There’s no pleasing some people. But more saliently, why would you want to. Anyways, I’m always interested in learning about what a terrible/stupid/worthless person I am from people who are so great and accomplished and brilliant that they are threatened by words I type online.
1. Your degree is stupid.
There’s several versions of this one and they’re all delicious. I had one guy who I’m pretty sure was a Russian in digital brown/blackface tell me that I haven’t written enough. Someone else said I bought my degree or got it from a “fake” university, and recently someone said that people — particularly women — with advanced degrees not in medicine are morally suspect.
Actually no, what she said was far less articulate than that but … I mean she was mad at me for having a PhD. That was her deal. I’m educated. Yikes.
I do state early and often that I’ve earned a PhD because women are often disregarded even with letters behind their name. So, people may get mad and insist that I’m “uppity,” but if it’s really that upsetting to them then they should get themselves a PhD and THEN come at me.
I will say, this one is a particularly needling insult because academics particularly female academics and particularly particularly academics of color always have impostor syndrome. So having some random person call you out online because they can’t find your publications because either your last name was misspelled, you changed your last name, you’re published only under your last name, or you didn’t get a byline on that paper does actually hit me where I live. To that end I do try to remind myself that I am actually working on schtuff and that the person “calling me out,” probably hasn’t done thing one with their life.
2. You’ll never get a man this way.
… Cool …
Honestly, I love this one. I love it in part because I have a man and the person saying it is either a “pick me girl,” or a guy who bought into pick up culture and is trying to “neg” me, but I also love it because there’s absolutely no consideration that I might be a lesbian.
Frankly, if I was online tweeting or facebooking to get a man then I’ve probably chosen the wrong app for that.
But also, you don’t know me, random dude online. I mean, I do hit a lot of the lesbian stereotypes. I like cats, wear glasses a lot, am athletic, and value female company. If you didn’t pick up from my cutsie pictures taken by his parents with my guy posted prominently on social media that I’m very spoken for then why are you assuming that I’m both hetero and looking?
And frankly, my man spoils me (read: treats me like a human) so if anything were to happen and I ended up single again, I won’t be going for a man who can’t handle me speaking my mind.
3. You’re CENTRIST!!!1!1!
When I was twenty and super concerned about what people thought of me this would have been a serious insult because while I’m still falling off the edge of far left I am no longer performative about it. If you genuinely think I’m centrist that’s actually a really good thing because it means that probably more people agree with me.
To be honest, this does anger me though because it means the person speaking doesn’t really understand political ideology and multi-dimensional statistics. And we can’t have that. I’d link my stories on this but there’s so many I’d be at it for ages.
If you freaked out about me judging you for not knowing what that means — relax. I’m not actually mad that people don’t have an in-depth working knowledge of psychology as it applies to ideology and the various statistical methods that can be used to analyse it; I’m mad they don’t want to try.
This actually cuts to the basis of this little listicle. Some people are just never going to hear you out. Mom’s expression for this was “you could stand in the corner spitting quarters and he’d wonder why it wasn’t silver dollars.” Me being far left or centrist does not negate my opinion and it especially doesn’t negate facts and data I might present particularly if I do so in good faith.
Sometimes in science you disprove a hypothesis and sometimes in politics you get voted down.
4. You’re a SHILL!!!!
I am? Cool! When do I get paid? Is it much money? That would be awesome.
5. You’re a rich woman and I’m going to get you fired/you’re relying on your husband to take care of you — you hypocritical feminist.
This one … well I present it like this because I usually get both of these one right after the other from the same person online usually right after he — and it’s always a he — figures out that negging doesn’t work.
But let’s break this down because I do find it mildly hilarious. According to this logic I am:
- in a lucrative job,
- supervised by a (male) boss that hasn’t noticed my online activities and would take issue with them,
- undeserving of a job because I am female,
- not earning anything substantive,
- undeserving of love or human rights,
- taking advantage of the poor sap who — in spite of no. 6. here — loves me,
- solely and personally responsible for the gender wage gap which I should be ashamed of but is also a good thing, apparently.
Honestly, once they say something like this it’s sort of my signal that I should have peaced out about an hour ago.
6. You’re a 🔥FEMINIST🔥
Yes. Yes I am. Well spotted.
