This is a real academic article:


Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does a bunch of other stuff.

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251 Responses

  1. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I have thoughts on this article, of course, although none so formed as to write a post. An initial thought: this article is also what “epistemic closure” looks like.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Rufus F. says:

      Alsotoo: I’m glad our favored headwear ’round these parts is the bowler, not the fedora.

      But bear in mind — you may think the bowler hat makes you look like this, beware, because the real effect may be much more surreal.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Don’t get me started on how many of those fedora-shaming Tumblrs are actually making fun of young men wearing trilbys.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Burt Likko says:

        No one cares about the difference between fedoras and trilbies.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Burt Likko says:

        But they care about spending their free time searching out strangers on the Internet who are wearing a hat they don’t like to make fun of? Well, that’s just stupid.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Svengali did.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @rufus-f — Well, yeah. But the point is most folks know that these are trilbies but don’t particularly care. In fact, they consider the criticism another example of nerd hyper-technical bullshit. Saying, “Well actually…” is a anti-nerd buzzword meant to mock the way male nerds interrupt conversations with unimportant trivial.

        Which is to say, this is not a fruitful criticism, even if technically correct.

        (For example, a Twitter feminist might say “well, some neckbeard just interrupted me with a well actually”.)

        Myself, I do find the “well actually” behaviors annoying and I would advice nerds to understand how this often sounds to non-nerds.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:


        Neckbeard seems like another “you can’t win” insult against the dorky guys.

        I prefer being clean shaven* but a lot of guys I know grow beards because they get really horrible razor burns and bumps. Some of them have told me that they went to dermatologists and asked about what they can do about their razor bumps and burns. The dermatologists said “grow a beard”

        So I can see why a lot of these guys feel like they are in a “I can’t win” kind of place. If they shave, they will be mocked for their razor burns and bumps. If they don’t shave, they get the term neckbeard.

        These guys seem to be trying to do something and are aware of various problems that might or might not be in their control (like sensitive skin that is prone to razor bumps and burns) and yet they can’t do right.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Burt Likko says:

        if you shave once a month or so,you won’t have a neckbeard. Neckbeards are when folks let the thing get out of control. Or you could just use some clippers to snip the beard like you do hair. That works too.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Burt Likko says:

        The reason so many men get razor burns and bumps is they use crappy disposable razors and they have that effect on lots of men. You only need one blade to shave with. Tell them to get a safety razor and a box of razor blades and see if they don’t get a better shave.Report

      • I get a neckbeard after only a few days.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Yeah, I shave every other day.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I get nasty razor burn if I shave daily. Being in the Navy, as much as I enjoyed it, caused some suffering. Boot camp was the worst, what with asinine inspections all the time and my 5 o’clock shadow showing up around noon every day (my CC took pity on me and only made me shave at noon if we had an inspection that afternoon).

        Once out of bootcamp, getting my hands on quality razors & using good shave cream helped a lot. Over the years, I’ve found less irritating creams & aftershaves that have made it a non-issue. One of these days I’ll learn how to use a straight razor & I’ll stop giving money to Gillette.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Any, my point is that a lot of razor burn is due to (as mentioned above) cheap razors, but also irritating creams & aftershaves. Sometimes you just have to man up and go get the Kiss My Face shave cream & the Katie’s Choice aftershave.Report

      • One of the reasons I keep my beard and stubble on my face is that it gives me a bit of breathing room for my neck. The neck is at least comparatively shaved.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Burt Likko says:

        There is always electrolysis!

        (Which actually doesn’t work very well on male facial hair, unless you completely rework your hormone balance — she says knowingly.)

        But yeah, a beard trimmer can do a pretty good job. On the other hand, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A NECKBEARD!Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Burt Likko says:

        I’d actually kinda like to see someone who’s managed to wear a neckbeard with style. There’s gotta be at least one, right?

        Guys — at least YOU GUYS aren’t allergic to metal. I know a guy who goes into mild shock after shaving, from all the cuts with microscopic metal embedded in him.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Burt Likko says:


        No, there is nothing wrong with having a neckbeard, in as much as it signifies no genetic, physical, moral, or ethical defect.

        Some people can’t grow facial hair at all, ever. Some people can grow perfect, and even epic beards that are immortalized in Eddas. And some people are stuck in a middle land where beards come in patchy and uneven and just look awful. The neckbeard, when not part of a religious observance, is a look I personally find to be sloppy, or slovenly. It’s the facial hair equivalent of a comb-over.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        The Gillette Fusion is what I use to shave my head/neck and I could not possibly be happier with a razor. If I shaved my face, maybe I’d experiment with single blades vs. the Mach 3 vs. the Fusion or whatever, but when it comes to getting a fresh and clean scalp? The Fusion is the way to go.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Burt Likko says:

        harumph. I know a guy who refuses to cut his hair. (no, his name’s not Samson).Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Burt Likko says:

        @jaybird — +1 on the fusion.

        (Oddly one of the grooming topics I get to share with men.)Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Mach 3. Orig not Turbo.

        I recently had to get a Fusion base after losing my luggage (Mach 3 heads attach just the same) and have been experimenting with Fusion. And it’s fine. (I am the rare weird guy who likes shaving my face. I try to start beards as is near-requisite for bros in their thirties these days, and I just can’t hang with it. I like the feel of a freshly shaved face. My own, that is.) The Fusion blades are much more recessed into the cartridge, and I think at a steeper angle. Meaning that I don’t get quite as good contact with the same pressure. Which means more pressure, which means, paradoxically for the intent of the product, I think, a bit more razor burn. Mach 3 is where it’s at for me. The ideal shave is a once-used Mach 3 cartridge against two or three days’ beard growth. Nothing smoother in my experience.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko says:

        How I loved my Mach 3 after months of using the “Good News” disposable razor! When I used the “Good News”, my scalp normally felt peeled afterwards.

        The Mach 3 was *SOOO* much better! A close shave, none of those little nicks or cuts, and it was great… except for about once a year, when I did cut myself and it was *AWFUL*. Like, a gash that required a bandaid followed by a scab that lasted weeks. I considered it a relatively small price to pay but, dang. That payment sucked.

        The Fusion has never opened me up like that in the years I’ve been using it.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Burt Likko says:

        Yep, for a job like that, where you’re probably using a lot of pressure anyway and there are so many angles to account for, I can tell that the Fusion would be much safer. The blades are so inset, and they’re practically flat to the skin. For my quick face-job the more exposed blades makes for closer shaving with less pressure, which is ideal for me, and it’s better for getting into concave areas, which there are certainly more of on the face than on the head.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko says:


        I like Billy Jealousy Hydroplane myself…Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Rufus F. says:

      this article is also what “epistemic closure” looks like.

      I’d be interested in seeing that fleshed out.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Chris says:

        there’s very little academic writing by nature (within the humanities) that isn’t espistemically closed. that’s the entire point, no? it’s not like these are designed to communicate to outsiders, and to say they’re all weighted in one general direction is an understatement of an understatement.

        i spent too many years doing catalogs for many of the major conferences to think otherwise. the title formulas are, uh, formulaic.

        “quote semi-related to topic: the [awkward verb] of [category of people] in [work or author]”

        it is the technical deathgrind of writing; small, obtuse, and designed to annoy outsiders and thrill those of us who are evolved enough to enjoy its fragile rage.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chris says:


        The trick would be to write in the style of a skymall catalog and see if anyone notices.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Oh, certainly. That’s part of what graduate school is about, at least in fields where it is largely training to be a trainer of future trainees to be trainers of future trainees… and you get the point: teaching them how to be academics in a particular field. Graduate training is as much about teaching students a culture — of writing, of social interaction (conferences, collaborations, journal submissions, etc.), etc. — as it is of teaching them about methods, standards, and goals of research.

        And to a certain extent, this paper exhibits that almost perfectly. As someone with a bit of experience in such matters, I can tell you with a high degree of certainty how this paper came about: this person, when he was a graduate student (he’s now a PhD), wrote a paper for a class taught by a professor who is either on the editorial board of this open access, online journal, or is close with someone who does. The assignment, I imagine, was something like taking an existing concept in a particular literature within sociology (the one at the heart of this article comes from criminology specifically, but I’d bet there were choices) and apply it to something in social media. So this graduate student wrote a paper with certain requirements on content and style designed to teach students how to write papers within a particular field, and he followed the rules well enough that the professor told him to submit it to this journal. Which he did. And it was published, because there doesn’t really appear to be much of a peer review process involved (though it is technically a “refereed” journal).

        This happens all the time. There are whole journals just for situations like this (grad student journals, e.g.). No one reads them. I mean, most real academic journal articles might be read through by fewer than 100 people, many of whom will have read them before they’re ever published, but papers in these journals are only read by the authors, the editors (maybe, probably not), and the authors’ mothers. This paper will likely never be cited in a published work for its research (it may now be cited as an example of something, since it’s getting attention). It is a professor throwing a grad student he or she likes a bone with a couple lines for his C.V., and getting some content for a journal that can’t get real submissions at the same time.

        Freddie, I assume, knows how this works, since he’s in academia and everyone is aware of shit like this.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Chris says:

        i would go much further than chris and expand this (which is true):

        “That’s part of what graduate school is about, at least in fields where it is largely training to be a trainer of future trainees to be trainers of future trainees… and you get the point: teaching them how to be academics in a particular field.”

        and say that the closure of the humanities (my experience is largely literature/crit studies) is by design, and is part of the process of reinforcing culture and policing beliefs. it’s a largely ineffective, confused, and ridiculously angry culture, and i would like to never have to think about it ever again, but those dice have been rolled.

        like c90, it is a scene that celebrates itself while eating itself.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Chris says:

        the closure of the humanities (my experience is largely literature/crit studies) is by design, and is part of the process of reinforcing culture and policing beliefs. it’s a largely ineffective, confused, and ridiculously angry culture, and i would like to never have to think about it ever again, but those dice have been rolled.

