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Graham Linehan, Saviour of Women

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Graham Linehan likes women. He really likes women. So much so, that he thinks we need rescuing. From ourselves.

The comedy writer has become embroiled in GamerGate recently, with his tweets turning increasingly hysterical in recent days. His descent into the absurd is perhaps compounded by the movement’s refusal to die, despite a number of premature funerals by the gaming media (the earliest was in October).

Linehan initially proclaimed that GamerGate is nothing but a misogynistic hate group while steadfastly refusing to believe that any woman could support it. He then stepped things up, comparing them to the KKK, arguing that they deserve to be harassed.

(Thanks Graham. I’m sure all the people who had their families threatened for supporting GamerGate will be thrilled to hear that a washed-up comic thinks they were “asking for it.” I certainly feel better about being told to “off myself” now!).

Like most bigots, Linehan has very little interest in discussion, blocking anyone who asks for evidence of his hyperbolic accusations against GamerGate.  Any attempt to engage his demonstrably false claims or the lack of a link to GamerGate results in either a block or insults. If you’ve really caught him out, expect both.

Early on Thursday, Linehan broke from his usual routine to acknowledge that women who support GamerGate do actually exist – they’re just “stupid and ill-informed.”  Naturally, a number of these “stupid, ill-informed women” took issue with this statement:

Linehan also managed to mistake popular YouTuber and GamerGate supporter shoe0nhead for a man, and accused her of being a misogynist. Linehan deleted the tweet shortly after being made aware of his error, but not before the entire internet had witnessed (and archived) his dunderheaded stupidity and created a new hashtag, #FullLinehan.

Is this a temporary lapse of sanity? Is Linehan, like many others, basically a decent person who’s been misled by the mainstream media’s appallingly bad reporting on GamerGate?

Unfortunately not. This isn’t the first time Linehan has used “feminism” to justify being an asshole.  Only last year, Linehan attacked country singer Dolly Parton for her “fucked up face”, and railed against the “supposed feminists” who supported her choice to have plastic surgery. Freedom of choice for women! Unacceptable, right?

Despite being taken to task on this issue by feminists true to the definition of the word, it seems Linehan is still on a mission to save us poor, unfree wimmenfolk from ourselves. For Linehan, female autonomy still seems to be an alien concept.

I count myself a liberal feminist (and egalitarian, and humanist, just to make sure I’ve annoyed everyone) but I am increasingly frustrated by the marginalisation of women so often carried out in the name of feminism by those on the my side of the political spectrum. I have never been treated poorly by others in GamerGate, male or female, and my experience echoes that of others.

Yet it seems our experiences are only useful to people like Linehan if they confirm their view of the internet as a misogynistic wasteland, where we need to be saved by brave men howling insults at those with a divergent opinion. Further proof can be found in the media portrayal of GamerGate as a gender war, conveniently ignoring those of us who don’t fit that narrative. Linehan’s attitude says that we will only be treated as equals if we conform to a certain set of opinions.

Well, a huge thank you from all us women, Mr Lineham. Where would we be without you? How would we know what to feel or think? Men like you are just so essential to making sure us stupid, ill-informed women don’t go astray. We’re so glad to know you continue have the best interests of women everywhere* at heart.

*Note: To qualify as a woman, you must conform to Mr Linehan’s opinions on what you can and can’t do with your body. And pretty much all his other views too.    


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