Weekend Reads: Shaming Women And Private Chats Still Go-To Humor For Internet

Editor’s Note: Even though the Elan Gale incident was proven to be a hoax, that that perpetrator and millions around the internet thought such a misogynist thing would be funny and appropriate remains.

Tweet As You Want To Be Tweeted

I can’t help but wonder if Diane had been built like the Rock and named Dimitry, if Gale would’ve passed his “eat my dick” note up to seat 7A.

I have a feeling Gale would’ve just kept his indignation about rude behavior to flight attendants confined to Twitter. But clearly, there’s nothing more noble than shutting down a woman you think is being difficult and annoying by telling her “idiot face” to eat your penis. She deserved it cos she was rude, right?

I also wondered what would’ve happened, and whether the general public would’ve found it hilarious and awesome, if a black man was tweeting about telling a white woman to eat his dick.

Yeah, I really wish a black man—or how about an Arab man wearing a turban—would pass a note to a white woman on an airplane saying that “eat my dick” mess. I doubt the flight attendants would’ve been giving a wink and nod, as they appear to have done to Gale. Security would most definitely have been waiting when they deplaned.


The whole thing has me reflecting on how white men are pretty much raised to believe they can say and do whatever they want. Antagonize a woman, tell her to eat your dick, and you’ll be lauded as a hero. As the brilliant Rebecca Carroll said of Gale, “He is the utterly ultimate uber quintessential I-can-say-what-I-want-delusional-white-intellectually-free-hipster-man.”

I also don’t know if all this dick eating that Gale encouraged really makes a difference for service workers. Maybe he could stand up and support the service workers who spent Black Friday protesting outside of Walmarts about their low wages and abysmal working conditions instead.

–Liz Dwyer, “Since When Is Telling A Woman To Eat Your Dick Standing Up For Service Workers?” Los Angelista 11/30/13

This is the latest social media trend: live-tweeting a private conversation that happens to take place in a public space for our own personal amusement. Each of these stories got thousands of retweets, got written up in Gawker, BuzzFeed, and New York magazine, and were gleefully laughed at, judged, and mocked by much of the internet.

In each of these cases the live-tweeter has momentarily become an internet hero, and their dutiful recording of strangers’ conversations is celebrated as hilarious, epic, “better than most movies.” BuzzFeed raved that Elan’s tweeting of his fight with his fellow passenger “wins Thanksgiving.”

Not to be the Grinch, but can we consider for a moment the fact that live-tweeting and broadcasting another person’s private conversations to the internet for our own entertainment is actually pretty creepy?

Someone’s argument with a flight attendant, their breakup with their partner, or their phone conversation with their mom — it may be amusing to you as you overhear it, but that doesn’t make it fair game for the entire internet to stick their noses in the private affairs of a poor unsuspecting random individual. When did we decide that an average, unsuspecting person deserves to have their private life exposed on the internet? Why does anyone deserve that fate? Do we not have a right to have conversations with our families, friends, and colleagues without strangers meddling, judging, taking sides, and mocking?

Defenders have said that if you don’t want your conversations tweeted about, you shouldn’t have them in public. Seriously? So we cannot have a private conversation with a friend, co-worker or family member in a public space anymore? A world in which all conversations have to be conducted in the privacy of your home and must cease once you leave the house sounds a little too Orwellian.

–Nisha Chittal, “Please Stop Live-tweeting People’s Private Conversations,” Medium 11/30/13

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