        I think this is a phenomena in many areas of study. Specialization leads to a narrow focus that takes the subject out of a larger society/environment. My fav is environmentalists who seem to think mankind is something outside of nature.

        The problem seems to be one of failing to zoom back out and put your subject into greater context.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Chris says:

        Re: “epistemic closure”- On one hand, I did have in mind the humanities and how trivial an article like that will look to someone who’s not versed in the readings. Certainly, there’s that.

        But, mostly I had in mind how nakedly unconvincing an argument it was. It just seems obvious on the face of it that adapting the concept of reintegrative shaming from criminology and applying to making fun of stranger’s clothes and appearance, and their attitudes tangentally, is just not going to work. You’re not going to effectively counter misogyny. You will most likely just look like an asshole to anyone who is not in your in-group.

        And so, the seeming existence of a corner of the left that is so invested in the belief that whatever they’re doing is just and right as “discursive activism” that they would be congratulating themselves on acting in ways that are so self-evidently defeating and isolating and make them look that way is… well, if it’s not “epistemic closure” it’s something like it.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Chris says:

        “But, mostly I had in mind how nakedly unconvincing an argument it was.”

        well, yeah. it’s not rhetoric designed to do so. it’s an affirmation of belonging.

        which i mean is a thing and all that but i am probably too close to this subject as a shackled bystander to genuinely and dispassionately gauge the entire situation.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        the seeming existence of a corner of the left that is so invested in the belief that whatever they’re doing is just and right as “discursive activism” that they would be congratulating themselves on acting in ways that are so self-evidently defeating and isolating and make them look that way is

        That corner of the left would be… young people. Perhaps the most annoying thing about social media, at least to folks like us who’ve been around the world a time or two, figuratively speaking, is that, whereas until a decade or so ago what kids said on college campuses or thereabouts was pretty much confined to the coffee houses, classrooms, and quads of those campuses, now they’re pretty much screaming in our virtual ears. What’s more, there are a bunch of ’em from a bunch of different colleges, and they’re all screaming more or less in unison, mutually amplifying and mutually reinforcing.

        I suppose this might, in many cases, be epistemic closure (in the sense I hate, i.e., not the real sense*), but I suspect that in most cases it’s just a lack of epistemic exposure, which is a result as much from their social and cultural context as it is from the fact that they just haven’t been around long enough to encounter that many ideas.

        In 10 or 20 years they’ll be us, and they’ll be on a site like this one (though they’ll be accessing it through their Google contacts) complaining about how “a certain corner of the left” is really annoying and limited, as evidenced by their behavior on Twitter 3.0 (whatever that will be).

        UPDATE: Forgot my footnote. I’ve been too trained as an academic not to find pop culture appropriations of technical terms annoying. That is epistemic closure.Report

  2. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    Oh, and “hat tip” to Freddie.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Oh Gawd! Freddie posts so much stuff and this was something he linked to in one of his Facebook posts. (Also, I just caught that I used “hat tip” in this thread)
        I’ll see if I can find something with the general gist. He’s been hammering lately on the notion that parts of the online left have become too enamored with making fun of people at the expense of actually influencing others.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I went searching and couldn’t find it myself via google.

        I’ve got a complicated relationship with Freddie because he writes a lot of stuff that I agree with but he also seems like a real jerk. The LGM crowd hates him. He is at least on-line friends with one of my college friends who also became an on-line writer. Said person also is facebook friends with other on-line writers and bloggers like Amanda Marcotte.

        But one area where I really agree with Freddie is on this stuff and the idea that maybe liberals spend too much time over analyzing and criticizing pop culture instead of just letting it be.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I love Freddie’s stuff. He drives me nuts sometimes. Sometimes he overstates things to the point that he’s saying something false and not aware of it. BUT the thing is Freddie always states the truth as he sees it on every single matter as clearly and forcefully as he can. That, to me, is great writing, regardless of whether I agree with him on the issue at hand.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I like Freddie because he pisses off people who really deserve to be pissed off more than he pisses off me.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I like Freddie because he exasperates me. Also because he gets very indignant about some behavior by people to the left of him and then won’t let himself get really mad about it because of his “no enemies to the left” philosophy and gets enormously frustrates. It’s like watching lava flow into the sea. Also he is an amazingly good writer and sometimes is extremely right about things (and is damn interesting even when he’s extremely wrong).Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        “I like Freddie because he pisses off people who really deserve to be pissed off more than he pisses off me.”

        and @mike-schilling describes 90% of politics.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “You’re with the Fashion Police? Well, I’m with the Fashion NSA.”Report

  4. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Through no fault of its own, the fedora hat has become a symbol closely associated with a particular kind of young, socially awkward “geek” male, frequently aligned with some of the more openly misogynistic regions of the of the internet.

    Don’t blame the hat, blame the hat wearer.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Burt Likko says:

      This dovetails nicely with the discussion of Indiana Jones.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

      What could possibly go wrong with criticizing people based on a fashion choice that is associated with people who do bad things. Fashion choices are the window to the soul.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to greginak says:

        That was sort of my thought. I checked out a handful of these Tumblrs and, really, most of the posts were just “Look at this nerd! He’s fat! And that hat! What a DORK! Haw haw haw!” I mean, some of the pictures were paired with sexist statements from their online dating profiles- and jesus is it shitty to swipe someone’s info from a dating profile to make fun of them in the first place- but more than a few were just making fun of random uncool young men for what they looked like with no attachment to “feminism” or “misogyny” at all.

        I think if you’ve convinced yourself that your “discursive activism” is making fun of people on the Internet for being overweight or uncool, you’re probably going to be surprised at how successful that approach is at isolating you and your views from potential allies.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to greginak says:

        Discursive Activism is what makes me want to give up on the InternetReport

      • Avatar dhex in reply to greginak says:

        as a bit of a counterweight, amongst yutes of perhaps less well landscaped beards the fedora has become a kind of antinomian symbol. i know it’s definitely understood by some of the yutes on my team (who would jokingly refer to themselves as social justice warriors but certainly live in that mediasphere) as a warning sign along those lines, and the worst is presumed of the wearer.

        separate from all of this, it is essentially not a good look in most every way, with a few small exceptions.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to greginak says:

        Yeah, the fedora is making a comeback outside of the “manosphere” spaces. I see plenty of gay dudes rocking a fedora. Of course, they on the whole dress well and work the fedora in with style and grace, unlike the cheeto-stained-tee and trenchcoat look that these images mock.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to greginak says:

        “What could possibly go wrong with criticizing people based on a fashion choice that is associated with people who do bad things.”

        Well but they do it to us all the time, I mean this is how Republican racists act all the time!Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I love my Fedora! Protects my bald head from sun, rain, birds, etc.

      (it’s waxed cotton, not felt, felt fedoras are too hot for me to wear)Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    I suppose it was inevitable. I am kind of surprised how fast memes and social media has gotten itself into academia though.

    I’ve wondered about the stuff Burt highlighted though as well. Somehow Fedoras become associated with MRAs and this seems rather odd to me? How did this happen? Is it really true that MRAs are more likely to wear Fedoras? Do geeky guys really have a penchant for 1940s mens wear?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Here’s the starting point: let’s say that you’re a fat guy who wants to be fashionable on a budget.

      Most shirts aren’t going to fit the bill. Most pants/jeans aren’t going to fit the bill. You’re pretty much stuck with accessories: ties, shoes, and hats. Most guys aren’t going to wear ties if they don’t have to. Shoes? Well, we’ve already said “fat guy” so we’re talking loafers.

      What’s left?


      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        It always seemed like many hat users are trying to hide a bald spot or receding hairline they can’t cope with.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        I only wear a hat when I have to be in the sun for an extended period of time. It’s like the original sunscreen.

        (I’m a fan of the Greek Fisherman hat, myself. This trilby/fedora thing is just silly.)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        I am not sure I get the shoes thing.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        With loafers you don’t have to bend down to put them on. (I mean, I imagine that for people who haven’t kept their youthful spryness that might be an advantage. Hypothetically.)Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        There is only one hat worth wearing.


      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        Also, here are some fashionable loafers:

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Four hundred and twenty bucks? They don’t even come with laces.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

        In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say that I do own a grey fedora, and as a matter of fact the last time I wore it in public, I hooked up with a great woman who looks like a young Monica Bellucci, so the Internet is pretty much full of shit.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

        Well, or I am. I’m not, but truthfully the hat was probably mostly irrelevant.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        For $420, I’d expect a little something extra stuffed inside the shoe, if you know what I’m saying. The price is a pretty clear signal of what’s really being sold.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

        I wonder how many calls they took from confused stoners.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Jaybird says:


        clothes that fit, while difficult (particular for those of us who are gentlemen of both stature and gravity) is the key. it’s harder even on the cheap, but not impossible. (chubstr does a pretty good job of illustrating this key for better and for worse)

        basically, formal hats are hard to pull off unless you’re willing to go all the way – namely being an older gentleman who can pull off the entire grey flannel suit thing. otherwise you just look like you’re larping at being a grownup.


        a response to “affordable” that includes $420 loafers that were stolen from a 19th century orientalist painting about harems is perhaps a bit of a mismatch.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        You don’t buy at retail! You wait until end of season/clearance sale and hope they have stuff in your size left.

