The rocks are being turned over and the scum doesn’t know where to scatter. Its beautiful to see these predators exposed. The problem is that there are so many. It feels like a constant struggle to unearth them all.

Original Post that Sparked the Flame

Yesterday I was scanning the book of face and came across a post from my beautiful bestie that put a dude on blast for blatantly saying that women DESERVE to be disrespected! What the actual fuck?

She did a screenshot of his comments on a post saying that a woman needs to be loved and respected and then shared them with her friends and tagged the guy. There are over 300 comments and counting.

We went at him in real time for almost an hour, his feeble attempts to justify his actions were shut down with wisdom and swift justice. So many men were calling him an asshole and women tore him a new one.

He said that it was a joke but then continued on trolling all women and talking down to us. He dug his grave by enacting a fury of feminist rage. Good luck with that hell mouth buckoo! One of my woke male friends said that he is scared to talk to most women because he knows that men suck and its hard to prove you aren’t like them.

This scumfuck said that a “real” lady likes being disrespected from time to time, my bestie responded simply with “EW!” and he escalated it quickly.

Scumfuck: “I mean shit, now a days you show a woman some gentlemanlike class and respect they think you want their pussy. Only way to assure them that you don’t is to show a little disrespect. Like listen bitch, not every dude wants your stank ass pussy. Lol. Sometimes disrespect is needed to put bitches in their place. And thats not me being any kinda way other than real.”

Bestie: “And what place exactly of you think bitches need to be put in? Please tell me oh wise man.”

Scumfuck: “When y’all act up because you don’t get your way, you need to be talked to in a certain way that makes you lose that dumb attitude. Like the one you have now”

Bestie: “OHHHHH! right cause its 2017 and women are supposed to be subservient and inferior to men. Me and my dumb little lady brain are so forgetful sometimes.” *twists hair around middle finger*

Scumfuck: “You don’t think that sometimes there are shitty women? Women try to belittle and control men with psychology and this whole post is the perfect example. So its okay for women to treat men like shit and talk shit but when a guy does it, its wrong. Double standards are great and all but grow up. I’d also like to add, ladies, the women who go on power trips and think they’re better than men because they think men are stupid and only think with their cocks, are the women I despise and have strong a dislike for. And sadly this seem to be a large portion of women. Not all men think with their cocks and alot of us have have hearts that are reserved only for the right people.You girls obviously didn’t have a good father figure in your life and feel the need to take your anger out on men you don’t know. Im sorry you went through whatever you went through, but take a chill pill. Not every guy is bad. And my opinions of putting people in place with words when they step put of line is more than okay in america.”

Bestie: “Bigots are the ones who need to be put in their place. Maybe seeing what everyone else thinks of your sexist rhetoric would help you rethink how much of a garbage human you are? And haaaaaaaaa bring my dad into this. He’s a mother fucking hero. I don’t hate men. I just want to see them do better. And you could do MUCH better.”

(Ed’s Note: While we strive for correct grammar on this site, we have decided not to copy-edit Scumfuck’s comments in order to preserve authenticity)

Meme ℅ Grovey Cleves

Daddy issues? Really bro? He just freaked out when called out. He has a girlfriend. I wish I could send her this convo, I’m sure he untagged himself to hide. He also said that we both probably steal and also place false accusations on men.

And why we so upset? WE ARE ALL UPSET WITH YOU and that smug little attitude, and yeah she is right to put your ass on blast!

We live in a world where we have to look out for each other because so much bullshit – like the comments you made- is out there. So many men think its ok to just “DISRESPECT” women by raping, murdering, mutilating, and ya know just normal stuff like that.

Try living life in fear. Try being a woman. You don’t have what it takes dude. He also said “Womens rights? Why is that even a thing? You have the same rights as a man in america. Lol.”

Mistreatment of women (or any human) and sexual assault is nothing to laugh at. This is not a joke! See how well its going for Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, Bill Cosby, and all the others. Real funny.

