguely similar(according to him) and he doesn’t moan so woman certainly have no right to. I am one of those people fortunate enough to both suffer from Crohn’s and have a period, and I can tell you that they absolutely cannot be equivocated.

That being said, although I found the article misinformed and just generally nonsensical, I wasn’t especially offended by the article. The comments are what made me feel physically sick. Let’s have a look at those beautiful comments shall we? I haven’t got enough time or energy to go through them all but I will certainly give you the highlights.
‘Somebody • 25 days ago
Women use many excuses for being a bitch these days. In fact, many take the term “bitch” to be a compliment, and a sign that they’re a “strong” woman. The modern woman is the rudest woman in history.

englishbob  Somebody • 25 days ago
When you say “bitch” you must remember to preface it with “shut the fuck up”. Very effective.

truth • 25 days ago
I always imagined women to be Terminators. As Kyle Reese states:
“It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel
pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until
you are dead.”

Homine  Singlemalt • 25 days ago
Ah, but that’s because men are supposed to become adults, responsible, moral, independent, dominant.(a man’s biological characteristics)
Girls just need to cry, to complain, to blame, to be emotional and dependent.
I’m not against the term “man up” when used correctly. Otherwise we are taking the risk of turning boys emotionally/mentally weak, like women are.

I honestly spent a good half an hour trawling through every comment trying to find just one that championed women in some way…it never happened. However, here is my favourite comment, which I found particularly fun to read:

Overtaxed • 25 days ago
Oh the fucking period bullshit. Cry me a fucking river. First off, it’s your biology. Women have had a period for the last million years (give or take a few hundred million). Sure, it’s unpleasant. So it taking a shit after eating a bunch of hot peppers. You’ll get over it, and it’s not excuse to treat other people like shit because your hormones are flaring.
Men’s hormones flare a LOT harder than women, we’re expected not to rape (and even to disengage sexually at ANY point when a woman says No, something that’s directly in violation of our hormonal directives). We’re expected not to hit (again, directly in the face of our biological programming), murder, and, with the rise of feminism, actually not to ANYTHING that screams masculine; all directly suppressing our biology.
And, finally, all of this is entirely under a woman’s control today. Don’t want a period? Go on the shot or continual low dose birth control. Don’t want to get pregnant? See above. If a woman today is having a period or having a child, it’s because they WANT TO, not because they have to. Men have no options like this (well, they are out there, but not readily available) to quench their sex drives, they just have to live with it.
Boo fucking hoo.

After reading this well over ten times, I poured myself a drink and then reread it. I can confirm that, even after a drink, this man is a bellend. I don’t even know where to start dismantling this comment. I think that by even starting I would be fighting a losing battle, everything that has been said is wrong. I don’t even know how to approach the lovely line about woman expecting men not to be rapists. Should I bow down and thank him for being an evolved human, or maybe I should thank him after he’s suppressed his ‘programming’ to hit me.

I’m lucky in that I’ve never met a man like this in my life, and there’s a large part of me that feels like many of these comments are produced from men with a very different online persona to their real life personalities. This being said though it’s very unlikely that absolutely none of these commenters hold the same views when they’re going about their day. So how do we deal with it? Do we just avoid sites like Return of Kings? Well, no. That’s evidently no use, because all of the comments I’ve read have been from someone who agrees with the author to a greater or lesser extent, and if people with half a brain don’t find these little gems of a site, they will be able to spread their bullshit unchallenged forever.

So, this is my proposal. As a semi-intelligent group of mammals, I want you to fight back. It doesn’t have to be in a massive way, it could be as little as writing an anonymous comment calling bullshit or it could be writing an opinion on social media with a link to the offending site encouraging people to comment and do the same. The problem with these sites is that they only ever want discussion forming between people who have the same opinion. These people are never going to question themselves when no one else is willing to challenge them, so if there’s nothing on TV this weekend, get yourself a beer, get all snuggled up and go and educate the internet morons.

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