        I am not much of a loafer fan anyway.


        Good point.Report

      • Avatar dhex in reply to Jaybird says:

        there are loafers and there are “loafers”. if you are tom ford, you can wear shit like that and get away with it. if you live and work in the south, you can do the whole seersucker thing with loafers with no socks (and maybe even suede/nubuck) and people don’t blink much. same with bit loafers and suits in nyc.

        i do like tassel loafers though, and i don’t care if that makes me 77 years old. (just not from barneys, which largely sells trash.)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        I generally don’t like tasel loafers eithers but those are somewhat interesting. I don’t even think I own a pair of loafers. I’ve seen people try and make loafers more rock n’ roll by adding spikes and studs and that is kind of silly because they are loafers.

        The problem with cheap shoes is that they often don’t last very long and they often hurt. Cheap shoes seem to dig into the back of my feet and/or need to have their soles replaced very often. So I would still rather wait until end of season/clearance and see if I can get a 420 dollar shoe for 50-70 percent off (and sometimes more) than buy one at a lower price outright.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird says:

        Dudes do a lot of signalling with their hats. Team loyalty (Schilling’s monstrosity above,) seems most common. But there’s the various camo hats, suggesting the gunly man; the non-team baseball hat with sunglasses over the brim (active dude, might go rock climbing), and the winter-multi hat/scarf bundle up, often with googles, suggesting a hard-core winter dude.

        So if the signaling of a fedora is often accompanied by “No means work it to yes,” that does seem worth studying. And shaming.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird says:

        and the “actually goes fishing” hat…
        (I wear it for sun reduction)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        I generally don’t wear hats. My dad was of a hats are dumb aesthetic. I also mainly associate Fedoras with Orthodox Jews on the East Coast so that might be my tribe.

        Studying is fine. Truly critiquing is fine. but I see a lot of people going against shaming on the Internet and it doesn’t make any more sense to shame just because some guys who wear Fedoras are also geeky, socially awkward, and a smaller subset might be MRAs. They wouldn’t be any less geeky without their Fedoras.

        Part of this feels like guys are still being judged on a high school totem pole level.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird says:


        From what I could see, these guys were singled out for the conflux of two things:

        1) posting photos of themselves (and making comments) suggesting the fedora is central to the way they present themselves


        2) Answering questions on their OK Cupid profiles that suggests some deep-rooted misogyny.

        I didn’t see anybody listed who failed to satisfy both criteria. It ain’t about the hat, Saul.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        I have no doubt that there are plenty of guys as you described and they should be criticized. What I am talking about is the guy’s who get caught in the crossfire that Greginak described above and there do seem to be plenty of guys who are damned by association for wearing Fedoras in their OKCupid profiles with nothing MRA in their actual written content and that is very high school.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

        I did. I skipped over Buzzfeed though and just started by googling ‘fedora shaming’ which brought me here:
        That gave me a whole bunch of sites.
        This one, for instance, just asserts that “lonely nerds” wear fedoras “to look classy”:
        Actually, a few of the “lonely nerds” are female.
        Stop Wearing Fedoras says pretty much that:
        Forever Alone Fedoras has some posts about male entitlement and some that just amount to making fun of people for what they look like:

        Anyway, enough links. My sense of this is just that people on the Internet like to make fun of strangers on the Internet. It feels good. It displaces whatever pain they’re feeling onto some fat nerdy kid. Some of them did bring in a worthwhile argument about male entitlement that sort of tangentially ties in to making fun of fat nerdy kids. I just don’t think that makes it a worthwhile strategy for activism.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

        There is much to criticize in “fedora” subculture. I mean, these guys are a mess. But there is a aphorism in social justice: “when you insult someone for being fat, you don’t insult only them.”

        If you look through the fedora/nice-guy shaming images, you see fat men aplenty. The most shared images are the most hapless men, poorly dressed, poorly groomed, on so on. The quotes selected, many are genuinely misogynistic, but as many are simply romantic frustration. These guys are hurting and look for someone who cares.

        How come there is not a site that finds images of muscular guys with great cheekbones and posts their misogynistic nonsense? Do you think it does not exist? Only sadsack nerds are doucebags?

        Well, hardly.

        These critiques are not without substance. It is important to point out that just because you are a nerd does not mean you cannot be a sexist creep. Obviously. However, this is not a good tactic to make this critique. The reason is obvious: these images are popular because it is fun to laugh as socially disadvantaged people. That is why they are memes. This is why they spread, go viral, show up relentless in my Facebook feed. This behavior is not admirable. In fact, it is abusive.

        It is abusive because many fat men with poor fashion sense, but who are not misogynists, will see these images and recognize themselves. And sure, they can say, “At least I’m not a misogynist.” But they are not stupid. They know their place in society. They know the value they hold.

        Just as pointing out that {terrible person} is a {terrible fat person} lets all fat people know, even those not terrible, their value to the world.

        Fuck this shit. It needs to stop.Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

        Veronica D: That’s exactly what I would have wanted to say if I could have found the words.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        Schilling’s monstrosity

        You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

        It does seem clear that one source of the “nice guy” narrative is feeling insulted that these unattractive, low-status men might think you’d be willing to sleep with them.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird says:

        Somehow, making fun of lonely nerds for being overweight and not conforming to fashion trends (and for being lonely nerds) became considered “punching up.”

        +1 to everything Veronica said that I have read so far.

        This stuff is seriously toxic, whether you think overweight lonely nerds who don’t shave properly actually have social value or not.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jaybird says:

        “Somehow, making fun of lonely nerds for being overweight and not conforming to fashion trends (and for being lonely nerds) became considered “punching up.””

        That’s because white males are automatically Up compared to everybody else.

        Note how many black men in hats there aren’t on slam-book Tumblrs.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

        Mike, your telling me that you don’t have a Dr. Victor von Frankenstein style laboratory in your suburban home? I am disappointed.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

        My guess is that a lot of the shamming around lonely men of less than ideal physical appearance is away to square the circle when it comes to certain problems with the Free Love narrative. Ever since the Free Love movement appeared in the 19th century, they argued that getting rid of all the cultrual and religious baggage surrouding sex would lead to better love/sex lives for everybody. Than the Sexual Revolution happened and it did much good. The Free Love utopia didn’t appear though. There are some people who have tremendously great love lives and others that struggle with this all their lives. Sometimes there is a good reason for the latter. Some people have crappy love lives because they are generally toxic people. Many times this isn’t the case though. However, if we pretend its the case than it makes people with good love and sex lives not have to think to hard about things.Report

      • Avatar Van_Owen in reply to Jaybird says:


        That is an awesome comment that really puts to words a lot of vague discomfort I’ve had in the past with the fedora-sharming trends in SJ spaces.

        I still read them a lot though, because I am a sucker for “horrifying dating profile” photoblogs covering all walks of society.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Jaybird says:

        “How come there is not a site that finds images of muscular guys with great cheekbones and posts their misogynistic nonsense? Do you think it does not exist? Only sadsack nerds are doucebags?”
        The fellows on Douchebags of Grindr tend to be on the fit end. Of course, given the Grindr aspect, their particular brand of douchebaggery is rarely hating on women.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I am kind of surprised how fast memes and social media has gotten itself into academia though.

      Surprised? Why?

      Memes and social media have been in academia since the beginning of internet memes and social media, by the way. I actually did a study using social media almost a decade ago, and I was a latecomer.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      My uneducated guess is that fedoras became associated with MRA types because MRA types seem to want romance conducted on a mid-20th century level. Or at least a misremembered, idealized version of it gained from TCM. The only difference would be that sex would be more open and common. The fedora is something men wore in the mid-20th century, so it got associated with MRA types.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Yes, this is it.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to LeeEsq says:

        The linked paper attributes it to a some pickup guru (Mystery, maybe?) who recommended wearing a hat, specifically a fedora, to make yourself stand out. I’m skeptical of this, though, since so many of them seem to be utterly unaware of the basic principles of game, like friendzoning being something that you do to yourself, and faking it till you make it (i.e., not advertising the fact that women don’t like you).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to LeeEsq says:

        If somebody said to me wear a hat to stand out in the crowd, I’d be incredulous. I might not know much but I do know that you need something more than unusual hats for romantic and sexual success.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to LeeEsq says:

        @leeesq ,
        And that’s what separates you from the folks that fedora-shaming is supposed to target.

        As ill-advised as all this Fedora shaming is from a social or political standpoint, the impulse for it stems from the frustrations of real women. Women who bear the brunt of social interactions with men who think that spending evenings staring at women’s chests and criticizing their taste in anime is acceptable because the men are wearing swell hats.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

        As ill-advised as all this Fedora shaming is from a social or political standpoint, the impulse for it stems from the frustrations of real women.

        So what?

        The reason that bullies bully is often because they themselves were bullied. It’s still bullying.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to LeeEsq says:

        And, despite the narrative that some prefer, the crossover between fedora-wearing geeks and MRAs and PUAs is minimal. The irony of all of this is that if you asked these geeks, most of them are going to self-identify as male feminists.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to LeeEsq says:


        So what? The reason that bullies bully is often because they themselves were bullied. It’s still bullying.

        You’re right. It may be an outlet for real frustrations, but it’s an inappropriate one.

        And it’s mostly dead. FedorasOfOKC is blank. NiceGuysOfOKC is missing. Everything in the genre I can find is years old or clickbait sites desperate to cash in on a dying meme.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Fedora is also Linus Torvalds’s favorite distro.Report

  7. Avatar Damon says:

    Well, those PHD wanna bees have to write something original in their dissertations and adjuncts need to keep publishing to get their tenure. Whadda ya expect?Report

  8. Avatar zic says:

    And in other news, sadly, the in Montana to outlaw yoga pants has been tabled.