Guys like this are the festering puss in the pimple that is the Donald Trump era, and ladies/ woke gentleman/ humans we need to POP THIS BITCH! Let the white nasty goo ooze out so we can put some antibiotic ointment on it and start the healing process. Toxic masculinity is a rampant disease

Gender is just a social construct, sex is a sliding spectrum, and forget about all of the archaic archetypal attitudes that have been destroying people since people existed. Asshole is not a gender identity.

Not every person who identifies as a man is an asshole, just the evil ones. I never ever claimed to “HATE ALL MEN” this is not the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men by Valerie Solanas). Believe me, I love all humans, I am pansexual and yes, I love men.

My dad is a prime example of how a man should be. He treats my mother with love and respect and takes care of his family. I do NOT have “daddy issues”. My only issue is that I have not met any men who are as awesome as my dad.

It’s like saying every asshole dude who thinks with his cock has mommy issues. His mom probably dislikes him as much as we do. Perhaps she has no idea and her pedestal really is encouraging him, but he made his choices.

I am definitely not saying that all “women”or female identifying humans are perfect either. My friend who is a stripper said that the people who often disrespect her the most are women. They think that they can get away with doing things that men are not allowed to do.

Sex workers get all of my respect. As women we need to be supporting each other and lifting each other up, not tearing down our sisters and degrading them in order to impress the guys or fulfill your own twisted ego.

I have several people in my life who have survived abuse and now want to call out their abusers. I want to create a dating profile that is completely honest. It will not be slander because the jerk will know it’s all true. It will be anonymous, the EX or person who was abused by them can submit the photos and answer all of the questions truthfully. We can call it OkStupid.

Hobbies: Punching women and destroying their self esteem and sense of worth, video games, , and watching anal gang bang porn.

What do you do on a Fri night?: Emotional abuse and torture with a side of forced sex on the rocks. Netflix and chilling with sexist comedians and my dog Bruiser, drinking brews.

Ideal date?: 100% American woman, big tits, big ass, no brains, no voice, subservient, great at blow jobs, no self worth, great cook, into being a side piece, jail bait preferred.

Career: Well since I got fired from 711 for doing whip its and expelled from community college I guess it’s sleeping in my mom’s basement and eating meatloaf while jerking my lil ween off obsessively until it blisters.

Favorite Song: Smack My Bitch Up

What do you do when knowing that someone raped your friend but she doesn’t want to come forward, she is too scared, blames herself, it’s her fault that she was drunk… well she didn’t take her own pants off and stick his cock inside her unwilling vagina. She didn’t put those bruises all over her body. She didn’t say YES! But she wanted it? She was too drunk/drugged to function and she WANTED IT?

The most important thing is to report rape right away, get the rape kit before you take a shower, physical evidence is important. Plan B can be administered as well as emotional support from a professional counselor. I would be scared too, embarrassed that I was the girl who was drugged and gang raped behind a dumpster.

Rapists hurt more than just the physical body. Survivors are violated, that scene in a movie where a woman is rocking back and forth in the shower is not shocking. Rape culture is normalized. Abusers are heroes and presidents!

Glorifying abuse on women, trans, and non-bianry humans is a terrifying truth. It is out in the open. Women get stoned to death for being promiscuous and men can just do what they please.

Attackers get violent when confronted with what they have done. Pity nobody has their backs, not even other men. Survivors are gaining power and rising up.

The #MeToo campaign is an incredible shift of power. Use your voice! Rose McGowan and Ellen Page are two of my role models for tearing up the patriarchy they have survived in for so long. They used their fame and following to rip the head off the beast.

Hollywood needed to be exposed and torn to shreds, young actresses (and actors) have always been victimized. Give some head to get ahead, right?

I want to set fire to all the rape vans and free all the people from the cages of oppression that bind them. All us stinky pussy hoes have a problem with you existing in your current state, fragile man children. There is nothing sexy about disrespect. Mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, lovers, and friends all need to be aware if someone in their life is an abuser.

