There was a post on a friend's Facebook wall this morning about white people dressing up as a dead Trayvon Martin for Halloween. It was, predictably, disgusting. A bunch of people discussed it, talking about how awful it was, etc.
Then one guy asked, "Who is Trayvon Martin?"
And the guy who had posted the article posted a link to the Wiki page, which set this guy off. He began furiously attacking the OP for suggesting he didn't know how to Google, and then said that if he looked up everything he was unfamiliar with, he'd be bogged down in useless information. Which... let's just move on, because there's enough to unpack there as it is.
I shouldn't have engaged. Obviously. I wasn't even mad. I just thought it was funny that this guy thought that someone should sit down and type out the relevant points of a two-year major front-page news story that he'd never heard of, but it was outrageous to suggest that he google it quickly before replying. So I said something like, "Do you also know how the news works? Because this was a huge item this whole year."
He said I had a shitty attitude and that he didn't have a TV, which, as I pointed out, made no sense since he was typing things online and, y'know, newspapers and about a dozen other outlets for gathering news exist. And that if he wanted to play a poverty card, re: not having a television, maybe he shouldn't be yelling at people on Facebook on his iPad.
So then he went off, calling me a "fat hipster cunt," in about 5 different ways. "Shut up fat white bitch" (he is also white, fwiw)... you get the idea.
The funny thing is that fat comments — especially in this context — don't bother me anymore. I've heard them so often that they're meaningless and I know for a fact that my weight doesn't disqualify me from being able to have an opinion.
But why is it that both "fat" and "cunt" are the two words immediately thrown around by particular men when they're forced to have any kind of discussion with a woman online? Did he call my (male) friend who posted the article any kind of name? Nope. Just me. My boyfriend waded into the discussion, and he didn't get an ad hominem attack for his troubles, either.
Well, the long and the short of it is that the OP deleted the thread (which was the right call for everybody's sake) and this guy made a mocking post saying, "Aww, I was just getting started." So I invited him to message me privately. He still hasn't replied.
I guess ultimately my point is this: why is my appearance as a woman, and as a fat woman especially, always relevant to any discussion in the mind of this kind of man? Why is anything I have to say immediately dismissed by virtue of my weight? Where does this mentality come from, and why it is seemingly exclusive to women?
I don't have answers. It's easy to say that he was just hoping to hurt my feelings, but then why not attack the men in the same way? Men who were far ruder and more caustic to him in their replies. It's easy to say that he's just stupid and it ought to be dismissed, but obviously it reveals a much bigger environment of prejudice than most people want to face.
I'm fat. I'm mostly cool with it. So this doesn't bother me on a "personal" level, but it does bother me on a fundamental one: why does my weight make me less of a person, and why does it make me someone that other people shouldn't have to talk rationally with?