Brendan O’Neill is a dangerous weeping syphilitic chode.

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.

While a chode syphilitically weeps

Brendan O’Neill is a weeping syphilitic chode, and it’s getting to the point where I wonder if he was invented specifically to piss me off.

This time, O’Neill has decided that Topman should be selling misogynistic T-shirts, and that feminists have no sense of humour. To answer the second charge first, here is a joke:

What’s the difference between Brendan O’Neill and a weeping syphilitic chode?

Nothing.

It might need some work, but it’s a damn sight funnier than the T-shirts in question, and that’s already one joke more than O’Neill’s opinion piece had.

Of the Topman T-shirts in question, one uses dehumanising language, and the other refers to male-on-female intimate partner violence. O’Neill doesn’t even bother talking about the dehumanising T-shirt, despite the fact that use of dehumanising language is pretty fucking dangerous, with real-world implications, and is literally just hate speech. To defend the other T-shirt, O’Neill attempts to wiggle about with semantics:

A young man could just as easily say the words “I’m sorry but I was drunk” to another young man, after an argument or a fight or something.

That could happen. But the whole “joke” of the T-shirt is that it refers to beating women. Without the stereotype it primes, it is no longer a controversial joke, and it simply becomes a checklist. Which is a fairly pointless T-shirt, all things considered. Consider, for example, a T-shirt that is laid out similarly that says “I hate you because… [] You run fast [] You eat a lot of fried chicken [] You always die first in movies”. Would this T-shirt be considered racist? I’d say so, but according to Brendan O’Neill, that T-shirt is fine and dandy.

O’Neill’s article also demonstrates that while a weeping syphilitic chode can write–presumably, with infected pus dripping from chancre to keyboard–a weeping syphilitic chode cannot read. O’Neill denies that there can possibly be any cultural explanation for violence. Now, while the extent to which the media influences violence is equivocal, what is clear is that there is some link. Discussion should focus on what action is acceptable to take, rather than whether the link exists at all. That’s where O’Neill really falls flat. He is so interested in flatly denying any link  he does not discuss this at all. And it’s an issue that warrants discussion–should Topman have pulled those T-shirts?

There are a number of issues which could have been discussed were O’Neill up for talking about Topman T-shirts, rather than working out his issues with feminists in a public domain (in general, he’s not keen on feminists, because they think he’s a prick). O’Neill touches on class, completely wrongly:

That’s because they are driven by the elitist belief that there are some people out there (whisper it: working-class lads) who cannot distinguish right from wrong and therefore must have their eyes and ears protected from poisonous words.

Now, here, O’Neill is wrong on several counts–and he can’t help it, seeing as he is a penis that is wider than it is long, infected with The Great Pox to the extent that he oozes unpleasant fluids. Topman is not a shop for working class people: its goods are far too expensive for that. Furthermore, those T-shirts are indicative of hipster irony, a subculture which once again is not associated with working class people. This analysis is completely off.

Capitalism could legitimately be brought into this discussion: ultimately, these T-shirts were pulled not because of feminist censorship, but because of good old-fashioned brand damage. Topman didn’t want to lose customers, so they decided to pull the T-shirts, as they realised the products were somewhat controversial in the sort of way that could lose them a lot of money. Essentially, it was not the feminists who censored free speech. It was Topman making a decision in their corporate interests.

For what it’s worth, I want people to be free to wear this sort of T-shirt. It is a nice little at-a-glance indicator that the person wearing the T-shirt is an interminable cuntspanner. I would like them to do, as O’Neill suggests, a “blokestrut” wearing such T-shirts. One thing I would change? The name.

I think a “chodeweep” is much more fitting.

 

Brendan O’Neill is still a weeping syphilitic chode

Brendan O’Neill–last spotted declaring short skirts to be a “definite sexual invitation“–has done it again. This time, O’Neill has decided that the best thing for everyone would be for sexual abuse victims to keep their mouths shut about it.

In a stunningly dismissive opening, O’Neill asks:

If you were sexually abused by a Catholic priest nearly 50 years ago, and that priest was now dying or dead, would it not be wise to keep it to yourself? This awkward question invaded my mind as I watched last week’s BBC1 documentary Abused: Breaking the Silence. It featured mature, respectable and successful men recounting in eye-watering detail what was done to their penises by priests at a Rosminian boarding school in Tanzania in the 1960s. We were meant to be shocked by the alleged foul behaviour. I found myself more shocked by the willingness of these otherwise decorous men to make an emotional spectacle of themselves.

O’Neill, here, states that he is more shocked by men speaking out about abuse than he is by the abuse itself. He is more shocked by men displaying an emotional reaction to trauma than by the trauma itself. Such a reaction is, frankly, terrifying. Where is the empathy? Instead, O’Neill is a little more worried about having to hear about their abuse and the fact that the men involved may have been more than a little bit fucked up about it.

To his credit, O’Neill concedes that it was a terrible thing that the Catholic Church knew about the abuse and did nothing about it. This is secondary, though, to O’Neill’s main point: that this sort of thing shouldn’t be talked about. And that he cannot tell the difference between a decade and a century.

Yet at the same time as we rightly question the morality of a religious institution that seeks to cover up sexual abuse, we are also at liberty to ask about the motivations of those who reveal the details of that sexual abuse almost half a decade after it is said to have occurred. Why now? Why go on BBC1 in 2011 to tell a million viewers about something that was allegedly done to you in 1964 or 1965?