Together we are the voice for the voiceless. The silenced millions who thought they were in it alone need to know that there is a network of strength behind them, a net of loving arms. Others will have your back. We are a tight knit web of female rage. War paint on. This will not be pretty…

Last Wednesday, so-called “pickup artist” and advocate of legal rape on private property Roosh V announced that the “global meetups” his Return of Kings group had been planning were cancelled. Some Montreal-based feminists including Katie Nelson didn’t buy it one bit. They tracked down where the still-on meetup was taking place and on Saturday confronted the local organizer and saw to it that the event wasn’t going to happen.

In this audio interview (which will be included in our next podcast’s panel discussion available on Wednesday), Nelson speaks with FTB’s Jason C. McLean about Saturday night, why it’s important not to ignore Roosh and people like him, the master doxxer getting doxxed himself by Anonymous and Roosh’s beer reception in Montreal last August:

I was cruising Facebook and came across a video of children being asked questions about race. They had a black doll and a white doll on a table. Children of all races responded that the black doll was ugly and mean and the white doll was beautiful and desirable.

It was heartbreaking to watch the most beautiful black children say the black doll was ugly and then when asked which doll looks like them point to it. The white girl says the doll is beautiful because it looks like me, the black girl says the doll is beautiful because it is white.

whiteprivilegeWe all know that both dolls are equally as beautiful, there is no contest or color scale. It is so fucked up that children are not taught the beauty in diversity and to love the skin that they were born in because it is perfect, we are all shades of humanity, all shades of love and possibility.

Our world is white washed and so many people are discriminated against and made to feel less. It is not a privilege to feel lovely in your skin, it’s a right! Children are raised in a shitty racist world where white privilege is real.

Don’t Call Me White is one of my favorite NOFX songs. It’s hard to relate to a race that has done so wrong, but I am who I am. I need to change the stereotype and make sure that it stops with me. You can’t turn back time and undo slavery and oppression, but you can make damn sure it doesn’t happen again and try your hardest to not fall into that category.

I try to be mindful of everything I do, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. I was called out on being racist for dressing like Frida Kahlo. The woman who called me out was right! Mexican face is as disgusting as black face. I did it for tribute out of love, but did not think about the repercussions of a different context. I only wanted to show that I adore Frida’s work and was proud that she shared her struggle with her artistic audience.

I am not a handicapped artist of color, I am white and fully healthy, I have never experienced the kind of pain that she had endured during her tumultuous life. In no way was my intention to offend anyone or demean their experience and I apologize if I did so. I hate to be in that category.

I once wanted to portray that I was Bill Cosby for a performance about consent, all I needed was his sweater to be convincing. You can find ways to be people for art without being an insensitive asshole. Hate and cultural appropriation are not okay.

I have openly judged the Catholic church on stage by wearing a pope hat and simulated sodomizing the altar boy before but would never ever wear a burka on stage. I was offended when I saw a white girl paint her whole body brown for a Josephine Baker burlesque tribute with the bananas and all. White kids wearing Native American headdresses is also blatantly racist yet socially acceptable.

chapelle whiteface
Dave Chapelle in whiteface

I was however not offended when Dave Chappele did white face, because when has that ever happened? He made a statement against the white supremacy of the entertainment industry. It is incredible to me that we are still ruled by rich white men in suits. The lack of black artists being honored in the Oscars is a testament to that. The Academy is white men, of course they relate to movies about themselves and their socioeconomic situation.

Just like everything in life, we need a diverse panel to get a fair representation of humanity. If a black child got to see an actor that looks like them get their due honor and accolades they too will be inspired to rise to such great heights. If the same child only sees white people succeed they will never think that success is a possibility for them.

Artistic expression can bridge the divide if used properly. My friend is an accomplished African dancer and he went to Dublin Ireland to dance with his troupe. There they performed with a traditional Irish dance group. Each group did their traditional culturally specific dances and then taught each other how to do it too. They were all professionally trained in their own style and were forced out of their comfort zone in the name of artistic expression and melting of ideas.

