Beheading the Archbishop of Banterbury with the righteous sword of shouty, poetic activism

Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Week in Bantz: Electoral Dysfunction, UKIP, & The Man Who Capes For Sexists

I watched the Leaders' Debate this week, hoping that we might see either Cameron or Farage engage in some cringeworthy bantzmanship in an attempt to court the 'Boris is a LEGEND!!!!' demographic, but sadly banter came there none. Cameron looked on the verge of going full Flashman at times but held back, and Farage's interventions were more straightforward fascist bastard than his usual jolly pint-quaffing media persona. Fortunately, you can always rely on the Sun to come up with some inappropriate, insensitive, phallocentric crap to cheapen the election campaign further, and they duly obliged:

Yep, that's the Scum suggesting that a left-leaning male is lacking in sexual potency compared to the steaming hunk of virility that is...David Cameron. Stay classy there, boys.

Farage's disgraceful attempt to fan the flames of HIV panic was evidence of the dog-whistle racism and homophobia of his party. More of this came out on Twitter as Hope Not Hate exposed homophobic tweets from the party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Banbury:

Banbury? BANTER-bury, more like, eh? Amirite?

But the best illustration of Banter Culture this week came in the form of this Shakesville article which reveals that Jon Ronson (author of 'The Men Who Stare At Goats' and a journalist I had previously respected) smarmed his way through an interview with Adria Richards, who was horrendously victimized by Internet douchebros for daring to expose the sexist banter she was exposed to at a tech conference, while all the while planning to present the man whose sexist jokes she was exposed to as 'the real victim'. This 'real victim' quickly walked back into another tech job, while Adria Richards still struggles to repair a life destroyed by constant, vicious online and IRL harassment - but it isn't her story Jon Ronson is interested in. This is Banter Culture: a man who makes sexist jokes is defended, not just by the kind of half-human scum who inhabit the lower reaches of the Internet, but by a successful mainstream journalist, while a woman who has suffered appallingly is painted as the villain. It's vile. It's unfair. It's grotesque. Howl it down. 

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