One of the blogs making the viral rounds lately is Susan J. Fowler’s tale of the sexual harassment she endured working at Uber and the company’s totally scumbag way of handling it. It’s a gripping, if unfortunately common, read, and being that it has somewhat exploded, it has contracted a bad case of Rando Mansirs. Here are the five complete arseholes that show up in the comment section of these types of articles.
5. The Judge
This person insists that the original poster produce all the evidence she has of sexual harassment so he can soberly judge whether the poster was actually sexually harassed or simply misinterpreting the situation. Considering that we’re dealing with a person who thinks systemic sexism still needs proving in this day and age, I can’t think of any larger a waste of anyone’s time. This commenter has appointed himself arbiter of another person’s reality, something that actual judges aren’t even allowed to do. His main purpose is to pretend sexism (and feminism’s opposition to it) is somehow still under consideration. It’s not.
4. The Pearl Clutcher
This person’s main complaint is not that Uber or another company did anything bad, but that the person talking about that bad behavior is doing so in a public forum. Since this class of person tends to come from the same Venn diagram of free speech absolutists, this stance is a bit baffling, but the anti-feminist side of the Internet has never been very internally consistent. The main crime here is that the reader has to be aware of something, which, to be fair, is more or less the entire raison d’être of anyone denying sexism these days. They just wish things had been handled internally, which brings us to…
3. The Procedural Purist
“Sexism in the work place is illegal,” cried the dude, and skipped away to play miniature golf, as if that ended the discussion. Yes, discrimination in the workplace based on gender is illegal, but fighting it, even now, is really, really hard. Odds are you have never tried to fight your employer on legal grounds, even when you are 100 percent in the right, and that’s because doing so takes a monumental amount of energy and resources for a very uncertain reward. Screaming at someone to go through the system when the system is actively hostile to her is lazy deflection. Sometimes the end run is the only option.
2. The Free Marketeer
To a certain subset of douchebag, the moral of Fowler’s story is that a company was awful, she left, problem solved. Unfortunately, there is a reason the civil rights movement was so focused on lunch counters. It’s not because black folks wanted to eat at any particular diner; it’s because when a problem was systemic enough, they couldn’t get a meal anywhere. I don’t know where Fowler ended up after Uber, but I’m willing to bet she’s had to deal with sexist bullshit there too. Pretending otherwise is only possible if you tune out literally every woman in your life.
1. The Agenda-ist
For some people, there is simply no reason anyone would ever talk about a sexist or racist or otherist problem save to serve the almighty SJW agenda. Well, folks, I’ve been at this gig a long time, and the person who signs my checks is female. If there’s some George Soros slush fund financing leftist thought, it hasn’t ever bought me a Baconator. Sometimes people just talk about what happened to them, and that talk just happens to fit in with a world that has a lot of problems that liberals complain about. I’m sure Fowler didn’t get sexually harassed and then systemically dismissed just to annoy some libertarian’s Facebook feed, and if people could stop pretending everything that drifts into their newsfeed wasn’t directed specifically at them, maybe the world would suck a little less.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.