A long time ago, I did a post talking about how Johnny McIntosh was basically gonna run what little fame he has into the ground. After Anita Sarkeesian kicked him to the curb and took her “non-profit” to a whole new level, she ditched him like a bad habit. He then started a new YouTube channel with a Patreon, and I figured his story would end there. Her story, meanwhile, was leaving gaming behind and doing some history analysis highlighting women who were trailblazers throughout the ages. For both people, I honestly assumed that that would be that. How utterly wrong I was.
The most interesting part of this is how Johnny’s rise as a YouTube analysis personality has been completely unnoticed by what remains of the anti-SJW community at large. A community I myself have little to no part of, these days. That brand run itself into the ground, now just being “hot takes” by people who I ideologically couldn’t disagree with more. We were brought together in 2014. Now, we couldn’t be further apart. The same battle lines that were lost back then to take on a greater enemy are now right back where they started. Man, that was a digression.
McIntosh was a joke to people, and everyone left him alone. To be fair, Feminist Frequency was left pretty alone too. The meme had been run dry, you could make fun of the occasional Twitter outrage that Anita would try and generate, then go on with your life. However, both people saw their popularity go in diametrically opposite directions very quickly. It’s not hard to see why.
The story’s been out there for a bit that Feminist Frequency is financially suffering. Their reporting numbers for the last couple years raise far more questions than answers. They are losing money, precipitously. All while making nothing but audio-only podcasts whose views are a joke in comparison to the amount of subscribers on their YouTube channel, a couple videos with mediocre production values, and doing live-streams where nobody is watching. Where did the money go? The biggest theory is that it went to all of their trips to other first-world nations to preach their gospel to whoever would pay them to listen. It’s a guarantee that they were staying in nice hotels and getting lots of perks. All while it ate into their budget. They started laying off staff, and now have no paid positions of any kind. The company is essentially dead.
At the same time, with the rise in popularity of analysis videos, maybe Johnny McIntosh knew how to capitalize on a market right at the perfect time. His format from the days when he was writing Feminist Frequency’s videos hasn’t changed. Not at all. He just was a little bit smarter about it, and instead of marketing how much hate he got, he just kept making content. Safe, YouTube-friendly content. Then people would watch and his views and likes to dislikes aren’t bad. I don’t like his content, but credit where it’s due. He’s probably raking in a lot of money.
All of this tells me that it really was Johnny McIntosh who kept Feminist Frequency popular. The moment she got rid of him, the channel lost something. I mean, she is a con artist, and maybe her con just got so old that it was completely unsustainable. So now we know that while she was trying to bilk for money, McIntosh is a believer.
For those who have seen the history of large feminist movements online, this shouldn’t come as a shock. WAY back in the day, there was Atheism+ that reared its ugly head. It split what was the atheist community back then in two. However, after the dust from the infighting subsided, something happened. The movement became less and less productive. To the point that it devolved into just an Internet forum where everyone who wasn’t a mod was banned. The once touted FreeThoughtBlogs is now just PZ Meyers ranting about whatever he doesn’t like. The big feminists names back then are all cashed out at the talent bank.
What does all this mean? What is the thing to take away from all this? In my mind, it’s pretty simple. These movements are typically started and kept going by people who are piggy-backing on an ideology, marketing themselves as victims, and then building nothing up with the fame that they get from the media coddling them. It’s why Brianna Wu is trying and failing to get into politics. It’s why Zoe Quinn is desperately trying to maintain any relevance. Rebecca Watson has disappeared. Big Red doesn’t exist except as a meme that is long dead. And Anita Sarkeesian is trying desperately to get CD Projekt Red to take her on as a “consultant” along with get EA to donate money to her cause, all while still playing the damsel. I could have swore she said that being a damsel is a bad thing in a whole series of videos, once upon a time. All of these people are cashed out and have no future.
This will, definitively, be the last time I talk about this Feminist Frequency. This isn’t really about her, truth be told. It’s about those in the entertainment arena who adapt over time. Pop feminism was utterly unable to do this. While social media panders and old-school media kisses ass still, their voice is so much less than I remember. These days, it’s just bitching about whatever movie thing, along with CD Projekt Red and what they are doing. It’s encouraging to see that CD Projekt Red and Mike Pondsmith have stood their ground against such attacks. Time was, NOBODY did. But these people aren’t quite the dragon they used to be.
So I was wrong about what would happen to McIntosh. I admit that. It genuinely does shock me. Happy trails, Anita. The Internet already doesn’t miss you, but the thing to keep in mind is that eventually, you will be utterly forgotten. I wonder if that bothers her. Since she’s not rich anymore, probably.
Until next time, a quote,
“History repeats itself. The same thing will happen to Duke Red, his Marduks. Only this time, it won’t be the gods who bring about the change. It’ll be us.” – Atlas, Metropolis