Troll Poking – A Bit Like Bear Baiting, But LegalPosted: October 31, 2008
So, a couple of days ago I promised you the story of the Troll. I’ve now sorted out my coursework for the week and done my washing, so what better way to celebrate than to mock the unfortunate?
As I mentioned last time, his statements boiled down to:
“because I, personally, have noticed that more men than women attend Laser Quest when I am there, this must mean that men, on average, are more aggressive than women.”
But this doesn’t give the whole picture.
He started out with the hilariously bad generalisation of:
“because…. [etc] … this must mean that all men are more aggressive than all women, and women are not aggressive.”
Being the mathematician that I am, this was almost boringly easy to refute. I am a woman; I had just come from sword-training. I am quite clearly aggressive and, as I am a woman, this disproves his statement. Yawn.
So, he revised it to the statement I initially linked to. Hurrah! I thought, a modicum of sucess. The rest should be easy.
…… Not so much.
Having conceded his wording was shit, he then proceded to argue in such a way that I was able to play Bingo* while he did so.
Sadly, his statements have appeared (in modified forms) on so many different bingo cards that I couldn’t win using just one.
“…But I’m the only one here [as a white, straight male] who’s being objective – you just can’t be”
“You haven’t proved to me why my [completely unfounded] statement is wrong”
“I’m a feminist too! Just not, you know, radical.”
“Hah! You’re so gay!” [to the man arguing with us]
“I don’t see gender”
“But it’s our genetics that make us this way [male or female]!”
[also, I feel it’s worth mentioning that genes =/= chromosomes. And therefore his statment was not only inane, and present on many Bingo cards in the form of “biology”, but factually wrong as well.]
“Yes, I think I’ve probably said in the past that I don’t see colour”
“I hate the way people [who aren’t white, straight, male] have to talk about their “oppression” all the time. I don’t think it’s productive.”
The problem was that pretty much everything he said was bollocks. And no, I don’t think I need to prove it. I think it’s fairly bloody obvious.
Also, he suffered from verbal diarrhoea. I don’t think he expected me to lean forward, glare and say loudly “are you going to let me finish my sentence?”. And then, when he carried on talking, to tell him in no uncertain terms to STFU. In fact, I may have actually said “shut the fuck up”.
To be honest, I’m pretty much past the stage of being shocked that people think and act this way. I know they do. I see it online all the time.
What did annoy me was that he claimed to be feminist, when he was clearly no such thing.
Oh, and him accusing me of having “no knowledge of feminist literature” because I had not read one book by Judith Butler.
At that point, I started shouting at him. I reeled off – very loudly – a list of books and people that I read or have read. Kate Harding, be proud, you were on the list. Even though, as we all know, I am Kate Harding! Cunt was also on the list, which – unsurprisingly – made a fair few people turn round and stare. Troll looked embarressed; I did not. Victory for Rachel!
I know, in the end, that I did not change his mind. I also know that he was intellectually dishonest and blinkered to the point of blindness about his own privellege. So I think I’ve decided that I don’t really care. You can’t win ’em all. But it did bring home to me the importance of feminism in my life. And, you know, the way that the arguments that I make, make sense!
*By “Bingo”, I mean the sets of cards entitled “Anti-Feminist Bingo” and the like. Links to bingo cards are best found through The Curvature, which has the largest list I’ve yet come across.