The big story here isn't rape culture, it's social media culture. It's the way we're talking (or not talking) to each other. Online, everyone is outraged, offended, cruel, mocking, trolling, or attacking. But what they are TRULY communicating is this: Look at me. I'm lonely. I'm bored and hate my job. I'm craving human connection. I seek validation. I'll type anything to get someone/anyone to pay attention to me.
That's why people say nasty stuff online. It's not a sign of genuine misogyny or outrage. It's a sign that technology is eroding human connections. When we stare at screens all day, the threads that tie us together fray. And that is making us sad, afraid, and lonely. All this online negativity is our response. The medium is the message.
Also, follow the money. The real winners in any online "debate" are the companies who profit from page views (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Gawker, Salon, etc.). They are the ones converting all this emotional diarrhea into cash. These companies have no economic incentive to provide actual solutions or constructive engagement. They want us to keep yelling, provoking, and stirring the pot – as long as it makes people hit reload and they can sell your data to Bonobos and show you a "hot deal" on Tory Burch Reva Ballerina Flats from Neiman Marcus.
We didn't solve rape jokes six months ago. We're not solving them now. We won't solve them when this debate happens again in six months.
But hey, if you're bored at work and spouting off on all this helps you feel alive, then go for it. I mean, I get it...Why the hell do you think I wrote this!?
P.S. Please don't use YouTube comments to prove any point in your article/story/whatever. At that point, you might as well "quote" the gorillas at the zoo flinging their crap.
Sandpaper Suit is NYC standup comic Matt Ruby's (now defunct) comedy blog. Keep in touch: Sign up for Matt's weekly Rubesletter. Email email@example.com.
The big story here isn't rape culture, it's social media culture
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Rape culture is made up.
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