I’m fond of starting my posts with a hypothetical scenario for demonstration purposes, so let’s have another one here.
Woman: I am making a complaint about sexism and misogyny in skepticism.
Man: I am making a disproportionate response.
I am noticing more and more often in reading the blogs (and probably in following the videos, although I don’t generally participate in the videosphere but have heard plenty about it) that whenever a woman makes a pretty straightforward point about sexism, there are predictably people–usually men, but not always–who show up to shut her down by flooding her with words. Written words, spoken words, short statements by lots of other people saying the same kind of thing… you’ve seen it. A woman makes a point that is met with a disproportionate response so often that you can almost bank on the inverse relationship between worthiness of the response and its word count. It’s like some sort of Feminist Godwin’s Law without Nazis: The longer the blog comment, the less likely the commenter has anything productive to contribute or is even directly engaging in the point.
Let’s get the exception out of the way so we don’t have to play gotcha in the comments section. Here is an example of a proportionate response:
Woman: I am writing a 1500-word blog post about sexism I have experienced.
Man: I am writing a 1500-word blog post in response to your blog post about sexism you have experienced.
But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about protesting too much, which takes many forms: