Vi Hart on shootings, stalkings, and Internetting While Female


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Having trouble reaching the waxy link …


Typo: “Youtube signing star” - should be “singing”.




One thing that baffles me is the comments on her video of “marry me” with people claiming that it’s some sort of compliment. I know these are people who have no idea what marriage is and how it works, but it’s no compliment to say “you should drop what you want for your life and be with me a complete stranger.” :expressionless:


When I was younger, I would have thought it a simple compliment, and certainly not a threat. It would not have been ‘drop everything for me’ as much as ‘I’d love to join you in your apparently exciting adventures.’ I agree that it is pretty scary in this context. I guess this is what WM privilege feels like.


Definitely white male privilege. Nothing says “I deserve you” better than a white dude’s entitlement and privilege.


Male sexual desire is the real problem.

The motivation of these shooters involved sexual desire and their own self worth. And when things didn’t work out the way they’d hoped (one struggled with homosexuality versus his religion, and one thought he was worthless without the object of his stalking), they chose extreme violence as the answer to the perceived injustice to their self worth.

Maybe gun control would have lessened the damage, but even some suicide bombers are anecdotally motivated by the promise of 72 virgins.

I’m not saying I have solutions, but whenever these tragedies occur we never ever talk about the actual root of the problem.


…Heartbreaking and beautiful.

I had an instinct to send her a message thanking her for speaking out, even though (especially when) it’s hard - and then she started showing her inbox, stuffed full of effusive compliments that in this context look menacing… and I realized that I don’t know how to say “thank you for being awesome” in a way that doesn’t drag in all of this baggage.

Vi’s comments made me realize that while I know that my compliment is 100% detached and 100% benign, she doesn’t and can’t know that - and the track record of horrible behavior of others, far from being isolated incidents, requires her to construe nothing as benign. Even as a mature, harmless, self-aware individual, I learned more about privilege than I thought I knew.

In other words: her monologue hits its mark with exquisite precision. Required viewing for everyone on the internet.


From gun enthusiasts now, I hear lots of facts and figures that “normal people” just don’t get. Same from some vocal queer activists too, for that matter. That it was a gay bar, that it was Latino (latinx?) Victims makes a difference. What I like an out Vi’s speech, is how having the numbers doesn’t put it any farther away. Grieving is not a science (not even an art, for that matter). Smart articulate people feel hurt pretty much the same as “normal” people.

I don’t think I’m alone in hoping that finally, this is the atrocity that wakes people up, that manages to shake us up enough to imagine doing things differently.


If male sexual desire was the real problem, then I guess the guys who went out to the Pulse party to dance, maybe to be with their boyfriends, or even to kiss other guys in a space where they could do so in safety and without being ostracized by passers-by for it - were guilty, too? Their libido were part of this “real problem”, too? Were they “asking for it” by being male and not asexual?

Having a libido in itself does not make anybody a bad person, and actual killers and rapists and harrassers etc. should never be helped to hide behind the alibi of “well, I am a man, and my uncontrollable hormones/dick made me hurt others, I have no responsibility” This is bullshit - men are human beings, which means that they have full moral responsibilities, but also the ability of being a sexual being without hurting others.

(I guess that on your planet, the british government was a hero for chemically castrating Alan Turing.)


I’ve never been straw manned quite so thoroughly before. Let me know when the movie comes out.


I literally quoted you (shifting the tense) and went logical from there, but nice try. Go sit in the corner with the idiots that think that the problem with the Pulse shooter is all muslims, instead of a particular person (or terrorist group, putting aside the problem if we count him as a member or not). As analytic precision goes, they are still trying harder than you, because they identified a smaller group he was part of than literally half of humanity.

And yeah, if you meant that only male desire towards women were the real problem, that would still be stupid. Cory Doctorow is married to a woman and has a daughter, there are chances that he is attracted to his wife, so by your logic, he must be part of the “real problem”.

And if you mean “just male desire while being an asshole”, then you could have just as well redefined breathing as toxic. All abusers do it, it is highly suspicious.

If your aim is to not sound silly, maybe next time try to not demonize innocent people.


Uh. That’s really an out of left field sorta theory.

I’m thinking these guys who flip and explode and probably just… well… they don’t know each other and this shit keeps happening more now… a social phenomenon?


That was hard to watch. I was in tears by the end. We live in this broken society and it should be easy to fix but somehow we just can’t get there.


I feel sad, too. And a little helpless, especially hearing from all our politicians about their thoughts and prayers. Today we found out what the the US Senate’s willing to do - nothing. Not even background checks.

Maybe Otter in Animal House was right, maybe this calls for a really futile and stupid gesture on the part of somebody.


While I can’t/wouldn’t contest the WM privilege of insensibility, anecdotally I’ve only known ‘marry me’ as a throw-away compliment women made. Associating it with guys reads as oddly effeminate and I wonder if the change in usage is a relatively recent thing.

To be clear, I’m not doubting it’s a thing some guys do now, nor am I arguing it’s acceptable.

And much respect for Vi Hart for taking the time to share this.


Yup, I know the feeling. I generally try to shut it down, because common as social media has become, posting online != wanting to enter a dialogue. While I want to be supportive, well, I’m a stranger to the folks I admire online. It’d be deeply weird if I approached strangers on the street with effusive thanks for being on a street.

I generally tell myself that pageviews equal money, and money equals the freedom for someone to keep doing something they love. If there’s merch offered, sometimes I’ll pick that up, too.


It’s not that unusual a thought, in my opinion, but maybe I didn’t articulate it very well.

This video really brought it to mind, however. The death threats, the stalking, the unwanted advances, not to mention the shootings themselves; it’s a continuous theme of stoked up sexual desire without the proper outlet for it. Not every guy is going to react badly, but there’s nothing quite like testosterone-fueled sexual frustration to bring it out.


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