It must have been truly incredible to see girls in full Irish dance gear doing African dance and vice versa African dancers doing Irish dance in their African garb. This beautiful cultural exchange is what we need more of in this world, collaboration built on exploration of differences and love. We need to be authentic, share, celebrate our differences, support each other, and not mock or demean anyone.

My roommate told me about an incident where she works where two gay man were calling each other faggots, they were reported by a straight woman on staff who was offended. These gay men were then accused of being homophobes. Say what?

For me it is a situation where they are reclaiming ownership over the word and using it as a term of endearment. Like how it is acceptable for black rappers to drop the N bomb in a song but absolutely inappropriate for white rappers to do so. When you are oppressed by a word and you take it back and be like “this word doesn’t have power over me anymore” and say it ,that is different from using hateful slang. People need to really look at situations before they cry hate and realize what’s happening.

I just came back from Jacq the Stripper’s Beaver Show in Toronto and she talked about etiquette when at a strip club. It was awesome to hear accounts from a stripper’s perspective. She said that sometimes women were the worst offenders of being assholes to strippers.

Female mysogynists exist! They toned it up a notch just to fit in with the douchebros they were with, showing that in fact they could hang with the boys. Trying to shove a dollar bill in places where dollar bills don’t go, being pushy, no means no, “DON’T BE PART OF THE PROBLEM!” she said.

Damn that resonates. It makes me think back to any time I objectified someone or made them feel uncomfortable due to my disrespectful actions. Nobody is perfect. I am a feminist female and I still sometimes make sexist remarks to the girls and guys I work with. It is all in jest and I consider these humans my friends, but what if I am the problem here? I don’t want to belittle anyone or turn them into a sexual object for my gaze. It is absolutely wrong to make someone feel uncomfortable due to your ignorant words and actions.

Everybody deserves to feel beautiful. Don’t steal from other cultures but rather learn from them. Nobody is immune from being an asshole, you just have to admit when it happens, own it, and insight change in yourself and others. Compassion, sensitivity, tact, and respect must be used in all situations. Never tolerate ignorance! We need to promote positivity and put an end to racism, sexism, homophobia, and hate in all of its ugly shades. It all starts right now with you and me…

Yesterday, I told you about how Roosh V, the US blogger and “pick up artist” who thinks rape should be legal on private property was in Montreal and people weren’t happy about it. Apparently, his seduction techniques are lacking, too, especially on the women in this city.

Makes sense, considering people here are social-media savvy, know exactly who he is and don’t stand for that sort of bullshit. Even the Mayor doesn’t want him here:

Last night, several bars made it clear that Roosh was not welcome in their establishment, some, like Casa del Popolo even posted notices to that effect.

Beer in the Face on Video

That, apparently, didn’t stop Roosh from going out and trying his “technique” on Montreal women. He got a little more than he bargained for in the form of a drink in his face. Have a look for yourself:

Beer Throwing Happened on Private Property

Apparently, Roosh wasn’t too happy about being called out in such a manner. He even went as far as Tweeting that he thought beer in the face was “assault” and he apparently told the SPVM as much:

How he doesn’t realize that calling a beer in the face assault makes him look really pathetic is beyond me. But even if he does feel it is assault, didn’t it happen in a bar? Isn’t a bar private property? I thought he was cool with assault on private property. Or is that just sexual assault?

Final Thoughts

I’m going to give the final words here to the woman whom Roosh said on Twitter had “sexy legs” and who is a hero to many Montrealers and people on the internet today:

dear roosh

Sometimes when you write opinion pieces, you spend time trying to argue why something is a bad thing. Every now and then, though, you can just lay out a few facts and that pretty much proves your point.

Daryush Valizadeh aka Roosh V is professional pick-up artist (PUA), Men’s Rights Activist (MRA) and touring speaker. Oh, one more thing: he wants to decriminalize rape on private property.

He’s in Montreal to give a talk and if you don’t see a huge problem with that or with what he argues for, then there’s something wrong with you. You’re part of the problem.

According to a blog post on his site Return of Kings (no, I will not link to that site, Google it if you must), Roosh argues that legalising rape on private property will force women to take “greater responsibility for their own safety and security.” He goes on to say that “if rape becomes legal, she will never be unchaperoned with a man she doesn’t want to sleep with.”

There’s misogyny, really bad misogyny and then there’s Roosh V.

Response Gets A Response

This is Montreal, a city that doesn’t stand for the type of crap that Roosh V is spewing for a ticket price ranging between $47 and $87. Understandably, response started with a petition to block his entry into Canada and a protest planned if that petition failed to achieve his goal, which, sadly, it did. On Thursday, reports  surfaced of him being spotted in the Plateau and on Friday he confirmed to a Quebec City radio station that he has been in Montreal since Monday.

Protesters successfully got his intended venue to cancel the event. Now, though, Roosh and his troll army are fighting back.

Their first move was to post the names of those who signed the petition. Let that sink in for a moment. If you sign an online petition, you are already agreeing to your name being posted online endorsing what the petition does. To copy those names, repost them as people supporting the petition and thinking that you are somehow outing those people takes a special type of ignorance.

The next move, though, this time by Roosh himself, is considerably more vile and dangerous. He asked his followers to Facebook stalk the women who started the petition against him as well as a Journal de Montreal journalist who published the venue info, which presumably led to the cancellation.

He wants info. He wants to make their lives hell by contacting their employers, friends and family. Now what he hopes to accomplish with this can only be one thing: intimidation.

I can only guess that the reaction of friends, family and employers of people who are against legalizing rape would be one of support for their friends, family and employees and utter disgust at the person contacting them to somehow shame their acquaintance.

The thought of this contact being made, though, can be jarring.

Making His Opponents’ Case for Them

With these actions, Roosh is proving that he much more than just a hypothetical threat to people in Montreal. He is effectively making the case for those who want to keep him out of the country.

Not only has he advocated for legal rape, he has directly encouraged stalking and harassment of specific women. That’s grounds to call him a threat as far as I’m concerned. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that he is a terrorist.

#findrooshv

instagram roosh vOne of the first Roosh sightings came courtesy of St-Denis café L’Artiste Affamé on their Instagram page. Roosh had stopped in for a coffee and someone snapped a pic and posted it with this caption: “Girls your main man is here. Roosh V! In the flesh. Should be here til 9 if you wanna show your undying “love” for the dickbag. The door’s open. Make it count MTL!”

Now, it appears his minions are targeting their Yelp page with fake reviews. Meanwhile, others are throwing them support online and promises of “throwing money” at them when they get the chance.

They also seem to be the inspiration behind the #findrooshv hashtag. Now people who encouter him have a mission: let people know where this unwanted guest is so they can watch out or speak out.

Not Ready for Montreal

Roosh encouraged his supporters to take over the protest event page. If you look at the comments his supporters posted, or just take my word for it so you don’t have to read that bile, you’ll see that only one of the trolls who actually commented pro-Roosh was from Montreal.

That makes perfect sense. We Montrealers may have our differences, but one thing is true of almost all of us: we don’t put up with the kind of horseshit Roosh V spews. Not only are we social media savvy, but we’re also, at the core, progressive. Feminism isn’t a dirty word here.

Roosh will realize this very soon if he hasn’t already. This is not the town for him. If he goes to war in Montreal, he will lose. Maybe he doesn’t care, and as one observer commented, is just using the negative reaction agianst his presence to sell future books.

Whether a public rejection of Roosh V in Montreal only helps him has yet to be seen, but regardless I think it’s important to show him that he’s not welcome in this town. He also makes me and my fellow men look bad. I hope he crawls back under whatever rock he came from and disappears.

If anyone reading this was planning to go to his talk, just know that everyone knows what he is about. He can’t teach you anything about picking up women, only how to hate them. If the sheer bile that this individual spews doesn’t turn you off right away, you should probably get help. But, for the time being, just know that showing up may end your chances of getting laid in this city forever.

