I am beginning to think that I need my very own tag dedicated to professional troll and weeping syphilitic chode Brendan O’Neill, whose previous adventures have included declaring that domestic violence is funny, that sexual abuse victims should keep their mouths shut, and that women are anti-social if they don’t like being harassed in the street.
Seeping from the chancres of O’Neill today comes the not-so-fresh revelation that women are delicate little flowers for wanting to experience the internet without being threatened with rape and other torrents of misogynistic abuse.
O’Neill is reacting here to women bloggers and journalists courageously speaking out about abuse they have received. O’Neill apparently believes we’re overreacting, and we’re stifling poor little chode-face’s freedom of speech:
The crashing together of threats of violence with ridicule is striking, because it exposes a fairly Orwellian streak to modern feminist campaigns to “stamp out” bad things. There is an attempt here to treat words and violence as the same thing. Indeed, the Guardian report discusses “violent online invective” and quotes a novelist complaining about “violent hate-speech”. Anyone who cares about freedom of speech should sit up and take notice when campaigners start talking about words and violence in the same breath, because to accept the idea that words are as damaging as violent actions is implicitly to invite the policing and curbing of speech by the powers that be. After all, if speech itself is a kind of violence, if ridicule is on a par with threatening behaviour, then why shouldn’t internet trolls and foul-mouthed loners be treated as seriously as the bloke who commits GBH? Muddying the historic philosophical distinction between words and actions, which has informed enlightened thinking for hundreds of years, is too high a price to pay just so some feminist bloggers can surf the web without having their delicate sensibilities riled.
O’Neill trots to the last resort of the desperate as it’s abundantly clear he has no actual argument: FREEDOM OF SPEECH STOP SHUTTING DOWN DEBATE STOP CENSORING ME YOU BIG MEANIE. Somehow, suggesting that hate speech is bad and maybe we should work on stopping it makes us into big nasty Stalinhitlers who are fucking with Brendan O’Neill’s fundamental human right to hurl misogynistic abuse around.
O’Neill is also railing against a point which was not made, demonstrating staggeringly poor reading comprehension. I suppose it’s not his fault: chodes only have one eye and his is perpetually weeping sore syphilitic discharge. O’Neill seems to have misread the whole bulk of articles as feminists being offended by a little bit of bad language.
That isn’t the problem. The problem is that women expressing opinions online find themselves under attack. Not their arguments, but themselves. There is no ‘you’re wrong about this point, you bitch’, only the second clause. If you’re lucky. Far too often, it’s threats of rape with kitchen implements or personal details posted.
Even here, while calling O’Neill a weeping syphilitic chode, I’ve attacked his argument. And that’s the difference between colourful language and plain abuse.
O’Neill cannot understand this distinction. Or perhaps, more worrryingly, he does not want to. Having read selected excerpts of his ‘writing’, I have noticed that O’Neill really desperately wants to protect the ability of men to abuse. He wants women to suck it up when under attack online and offline. He wants to wear T-shirts making fun of rape without women getting pissed off about it–in fact, much of the current article is a rehashing of his defence of rape-shirts. He even wants victims of rape by paedophile priests to shut up about it.
At every turn, he seems to want to preserve a culture of violence. It is so pervasive that I wonder if perhaps he has a vested interest in this. Could Brendan O’Neill be one of those leery pricks who believes all women to be stuck-up bitches for rejecting his beery, gropey advances? Could Brendan O’Neill be that vile troll who incites fear to silence? Could Brendan O’Neill possibly be a rapist, an abuser? Perhaps not, yet his impassioned defences of violence make all of this possible; rapists are more likely to believe in cultural myths about rape.
Brendan O’Neill is a weeping syphilitic chode. He is also thoroughly dangerous.
10 thoughts on “Brendan O’Neill is a dangerous weeping syphilitic chode.”
I’m no fan of Brendan O’Neill and never thought I’d be commenting to defend him but I agreed with a lot of his article today. He actually states very clearly the distinction between colourful language and plain abuse that you accuse him of being unable to understand:
“So the Guardian report lumps together “threats of rape”, which are of course serious, with “crude insults” and “unstinting ridicule”, which are not that serious. If I had a penny for every time I was crudely insulted on the internet, labelled a prick, a toad, a shit, a moron, a wide-eyed member of a crazy communist cult, I’d be relatively well-off.”
He still doesn’t get the distinction; very disingenuously (or possibly entirely due to bad reading comp) saying things are lumped together which are not. Perhaps I didn’t make that point clear enough. It’s wilfully misleading what he says.
Oh right, yeah I see your point – he’s basically arguing against a straw-guardian-article. I do think it’s a bit much to suggest that his opinions make him a possible rapist though, I’ve never read an article by him that defends rape (though, tbh, I probably wouldn’t put it past him).
