You would think I’d know better by now, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It started with a response to a Gizmodo article.
It had many of the things you want in an blog comment: vague hand-waving and rambling structure, references to big bad feminism and political correctness, invocation of the First Amendment (RIP, Blessed2Comment316 [kisses fingers, makes sign of the cross]), the consequences of equality somehow being that women would be at increased risk for getting punched on the regular, and a self-satisfied appeal to “human decency” with all the whiny gasbaggery of the kind of person who feels compelled to yell “#AllLivesMatter!”
So that was pretty neat. I should have walked away (well, closed the tab - let’s be honest, I’m at a desk, I’m not walking ANYWHERE that doesn’t have some kind of potluck linked to it), but I just couldn’t resist a smug retort...
Several people felt compelled to point out that the whole “equal rights for women means they’ll get punched like men!” example was, um, dumb. (This was to become a repeated theme.)
The follow-up was boilerplate quotes from a First Amendment FAQ site and, uh, the guy who wrote Starship Troopers:
What follows from here on out is the usual spiral of exasperating stupidity when you argue with other people on the internet, especially people with the smug self-assurance of the kid in your 11th grade English class who’s read snippets of his older sister’s philosophy texts and, like, gets it, man, and can’t believe how the sheep will just buy anything, but not him, no, he’s different.
Having addressed things specifically quoted by him, he asks me to... address more specifics?
His whole thing appears to hinge around women needing to be treated differently or else they’ll be dragged down by “acting like men.” NEAT. He also struggles a lot with the idea of quoting versus paraphrasing - which is why, as you’ll see, I start abusing the shit out of the Kinja quote tool, so there was no denying what I was quoting.
In a reply to someone else, he then makes the assertion that feminism is making the situation worse for women:
So I called him out on that (with a very unoriginal [Citation Needed]):
And he responds with 4 links that allegedly show a link between “the implementation of feminism” and violence against women:
Fun fact: NONE of those pages show any such relationship. Shockingly, the HuffPost article had a slightly misleading headline, but even a cursory reading of the article itself doesn’t even hint at any such link.
...of which I make a note in reply.
He stands firm on his assertion about this increase in violence towards women thanks to feminism and, as a rejoinder, asks me to “cite the progress that feminism has garnered women”:
Plus something about a “faith-based response” (?) and continuing to insist that the First Amendment literally says something that it doesn’t. Cool! But that’s not all - I’m the one to blame for him providing shitty sources that don’t back up his assertions at all, I guess?
Did you see how I got accused of ignoring reality? Great stuff! I thought as much:
See here how he confuses “ignoring reality” with “actually, your sources don’t say what you think they say”:
He’s very stuck on this idea of me “having a position,” which is funny in that he’s the one making outrageous claims:
But wait! He’s not really drawing any conclusions, he’s just Googling things! And then citing them as evidence for the things he’s saying - when they don’t agree with him at all! Nice, nice.
At this point, other commenters have noticed that even if he has a valid point somewhere in there, clarity is, uh, not his strong suit:
So, I got crazy with the quote tool, and attempted to summarize the things he had said thus far:
But the thing is, he is really, really stuck on this idea that because he presented “evidence,” that proves his point - like, the existence of anything he thinks backs up his claims is iron-clad:
And he challenges me to demonstrate an alternative explanation for why violence against women is increasing. (It’s not. This will be repeated several times.)
So I oblige him.
Which is where he really starts to become unhinged - his responses lack any clear thread of thought or reasoning, almost like he’s writing one sentence, jumping to an earlier one, continuing that same thought in a different spot - just incoherent as hell:
YES! Dictionary definitions totally validate your sources that don’t support what you’re saying at all, for sure, man!
Ahem. So then I got, um, a little unhinged:
It went about as well as you’d think:
So I gave him colorful charts:
And he follows up with links alleging that men and women are different species,
as well as links that “support” how feminism has made things worse for women (spoiler alert - they don’t),
before unleashing another unhinged screed that ends with - get this - HIS GODDAMN IQ. (144, if you’re interested.)
I gave one last response of any significance:
...before another commenter pulled me aside and (rightfully) pointed out that this was a giant waste of time. (Which is accurate!)
But, our heroic dumbass had to get one last parting shot in, lest we be in any doubt about his 144 IQ:
The Lesson We Learned Today: Don’t read the comments. NEVER READ THE COMMENTS.