You Want to Curtail Free Speech (A response to UN Broadband Commission)

Studying history is an excellent way to keep it from repeating itself.  At least, that’s how it should be.  But that’s never how it is.  Instead, what happens is that people who should study history don’t, and it all ends up repeating itself over again.  That’s how it’s always been, and how it will always be.  Let’s get some history out there – authoritarian regimes are almost always started by people who believe the are doing the right thing.  When the people rebelled against the Czars, it led to Communism taking over Russia, which led to the people being even more oppressed than they already had been.  To bring down one system of oppression, they made one that was even worse take hold.  There is a reason for this – authoritarian approaches to ruling a population never work.  Ever.  They inevitably crumble, with the people being lorded over rising up again.

Before Democracy, we let rulers tell us what our values were.  They told us how to think, feel, and act.  The lord of your castle gave you your values.  That was just how it’s done.  In the 21st century, we have new lords of castles wanting to give us our values.  The are third-wave feminists and social justice warriors who believe that they have the right and the duty to dictate to us how we think, feel, and act on any particular issue.  It’s quite amazing, really.  These people genuinely believe that they know better than everyone else about what is good for people.  Especially women.  Because if women don’t have them to dictate what is right and wrong, then who will?  That’s the mindset we’re working with.

In that vein, the UN Broadband Commission has come together to tell us just how awful everything on the Internet is for girls, and how they need to listen to them to change it.  Because us men are the sexist ones.  Sure.  Here’s a link to their report.  Now let’s talk about it.

The growing reach of the Internet, the rapid spread of
mobile information and communications technologies
(ICTs) and the wide diffusion of social media have
presented new opportunities and enabled various efforts
to address VAWG.

This entire report is predicated on the belief that mean things being said on the Internet is equal to real life violence.  That is what the validity of the argument rests on.  Let me make something clear – that is ridiculous.  Do some horrible things get said to women on the Internet.  Absolutely.  This report even talks about some things that do legitimately sound like awful things.  Like how a girl in Canada got gang-raped, photographed and had those pictures posted.  Tons of people saw them, and it drove her to commit suicide.  That’s a serious issue.  However, we then have them equating that issue with our favorite con artist, Anita Sarkeesian, getting mean things and mean image macros getting sent to her.

Do you see the dilemma?  I’m legitimately finding it hard to find good examples to share, because I can’t escape the premise.  How can I make a fair response when this report is broken from the bottom up?  Mean things being said on the Internet is the same as real-life violence?  Are they kidding?  If they wanted to equate it with verbal abuse, I still wouldn’t agree, but at least that would be a leg to stand on.  Instead, they want it to be equated with violence.  Actual violence.  Let’s see if we can find some angle to look at this at, because I’m sorry – I can’t buy that.  I can’t buy that a girl who gets beaten to death by her husband is on the same level as a girl who gets told that she’s fat on the Internet by trolls.  If that’s just too horrible for you, please do explain to me your position.

Almost without exception, across national boundaries and
jurisdictions, millions of girls and women are subjected
to deliberate forms of violence because of their gender.

Okay, here’s something I can talk about.  I think it’s obvious that the people who “studied” this have not spent any legitimate time in Internet culture.  Do they not realize that EVERYONE gets mean stuff said to them online?  Do they not realize that it’s everyone?  Everywhere?  All the time?  This is the world we live in.  It’s a place where anyone with name recognition gets shit posted at them.  Why?  Because – Interwebs.  I guess these people just can’t handle it.  Or they look at the insane levels of shitposting on 4chan and think – this is indicative of everyone on the Internet.  But I’m sure that’s not the case…

Cyber VAWG includes hate speech (publishing a
blasphemous libel), hacking (intercepting private
communications), identity theft, online stalking (criminal
harassment) and uttering threats. It can entail convincing
a target to end their lives (counselling suicide or
advocating genocide). The Internet also facilitates other
forms of violence against girls and women including
trafficking and sex trade.

Wait, what?  How on Earth is sex trafficking equivalent with people getting mean things said to them?  Hell, how is it on the same level of identity theft?  Talk about hyperbole.  Gross hyperbole.  Yet-again, the crowd in favor of social justice is doing everything they can to dilute serious things.  Because the trafficking of human being is on the same level as someone being told they suck.  Watch the speech Sarkeesian gave at the UN.  It was pretty much, “people say mean things to me, and that’s wrong!  But this actually gets better.  Let’s see what these people have to say about women who choose to engage in sexual acts online.

Not only does commercialized sex on the Internet drive the demand for the sex industry overall, it also allows traffickers to use the legal aspects of commercial sex on the Internet as a cover for illegal activities.

Because no woman chooses to do porn.  They are all in it because they are victims.  And of course, the free sexual expression of women is a bad thing.  Because it lets the bad people win!  That’s the argument here.  Bad people do bad things because of the other people.  So let’s curtail their freedom to express themselves as they see fit so that we aren’t personally inconvenienced.  Amazing.  How can women not find this condescending?  How can any woman who doesn’t view herself as in need of a hijab not read that and go – I’m the problem?  In other words, the UN Broadband Commission is slut-shaming.  Nice work, you sexist charlatans.  And of course, let’s not talk about lesbian or bisexual women who may like watching porn.  If you acknowledge that those people exist, then you might have to change your opinions.  Bigots.