    Yoga pants seems a phenomena worth a dissertation or two, no?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to zic says:

      There are always opportunistic and/or idiot politicians willing to voice completely unconstitutional laws because it is pandering to their base and possibly to themselves. Banning yoga pants is just as silly and wrong as trying to ban baggy pants because they are allegedly a sign of gang actiivity.Report

  9. Avatar Chris says:

    I gotta say, I feel bad for this kid. He wrote an article, probably for a class, probably not in earnest (how many of the papers you wrote for classes were written from a place of deep conviction?), got it published in a nothing journal as a CV stuffer, and now he’ll be known as the fedora guy forever.

    I’m just imagining how interviews with hiring committees go:

    “So, tell us about… [looks at CV]… your research on fedoras and shaming.”

    “Uh… yeah, so here’s the thing. I wrote that for a class, as kind of a lark.”

    “Have you published any serious research?”

    “Uh… I did something for a collection titled Halo and Philosophy.”

    “We’ll be in touch.”Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Chris says:

      Me? None. I learned from the example of my peers, who taught me that writing papers of deep conviction is a great way to fail courses.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chris says:

      “He wrote an article, probably for a class, probably not in earnest ”

      As you say, his bio is someone who’s research focus is on “internet communities and the political and philosophical issues around the responsibility of non-human actors.” He’s completely responsible for what he studied and what he wrote.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kolohe says:

        Oh sure, he published it, he’s gotta answer for it. I bet he wishes he hadn’t, as the only reason to publish something like that is to stuff a CV, and his CV is so sparse that no one’s going to overlook this (his only refereed journal pub).

        Having seen his research focus, I now want to read his other stuff, simply because I’m curious about how much he references “object-oriented ontology.”Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kolohe says:

        My point is less about this dude than about what this article says about, well, anything. I don’t think it’s to be taken seriously, as I doubt it was ever intended to be serious.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        I disagree. Looking at his body of work, he’s totes seritotes about the subject matter, though sometimes a bit whimsical in his prose and choices of data sets (like in his undergrad Music Major thesis on music & video games, which analyzed Randy Balma: Municipal Abortionist)

        Or else it’s just a long con.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Kolohe says:

        Serious about online stuff. I dunno that he’s serious about “reintegrative shaming,” or fedoras. There’s this, but perhaps as a sign of how seriously he took that earlier “research,” he doesn’t even site his fedora paper in it.

        Having read two of his papers now, I have to say that he is badly in need of an editor.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Kolohe says:

        See what I said below about DOD/DHS. (google “countering violent extremism social media” because I can’t seem to embed link correctly for anything). There are people willing to pay cash money for good sociological research on in-group/out-group dynamics as it pertains to online communities, and how that influences behavior in the ‘real world’, especially when both groups can be considered ‘out-groups’ in larger society. And, upon understanding, shape the behavior of the out-group against normatively destructive ends. In other words, substitute ‘Afghans/Iraqis’ for ‘feminism’ and substitute ‘world-wide Islamic extremists’ for ‘fedoras’ and you got the thing with which the US Government has spent nearly this entire century futzing about.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Chris says:

      “He wrote an article, probably for a class, probably not in earnest”

      Yeah, and I mean, it’s not like he’s a Republican or a Libertarian or a guy who plays computer games, right? We should just understand that this was just a joke and wasn’t really meant to be taken super-seriously, and if it seems weird and angry then maybe we should look for the deeper context instead of just writing the guy off as horrible and refusing to think about it any further.Report

  10. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    how many of the papers you wrote for classes were written from a place of deep conviction

    What are you accusing me of? I totally believed that the Van Buren administration was one of the most fascinating anf important periods in American history. (Or was it Polk?)Report

  11. Avatar zic says:

    And now things get really interesting.

    I went to actually find the tumblr; here:

    There’s nothing there. One has to wonder why the content was empties out; there are plenty of reshares based on the tags.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to zic says:

      there’s a few sprung up to take it’s place, not much content here:

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to zic says:

        That appears to be a site that just makes stuff up and puts it on a picture of a guy in a Fedora.

        Oh, hey, and right at the top, the fallacious assertion that you can’t criticize government spending if you attend a public university, even though you’re going to be forced to pay for it via taxes for the rest of your life whether you attend or not. Which doesn’t really have anything to do with women or misogyny, conveniently demonstrating the conflation of misogyny with rejection of any part of the whole ideological package that is leftist feminism.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to zic says:

      And here’s a similar gawker post:

      This one’s worth reading. Notice the ‘I’m such a nice guy,’ meme coupled with “Yes” to the question do you think there are situations where people owe you sex?Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to zic says:

      But the real meme here isn’t the fedora, no. It’s the nice guy.

      Real nice guys need to salvage niceness.

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to zic says:

        I liked Scott Alexander’s take on “Nice Guys”:

        It was wrong of me to say I hate poor minorities. I meant I hate Poor Minorities! Poor Minorities is a category I made up that includes only poor minorities who complain about poverty or racism.

        No, wait! I can be even more charitable! A poor minority is only a Poor Minority if their compaints about poverty and racism come from a sense of entitlement. Which I get to decide after listening to them for two seconds. And If they don’t realize that they’re doing something wrong, then they’re automatically a Poor Minority.

        I dedicate my blog to explaining how Poor Minorities, when they’re complaining about their difficulties with poverty or asking why some people like Paris Hilton seem to have it so easy, really just want to steal your company’s money and probably sexually molest their co-workers. And I’m not being unfair at all! Right? Because of my new definition! I know everyone I’m talking to can hear those Capital Letters. And there’s no chance whatsoever anyone will accidentally misclassify any particular poor minority as a Poor Minority. That’s crazy talk! I’m sure the “make fun of Poor Minorities” community will be diligently self-policing against that sort of thing. Because if anyone is known for their rigorous application of epistemic charity, it is the make-fun-of-Poor-Minorities community!


      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to zic says:

        “35% of MIT grad students have never had sex, compared to only 13% of the average high school population. ”
        … I wonder how many of these kids were lying? Certainly CTY sees more than its fair share of “medical expenses”…Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to zic says:

        By the way, note the repeated implication in these collections that not wanting to date someone who’s overweight is misogynist (All the men I see with this answer shown are in decent shape themselves). From this we can use Feminist Logic (not to be confused with logic) to infer that feminists believe that fat women are entitled to sex with lean men.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to zic says:

        What I find really cringeworthy in these collections is how these men advertise the fact that they keep getting rejected by women. As a dating tactic, this is roughly on par with bragging about how you got off on a technicality when you were charged with killing your wife.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to zic says:

        Yeah. I was pretty clueless, but I was never that clueless. Not on my dating profile, anyway. (There are, however, a lot of things I wish I had done differently relating to said profiles.) Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to zic says:

        it’s simple numbers, really. Since many people find thin chicks attractive, if you’re looking for “a diamond in the rough” you’re more likely to find it in a larger package. (This goes quadruply if you — for whatever reason — aren’t at the top of everyone’s preference yourself).

        Some guys date for “love”. Other guys date for the status of “dude, you got a hawt one!”

        But really, we can use “date fat chicks” (advice that I know guys give often) as a proxy for “don’t be so picky.” And it’s decent advice, so long as you don’t harm the other person. Folks get a lot better at dating with practice.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to zic says:

        Will and Brandon,
        at least they’re honest?
        I’d assume that anyone on a dating site (particularly one sitting around there for a while) hasn’t been getting lucky with the opposite sex. (same principle as houses on the market for more than a month).Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to zic says:

        Honesty should come in bite sized increments.

        On the other hand, I have known a couple of ladies who thought virginity is a plus. (Not for religious reasons, though there is that as well.)

        But it’s very, very anti-game.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to zic says:

        Every time I am exposed to the world of online dating, I realize that if I had any business sense whatsoever, I could make a ton of money selling dating advice. So many of the mistakes are so blatantly obvious, and so are often repeated by so many different men, that it’d be like shooting fish in a barrel.

        I think I’ve already suggested that if Kazzy, R., and I started such a business, we could be rich, rich I tell you.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to zic says:

        I had gotten really good at the profiles shortly before meeting my wife. I never did get good at the actually meeting thing. Fortunately, when I met my wife we had a weekend together for me to get over my initial missteps (which included asking her, among the first things I said, whether she was a nurse).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to zic says:

        Kimmi, would you tell women to date short men? My tastes in women lean very hard towards what is called conventional attractiveness with my one difference is that I find short hair on women really attractive but looks aren’t a deal breaker for me. I’ve dated and wanted to date women who didn’t quite fit the ideal of conventional attractiveness because I thought they were intelligent, interesting, and I liked their personality. What I find is that a plurality of women want men to be flexible with looks while being very inflexible on the issue of height.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to zic says:

        sure, same principle! [Although since women are often less explicitly aware of their physical choices, it may not be as effective at trolling them — the most fun advice to give is the sound advice that someone’s pride won’t let them take.]
        (I’ve found short guys hot in the past…, for what it’s worth).Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to zic says:

        Kimmie, trust a short man on this, the many women attracted to tall men only are extraordinarily aware of their preference for tall men.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to zic says:

        well, in that case, I’d totally tell them they’re crazy, and they should stop being so stupid.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to zic says:

        @leeesq — Women should be aware that short men get a serious raw deal. Which, I suspect most women sorta know this is the case, but I’m not sure if they really grok the magnitude of the issue. Once they know this, they should self examine. *Why* won’t they date short guys? Is this admirable?

