Ghostbusters: Attack of the Whiny Men

Recently there has been somewhat of a backlash against the “feminist agenda” in films, despite women being nowhere near fair or equal representation, there are a bunch of whiny men who will complain endlessly about the latest “feminist” film. From attempts by MRAs to “boycott” the Force Awakens, to complaints that Furiosa in Mad Max is purely pandering to the “feminazis”. Now so far all those films have been a massive success, the boycott of Star Wars did I’m sure really worry them for a while (not really), but it scraped through with a record breaking box office figure! Mad Max had to make do with six academy awards and a measly $300 million or so at the box office.

Has this deterred the whiny men? Hell no! The latest subject of their ire is Ghostbusters, despite it having the original creator, Dan Aykroyd, on board, and many of the original cast. It has, gasp, got *women* as the actual heroes. This cannot be allowed, arise meninists, tip your fedoras and defend the faith!

Looking at the comments on the Facebook page you’d think it was a pre-determined fate for this film that it will flop. This one will finally be the box office failure that makes Hollywood wake up and stop “pandering” to those feminist. The comments are wall to wall negative, very few positive ones. Anyone daring to express a positive view is immediately jumped on by the whiny men.

Screenshot from 2016-04-26 15:10:41

Amusing misspelling by Kyle there, Freudian even. Kev is so sure no one could possibly be liking this, as yet to be released, film that he accuses Julie of being a bot!

So it seems Ghostbusters will be a total flop, the “sjw-feminist” alliance in Hollywood finally exposed and we can go back to all male action heroes. Or can we? One thing I know about “meninists” or “MRAs”, even just plain old sexist men, they like to brigade comment sections and let everyone know what their opinion is. Look at the likes for the Facebook page and it has 2.6 Million. Look at the likes for each individual post and there are usually double the number of likes, to negative comments.

I have a working hypothesis, the women (and men to a degree) who like this film are avoiding the toxic sludge of whiny men in the comment sections. There is far more support for this film than the whiners in the comment sections realise. So I did a little bit of analysis to see if this held up. Extract from the Facebook API the names of everyone commenting and liking the top posts on the page.  Then correlate first name to M/F using census data on male and female names. The results are interesting …

Screenshot from 2016-04-26 15:40:13

Very few unique people in the comment sections. I had roughly 1K comments and 2K likes, comments reduced to ~350 unique commenters and ~1700 unique likers. So straight away it can be seen there are lots of pressed people commenting over and over.

The gender balance matches my hypothesis with way more women liking the posts than men, more men commenting than women. I am surprised there are so many women in the commenters. But then it is unique commenters, and many of the men are commenting on every post to say how much they hate it. The few women commenting do it once, like Julie above, then never come back … For some inexplicable reason.

So will Ghostbusters tank? Maybe, it has certainly received some criticism from the feminist contingent as well. However it is clear the wall to wall negative comments, mostly from men, on every post, are not depicting the true level of support for the film. I personally hope it is also a massive success, just so it finally makes them re-think their actions in attacking a film based on it having women as the heroes. (Just kidding, of course they won’t re-think anything! Onto the next meninist crusade!)


The Data Protection Act and The Block Bot

So the admins of the block bot have made an announcement today (Whoops, forgot to publish this and it’s now months later!) in regards to the Data Protection Act and their operation …

This communication has been going on for a while, with very long pauses in between, the UK Information Commission (ICO) have better things to do than worry about anti-harassment tools on Twitter that only store public data! This communication was initially started by me as some people were claiming the block bot was “violating” the UK Data Protection Act (DPA) and I was a Data Controller. Both patently false but to get a definitive answer from the ICO involved the admins explaining how it works and what their roles are, and me explaining I have no role apart from rebooting the server and making sure the data is secure. This information and the complaints submitted by people trying to get the bot shut down were taken into consideration by the ICO.

So, they’ve ruled the block bot doesn’t violate any of the clauses in the DPA, at all. Not only that but I’m not a Data Controller and no one on the team need register as one.

The three admins are in charge and I cannot modify the data without their instruction to do so. Quite why no one understands this when I stepped down as an administrator/blocker of the block bot over 18 months ago I can’t imagine. Regardless the matter is now closed, definitively, and I’d encourage any one else worried about the DPA requirements of their anti-harassment tools to contact the ICO. They are very helpful! @Marian has also offered to give people specifics of what we’ve learned, but we’d recommend always contacting the ICO.

Cis Allies and The Reaction to Trans-antagonism from a Fave

Worst thing about the current strife in the FreeThoughtBlogs trans antagonism bust up is the reaction from friends and allies. No one is asking them to stop being friends, to cast out the person being “-ist”. Just to acknowledge the legions of trans people who have been saying what this person is doing is harmful. They don’t have to say it to their friend even, just stop disbelieving trans people when they say something is off. Stop applying hyperskepticism to each and every bit of evidence they provide. Well, now it is undeniable (Not that it won’t be denied, for “reasons”), I wonder how many defenders will re-evaluate how they handled this?

So yeah, that was not found by us stalkers and poisoners, it’s just the latest in a large pile of trans antagonism that is never quite enough. @anteprepro found it and posted on the Pharyngula thread where PZ asked for evidence. Then PZ claimed everyone providing evidence hates her and considers her to be like Satan. So that was a master class in how to handle accusations of bigotry …

People our “side” have also done and said things that didn’t help I’m sure. It would be nice to see some advice on how to handle these issues as I’ve seen over and over again trans people saying how this repeats itself over and over in supposedly “safe spaces” like FTB. The wagons start circling and the defenders get more and more ridiculous. Worst I’ve seen is people claiming Hungerford is not a TERF (She claims that herself) and that since not literally *all* trans people have said this person is being trans antagonistic we can’t draw any conclusions. Not to mention all the comments about “witch hunts”, “thought crime” and of course “McCarthyism”.

Ideally in future if women, trans or cis, say your fave is problematic. Listen to them, and believe them. No need to jump into the “witch hunting” fray and denounce them. Just listen and believe. Avoid making it worse through tortured denials if you possibly can. Give generic support to your fave not “all those people criticising you are like McCarthy”.

In the likely event I am accused of some bigotry against marginalised people I hope my friends will take it seriously. Not dismiss it in a knee-jerk fashion. I hope I’ll be able to listen, apologise, and even better modify my behaviour for next time. That’s literally all anyone wants.

Hello world!

Quick note, moving my personal domains off infrastructure, preparation for the move to CQT as the new technical owners of @TheBlockBot  As usual any technical stuff like this, moving domains around etc, will all be done by me as the incumbent “techy” for the old @TheBlockBot. All queries about the running of the block bot service to go to @MAMelby, @Xanthe_Cat and @VanguardVivian as the admins of the service itself.

Oh and I see from front page, some people have been asking QCT about the bot. They will be happy to hear about technical plans for the next bot. But will never be in charge of the modding teams, those will be headed by admins as they currently are, the service will be managed by CQT.

Obligatory Patreon link for CQT, go donate for a better block bot :)