"I don't wanna talk about this. I'm gonna talk about this."
June 20, 2016 7:47 PM   Subscribe

 
Vi Hart is a national treasure.

Seriously, I can't tell you how much shit I've learned just listening to hear math videos.
posted by qcubed at 7:52 PM on June 20, 2016 [9 favorites]


Direct youtube link
posted by Pyry at 7:56 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do recommend clicking a few posts down and looking at the "Cats Against Brexit" photos after watching this video, though.
posted by eviemath at 7:56 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, thanks Pyry; I should have linked to that originally.
posted by eviemath at 8:03 PM on June 20, 2016


[Swapped in direct link; carry on.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:05 PM on June 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Dammit this breaks my heart.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:49 PM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dang, that shot of her scrolling through the youtube comment notifications. Really shows you how a comment that might be awkward-but-innocent on its own becomes really unsettling when amplified and repeated by all these people (pages and pages of them!) and juxtaposed with the circumstances of Christina Grimmie's death.
posted by btfreek at 9:03 PM on June 20, 2016 [14 favorites]


And now I wonder, does she keep her YouTube comment notifications in case someone escalates their comments from awkward-but-innocent to stalker, she has an easy to search record?

My heart and my head are broken.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:38 PM on June 20, 2016


Yeah, that is a pretty powerful video. It makes me aware of how many stories the women in my life don't tell me about their experiences - so sad.
posted by ianhattwick at 10:06 PM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Look, I'm an idiot. I know. I know.

For some reason I was stupid enough to look at the comments on this one.

I don't know why - okay, I know. It was such a powerful video and Vi is so lovely and the message so powerful and clear that I wanted to believe

(idiot, idiot)

that this time it would be different and her message would have penetrated enough that the comments would be-

Different.

But they weren't, of course.
posted by Cozybee at 10:12 PM on June 20, 2016 [12 favorites]


Wow.

Thanks so much for the link. This is the first I've heard of Vi Hart. I look forward to learning more from her.
posted by jasper411 at 10:17 PM on June 20, 2016


Lena Dunham said in an episode of Another Round that she had to hire people to read her direct messages on Twitter and forward her things from her friends or things that they thinks she should read. I imagine the tenor of messages is something akin to a high-pitched, demonic wail of endless entitlement. She said that if she read them she'd just never do anything.

It's a great video. I don't want to be right about that stuff either. It's sad.
posted by amanda at 10:36 PM on June 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


This video is fantastic, and it is awful that it needs to exist, mainly. Vi Hart really is just solid gold at pretty much all times, and I'll be damned if this wasn't kind of a hard video to watch just in general, just because of how good a job she did of making it personal, but also because of how solidly it hammers home the fact that, no, nothing is changing, and nothing is going to change, because every single time one of these shootings happens, the Powers That Be are far more interested in touching their noses as fast as possible and shouting "NOT IT" than actually doign something meaningful to fix the problem.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:27 PM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]



For some reason I was stupid enough to look at the comments on this one.


I did it too. Freaking nauseating.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 12:50 AM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


I watched this yesterday & was deeply saddened: It shouldn’t be this way for anyone. That grinding continuous low level shit that Vi has to put up with on a daily basis to the point that it’s has been completely normalised for her - for her, this is just how the world is & that’s horrifying.

I know it doesn’t make it any better right now but for people like me these kind of personal stories are really important. Without them I would have *no* idea that this sort of behaviour was the stuff of everyday life for those on the receiving end of it. So I’m (selfishly) glad she posted the video, though it was clearly really hard for her & it’s probably going to bring even more crap down on her head.

The YouTube comments seem to be better today than yesterday though. Either the “but what about the men!” responses have been downvoted into non-existence or Vi has moderated them away. (Can you do that on your own YouTube videos?)
posted by pharm at 2:25 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


The tragedy of Vi's commentary is that she wished that these acts were random, instead of following a pattern, like a formula, where the result could be calculated and thus predicted and prevented. Her listing of YouTube comments illustrated just one element of that equation, and I'd like to think she knew what to do about that one, rather than letting the madness of the world deal with its own entropy.