        Of course, chemistry is chemistry, attraction is attraction. It ain’t like there will be a sudden change where short guys now live as the romance kings. No one expects someone to date someone for whom they feel no attraction. On the hand, these women may discover that part of why they are prejudiced against short dudes is cuz of what their friends would think. Cuz “OMG she’s dating him.” Or worse, the disapproving quiet nod.

        But more, they may find that they are the type of friend who would rags women who date short guys. In other words, this may be partly attraction, but it might also partly be social stuff. Even if the attraction stuff won’t budge (but maybe it will), the social stuff should get fixed.

        So it goes for fat people, or trans people, or people who are bald.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to zic says:

        It’s easy to believe “he’s a great guy, someone else should totally date him”. It might even be easy to say out loud to the guy himself. “You’re a great guy, someone else should totally date you.”

        The problem comes up when the guy himself starts thinking “I’m a great guy, why won’t anybody date me?” because that’s one step away from thinking “but I’m a nice guy” and we know what those guys are like.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to zic says:

        Jay et al,
        Starting to wonder if one reason these “nice guy”s and nice guys who are bitter exist is because they don’t understand the level of profiling creeps do in order to get dates/girlfriends.

        Put it simply: they’re dating broken people. People who your morals would probably say “walk away from”

        People really aren’t binary. You can date and have attraction to someone you wouldn’t have thought at first glance. Love at first sight is really just lust, anyway (and I think the “at first sight” part of it is … sliiiightly exaggerated. At first meeting? that I’ll buy. Remember most of those “at first sight” happen in parties, or other places you see someone interacting. Brains are good about assessing things in the background, without you realizing it.)Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to zic says:

        I’m glad I’m out of the whole dating game thing.

        In any case, I think that part of the problem is that guys who are unsuccessful at dating pay waaaaaay too much attention to pop culture and, worse than that, they take it at face value.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to zic says:

        veronica d, from what I can tell is that the attraction of tall or big guys seems to be that they make women feel protected or something like that or if a woman happens to above average height more feminine. At least this is what I read on forums discussing this topic from women. Heels also seemed involved. There is probably also a social status and not wanting a negative reaction from your friends thing going on but I don’t know how much it seems to be.

        Short men don’t seem to really register as men to many people. This isn’t just women. Many men also treat short men as failures of manhood. I think tests shown that even children do this subconsiously. I’m not normally a fan of evo psych stuff but the idea that real men are tall or big in some way seems to have deep origins.Report

      • Avatar Guy in reply to zic says:

        @leeesq “Short” might also be a shorthand for how the guy carries himself, or something. That’s the only way I can make sense of the fact that I’ve occasionally had to tell people I’m shorter than them, anyway.Report

  12. Avatar j r says:

    At risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll just say what I always say to these sorts of things: there ain’t no mean girl like a feminist mean girl.

    This choice might seem bizarre at first, but Fedoras of OK Cupid (FOOKC)1 belongs to an emerging form of feminist discursive activism that seeks to attach affective shame to the tropes and cultural objects associated with sexist and misogynistic attitudes and behaviours.

    Right. I remember this one time in high school, a few of the cooler upperclassman activists totally performed this radical act of performative shaming by picking up a smaller, social awkward freshman and placing him head-first into a trash can. This may seem like a bizarre act to label as activism, but that kid was exhibiting behavior that is all-too often associated with dangerous or regressive attitudes. Hopefully, that act was therapeutic in reprogramming that kid and reintegrating him into more appropriate behavioral norms.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to j r says:

      “no mean girl like a feminist mean girl.”

      Dude’s a dude afaict.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to j r says:

      I think it would be better to say that it is a surprise that so many feminists turn out to be mean girls, as we should hope they are be above that shit.

      Like, consider the rich-bitch pretty girl with a sportscar, with a rich daddy and rich boyfriend — the walking, breathing stereotype of a clueless bitch — we kinda expect her to be a mean girl.

      Which, sometimes. But on the other hand, it’s a pretty shallow stereotype and often false. I know plenty of rich girls with hot boyfriends and nice cars who are actually very kind people. For example, the hottie “alpha-gal” in my high school was actually really nice to nerds. One day she caught me staring at her ass and she just smiled. Then her b/f gave me shit, cuz macho! She made him lay off. She knew I was a shy, hapless and geek and saw no reason to hurt me.

      I mean, high school is high school and cliques are cliques and she was “out of my league” — which whatever. The point is, she was kind and that stereotype is true sometimes but false others.

      But regarding the feminist woman, we expect her to be from the smart girl set, so we expect her to be nerd-positive and not-so-catty and so on. Therefore, when she falls short, it stands out.


      But beyond the stereotypes we have some basic facts: It is wrong to shame nerdy men. It is bad feminism. Feminists who do it should be confronted on this level, since arguments based on reason are superior to those based on stereotype-shaming.

      Just as we should criticize the failure modes of nerd-masculinity, of which there are many, without attacking men for being fat or being virgins or having poor taste in hats.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        A lot of recent memoirs and essay I’ve read suggests that many people don’t recover from high school trauma even if there high school life was uneventful and boring if observed from an outside perspective.

        I can’t theorize why a lot of alleged feminists seem to like shaming nerdy men. Part of it could be because they are attracted to a more traditional version of manhood and see nerdy men as failures of manhood. There are more than a fair share of women that like making fun of short men while at the same time castigating men for liking conventional attractiveness in women. People aren’t necessarily consistent in their thoughts.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:


        I know a lot of nerdy men.

        Again, this is not making fun of nerdy men; it’s making fun of nerdy men who are overt misogynists.

        It may not be kind. It may not be cool. It’s probably cruel. But I think casting this as ‘making fun of nerdy men,’ (all nerdy men) is really unfair. Each one of these dudes said something publicly that suggests triggered their shaming; they actively posted stuff.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d says:


        The theatre/art world equivalent of this is that apparently people at the Tom Hanks and Steven Speilberg level of fame and power are always really nice to those lowest on the film hierarchy scale: the extras, actors with one or two lines, the grips, etc. The people who are really mean and do the whole “Don’t you know who I am?” kind of stuff are more mid-level. Privileged to be working constantly or make their living via art but not super famous or super-powerful because they still need to go out to auditions and hustle and are in competition with 20 or so other actors/artists at their level for roles all the time. This is just what I’ve heard but I have have heard it in other industries. People at the real top can basically afford to be kind it seems.

        The Mean Girl thing is interesting. On the one hand, I kind of get it because women are often taught from a very young age that they are supposed to be nice and kind and always sweet. This teaching does not necessarily have to be direct and is certainly out there in society. So I can see how being a feminist can involve rebelling against this kind of societal rule.

        On the other hand, rebelling against this seems to inadvertently play into old masculinity that judges guys based on how easy they find it to get into romantic relationships and a lot of geeky guys get caught in the crossfire.

        There are obviously a lot of idiot guys out there. I don’t quite understand why anyone would think it is cool or even a good idea to send unsolicited dick picks. There are also probably a lot of MRA guys who do wear Fedoras as a symbol and group identifier and they think it makes them look cool and all rebel like Humphrey Bogart. But yeah the lesson seems to be that shamming is okay if it is done against geeky guys.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d says:

        Though I should probably admit that I was discussing this article on facebook and facebook friend admitted that a sign of progress in not judging people would be to elect a President with face tattoos and my immediate thought reaction was “Yeah, I am probably not going to vote for a guy who got face tattoos because that is really unprofessional….”

        I think if I ever start my own firm and need to hire an associate, I would have a hard time hiring someone with face or neck tattoos along the lines of “How can I send that person to argue in court?”Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d says:

        I also have a complicated relationship with Amanda Marcotte (who also seems to be a friend of a friend) because it seems a bit odd to stay punk rock and be mean in your late 30s. Though she also writes a lot of stuff that I agree with.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

        Is it really all that surprising that people who have convinced themselves that they are an oppressed class and that the targets of their bullying are responsible for their oppression choose not to pull punches? The girl in your story wasn’t telling herself stories about you being a privileged oppressor.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to veronica d says:

        A radio show I listen to sometimes, on which celebrities (mostly comedians) are regularly interviewed, talks about the U-shaped curve of assholeness among celebrities: when they’re starting out, they’re really, really nice to the radio show hosts, just happy to be there and have the publicity. Then they get famous, and they’re on top, and become complete assholes to the radio show hosts, because they feel too good to be there. Then their career wanes, and they find themselves in need of publicity again, so they’re really, really grateful and nice to the radio show hosts, and really apologetic about how they were assholes to them before.

        I imagine that if we were to chart assholeness and power over time, in any domain, the curve would look something like this.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        zic, I find that a lot of times the definition of over misoygnist is any man that doesn’t completely agree with them on whatever the topic of the day is. This isn’t saying that many men aren’t misogynistic. There is still a lot of sexism. Yet, it seems impossible to enter into a honest conversation and debate on certain issues without accusations of bad faith and misogyny flying.

        For example, I participate in an online dating form. One of the things I’ve mentioned in the past is that I think you should generally go out with a person two or three times before rejecting unless the first date was really bad. If I go out on a date, I ask for second date in the majority of circumstances. I’ve also expressed skepticism at the concept of chemistry or the spark or whether its a reliable indicator on how a relationship goes. For writing this, I was attacked as a misogynist who wants to force women to date him against their wills.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:


        Those dudes? They answered questions on OKC. Like, do you think under some circumstances someone owes you sex? Answer: yes.

