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.