“If I had a penny for every time I was crudely insulted on the internet, labelled a prick, a toad, a shit, a moron, a wide-eyed member of a crazy communist cult, I’d be relatively well-off.”
That’s a disgraceful slur. O’Neill is of course a wide-eyed member of a crazy libertarian cult.
I dislike the argument entirely, and feel like the problem of abuse on the internet has been hijacked by feminists. The ‘rape’ thing I feel is just something of a red herring.
My problem is that in the 14 years or so I’ve been on the internet is that threats of violence haven’t been uncommon. I’m seen numerous; some which have involved the police, other that have not. They may not be rape but any threat of violence is just unacceptable and wrong.
Just last week my husband got threatened by someone who was going to come round to our house (he hinted he knew where we lived) and beat up my husband. On a cycling forum. All because of an argument about jumping red lights. Its not the first time. Its not even the second or third.
The argument being made seems to suggest that this is a feminist issue because women are being threatened with rape. Its not, its an abuse issue. It seems to suggest that its only done by men. Its not, its also women (see Nadine Dorries). It seems to suggest that this is about rape. Its not really, its about trying to find a weak point to cause maximum offence and reaction; a gay blogger will be attacked along the lines of his sexuality, a black blogger on their race and so on. Its what goes on in the school playground, only in the adult world.
It seems to suggest that white males are more able to express an opinion because they get less abuse. I just don’t buy into this. Not after some of the abuse I’ve seen directed at white males.
The issue we should be looking at is why people feel the need and feel it is acceptable to dish out such nasty vitrol on the internet when they wouldn’t dream of it face to face. We can not ignore how out the press in the UK influences the public and feels its so acceptable to pass public judgment and execution. We can not ignore that this is done by both women and men (though admittedly more by men). We should be looking at how we tackle the problem, whether the police and the law should provide a better deterrent and whether its taking the problem seriously enough in the worse cases.
I just feel the real issues and problems have been missed. The feminists concerned are in danger of making it worse rather than better as they are not tackling the core of the problem. Instead they open themselves up for ridicule and being accused of “getting their knickers in a twist”, by the likes of Brendan O’Neill. Ironically, since this is an issue faced by all internet users on forums, blogs, twitter, fb etc they do themselves a disservice and loose support for a problem which could have much more universal support. Instead it becomes an issue about rape and misogyny, rather than unifying people and making abuse and threats of violence unacceptable. Its more likely to alienate and invite even more comments especially from men who feel like they are being blamed for something they aren’t involved in and have been a victim of themselves.
Today, I have got upset by being hounded by a bunch of women for arguing this point, and called ‘anti-feminist’, because I don’t agree with their views. I find it all very ‘them’ and ‘us’ when it shouldn’t be. I have myself faced online sexual harassment and threats which make me very careful about my online security; I just don’t see myself as the only victim, I don’t see this as a new problem and I don’t see a solution to this through any form of censorship – especially if at the heart of all this is freedom of speech.
You seem to be missing the problem here. The problem is not general flaming–which has been discussed (and researched) in plenty of places, but of the specific level of scorn which is thrown at women online simply for being women online. It’s different from flaming.
So you referring to Mr. O’Niel as a “chode”, a specially male-related insult, has nothing to do with “sexism” but a man calling you a bitch or a whore online is “sexism”, because it’s a specifically female-related insult? Is anyone else seeing the double-standards here? Of course it’s pointless to expect reasoned, logical argument from a group of women who are by their very ideological nature illogical and unreasonable.
“Even here, while calling O’Neill a weeping syphilitic chode, I’ve attacked his argument. And that’s the difference between colourful language and plain abuse.” – That is possibly the most ludicrous section of this post. So by that logic, finding a feminist on Twitter and saying “shut up you fat slag” is unacceptable but saying “I strongly disagree with the points raised here because of X and Y, therefore, shut up you fat slag” is acceptable? Riiiight.
Luckily, 99% of the British people will I’m sure, carry on not giving a flying shiny shite about any of this melodramatic pseudo-feminist drivel.
I don’t see that as the problem though. At all.
Brendan O’Neill’s a contrarian idiot who always overstates his case ad absurdum.
But he’s ‘dangerous’ and ‘a rapist’ because he’s worried about the censorious implications of labelling certain kinds of speech as ‘violent’?
Do you even know what a grip on reality is?
Also, you’re only proving his point – trying to shut down free debate with pretty wild accusations of criminality.
I think you might need to try to read properly. I never said he was. I said that such myths are frequently subscribed to by rapists and contributes to a culture which facilitates violence.
Please read before you knee-jerk.