Guys, stop behaving badly

Tauriq Moosa did a thing. In a Daily Beast article titled “Hey, Creeps, ‘Compliments’ Are Harassment, Too”, he called out the bad behavior of men, whether online or on the street. He criticizes the excuses–“boys will be boys”, “it’s just a compliment”, “but they’re asking for it”–used to justify that bad behavior, and also tells men that we need to step up and do better.

He’s right; men need to do better. The vast majority of the time, harassment directed at women online or in meatspace comes from men. It’s not something women ask for–hell, they’ve been asking men to stop. It’s not something caused by clothing. Like rape, harassment doesn’t just happen. Someone has to make the choice to harass for harassment to happen. That person can control themselves.  And because people can control themselves, the argument that “it’s just how men are” doesn’t fly. For one thing, not all men are like that. For another, men can change. They can adapt. They can be compassionate. They can listen to women when they say this shit pisses them off or frightens them. They can and they should stop acting so horribly.

Not content to stop discussing this issue, Moosa took to Twitter where he and others turned the discussion to GamerGate. That’s when something interesting happened.

This began the #ReaderGate hashtag, which started when one intrepid Twitter user wondered to Moosa, Hey, what if literary criticism never took into account a novel’s political and social context and themes, instead just relying on the very basics of what’s written. Well, as we’ve been learning for the past few hours on social media, it would be a weird, weird place.

#ReaderGate hashtag users have adopted the four most common arguments from GamerGate supporters — such as anti-GamerGate advocates are just professional victims, the real GamerGate platform is about ethics in video game journalism, and those against the movement are just ”social justice warriors” trying to push politics where there isn’t any — and co-opted them, pretending to build a case for readers taking on gamers’ GamerGate concerns.

The results? They were hilarious, yes, but then you have to remember that the arguments behind them are all too real for some people, and that’s just scary.

Here are a few of the bitingly satirical Tweets:

I wonder if the GamerGaters understand satire…

Guys, stop behaving badly