Even in this rather revealing clip there was math.
posted by arzakh at 4:02 AM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


That was... one of the most powerful pieces I've seen on... maybe anything.
posted by odinsdream at 5:55 AM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pulling this out specifically:
"I learned early in my life to have more faith in the humanity of angry men than in any of the uncaring, inhuman systems around me." - Vi Hart, 2016
posted by odinsdream at 5:56 AM on June 21, 2016 [9 favorites]


i hate the news so much.

how many people watch videos like this. How many people watch news with depersonalized, politicized headlines like "Terror in Orlando." i want the numbers on that. how many people can i trust.
posted by rebent at 5:56 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


"I got very good at dealing with Internet trolls, and not very good at being a human being".

Ouch. That's how you get to be an internet troll, too. Trolldom is obviously a self-propagating culture at this point, and it's not going away.
posted by Leon at 8:33 AM on June 21, 2016


Lena Dunham said in an episode of Another Round that she had to hire people to read her direct messages on Twitter and forward her things from her friends or things that they thinks she should read.

I know of a few feminist blogs that trade inboxes (and then pass on what is actually relevant.) That way even though everyone still has to wade through sludge, at least they're not reading the parts that are calculated to hit them personally.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:36 AM on June 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's so much good stuff here -- the brutal display of microaggressions, the wrestling with the "detached internet voice," the confession that one just gets used to the constant bombardment, the entitled demands for attention, and the contrast of powerlessness and a feeling of duty that is worse than powerlessness was... this probably should be required viewing for anyone using any kind of social media. Some people should probably be forced to watch it every time they post a comment.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:48 AM on June 21, 2016 [6 favorites]


The thing that blows my mind is the sheer volume of messages she has received asking her to marry the sender. I can only imagine how many messages it would turn up if she searched for the words, "kill you" or some variation.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:54 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't know how people like Vi have the energy or will to create, exist, and participate in our malfunctioning society, let alone confront and speak against the entrenched ills that so many cling to. But I am glad they do. I hope to be as strong as her some day.
posted by polyhedron at 9:39 AM on June 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Her "On Gender" video is pretty interesting, not only for description of wrestling with how she conceptualizes gender, but also for the admission that it's a terrible mistake to assume that the way you conceptualize anything is the way that anyone else conceptualizes that thing, and listening to people is critical if you don't want to actively make ther world a worse place. This is a message that everyone should take to heart, even if they aren't on the Internet.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:09 AM on June 21, 2016 [9 favorites]


Re the comments - a surprising (to me) number of people in various online places believe that feminism is sexist, because it "blames men". This appears to be the default feeling among non-feminists. ("Egalitarianism" seems to be acceptable, as long as it's applied to men and women equally.) I think many people just totally lack a sociological imagination, and understand the analysis to be focused on targetting individual men...

Some of the more (apparently) benign commenters who admitted to offering marriage proposals don't seem to know what to do about admiration for a person who does cool things and is a woman, other than converting it into a desire to make her a partner. (And feeling she needs to know about this.) Just - sad to see even this, disappointing.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:37 AM on June 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


cds, I think the “marry me” thing is such a trope at this point that it gets used all the time by both genders, without any intent that it be anything more than a light-hearted gesture of admiration. The problem, as Vi makes abundantly clear is that from the recipient’s point of view, this token of admiration is indistinguishable from the same words expressed by someone who has fixated on you in a deeply unhealthy & potentially dangerous way.

I suspect the people who parrot the line that feminism is sexist take that line because it’s the easy path - after all, they’re not sexist (in their own minds) because that would make them bad people - only bad people are sexist, right? - and so long as they’re not doing explicitly sexist things (in their own minds), then they don’t have to actually *do* anything or change their behaviour in any way! These people are simply looking for plausible arguments that enable them to keep living their comfortable lives without having to actually confront the reality that the things that they do might be contributing to the oppression of women in any way. Claiming that feminism is sexist is an easy out for them & it’s easy enough to cherry pick one or two of the genuinely extreme soi-disant feminist writers out there & tar the rest with the same brush.

IOW their desire to push away the ideas behind feminism is very strong, because at some level these people believe that the feminists might just be right & if they were right, then that would make them bad people. They don’t want to swallow hard & confront that possibility head on, so they deny, deny, deny...
posted by pharm at 10:58 AM on June 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


For some reason I was stupid enough to look at the comments on this one.