        So I really, really think that the nuance is getting lost here; this isn’t shaming men who are nerds or geeky, it isn’t shaming men who use dating sites. It’s shaming men who think they’re nice guys, entitled to sex and romance simply because they’re nice guys, but who have no restraint against shaming/dissing fat girls, hairy girls, beautiful girls who date other guys, and think they’re owed gratification just because . . .

        So perhaps the single best thing that could come out of this sad, sad tale is some recognition that just because you’re a nerd doesn’t mean you also have to act like a neanderthal; and in fact, most nerds don’t.

        You, too, can tumblr; build a tumblr of nice-guy non-misogynist profiles of dudes wearing hats. Fight back. Give ’em a good role model to learn from.

        But this notion that all nerds/geeks/romance seekers in general are being shamed by the angry fems here is stupid, and a touch misogynistic in it’s own right.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        on further reflection, I think a large part of sending dickpics is guys simply not understanding that girls don’t get as turned on by visual stimuli.

        I mean, guys draw porn with outsize breasts all the time, and if visual stimuli is attractive to you, a pretty innocent conclusion would be that it would be attractive to others.

        This puts dickpics in the same category as a good deal of flashers. “look at me and then love me”.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:

        And I can’t speak for your attacker here; but I presume you accept no for an answer to a second date? If so, you know there’s no force here.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        you may have some really, really nice showbiz guys. Eddie Murphy, though? was a total ass on camera. And we’re not talking about for any reason other than being an ass. (It’s one thing to drop some improv that’s awesome on your costars…)Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        zic, I don’t think I’m owed sex under any circumstances but I’ve had that opinion imputed on me many times because of chemistry/spark agnosticism.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        zic, I do accept no for an answer because there is really nothing else I can do. I also think that many people have really unrealistic expectations on what to expect emotion or feeling wise on a first date on what they require to get a second date.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        zic and Lee,
        I think this could be put a little better. “If the guy seems awkward or shy, you probably haven’t gotten to know him well enough to make a decision. Why not give it a second go?”Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:

        @kimmi substitude ‘date’ for ‘guy’ and you’ve struck gold.

        ’cause girls can be awkward and shy, too.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to veronica d says:


        I can see that but I also think people at the top of their game can be really nice to people just starting out because the people starting out are not a threat.

        I once worked at a theatre as a 24-year old intern. A very female actor was doing a play there with a famous but not as famous actor. The rest of the cast was workaday people. The nicest person to me was the very famous female actor. One of my lowly intern responsibilities was getting lunch for the cast daily. The very famous female actor would always through in a few dollars and tell me to get something for myself or be sure to have a nice word for me at the end of the day. Everyone else treated me like I was pretty much a ghost.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

        @saul-degraw — It’s called Countersignaling

        @leeesq — You were getting “pattern matched,” or “rounded off to the nearest misogynist.” It is not fair, but it happens and will happen again, so you should learn strategies to deal with it.

        It is probably useful to learn contours of the “nice guy” critique, some of which is good critique and worth knowing, and some of which is not, but see the contours and then incorporate them into how you communicate. (Perhaps you have already done this.)

        Of course, you don’t have to do this. You can say, “Fuck that noise I’ll talk how I want.” That’s another approach.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

        @zic — One could easily post criticisms of what they guys say without also including their images. Which, it is not an accident that these guys are chosen and not some other equally misogynistic men. Their body weight, poor grooming, and poor fashion sense are essential to why these images are chosen and not others. It is why they go viral, where the same quotes juxtaposed with a hot man would be less interesting. This is not okay.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to veronica d says:

        I’m agreeing with zic. I’ve spent plenty of time on women-oriented geeky sites, and concepts like this come up a fair bit. It’s not about mocking men for being geeky. It’s about mocking misogynist men, who seem incredibly prevalent in a lot of geeky fandoms (video games, comic books) and make the environment incredibly hostile for women who are also fans of those things. Men who insist that any woman who likes something geeky is a “fake geek girl” who is pretending interest in comics/gaming/computers in order to attract male attention, and simultaneously complains that geeks can’t get dates. Men who act like assholes and then claim they’re dateless because women don’t like “nice guys”. Men whose reaction to any sexism related criticism of a game, comic, or movie they like is misogynist insults and threats of violence.

        The trilby (technically not a fedora) has become something of a shorthand symbol of those kinds of guys.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        can you find some examples on OkCupid of fedora-wearing hot assholes?
        Cat is curious.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

        It’s about mocking misogynist men, who seem incredibly prevalent in a lot of geeky fandoms (video games, comic books) and make the environment incredibly hostile for women who are also fans of those things.

        How do you know that misogynist men are overrepresented in those groups? Do you have evidence for this proposition other than what you’ve seen on those feminist web sites?Report

      • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to veronica d says:

        The problem with making how people look or dress a shorthand symbol for their values is you end up with plenty of people who just jump on to make fun of someone’s appearance and don’t get the connection. At least half the sites I looked at had nothing to do with gender issues and were the equivalent of “people of Wal-Mart” but about “neckbeards”.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:

        @veronica-d I’d agree except that some of those guys were not fat and some were very well groomed; at least on the links I posted. The common theme was the hat and the misogyny, not the hat and fat or the hat and rarely-brushes teeth or whatever, though there were examples of all that; each person still made himself stand out by other misogynistic responses to questions. Every single one.

        That said, I’m not a fan of shaming people for how they look. I mean, look at me, I’ve got graying hair, a drastically re-arranged face due to injury, and a 54-year old’s turkey neck; and I opt to not dye my hair or have cosmetic surgery to tighten up my neck.

        But if I filled out a dating profile that suggested I was only looking for sugar daddies, or Einstein’s, I’d expect to be in for some shaming. So again, I don’t think it’s their weight, their lack of social graces, or grooming that’s being targeted here; it’s an insensitivity to the fact that women are actual real people, with real feelings, and self direction.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        Have you ever been to a convention?
        Minecraft’s userbase is overwhelmingly on “the spectrum”
        People design games that are addictive to people on “the spectrum” (yes, it was intentional).

        So, um, yeah, the industry does have statistics. (Not that I’m saying that everyone on “the spectrum” is a mysogynist. But it doesn’t take a genius to go from “I am not good with girls” to “I deserve girls and those who don’t take me stalking them as a thing to fall in love with are bitches.” I mean, really, have you PLAYED School Days?)Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        Making fun of misogynistic men’s lack of love and sex life isn’t necessarily a good strategy. It can actually lead to problems for several reasons. It suggests a sort of just world theory in dating where being a great person means you get a great love and sex life. This isn’t true. There lots of horrible people that have legendary love and sex lives. It also suggests that romance and sex are rewards for heterosexual men that adopt the right attitudes towards women. This isn’t true either. Cis-heterosexual men should be feminists because its the right thing to do, not because it helps them get laid. It probably won’t.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to veronica d says:

        “You were getting “pattern matched,” or “rounded off to the nearest misogynist.” It is not fair, but it happens and will happen again, so you should learn strategies to deal with it.”


        that’s like telling a black person they were “rounded off to the nearest thug” and they should learn some strategies to deal with itReport

      • To add to what @leeesq is saying…

        When you make fun of a misogynist for being fat, you’re not just making fun of a misogynist. You’re making fun of fat people.

        You make fun of a misogynist for being a virgin, you’re not just making fun of a misogynist. You’re making fun of virgins. This one is even worse, because it’s assigning moral value to the ability to get women to sleep with you.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to veronica d says:


        But this notion that all nerds/geeks/romance seekers in general are being shamed by the angry fems here is stupid, and a touch misogynistic in it’s own right.

        On that Buzzfeed link, there are about three guys out of 20 who say anything remotely close to actual misogyny and a few more express preferences in a match, while the rest are just quoted as writing something geeky. The original Tumblr appears to be shut down, but you can find examples in other places, like here: Again, a couple of cases of guys saying things that might be legitimately criticized, and a bunch more of guys just saying geeky things.

        The whole point of the paper in question is about the utility of deploying shame, not against negative behavior itself, but against “the tropes and cultural objects associated with sexist and misogynistic attitudes and behaviours.” So yes, this is a case of exactly the same thing that you are saying it’s not.

        Also, this is the perfect example of how the definition of a word like misogyny gets stretched out of shape. Criticizing feminists for trying to bully nerds is simply not misogyny.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to veronica d says:

        My favorite one was “They only eat at Denny’s.” Because one guy with a fedora took a picture at Denny’s.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:

        @j-r Three?

        By my count, a full half of the 20.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to veronica d says:

        @brandon-berg : Well, I haven’t exactly done a poll of what proportion of men in other sectors of society are misogynists, but I’ve run across a lot of accounts by women of the comments and attitudes I mention in my post, of sexual harassment, of being refused jobs in tech because of their gender.

        One of the big recent events was a large mob of guys online targeting two women. One of them has a series of YouTube videos criticizing sexist tropes in video games. Another made a game called “Depression Quest” which had a brief positive mention in a gaming article; said article was by a guy who she later had a romantic relationship with. An ex-boyfriend of the latter woman wrote a long post on a site accusing her of cheating, etc. This somehow snowballed into continual and massive threats and abuse to both women, not just online, but people calling them and their families to say things like “Your daughter’s a whore” or “You should be raped”. One of them had to leave her home because of the intensity of the harrassment; and then, when she was going to speak at a university about harassment, sexism, and similar issues, it was called off because of guys making death threats and threats of terrorism if she showed up.

