If a person is lukewarm about the blogulative oeuvre of a given Internet feminist, the last thing she’s going to do is send that Internet feminist a transmission expressing the lukeness of that warmth.
The Twisty inbox, for example, has never once contained an email reading “Dear Twisty, I could go either way about women’s liberation from patriarchal oppression, I am indifferent toward your views, and although your writing has not particularly inspired me, I guess your punctuation is OK.”
Nope, according to research here at the Twisty Institute for Blog-based Interfacing, readers who initiate electronic interactions with Internet feminists are either really pickin’ up what the Internet feminist is layin’ down, or they really, really hate it.
Many of those who hate it become so sodden with hate that they begin to hate the Internet feminist personally, even though they have never met her and never will.* Sometimes their hatred is so dreadful, irrational, and acute that they actually lose the will to live. To wit:
You, Twisty, are unquestionably far more oppressive than the patriarchal regimes you rail against. You are clearly a loser who cannot finesse her way through the world and cannot tolerate the opinions of anyone who does not dig their nose deeply and firmly up your ass.
I am signing off forever.
Don’t do it, Serene! That whole afterlife thing is a scam!
Happily, the lovas outnumber the hatas. Today’s “Hugs, Twisty” email contains not one, but two instances of the word “love.” Love, according to recent research at the Twisty Department of Pleasantness Studies, is significantly nicer than hate.
I’ve been reading your blog for a while now – love it. Have you written a book? Would you?
I was feeling like the entirety of feminist thought had disappeared without a trace and it’s a real relief, and galvanising, to read your commentary on pole dancing for empowerment etc. etc. Would still love to see a book though. I promise if you write one I will get all my students to buy it. I was going to write one myself but think yours would be much better.
Write a book? Certainly. Your wish is my command. It will make an excellent excuse to start drinking whiskey from small, heavy glasses, wear a tattered bathrobe around all day, and sit, staring at the horizon, for hours on end.
I do all of those things already of course, but now, instead of “She’s a crazy antisocial old hag,” the answer to “What’s up with that chick, anyway?” will be “She’s writing a book.”
Would you prefer this book to be scholarly, or may it avoid all allusions to Lacan?
Also, I believe it’s customary to have a subject, or some sort of unifying theme, lest the work be mistaken for random typing. How about a slender volume of trenchant poetry about body hair? Or the case against religion, TV, public schools, the nuclear family, prisons, “luminous” skin, cheese, and reproduction? 101 Snappy Comebacks for the Radical Feminist? A translation of The Dialectic of Sex into Esperanto? An explication of the femininity continuum using examples from The Simpsons to keep it accessible? A scathing denunciation of Oprah as the opiate of the female masses, Protector of Rape Culture, and Collaboratrice-in-Chief?
Or perhaps some pulp sci-fi? Lard, I’ve got a million of’em. How about the one where radical feminist lesbian separatist aliens — they have giant pulsating obstreperal lobes and also a few superpowers — are on the run from oppression on their home world (not because they’re radical feminist lesbian separatists, but because they owe back taxes). They end up making an emergency landing on Mars, which is where human dude-culture and its bitches had to evacuate once they killed everything on Earth.
But, instead of what usually happens in this sci-fi scenario (or in any pop culture narrative) — which is that earth-dudes show the sovereign aliens the error of their dude-indifferent ways and whip them into porn shape for the good of humanity — the plot takes a female-normative turn. The radical feminist lesbian aliens are so mighty-mighty that they’re all “Fuck all yall rapist motherfuckers!” And off they biff to Earth — which, you remember, is barely more than a smouldering radioactive rock — where they fix the biosphere and live for a couple of centuries in an idyllic paradise with sentient bungalows, giant technicolor butterflies, margarita-mixing robots, talking dogs, and free healthcare.
Once the patriarchal Mars colonists realize how nice Earth has become, they decide they want their planet back. They mount an invasion.
But wait! There’s something about the essence of the idyllic paradise that the Mars colonists don’t know!
And wait again! There’s something else, left behind by a long-dead cabal of patriarchy-blaming Earthlings, that might surprise the radical feminist lesbian separatist aliens!
So! Will enlightenment prevail? Or will the transplanted Martian assholes enslave the radical feminist lesbian separatist aliens in big hot-tubs of translucent slime, co-opting their superpowers to fuel the Viagra plant, McDonald’s, and the stripper pole manufacturers, and turn Earth back into a giant, noxious, barbaric brothel, proving once and for all that vulgar desire is the most powerful force in the universe?
Just let me know.
Anyway, I sincerely thank you, Cicely, for the compliment about the blog. Yet a nagging worry plagues me. Just because I am now writing a book, it doesn’t let you off the book-hook. You still have to write one, too. You can’t foist your personal unrealized goals off on me, lady!
Twisty, book writer
* Hatred is not only mean, it’s unhygienic. That’s because it is an emotion. I was recently apprised by a television commercial that “emotions can cause you to sweat up to 5 times more!” Holy shit!