Online crimes are not a ‘first world’ problem; they
seamlessly follow the spread of the Internet.

We don’t view online crimes as a First World problem.  We view the people who choose to make getting called mean things on the Internet as a sign of some great culture battle that needs to be fought as people with First World problems.  It’s the definition of it.  I highly doubt that women in the third world give two fucks what some troll on the Internet calls them.  Most women in the first world don’t, either.  It’s just these people.  These special snowflakes, that you have legitimized through this report.  Well done.  This is so helpful.

There is a well-worn statistic that 30% of all Internet traffic constitutes porn: Research also reveals that 88.2% of top rated porn scenes contain aggressive acts and 94% of the time the act is directed towards a woman. Furthermore, studies show that after viewing pornography men are more likely to: report decreased empathy for rape victims; have increasingly aggressive behavioral tendencies; report believing that a woman who dresses provocatively deserves to be raped; report anger at women who flirt but then refuse to have sex; report decreased sexual interest in their girlfriends or wives; report increased interest in coercing partners into unwanted sex acts.

This is probably the most sexist thing I have ever read.  Not only do you slut-shame women who choose to express themselves, sexually.  You are looking down on them as victims.  Victims of who?  Why, us men, of course!  Because all men who look at porn are just one bad day away from raping someone, am I right?  We just think that women who get raped deserve it, right?  And of course, if we see porn, we are less attracted to real women.

Who the fuck do these people think they are, dictating to us how we feel?!  I watch porn, and I don’t think that women who get raped deserve it (though this ties in to the fact that the third-wave feminist crowd has redefined rape so badly that pretty much everything is viewed as rape now).  I think that rapists are bad people and deserve to go to jail.  Someone will look at my post on the UVA case and say, “what about there!  You blamed the victim!”  Jackie wasn’t a victim.  Jackie lied.  IT was found by the police that every part of her story was a lie.  It was all fabricated.  That’s why Psi Kappa Phi is suing Rolling Stone.  Because they were the victim of a lie.  So yeah, I don’t think that women are asking for it.  I love sex with real women.  I miss it.  Has been some time.  This statement about how porn is so awful and men are so bad because of it is sexist, insulting, and wrong.  I suppose the fact that sex crimes have been steadily decreasing with the rise in pornography has nothing to do with anything.  Or we could look at how countries like India, who has outlawed pornography outright, has some of the highest rape statistics in the world.  But no, that sounds too much like facts.  Something that the average social justice type is WAY too uncomfortable with.  You know what’s funny – they praise India for their outlawing of pornography.  Guess those rape stats don’t mean much to them.  They have an ax to grind, after all.

Finally, the lack of women in the technology sector –
including in private and public sector – may also have an
impact on priorities, culture, technologies developed and
corporate policies, regulations and infrastructures that
can promote or reduce cyber VAW.

Another common thread in the typical social justice argument is that there aren’t enough women in tech.  There’s a reason why – women are not choosing to go into STEM fields.  There’s hard data to back this up.  I can already hear the counterargument – it’s because they don’t feel welcome there!  Yeah, that’s why there are so many guys who say that they would love to see more women get involved.  That’s why my friend Selena, who is in the Engineering program at her university, says that she is one of the only girls there, but that guys treat her just fine.  In fact, they go out of their way to be nice.  Yup.  That sounds like the sexist nightmare that these people paint it as.

Here’s an alternative viewpoint – women are not choosing to go into tech.  I know, this is hard to accept.  After all, it is based on the idea that women have the ability to make their own decision and can choose not to do what they don’t want to do.  Like how women who go into medicine tend to go into specialty fields, like family medicine or pediatrics.  But let’s not tell the UN Broadband Commission that women have self-determination.  That they can choose not to do something because it doesn’t interest them.  That might just make their buzzers for oppression go off.  They do have to see it everywhere.

This document contains a great deal more that there is to get annoyed about, but this is the stuff that got to me the most.  The UN Broadband Commission is sexist.  They slut-shame women.  They reduce men who watch porn down to animals, while also ignoring lesbian and bisexual women.  Just like the rest of the third wave feminist community.  These are the people that we are supposed to take seriously?  These are the people who have women’s best interests in mind?  I don’t buy that for a moment.  It’s time we called these kind of people out for what they are – sexist bigots.  Sexist, uncaring bigots, who want internet providers and governments to help them curtail free speech on the Internet.  That report has dozens of ways that they can get to make sure that people don’t have free speech on the Internet.  It’s kind of disturbing.

And it brings me back to where I started.  Here we have the new lords, in their castles on the Internet.  They want to make sure that the rest of us believe as they do.  Right now, their castles are in foreign lands that we don’t see.  They have been relegated to the Internet.  But what happens if they become seen by all?  If their lands grow into the regular population?  What happens then?  You ask me, that’s when we get worried.  Really worried.  Hell, part of me already is.

Until next time, a quote,

“It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.”  – Friedrich Nietzsche

Peace out,

Maverick

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