        While I haven’t experienced anything personally, going by a large volume of personal accounts, things can be incredibly nasty.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to veronica d says:


        Then you are probably counting things that you don’t like, but that are not actual misogyny. Saying that you prefer a thin woman or a woman who shaves her legs is no more misogyny than a woman saying that she wants a tall man or a man with a beard is displaying a hatred of men.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        Quinn isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue. (Nah, I’m judging her waaaay too harshly with that.)
        Her mistakes were:
        1) Calling a game Depression Quest.
        2) Mistaking sarcasm for actual advice. The sarcasm? “Now you just need to sleep with all the reviewers to get good reviews.” (So far as I’m aware of, she did do that. And, predictably, her then-boyfriend got upset).

        She’s in good company on mistaking sarcasm for actual advice.

        Buuuut, I gotta say, if people are upset with her, they at least have some damn reason.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to veronica d says:

        Kimmi – Considering that the ‘evidence’ of that is that she at one time was sleeping with a guy who had not reviewed her game, but who had previously mentioned her positively in an article….yeah, no.

        If any of the claims made are actually true, we’re looking at overwhelming harrassment, being driven from her home, and being threatened with death, rape, and terrorism, in response to …having cheated on a boyfriend in the past.

        Still seems crazy, doesn’t it?Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:


        and perhaps you’re not counting things you do like.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        Yeahhhh… it seems like there’s a lot of “confusion” around her claims.
        [That her then/ex-boyfriend posted nude photos of her without her consent is not up for dispute, but they were “display quality” — what you might use if you were getting a job as a nude model — whether or not they were intended for public release, they were certainly not unflattering.]Report

      • For what it’s worth, I come up with five on the Buzzfeed article, or eight if you include guys who whine. You do get to over ten if you consider anti-abortionism to be inherently misogynistic.

        My standard was “I would feel uncomfortable with my daughter dating this person on the basis of how he would treat her.” I don’t have a problem with a guy expressing a preference for shaved legs, but “obligation” says something else. Expressing a preference for not-overweight women is something a profile should do (if said preference exists), but this preference is expressed in a worrisome manner.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        Will, they protest otherwise but I suspect that many sex-positive people do assign at least some moral value to the ability of people to get laid, especially if your a heterosexual man.Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to veronica d says:

        Nowhere is the phrase “nature, red in tooth and claw” more in display than it is in the arena of dating and sexual and romantic relationships. We like what we like. We don’t like what we don’t like. And sometimes we get capricious and the categories switch

        Personally, I am fine with that. If people want to express a preference for very specific things and exclude everyone else and they want to tell the world what their preferences are, I am fine with that. If you want to start calling that type of thing problematic and misogynistic, I’m fine with that as well; however, if you want to go that route, then you’re going to need a bigger boat.

        @will-truman, I don’t know how long it’s been since you were single and whether any of that time overlapped with the advent of internet dating, but lots of people, male and female, come across as dirt bags on their profiles. Sometimes it is because they are actually dirt bags and sometimes it’s because they don’t quite no how to state their preferences in a way that doesn’t make them sound like a sociopath.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

        @kimmi — I’m not sure if I can find a hot misogynist in a fedora, since most hot-guy-in-fedoras I know are gay. So there is that. But this is not really about the fedora, per se. After all, it’s just a fucking hat. This is about nerd misogyny and ways to confront it. The fedora is a social signifier, but it is not the important part. Plenty of time images on “Nice Guys of OkC” were of non-fedora-clad nerds.

        @zic and @katherinemw — I’m actually one-degree separated from Zoe Quinn, which is a common enough thing being a trans gal in Boston. (I don’t know how separated I am from Eron Gjoni, but given where I work I bet he also is one degree away.) But anyway, I am a “woman in tech” and a geek feminist. I 100% agree that there are major problems regarding sexism in nerd-space. Huge problems. It needs to be taken on full. Criticizing nerdy men for their rampant sexism is necessary, including the kinds of sexism that they deny is sexism at all (which seems to be happening on this thread).

        But my point here is different. For example, I’m sure you can find non-fat guys and non-socially-hapless guys in those image feeds. Fine. But those are not the images that become popular.

        Wanna have fun? Go find how many shitty anti-nerd memes have been made from this image.

        I mean, you’ve seen it before, right? I have, billions of times. (Not literally, but a lot.) And it comes with all kinds of silly captions such as “hello m’lady (tips fedora)”.

        Which yeah, the “m’lady” stuff is off-putting and I wish nerd-dudes understood that. Fine. We can talk about it.

        Who is that guy? He’s a real person, you know. Do you think he’s seen his image online? Do you think he knows that he personally is a target of derision? How do you think he feels?

        Where did the image come from? Did he say something slightly misogynist? Maybe. Or perhaps he was just raging cuz he’s lonely as fuck and literally suicidal and can’t figure out how shit works.

        You know, like how I felt before I figured out I was a girl.

        Is he still a misogynist, if he ever was? How does he feel now? If he grows and changes, will we stop passing around his image and laughing at him? How would that even work?



        This is social justice? If he did something sexist, he deserves to be criticized for that. But the criticism should be for the specific thing he did. Likewise, the criticism should be proportionate to the level of offense.

        These images become memes. We see them again and again. But not all of them. Not the good looking guys (the few there are). The hawt guys do not become memes, cuz laughing at hotties is far less fun that mocking nerds.

        This comes from my culture, online geek feminist and “social justice.” I’ve been watching this for several years now. It is disgusting and we need to stop.

        (If you are the guy in that image, I am so sorry you’ve been treated this way. I am literally horrified.)Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        Um, so okay, that’s apparently the guy who played Pugsley Adams.

        I think calling out people’s studio pics is probably a bit trashy, but… he IS in showbiz. I call that fair game (like i call publicists doing incredibly stupid things fair game).Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to veronica d says:

        This is social justice? If he did something sexist, he deserves to be criticized for that. But the criticism should be for the specific thing he did.

        This is the point that I was trying to get at said better and more succinctly than I did.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to veronica d says:


        I absolutely agree with your comment.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to veronica d says:

        Oh, right.
        Trolls are totally okay to make fun of, too.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to veronica d says:

        I believe I’ve talked about it here before, but a theory in sociology and criminology closely related to “reintegrative shaming” is labeling theory. Labeling theory basically says that when you apply labels to people, their behavior tends to conform with the expectations associated with that label. So, you call a guy misogynist, instead of talking about the misogynist things he did, he may end up behaving more like a misogynist.

        There’s also that whole thing about essentialism and labels that I go on about now and then.

        I admit that I use labels for people instead of actions (though some people’s actions are so consistent…), but that’s because I’m human, and we all do it. All the more reason to watch ourselves closely.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d says:

        I agree with Veronica in general but Kimmie on the specifics with the linked image. Using a publicity photo or an actor’s head shot as an illustration of a meme is no more immoral than using a stock photo to illustrate a blog post. Publicity photos are supposed to be out in the open. Now if you use a private photo or a dating profile photo of a private individual to illustrate a meme or tumblr than you are doing something unethical and possibly immoral.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d says:

        @kimmi — I guess that makes it better. But look, I picked that meme because it was particularly common, not because it is unique. Here are some others:

        There are plenty more you can find on that site.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:


        Labeling theory basically says that when you apply labels to people, their behavior tends to conform with the expectations associated with that label.

        This I believe. And it’s probably not right for me to say that these men earned condemnation because they’re misogynists, but they certainly posted things that are misogynist, and in many of the cases, probably don’t realize that.

        But in most of the examples given, if you follow the chains back, there was certainly something offensive, and it wasn’t just the person’s appearance; they each had either a Roger’s Rant (I’m a nice guy, why won’t those dumb girls have sex with me,) or they answered questions in a way that suggested misogyny, at least in that answer. So I’m not going to let that part be not-important here. Yes, these people deserve respect for respectful behavior. Unacceptable behavior (I pay for dinner and drinks, so obviously, I deserve to get laid in return, for instance) does merit some sort of shaming; the problem is how you get recognition of shameful behavior in a way that triggers heart-felt reassessment and how you get doubling down.

        Labeling, in the short term, does seem to provoke doubling down. But in the long term, it also does produce change, it’s just slow change. My dad didn’t say the racist things his dad did when those things were perfectly normal and acceptable to say. My brother doesn’t say the misogynistic things my dad did. My kids don’t say the homophobic things my generation said.

        And just to be clear: I am not condoning any of these social-media shamings. I would never share or re-share the mean things people say about other people, to me, that’s enormously inconsiderate. We tend to view SM as our little world, my twitter, my FB page, my tumblr, and not realize that it’s not private. Same with many of our other public records; and I often had to dig up people’s legal woes in the course of my reporting; they always felt violated. But here’s the difference, and something SM really lacks: as a reporter, it was part of my job to actually talk to the person involved; to present that person authentically, not as a joke or a stereotype; and I didn’t get to hit the publish button until I’d done that work.

        This verification, this humanizing, is not part of the whole re-share social shaming. And that’s morally reprehensible on some very basic level.Report

      • Multiple people on that Buzzfeed list were not guilty of much other than the fedora and some combination of having the wrong interests, wrong political views, being overweight, or something else comparatively trivial.

        #1 is guilty of being a dope.
        #3 is guilty of being an Reddit fan, an atheist, and choosing not to divulge his body type.
        #4 is guilty of being a conservative and of having interests unconventional of his gender. (Setting aside that I am pretty sure it was revealed to be a hoax.)
        #6 is guilty of giving a flippant answer to a question (unless we’re going to argue that he genuinely believes that violence solves everything).
        #10 is guilty of being a (fat) virgin and answering a question the same way that I would.
        #11 is guilty of being kind of weird.
        #12 is guilty of having his picture taken at a Denny’s, and saying so. (And perhaps of being overweight.)
        #15 is guilty of liking his fedora too much.