7. I disagree with you. Where’s your evidence?? I demand that you right this instant take five hours out of your day to give me a personalized introductory to graduate level course on specifically this concept during which time I intend to be a total dillwad.
So, this is called “sea lioning.” It’s specifically meant to get a disadvantaged member of society to do unpaid work so that you can insult them and their intelligence while wasting their time. It’s intellectually dishonest and if anyone does it to you … well, I’ll outline my technique in a minute.
First off, I want to relate that the first guy I called out on this tried to report me for fat-shaming him. Nothing happened because he reported it to the same admin he was threatening when I told him to cool it, but honestly, I’m not sorry.
One of the things a lot of people forget is academics … basically don’t get paid. I’m not saying that the average salary for a lecturer is less than they’re worth; I’m saying that a lot of academics flat out don’t get paid. As in no money. There are actual faculty positions where you’re on their faculty list and you have responsibilities but there’s no salary. And even where there is a salary the starting wages are pretty darn low especially considering academics never stop working and are expected to pay for their own basically everything sometimes including lab equipment and some publication costs.
And this culture of not paying academics what they’re worth has bled into the education system. Yeah, I would like to see us get towards a system where everyone gets a decent K through 12, there’s free childcare, and possibly even free college, but you can’t do that by devaluing education and academics. Which is what is currently going on. Now yeah a lot of academics don’t get properly remunerated for their work, but that doesn’t mean that work comes free.
So…. I actually worked it out and given the time and effort I’ve put in plus the syllabus I’d have to create, plus hazard pay, plus a little extra to make sure the person in question is taking it seriously I’ve worked it out that my time is worth a down payment of at minimum $500 with an hourly fee of $80. I also charge an extra $250 every time the sea lion makes an insulting remark and I figure the hourly wage for an hour or any part of an hour.
If you encounter a sea lion you first go, “okay check out these hashtags or this academic journal article.” That gives them a chance to go, “thanks for the info this is helpful,” and peace out. If however, they go “TOO MUCH TROUBLE! BABY BIRD ME KNOWLEDGE!!” that’s when I hit them with the $500 fee and tell them my rates. (And I also charge back pay so if they insulted me in the prior discussion I add that on.)
When you’re giving someone an education that is a service that you are providing them and you deserve to be paid. You can leave, but if they continue to harass you I fully condone telling them to pay up. Sadly, no one yet has taken me up on my generous offer. But they do shut up and run quite quickly.
8. You’re a wine mom!
Several questions: chiefly what is a wine mom and why is being one insulting? Like, are you saying I’m an alcoholic and bad mother? Because I am neither.
Osmo Häkkinen: No, she is neither.
I really don’t get this one. Is it an accidental compliment? Like I’m super poised and sophisticated and can balance a social life with a career and children? I mean, if so, cool. Thanks.
Or maybe they’re trying to say that it’s all a thin veneer of respectability thrown over a life inured in chaos in which case OH MY GOD, THEY’RE ONTO ME!!!
I would drink more wine but if I have more than a glass a month it just absolutely floors me. I cannot handle my liquor.
9. You’re old and don’t understand us young millennials!
Dude, you’re 50. Shut up.
I will take ALL the buzzfeed quizzes and be salty about no longer being able to responsibly tell you about my H*rry P*tter House (Ravenclaw, in case you had any doubts) and I will do it shamelessly with all the fervour of a person not old enough to have watched Star Wars in theatre but old enough to have memorised them from the VHS tapes.
I think I was in my mid twenties the first time someone tried to use my age against me, and I find that amusing because I tend to present a bit young. I get that there are a *few* generational differences, but for the most part you cannot simply determine a person’s age by their personality. Speaking to those buzzfeed quizzes, several of them are about guessing your age based on your taste in music or desserts and I always class either way too young or slightly too old in those. And while that’s indicative of really nothing, trying to use a person’s age to negate their experience is absurdly backwards.
I do appreciate that most people using this are trying to basically say I’m a dried up old hag but … have you met older women? They’re awesome. They don’t care anymore. If someone’s telling me I’m old and should therefore shut up all that tells me is that they’re a bit thick, really.
Anyways, happy internetting. And remember, sometimes you just can’t make ’em like you.