The rest of the article repeatedly rephrases this question, dotted with the declaration that the media has an obsession with people recounting trauma.

I agree with O’Neill that the media does have a ghoulish fascination with horrific tales which it replays in gleeful, pornographic detail. However, O’Neill conflates this with abuse victims speaking out, and presents his argument in the most astoundingly disdainful manner.

The trend for inviting Catholic men in their fifties and sixties to redefine themselves as mental victims of childhood experience is even more pronounced in Ireland and America. In Ireland, the state has explicitly invited its citizens to reimagine themselves as the hapless, unwitting victims of warped Catholic authority.

O’Neill’s contempt for abuse victims speaking out extends to state-led enquiries, and, according to O’Neill, the investigation made people who had experienced something reimagine themselves as abuse victims. Perhaps, before the state investigated abuse, they had thought that being sodomised by someone in authority was a perfectly ordinary part of Mass.

The fact is, if abuse victims are willing to speak out, they have every right to. In the case of the Catholic Church, it is particularly important to hear the voices of the victims: this is an institution which has systematically covered up institutionalised abuse of children–particularly young boys–for decades at the very least. Those who are in a position to do something about this, the bishops, the cardinals, the Pope himself, are thoroughly unwilling to put an end to this. The Vatican has refused to hand over documents regarding abuse to the police. The usual channels are powerless to bring justice for this abuse in the face such a cover up.

So people speak out. And they might do so over the television. It is the only way for their stories to be told, for the small chance that perhaps something may happen to prevent another generation of children suffer as they did. The public become outraged and, perhaps, more mistrustful of priests. With sufficient pressure, perhaps justice can finally be served.

Brendan O’Neill does not care about this. In his devastatingly simplistic analysis, all he wants is for these survivors to shut the fuck up and get off his telly.

Anti-social sluts

This may be one of the worst things you will ever read: “These are the most anti-social sluts on earth“. It is hosted by the source of 40% of evil in the world, the Torygraph, and written by a man called Brendan O’Neill, who, judging by the article, is a weeping syphilitic chode.

The article is ostensibly a critique of SlutWalks, wherein women and allies march against the notion that a person is in any way responsible for their own rape. O’Neill”s article is, in fact, nothing more than a seething pile of misogyny and rape apologism. O’Neill’s main thesis is that women who wear a short skirt and don’t immediately fuck a man are anti-social. Really.

The high-minded feminists who make up SlutWalk’s supporters and cheerleaders seem to want to opt out of this everyday social interaction, to dress as sluttishly as they like while also being surrounded by some magic forcefield, legally enforced perhaps, which protects them from any unwanted male gaze or whistle. They are prudes disguised as sluts, self-styled victims pretending to be vixens, astonishingly anti-social creatures who imagine it is possible to parade through society dressed outrageously without any member of that society ever making a comment about or to them. This is the highly individuated politics of fear – fear of men, fear of unplanned-for banter, fear of sexual licence – dressed up as radical feminism. But to update an old saying: no slut is an island.

He actually said that. He actually said that.

There is much to unpack in that short segment–the conclusion of the article–alone. First of all is the argument that women are “asking for it” if dressed in a certain way. Secondly, that O’Neill clearly has no idea what radical feminism is. Thirdly, that O’Neill also cannot comprehend why a woman would possibly be afraid of strange men harassing them (this is, apparently, nothing more than “unplanned-for banter”).

Most of all, that women who wish to live a life free from harassment are somehow anti-social. They are the “mean bitches“, one of the roles for women who refuse to inhabit rape culture and do not follow the rules.

Not only does O’Neill believe women are asking for it, he also believes that harassment is absolutely fine and dandy as long as you don’t stick your dick in the woman.

Yet that is what some SlutWalkers seem to be demanding: effectively the right to dress provocatively without ever being looked at, commented on, whistled at or spoken to by a member of the opposite sex. Unless such interaction is clearly solicited, of course.

O’Neill’s attitude towards women is rampantly obnoxious and hideous. It is hard to believe, from his writing, that when he refers to “cocky, swaggering men”, he is not casting himself in this role. He smirks smugly at the top of the page; his face says “come on, love, it’s just a bit of light-hearted banter”.

O’Neill wishes for a world in which a woman’s mode of attire is the same as a baboon’s swollen arse: an invitation to leer, to grab, to blow beery breath down the back of her neck and vomit in her tits. He is angry that such a world does not exist, and that some women believe that such contact should only be available with explicit, enthusiastic consent.

O’Neill does not stop for one moment to wonder why this is considered unacceptable by some. Instead, he frames women who want sexual contact with consent to be anti-social. This is a strangely socialist perspective for a Torygraph article. O’Neill believes cunt to be a commodity which should be distributed fairly, and that obnoxious oglers deserve a share. From each, according to her sluttiness. To each, according to his desires.

As more women realise that street harassment is wrong and become empowered to enthusiastically consent to sex and sexual contact, men who do not respect boundaries and rape apologists become more reviled. No wonder O’Neill is frightened. He and his leery ilk are becoming less and less able to express their entitlement over women, and so write angry Torygraph articles or post misogynistic comments beneath them.

They cannot blame themselves. They lack the self awareness to blame themselves. And so they hit out at the mean bitches.

Rape apologism and this sense of entitlement require challenging.

O’Neill’s article neatly demonstrates why a SlutWalk is so necessary and timely.