        And it should be added that even when there is a misogynist argument against someone, they still often throw in grooming habits, interests unconventional of his gender, and being a virgin.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:

        @will-truman as buzzfeed presented them, yes. But buzzfeed got them from other posts, and (surprise surprise) those folks are not so innocent, buzzfeed just didn’t bother bringing their baggage over. The original site, Fedoras of OKC was emptied out, but there’s plenty of tags and reposts that lists some of the original posts, why the person was targeted. And it wasn’t just looking wrong. The only person in that buzzfeed piece I didn’t see elsewhere was the kid at Denny’s.

        /plus I’m astounded at one thing: some of these dudes are in high school.Report

      • Setting aside everything else, immortalizing the “still in high school” is a problem.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to veronica d says:

        @will-truman since I’ve been married like forever, and I like my husband a lot, I’ve never used an internet dating site. But I’d presumed that you were supposed to be 18 or older, or need your parents permission. Seems not.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to veronica d says:


        The conservative brony guy is kinda Internet famous for, well, being an Ayn Rand loving conservative brony. (I know people who say they’ve met him and he is totes for real.)


        On #11, I sit around and think about math stuff all the time. I was doing it a half hour ago. I’m gonna do it more. In fact, tonight I will drift off to slumber clutching tightly a math book. (Currently I’m reading this: Combinatorial Optimization: Polyhedra and Efficiency.)

        Heck, thinking about random numbers is positively ordinary compared to my shit. I think about how we could completely recast mathematics without using the concept of infinity. I mean, really, I do that. (I like to talk about it, which annoys my coworkers.)

        Guy #11, you’re awesome! You are my people! Keep being you!

        Yeah fine, he’s fat. I’m sure he knows. He has a dumb hat. Whatevs. I’m a preposterous six-foot tranny. I don’t judge.

        He could use some fashion advice, I guess. But whatever. I ain’t gonna lay nothing heavy on him for that.

        I bet tons of folks love to laugh at that guy. I’ve seen that image posted around for the lulz. Fuck that shit. The guy is fine.Report

  13. Avatar Kolohe says:

    This article examines the Tumblr site Fedoras of OK Cupid which emerged in 2012 amidst a growing trend in feminists and other activists online that used shaming as an activist strategy. Fedoras of OK Cupid displays images and excerpts from men who wear fedora hats in their OK Cupid dating profile pictures, often highlighting worrying or even downright dangerous attitudes towards women revealed by their profiles. To understand this practice this articles draws on work identifying feminist discursive activism in online communities, to examine the Tumblr site in the context of reintegrative shaming in order to evaluate the practice of deploying shame for activist ends. While shame is often seen as having stigmatising effects, the author of the Fedoras of OK Cupid Tumblr illustrates how the process of reintegrative shaming may work in the context of online activism by offering earnest commentary on negative attitudes while also offering the possibility of social reintegration.

    This seems like just of a bunch of word salad with organic kale and artisanal balsamic dressing, but you know who’s *very* interested in research along these lines? The United States Department of Defense, and the United States Department of Homeland Security. Really.

    They’ve been trying for a few years now to figure out how to use a social media counter-programing strategy to infiltrate online jihadi communities and convince people at the margin to reject calls to arms (and invitations to travel to all the usual garden spots) – through some combination of shaming and offering ‘re-integration’ into more mainstream (and less suicide bomby) aspects of civil society.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Kolohe says:

      It’s not at all word salad. I know exactly what literature he’s going to use (the “reintegrative shaming” literature, which is an actual, useful concept in criminology and sociology), and I know what he’s going to use it to interpret/understand. It’s not even difficult to figure that out. And really, research on online shaming, which I’m sure is being done as we type, can be valuable. This research isn’t valuable, ’cause it’s really just a guy who doesn’t understand the literature very well (because he probably just read it for a course) waxing about how this might make sense for that, but actual research on shaming, with a good theoretical background, will be great.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Chris says:

        I think we are in basic agreement then. Dr. Abraham’s experience over the last few years also seems to feed into the frequent vexation at Unqualified Offerings over the Ph.D. pipeline (i.e. overproduction of credentialed but not necessarily educated individuals for what jobs are actually out there – and a self licking ice cream cone for academia itself).Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        Oh man, given his writing level, he is definitely undereducated. I wonder to what extent a mentor was involved in reading this at all. My suspicion is none… none extent.Report

  14. Avatar LWA says:

    Speaking as one who wears a fedora every day, I rather resent the association with misogyny.

    But like all silly affectations, this too will pass leaving behind only that which is timeless and elegant.

    By silly affection I am speaking of course, of the social media-inflected meme-ish association of a picture with generalized meaning.Report

  15. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Here is an interesting story about how it is very hard to outlive your dorky past. This story involves me.

    I was really dorky in college. I met some of my best friends in college including people I’ve known for half my life but I was still really dorky and obviously not one of the cool arty kids. During my junior year, I lived next to a too-cool-for-school kid and he would frequently get angry with me for playing music at 3 PM on a Sunday because he spent too much of Saturday night/Sunday morning partying and was still in recovery on late Sunday afternoon. I stayed up until 4 AM sometimes but not as often as the cool kids who did it every weekend.

    There was another guy I did not know who was apparently on the spectrum somewhere and he had a nickname based on the color of a jacket he always wore.

    My ex was part of the cool kid crowd and I remember that a lot of the people she hung out with in college really did not like me and thought I was a dork-burger.

    When we first started talking on a regular basis (years after we both graduated). She told me about how she grew out of the cool kids and saw how their attitudes were problematic and some of them were just hiding their issues via being haughty.

    We were long-distance and this was probably something we should have been more cognizant of and I think the long-distance stuff made us get too serious too quickly. When we decided to go facebook official, a lot of people apparently sent her messages asking “How can you be dating guy on the spectrum?” I did not find this out until we were having troubles. We also decided to be lovey dovey and put an announcement in class notes of the Alumni mag. The announcement did not come out until we were at a strained time of our relationship. My friends described the announcement as being sweet. Her friends apparently thought it was kind of weird and told her so and she forgot that she gave me an okay to write it. The announcement was something like “Saul Degraw is working as a lawyer and recently reconnected and grew close to X.”

    Through out our relationship, even during the really strained times, my ex always insisted that I was one of the few genuinely nice people she knew. Even when we broke up she admits I tried hard and gave everything my best and more. She also often admitted that the people who said the negative stuff were still in stuck in college but none of this was enough to overcome my old college dorky reputation.

    I said there were lots of problems and I really do wish we were more serious about the whole distance thing. I told her I was applying for jobs in New York but no one was giving me any bites and I was not willing to move to New York without a job lined up because I am not that brave. She is from the Bay Area but did not want to move back because she made a life for herself in New York and was more established there then I was in the Bay Area. We could have saved each other a lot of pain if we were rational about this stuff in the first place.

    But man did it hurt that she seemingly couldn’t get past all the college stuff.Report

  16. Avatar Notme says:

    Sadly in a couple of years this guy is going to be blogging on the net about how he cant find a job in his choosen field and doesnt feel appreciated by society. He will probably also complain that his student loans are too high and that the government should help him out.Report

  17. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I’m pretty sure this post is setting all sorts of records for comment:words-in-OP ratio.Report

  18. Avatar Saul Degraw says:


    Moving down here and Re: Young people and Hyperpassionate Politics.

    I generally agree with you that young people (including right-wing young people) are hyperpassionate about their politics and often get hyperbolic in word and action because they are young and inexperienced and a bit immature. And then I read stuff like this:

    Basically the Student Representative Council said that Jews (especially Israeli supporting Jews) should “deregister” from Durban Tech in South Africa. The right-wing equivalent of this is when young Republicans do checkpoints to make sure Latino(a) students are not “undocumented”. I’ve heard stories of left-wing student groups trying to do similar checkpoints against Jewish students at American universities.

    On the one hand, I see where you are coming from when you are saying that they are young and will moderate (possibly). On the other hand, I think that university faculty and admin should make students of all backgrounds feel safe and welcome on campus.

    What do you think is the balance between letting youthful passions out and also making sure that potentially targeted students don’t feel unwelome or unsafe on campus? My alma mater felt the need to send out e-mails to alumni at the end of the year because passions about Israel-Palestine were getting high and Jewish students were feeling unwelcome. Normally the e-mails from the alma mater are much more fluffy. This is the first time I’ve gotten “We know passions are high and we are trying to cool things down.” Should these things be allowed to get to crisis mode?Report

  19. Avatar Kazzy says:

    As long as we can keep the One Fedora Rule, I’m okay with whatever else is going on.

    I also tend to wear one of those newsies hats. One does that say about me?Report

  20. Avatar veronica d says:

    Anyway, time for an amusing anecdote. The other day at work I’m chatting with some coworkers, who like me are social justice feminists. And as it turns out, we are discussing the topic of male nerds and misogyny. In fact, our conversation hit many of the points we discussed here.

    Anyway, we’re in the company cafeteria and I glance over, and there are the floor nearby is a single, unaccompanied, lone fedora lying on the floor.

    And it’s really a fedora, not a trilby. Just sitting there, between tables, seeming to belong to no one.

    So I say to my friends, “Hey, there is actually a fedora over there.”

    They just look at me and shake their head.

    “No really. It’s just sitting on the floor.”

    They turn and look and see the fedora. Just sitting there. All alone.

    The hat showed no obvious signs of misogyny, but my friends remained suspicious.

    (This actually happened. It was odd.)Report

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