Monday, November 2, 2009

J.B. Handley: Christ, What an Asshole

One of my talents has always been to see things from another person's point of view. It's what makes me a good writer and a generally nice person. I notice and size up other people while I go about my daily activities, driving or grocery shopping. I try to be courteous and thoughtful, so as not to piss anybody off and bring about unwanted confrontation. For the most part, I avoid problems, and everything goes smoothly.

But I have little tolerance for assholes. I honestly can't figure out where they're coming from. Why would anybody want to act like that? Why would somebody driving an SUV and yakking on a cell phone swerve into my lane, and then flip me off when I honked? Nothing makes me more angry than pure, unbridled assholishness, especially when I'm out and about with my son and some jerk puts him in danger.

Which is why people like J.B. Handley really stick in my craw. The guy's posts and articles make me cringe. Not only does he spread dangerous misinformation that puts my child and others at risk, but his posts ooze with hate and condescension towards anyone who makes even the most diplomatic argument against him. He's a bully, the kind of person who probably made fun of nerds like me when he was a kid, the ones who made going to school so miserable.

So I wasn't at all surprised that he said awful things about Amy Wallace, a female journalist bold enough to take on the volatile topic of vaccine rejectionism. And I admit to feeling a sense of sadness and defeat at reading such hateful things about someone I had grown so quickly to admire. The comments on her article seemed to prove that any attempt at reason or sanity on this topic is followed immediately by vitriol, the written equivalent of being flecked with someone's spittle while they shout at you, jabbing a finger in your face.

But J.B. Handley is one asshole who isn't getting away with it, not this time. He didn't anticipate the level of backlash his foolish words would unleash. Not just among feminists, but among anybody with a shred of reason or civility. And guess what, haters? Up till now you've been the loudest, but there's a lot more of us than there are of you.


Liz Ditz said...

I've been compiling responses to Amy Wallace's article and specifically posts on the misogynist nature of J. B. Handley's response. I've added this post to the list.

isles said...

"Up till now you've been the loudest, but there's a lot more of us than there are of you."

This is the best part of the Wired aftermath. I was honestly surprised that so many people contacted Amy Wallace in support. I think it's a sign that regular sane folk are realizing more and more that antivacciners' selfish choices put OUR kids at risk, and they aren't going to let it slide as "personal choices" anymore.