When sections of a website are labelled “Entitlement Princess of the Month” and “13 reasons women lie about being raped”, it’s usually easy to tell the website belongs to an angry internet troll – someone who never leaves their house and whose opinion no one gives much thought to. Unfortunately Mike Buchanan is no anonymous troll.

Buchanan is, in fact, a UK writer and conservative politician, who previously worked as a consultant for the Tory government. Not surprisingly Buchanan quit in 2009, when British Prime Minister David Cameron announced support for an all-female parliamentary candidate shortlist. Since then Buchanan has devoted himself to being a men’s rights advocate, founding the political party “Justice for Men and Boys (And the women who love them)” in 2013.

Researching Buchanan quickly becomes infuriating. Not because he claims to fight for the rights of men and boys. It’s infuriating because Buchanan is a hypocrite. Buchanan continuously argues online and in the media that feminism is nothing more than a hate-filled ideology. But Buchanan then uses his Justice for Men and Boys website as a personal arena to attack and belittle women.

A quick scan of the J4mb website shows that Buchanan posts emails from the type of fans that compare feminists to dogs. Buchanan argues in his party’s election manifesto that more women in the workplace have collectively ruined pretty much every industry in the UK including medicine, education and policing. He even declares that female genital mutilation  has less impact on women then circumcision does on men.

The law in the UK forbids all forms of female genital mutilation – FGM – including those which have less impact on females, than male genital mutilation – MGM – has on males. FGM is justifiably regarded as a human rights issue, and the law makes no accommodation for religious or cultural considerations.”

Statements like these (and much, much more) are just on the J4mb website. Buchanan has also written three books on anti-feminism including The Glass Ceiling Delusion: The Real Reason Women don’t Reach Senior Positions (spoiler alert: it’s all a conspiracy orchestrated by militant feminists). But the twice-divorced Buchanan insists he’s not a misogynist. “Insinuations of misogyny invariably come in the wake of my presentations of reasoned arguments,” Buchanan writes on his website.

Buchanan’s idea of proving he’s not a misogynist includes praising the website “Women against Feminism.” He congratulates these women on their “independent minds” as oppose to “miserable whine merchant” feminists. His comments begs the question has Buchanan actually read the website WAF?

Because as I pointed out in my last post, while many WAF posters don’t want the stigma of being called a feminist, they do in fact support many of the same issues feminists do. Could it be that Buchanan is grasping at straws to make his points that he’ll simply praise anything that claims to be against feminism?

Buchanan’s ideals are especially troubling in regards to his political ambitions. The Justice for Men and Boys party is currently running for three seats in the May 2015 general election in Nottingham, England. Effective political leaders need to work towards the good of everyone in their community, not a narrow-minded view of what the right kind of people are. While it’s hopefully doubtful anyone in the J4mb will be elected, it’s important for Nottingham voters to be reminded on some of issues Buchanan will be running on the following topics.

Rape: The manifesto declares that the allowed time for abortions should be cut down from 24 to 13 weeks. It makes compensations for abortions when the woman’s physical health is at risk, but not mental health.  So who cares if you were raped or the victim of incest, have an unwanted child already.

Women should be held morally accountable for the children they conceive… There’s no evidence to support the thesis that abortion reduces the risk to mental health of women with an unwanted pregnancy, and clinical trials to investigate the matter would, of course, be highly unethical.”

Education: Gender stereotypes on the types of careers men and women should have need to be enforced, and how dare the British government try and encourage otherwise!

“We also take issue with governments continuing to spend large amounts of taxpayers’ money ‘encouraging’girls and young women into STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) subjects and careers. These subjects were historically the routes to careers for many young men, yet the government is spending £30 million ‘encouraging’ women into engineering careers, although women have for decades expressed little interest in engineering as a career choice.”