I don't know whether it's because I'm looking at them a day later or if youtube does some sorting by likes/dislikes, but, in the context of Youtube comments, these weren't as bad as I expected.

There seemed to be a bunch of dudes owning up to sending "Marry Me" type comments, and feeling stupid for not realizing the effect that those could have, especially en masse. There were a few "#notallmen" type comments, but most of those seemed to have been replied to by (mostly dudes, from the avatars and usernames) doing the 101-level work to talk the meninists down -- some of whom even seemed to come around. There were, of course, a bunch of "feminism has ruined another channel" one offs that were mostly ignored. And most of all, it's people thanking her for making the video.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:21 AM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sparklemotion, I went and checked again and... Nope, still terrible. But I'm on mobile, maybe that has something to do with it?
posted by Cozybee at 11:36 AM on June 21, 2016


Another one for her CONs of reporting abuse list, specific to teenage girls: When I was 15 a guy I *barely* knew from an online forum I was on called me at home (no idea how he got my #). He said he had a gun and said he was going to shoot himself while he was on the phone with me unless I talked to him and helped "cheer him up". I managed to find a way to end the call within a minute or two (I think I said my parents were home and could pick up the line sorry sorry sorry gotta run bye), but it shook me the hell up. I didn't for a second consider telling anyone because knew the only outcome would be that my internet access would be taken away.
posted by Ennis Tennyone at 11:52 AM on June 21, 2016 [12 favorites]


I mean, that is def a specific version of "being blamed for it" that is on her list. But man, I had a v. strong reaction to her recounting the shitty phonecall thing, because that happened to me at the exact same age and goddamnit if anyone was gonna take my internet away because other people were acting like shitlords.
posted by Ennis Tennyone at 12:04 PM on June 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


I went and checked again and... Nope, still terrible.

I just refreshed on desktop and had to scroll a couple of screens worth before I saw the first top level comment that was something like: "It wasn't really about women, it was about an obsessed fan. This has happened so many times before, to both men and women."

So it's not like the shitty comments are gone, regardless. And even if they are pushed down now, they were up nearer the top previously. And just the fact they were there, kind of sucks.

But the shitty comments aren't even the point -- what Vi Hart showed in this video was how even comments that are mostly meant as harmless compliments can become an oppression by their sheer volume. And it doesn't matter that 99.9% of people making intentionally or unintentionally harassing comments never go further than that, Christina Grimmie was murdered by the .1%.

that happened to me at the exact same age and goddamnit if anyone was gonna take my internet away because other people were acting like shitlords.

Yup... same here - 15 years old and covering up for the creepy things that dudes said/did so that I wouldn't have my access taken away. And, in hindsight, I wouldn't have blamed my parents for doing that because the interactions were most def not healthy and BBSes/The Internet as it existed back then wasn't as integral to leading a normal life as it is now. Now though -- "just log off/don't blog/stop being so public" are really not reasonable answers to the problem.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:15 PM on June 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


The problem, as Vi makes abundantly clear is that from the recipient’s point of view, this token of admiration is indistinguishable from the same words expressed by someone who has fixated on you in a deeply unhealthy & potentially dangerous way.

I think there is also an element in Internet interactions where a faux-intimacy develops and the viewer or reader feels much closer to the performer than they are. To make a "marry me" joke, you really need to be friends, and the internet makes it way easier to delude yourself into thinking that friendship exists. Add to this the many many men who feel somewhere in their guts that women should be available to them on their terms/at all, and it's a recipe for unhappy interactions at the least.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:12 PM on June 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


harmless compliments can become an oppression by their sheer volume.

This is a problem with modern internet fame* — quirky, sub-famous people used to have thousands of followers now they have hundreds of thousands or millions, all without the other structures that used to cocoon the truly famous (think the studio system in Hollywood). If one in a thousand fans makes a weird comment that amounts to possibly thousands of them. There is no excuse for the behavior, but I don’t think our social systems are set up to deal with interacting with quite this number of people. I don’t know how we should proceed, but this dynamic also makes me sad. One of the promises of the internet was that it should connect us all more directly for all or or benefit, but if this stuff doesn’t scale, we’re screwed.

*I know she mentions creepy people in real life, and I’m not discounting that, I’m just pointing out the way the difference in scale changes things.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 6:45 PM on June 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


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