(Content Warning: Violent misogyny, rape threats, ableist language)
Have you ever had to deal with comments like these? They’re horrifying – but Marina Watanabe’s using the hashtag #YouTubeMisogyny to fight back against online abuse and harassment.
Nobody should have to deal with this, but if you do, you’re not alone. We hope Marina’s smart comebacks and reflections on her experience can help you cope.
The Editors at Everyday Feminism
Click for the Transcript
Hi, my name is Marina Watanabe!
Some of you might know me as the girl who talks about feminism online or the girl who chronicles her bowel movements on Twitter. Hopefully it’s the first one, but I also understand why it would be the second one.
I’ve been making videos on the internet for almost four years. Unfortunately, I’ve been receiving misogynistic and abusive comments for that entire length of time.
One year ago, I started the hashtag #youtubemisogyny to document the experiences that many women content creators deal with when they express their opinions on the internet.
So I’m going to read a select few special comments that I’ve shared under this hashtag.
Just a heads up, some of these comments contain violent language, slurs, rape threats, and encourages of suicide. So a lot of fun stuff.
“Typical feminist bitch. Fuck you, bitch.” Aww, thanks. Fuck you too.
“Why are women such weak whiners? Makeup tutorials and victim playing seem to be the extent of what women offer YouTube.” Gosh, you are so right. Our poor little lady brains just have no place on the internet. Just get up and leave. That would be a dream.
“She’s got enough to do porn.” Pretty sure that’s supposed to say hot enough, but I like to think that I’ve just got enough in life to do porn. Got enough of what? Spunk? Determination? A good sense of humor? I got it all.
“How about you go fuck yourself you miserable ugly cunt?” Only every night.
“Over complicating shit is typical female behavior.” Women wanting social, political and economic equality? That’s too complicated.
“This girl needs a real man.” I hope you don’t mean you.
“Modern men really don’t like modern women all that much – unless you haven’t noticed.” Oh no, whatever will women do?
“Women are only better at raising children and being pretty, and bitchy in your case.” You’re right. I am really good at being pretty and bitchy.
“Women are only human in appearance. In mind, they are closer to animal.” Truth.
“End your fucking life you useless cunt.” No, thank you?
“Feminism exists so ugly bitches that get rejected by men bitch about life together and become lesbians.” (Nods)
“Oh look a woman bitching about shit for no reason, never seen that before.” Oh look, a man bitching about women for no reason. Never seen that before.
“She’s trying to be the new Laci. I hope she’ll start showing her ass the same way Laci likes showing her boobers.” Boobers? Boobers. Wow.
“She’s not bad looking though so some guy would still fuck her despite her fermenting hatred for men.” Actually my fermenting hatred of men is a pretty big hit at parties.
“I’m into Asian girls. If you promise to shut up I’d fuck you in the ass.” God, that sounds so fun. Oh my god, thank you for giving me this incredible opportunity. You sure you’d allow me to participate in that beautiful experience?
“You are the epitome of what is wrong with America today. I’m not in the favor of extermination camps, but in your case…” Who the fuck are you, Hitler?
“If I ever meet this uneducated cunt of a person I’m punching her right in the face. #equality” I just want to know why so many guys’ perfect utopian visions of equality are being able to hit women. Why? Just so you know, people are already hitting women.
“Whore. I wouldn’t even let my dog near you.” That’s a damn shame because I’m pretty sure if you let me hang out with your dog he would have the time of his life, unlike the time it’s currently having with you.
“Here’s what you can do with your face, go get jizz all over it.” You know that’s really creative. How did you think of that?
“Why are women just so boring?” (Laughs)
“Girls won’t even open the door for me. I drop a pen, they tiptoe around it. And here you’re complaining about compliments?” Oh my God, someone pick up a pen for this poor man. I’m praying for you.
“Sounds like talking to you and just about every other female is more trouble than it’s worth.” Yeah, just like literally don’t. Just don’t talk to me.
“It’s my freedom of speech to approach and flirt with women on the street. They don’t like it, walk away. Stupid bitch.” It’s my constitutional right to harass women and make them uncomfortable!
“The only people who slut shame are women. Guys love sluts. We wouldn’t marry one, but still.”
“You know I’m against rape, but dumb morons like this girl make me wish they are the victims of actual violent rape.” Oh my God, are you a demon? Are you like a literal demon? It just went to a bad place so quickly. Also, by the way, if you say shit like this you are not against rape.
“I am a 205 pound man but if this little bitch came up in my face spewing this crap, I would be tempted to punch her in the face.” Honestly, I guarantee that you don’t have to worry about any women getting in your face, anywhere near it.
So I don’t want to say that was all in good fun because none of that was fun. I was going to say jokes aside, but honestly I don’t know how to deal with any of that without humor because it’s just so disgusting and violent and misogynistic, I don’t really know how to deal with it.
At first when I started receiving comments like this, I honestly did not know how to handle it. The first barrage of really negative and abusive misogynistic comments I received, I literally cried and felt so anxious and overwhelmed that so many people like this existed and felt the need to target me.
My first reaction was to not tell anyone about it because honestly for some reason I felt ashamed and embarrassed that it was happening to me, like it was somehow my fault that I was receiving comments like that and it was a reflection of my character.
Obviously it’s not and I feel like it kind of speaks to the intentions with these comments to demean the person and make them feel small and outnumbered and alone.
However, after my initial little cycle of panic, my gut reaction wasn’t to remain silent or pretend that it didn’t bother me, but to share it with everyone because I love spreading positivity. If me and other women are forced to see awful comments like that, I want to make other people have to see them as well.
That’s why I wanted to raise awareness and let other women content creators know that they’re not alone in receiving abuse and harassment on the internet. It’s easy to say that they’re just comments on the internet and they don’t have any real world consequences, but when you’re receiving hundreds of comments like that you can’t say that it’s not going to effect your self-esteem and your self-image and have some negative effect on your psyche.
Honestly, people targeting women online and saying awful shit like this via YouTube comments doesn’t hurt any less than saying it to their faces. I just want to be clear that in my four years of doing YouTube, I have developed better coping mechanisms and I honestly couldn’t really give two shits most of the time when I receive comments like this, but I hate that it becomes necessary for women to create these self-defense systems in order to just exist online.
Women should not have to learn to deal with this. We shouldn’t have to learn how to shrug it off or laugh about it or grow a thicker skin. I think it’s men that need to learn not to leave comments like this.
Anyway, thank you for watching this video. If you enjoyed it please give it a like and subscribe to this channel for more videos like this one.
Also, this is completely voluntary, but if you’d like to help Feminist Fridays and this channel, then please consider donating to my Patreon page, which will be linked below.
To learn more about this topic, check out:
- 7 Commenters You’ll Meet as an Online Feminist
- 5 Really Important Reasons to Stop Dismissing Online Activism
Marina Watanabe is a Contributing Vlogger for Everyday Feminism and a vlogger, blogger, overenthusiastic tweeter, college student, and creator of embarrassing literary tees. Check out her Tumblr, or follow her on Twitter @marinashutup!