Family: The entire notion of family has been ruined by feminism. Feminists are destroying fatherhood, and women are solely to blame for society’s high divorce rate. All these feminists family-destroyers really want to do is use our sperm and become lesbians.

“In only forty years or so, the entire institution of the family, underpinned by a lifelong commitment to marriage, has been overturned. This was driven by feminist politicians such as Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt […] Divorce is at an all-time high, having increased by 800% since 19603 and almost half of all children now see their parents break up by the time they are 15 […] Furthermore, women are the principal agents in ending their marriages – at more than three times the rate men are. Fatherhood is deemed unnecessary by the state, so taxpayers are subsidizing sperm banks for single women and lesbians.”

All this being said, Buchanan does bring up certain points that I agree with. Raising awareness and helping prevent male suicide, supporting male victims of domestic and sexual abuse, creating more balanced custody arrangements after divorce, and ending stigma around homelessness are all issues of Buchanan’s that I support. But where he loses my respect is when he twists each of his arguments around to demonstrate how things were just fine under a patriarchal society, and feminism has subsequently managed to ruin it.

That’s when Buchanan becomes less of an activist, and more of a man who’s upset about more women becoming doctors, women who have abortions after the mental trauma of being raped, or single women deciding to have a child without a father. Instead of Buchanan, let’s praise real activists and politicians in the UK who fight for HUMAN rights. And for god’s sake don’t vote Buchanan into office.

On December 6th, 1989, 14 women lost their lives simply for living them the way they wanted to, while being female. The anniversary was yesterday, but you probably already know that.

It’s important to remember what happened and remember the victims. If we can avoid mentioning what’s-his-name in the process, all the better. But we should never forget why he did what he did.

If this was an isolated incident that we, as a society, have really learned from, and our annual commemoration of it has successfully prevented anything similar from happening, then we should just pat ourselves on the back, keep the 6th sacred and go about our lives the rest of the year.

But that’s not the case, now is it? Gendered violence is still very much a part of our society. I could sit here and bring up Julien Blanc, GamerGate and the countless native women who go missing and turn up dead to prove my point,  but I don’t want to and I shouldn’t have to. If you don’t believe that misogynistic violence is still a very real threat, then you’re either an idiot, a perpetrator, or you just haven’t been paying attention.

If it’s the latter, then maybe one day a year isn’t enough. We’re still living in a world where what happened at Ecole Polytechnique on December 6th is still a possibility and variations of it are a frequent reality. This isn’t restricted to a single date on the calendar. Violence against women and tragedy can happen just as easily on December 6th as it can on December 7th, January 23rd or June 14th.

We should keep commemorating the anniversary of this tragedy, but if we want to change a fundamental flaw in our society, we should realize that any day, including today, December 7th,  is a good day to remember:

Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Maryse Laganière
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michèle Richard
Annie St-Arneault
Annie Turcotte
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

May they rest in peace

This fall, I began working tangentially in the tech industry coordinating volunteers, who inspire and empower kids by teaching them to code, for a local non-profit called Kids Code Jeunesse. In light of recent and troubling events making headlines and spreading like wildfire over social media, I thought it necessary to speak with local #WomenInTech and hear about their perspectives and to discuss gender in the Tech and Gaming industry, and mostly, to learn from them, for myself and my work, and to share that knowledge with others.

TAG photo
Carolyn Jong

Firstly, I spoke with Carolyn Jong, who is an organizer at the Mount Royal Game Society and a member of the Technoculture, Art, and Games Research Centre. Jong has been involved in many projects including making games of her own, and looking at intersectionality in gaming cultures. She is also an active member of Montreal’s indie game community.

A few days before we met for the interview, Jong hosted a discussion on recent events, including threats of a massacre at a feminist speaking event on the topic of gaming that would be given at a school, and about the “hate and harassment campaign,” also known as #GamerGate, with its persecution of game designer Zoe Quinn and others. Jong felt that there was a need for local collective conversation about what had been happening.

