Being a Dick

Update 2013-12-03: BuzzFeed now reports that the entire episode seems to have been a hoax concocted by Elan Gale. If so, then he was not publicly documenting his being a horrible misogynist dick to a real person, but publicly fantasizing about being a horrible misogynist dick to an imaginary person.

Tauriq Moosa, in The Guardian, writes about Elan Gale’s recent twittering public ridicule and sexual harassment of a middle-aged woman sharing an airplane with him. (He claims he did it because he thought she was being a rude customer. Also because her talking and breathing was intruding on his consciousness and he found her annoying.) Moosa replies:

The story of a man live tweeting his “feud” with a fellow irritable airline passenger did the so-called rounds on the internet. It happened during the peak US holiday travel at Thanksgiving. It was dubbed “hilarious” by various outlets, like Jezebel, the Mirror, and Yahoo!. Elan Gale, the man behind the tweets,[1] appears to have gained a significant number of new Twitter followers and managed to trend a hashtag #TeamElan, to obtain – I suppose – support.

. . . As someone who worked years in the service industry, I would not want such a person defending me — such an attitude only makes the irritable person worse, only gives cause to take it out further on service people. If he wishes to engage in a larger goal of publicly shaming horrible customers, there are more effective and less antagonistic ways to do so (assuming public shaming is a good method, which I’m doubtful of).

We know nothing about “Diane”. We don’t know what state of mind she was in, beyond his analysis and judgement — and public humiliation. We know what she allegedly said — and even what she said did not warrant the response Gale proceeded to mete out, premising it strangely on defending being polite . . . But Gale’s bullying and childish tactics are not the worst parts: it’s the audience, the followers, the media, cheering on, welcoming the suffering and distress of another innocent person . . . . Gale’s actions directly affected another person and they appear fuelled by the sick love people have with digital nastiness . . .

— Tauriq Moosa, Don’t cheer online nastiness — even when directed at an annoying person.
The Guardian (December 2, 2013)

The one thing I would add here is, not only was this dude’s public ridicule of Diane immensely and needlessly mean-spirited and antagonistic; it was also immensely and gratuitously misogynistic, and expressed through some really ugly and aggressive sexualized hostility.

I am not on Team Eat My Dick.

  1. [1] [He is @theyearofelan on Twitter. —CJ.]

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