The other morning I sat down at my computer to read what detritus the winds had blown onto my digital doorstep. I found in no short order that most of the transgender writers and activists I follow on Twitter were not quite happy about another article on the internet.
Normally I give these articles a passing glance and move on, as to me, most of the outrage is overblown. A misgendering pronoun here, an article that was poorly researched on a minor news outlet. Things like that. When all these Twitterers (Is that really a word?) were calling this one, “The Most Transphobic Thing Ever.” I figured it had to be good.
I saw the lipstick clad man with the cheap red lipstick on with the title: “Transphobia Is Perfectly Natural.” I stopped reading there to go pop some popcorn, this was gonna be good.
As I read the article my mouth slowly fell open and my eyes grew wider. Sometimes I read a phrase more than once to have it register properly. Okay, it was the one about cheese blintzes. When I finished the article I sat there in silence. I blinked once or twice letting it all register, and then the total opposite of what one would expect happened.
I laughed. I seriously laughed.
Not a titter. Not a smirk, but a solid gut laugh with my hand reaching up to hold against my brow. “What an absolutely stupid thing to write,” I thought to myself.
I understand the outrage about the article. It was truly filled some vile, yet mildly creative imagery, seriously, a cheese blintz? The article was so steeped in arguments that could have been countered with even the laziest Googling, lack of coherent point, and such a level of ignorance it defied explanation, unless you really saw what was happening; either the saddest attempt to be edgy and controversial, or someone who was legitimately so terrified of trans people he went crazy.
In the first case of lame edginess, it’s so transparent. Attacks that come from such a one dimensional stereotyping even some of the most ignorant Evangelical Republicans have evolved past, creative phrasing to draw ire that most first time open mic comedians would balk at for their transparency. The number of curse words and sexual commentary was on par with 8th grade boy’s locker room talk. Of course at the end, he hid behind homophobia, misandry, and mental health at the end to really try to make sure he covered all the outrage triggers. I’ll be honest. I’ve seen better trolling come out of 4chan and Reddit.
The article seems like it deliberately tried to hit all the triggers to elicit a reaction. When you take into consideration the total of Gavin McInnes’ other previous articles about rape, bragging about dick size, justifying assaulting a woman (you should never hit anyone), calling short hair on women rape, and then saying “I TROLLED U, LULZ” it all can mean one thing only. He’s trying to cash in on a trendy media topic for click bait and attention.
McInnes has built a career on saying shocking and offensive things on topics as varied as rape to race. At this point, it should be clear what’s going on here. He’s merely doing the internet equivalent of standing on a chair banging pots together and screaming, “LOOK AT ME! SOMEONE PLEASE LOOK AT ME!” If he actually had anything important to say, he could communicate it without gross imagery, shocking content, and a swear word every other sentence. Seriously, swearing is like a spice, too much ruins the dish.
In any case. It’s, well, kind of sad really. Here he is, trying to push every button, screaming out obscenities, taking on the mantle of “Godfather of Hipsterdom”. Really? Because trying to rile up the internet by being a dick is so 2003. Scanning most of his articles reveals that he’s out to draw attention by saying something that someone else said much more coherently, or deliberately saying something so inflammatory it baits those who flock to outrage easily. Basically, he’s a troll with better editing, and well behind the power curve of what’s trendy and edgy. Seriously, an anti-trans screed at this point? Where was he three months ago with that? Comments about privacy from back in June? Welcome to 2014. Snowden was so last year, and tech writers have been talking about this for at least five. You’re supposed to be into things before they were cool to be a hipster. In the end, it sounds so much like an attempt to stay relevant. Irrelevancy of course being a fear of anyone who’s developed a career around the media.
Then we come to the other option, “Holy Crap, he really believes this stuff.” He actually is that virulently transphobic, misogynistic, racist, or homophobic as his articles seem. When that dawned on me, I laughed even harder. Wow, what a gigantic child. Oh, this is the part where I get really personal with the attacks. Is he really so insecure in his identity of self, his manhood, concepts of masculinity, that the idea that someone would want to not be a guy that he goes on a tirade like this? It almost harkens of that phrase, “Me think he doth protest too much.”
I mean, if he had made some sort of reasoned argument, no matter how illogical, but still thought out, he would have had something going for him, but in the end, it just sounded like a crazed rant. If there is anything in this world that brings out that level of rage, fear, and frankly incoherent babbling in a person, then honestly there’s something wrong with them. For a person who markets himself as a guy with such confidence in his opinion and correctness, a rant like this, which even Alex Jones would shake his head at, betrays a level of insecurity.
When you take into consideration all of his articles for the past few years, he spends so much of his time trying to reassure us of his masculinity, his Alpha Male status, the “I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks,” persona starts to wear a bit thin, and results in more than a little transparency.
Gavin, sweetie, honey, it’s okay. You don’t always have to remind us you’re a manly man. You’ve told us plenty of times. You don’t need to remind us every other article. Is there something bothering you? Something you want to talk about? I know a good therapist to talk to that won’t judge you, and he’s very discreet, so none of your drinking buddies ever have to find out.
Either way. He got what he wanted to. Attention. Attention from those who get enraged when they see these kinds of things, attention from his fellow angry yet afraid male readers, and from the internet to produce the right amount of web traffic to justify his continued efforts. From me, he got a laugh and just enough attention to decide to point out that in the end, the article was laughably bad to the point it deserved to be called out on its lack of merits. The only thing I got out of the article was a laugh at how sad indeed it really was.