According to Jong, in terms of discussing issues affecting women in tech and games, there is a whole gamut of reactions. Some people recognize the issues and work towards addressing them while, on the other end of the spectrum, there seem to be two types of reactions: one of dismissal (“There are no issues!”) and another of a more aggressive nature.

Jong noted the irony of the dismissive response, which forces those seeking to address gender issues to keep close tabs on research and statistics, in order to demonstrate the “realness” of an issue that they may have experienced first hand. On the other hand, the more aggressive reaction is linked to power, privilege, and fear: “It’s complicated and part of a much bigger trend. This is a reactionary response.” In her blog post, “GamerGate and the Right,” Jong explores the disturbing nature GamerGate and its relationship with other movements and politics more in depth.

badgeThere are many initiatives aimed at bringing women in the industry together (such as GAMERella) along with initiatives aimed at getting young girls interested in tech and games (Girls Who Code, Ladies Learning Code). Jong has been involved with some of these groups, including the local group Pixelles, and has found meeting others with similar experiences and looking to address similar issues has also been a validating experience.

“For my own experience at least, it has been inspiring,” Jong explained. “These spaces have kind of given me, this sounds corny but, the strength to keep pushing on [addressing gender issues]. It would be really hard to do that kind of work because it’s not something that tends to be rewarded in other places.”

“I’m hoping,” Jong emphasized, “that the sort of push to get girls and women involved in games is going to branch out to include other people that have been marginalized or minoritized in circles. Current movements tend to be inclusive and aware of these issues but I’m hoping other initiatives specifically addressing these groups will emerge.”

KGCoCe4y
Julia Evans

Second, I chatted with Julia Evans, a Montreal-based web developer and data scientist, who organizes monthly events for programmer women with the Montreal All-Girl Hack Night. She also co-founded the local chapter of PyLadies Montreal.

“My daily experience in this community is mostly of super wonderful people, but for lots of women (and other minorities), it’s not like that. They work with people who routinely don’t take their work seriously or sexually harass them or just exclude them in a series of minor ways every day,” Evans recounted. “The more friends I make, who are women who work in this industry, the more I hear about [how] super competent wonderful technical women regularly get harassed and threatened. There’s a lot of really blatant sexism.”

These incidents of blatant sexism range from the microaggressive and discriminatory, to flagrant misogyny.  Evans cited the blog posts of two women, Cate Huston and Julie Pagano, who publicly left the tech industry or community as an example of the types of issues women face.  Evans also cited as evidence of blatant sexism how Christien Rioux, co-founder of Veracode, dismissed women’s abilities to write security exploits. Recently, the CEO of Microsoft, speaking at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, responded to a question for advice for women who might be nervous to ask for a raise with a statement that they should not ask for a raise but trust in the system to pay them what they should earn. Problematic to say the least. There exists, and Evans pointed to it, a timeline of sexist incidents at the Wiki for Geek Feminism which includes the École Polytechnique massacre of 1989.

For Evans, who is used to the kinds of environments that welcome a diversity of programmers, it comes as a shock to attend conferences where 98% of the people in the room are men. “What went wrong here? This is not what a developer community is,” Evans recounts thinking in these situations. She finds it really upsetting that it would be considered normal to have a conference with an overwhelming majority of men when there is a considerable and established presence of women in programming already. Moreover, Evans nods to the magazine Model View Culture as highlighting the already existing diversity in tech whilst addressing and offering solutions to some of the barriers present.gf-banner

Evans, like Jong, pointed to the importance of spaces which recognize these issues and aim to make change. Initiatives like AdaCamp, a women-only conference around open technology and culture, and workshops like Hacker School where, Evans explained “people work incredibly hard on making sure everyone is taken seriously and that everyone is given an equal chance to learn and grow.” Evans recommends reading a post by fellow Hacker School attendee Sumana titled “Hacker School Gets an A on the Bechdel Test” which highlights the diversity of women and their conversations in tech spaces.

ClearJoyfulArmyant

Forget The Box would like to thank Julia Evans and Carolyn Jong for their time and for sharing their experiences and knowledge with us.