Friday, April 22, 2016

Even Alison Rapp's Husband Got Whorephobic Harassment

[TRIGGER WARNING: MISOGYNY, TRANSMISOGYNY, HOMOPHOBIA, ABLEISM, ENCOURAGING SUICIDE]

This particular piece by Alison Rapp's husband, Jake Rapp, came out several days ago, but I wanted to read it all in order to know which trigger warnings to use, and it took a while to gather up the energy to do that. Because there are a lot of examples of horrible, abusive messages in it.

Anyway, just for being married to Alison, Jake received a cascade of tweets containing lewd suggestions about his wife and mocking him for supposedly being a "cuckold" because of the rumors about Alison being an escort. Apparently there's some weird thing in troll/8chan culture going on lately about being a "cuck," short for "cuckold" (term for a man cheated on by his presumably female partner). I don't really understand it, but it seems to be a new term for an "emasculated" man, maybe a replacement for "mangina." It's also a fetish, and that may play a roll in this subcultural shift. I don't know for sure and I don't really want to know, but that's what's going on there.

The point is, most of the messages harassing him are based on the idea that Alison is an escort and the massive whorephobia surrounding that poorly supported rumor. There are also some purely misogynistic comments, homophobia (including the f-slur), and transmisogyny. Then there are references to the false accusation that Alison supported child porn in some paper she wrote in high school, and it wraps up with someone directly encouraging Jake to kill himself, complete with a fucked up image involving a noose.

Jake speaks on how he quit his job as a barista at the Nintendo cafe before they could fire him for being associated with Alison, and explains that he was never outspoken about any kind of political or social justice topic online. He's only getting harassed for being married to Alison. So literally nobody can victim blame him for any of this, though they'll probably still try. One of the messages even calls him a supporter of child porn. Then he goes on to talk about how the harassment makes him feel and the sense of helplessness it produces, knowing nothing can really be done to stop them. But he isn't broken and he feels no shame about who he is and he hasn't changed his principles.

If you want to read the entire thing, it's here:

On Quitting, Harassment, and Shame

Keep in mind that he uses some ableist language himself. You can, of course, scroll past the images of tweets to avoid reading the harassing messages, but the noose image is large and fairly unavoidable. You might need to disable images before scrolling if you can.

But the lesson to be learned here is that people who engage in anonymous harassment online are not doing it for any reason other than to cause harm. You can do nothing at all, but if you end up in the spotlight, even the edge of the one centered on someone else, and you have a perceived weakness, then they'll go after you. They just want to hurt people, and they'll go to any lengths to do so as much as possible. They might try to justify it, but don't be fooled. These are just bad people. We clearly need to intervene in young children and teach them to actually respect people. Something needs to be done because we appear to be raising generations of people who will actively seek to harm others if they think they can get away with it.

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