Harassment: unclear on the concept

The other night I heard on Twitter from a little “GamerGate” bro that what’s been happening to Anita Sarkeesian and other Internet-famous feminists isn’t harassment because “the use of internet is voluntary.”

Bullshit. If your job and your career and your calling centers on communicating things on the Internet, using the Internet isn’t really voluntary.

More importantly though, deterring people from doing things that should be voluntary is what harassment is.

Look, if acquiescing to my demands is a condition of going about your business and engaging in your normal life and conducting yourself in public, I’m harassing you. That’s very nearly the definition of harassment, in fact.

This Carl Benjamin guy has been on a project to get Sarkeesian to join him for a “debate” about feminism. She said no. (She gets a lot of offers to “debate.”) So Benjamin and his pals think they’re entitled to show up in a bloc wherever she’s speaking and repeat the demand to “debate.”

When you skip going to a party because you know someone there is going to make the experience suck, that’s harassment. It doesn’t become okay simply because the party was optional to begin with. This is literally an anti-freedom argument.

Underlying this entire argument is a presumption that Sarkeesian is allowed to go about her work and live in peace if this one particular fellow is satisfied with her speech and behavior. Who the hell appointed him her Commander?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *