Traitor, turncoat, douche canoe. These are words one never expects to use when describing a friend and ally. Yet all of these terms, especially the last one, echoed through the canyon of my despair when I discovered the proof that John Hembling is a very bad man.
The reality hit me like thunder as I read, eyes wide with horror, the new battle cry of Jessica Valenti. “Back The Fuck Up!” she demanded. Back the fuck up and give women some space!
A creeping feeling of familiarity settled over me as she repeated the phrase, over and over and over. It was an odd sensation, like finding a flimsy staple gun that is somehow shooting seven inch nails. It was the right fastener but in the wrong equipment. The right tool, but in the wrong hands, and the wrong place. Then, as the facts broke down my resistance, there was no escape and my mind was raped of all illusions. There was only one way Jessica Valenti could come up with a slogan that crass and confrontational:
John the Other has an apprentice.
If you harbour any doubts that he has schooled the enemy., trained them in the ways of “Fuck Their Shit up”, and taken Valenti under his wing I give you the irrefutable evidence: Valenti concludes her new “national call” to “Back The Fuck Up” with the more usable, shortened version.
So, until we can walk through the world unencumbered by misogyny, BTFU.
Dear fellow activists, it is with a heavy heart and much woe that I bring you this devastating news. We have been betrayed.
All chances of coincidence vanished with those four, simple letters. The only question left is… why?
For the love of all good things, WHY?
We believed in you, John. We sunbathed in your soliloquies, subscribed to your sadism, frolicked in your furious funhouse, revelled in your rants, and applauded your audacity. What more did you want from us? How could you, of all people, betray the movement?
I want answers.
I suppose we should have seen the signs. In John’s recent video to Laci Green he offered Ms. Green advice for being taken seriously. It was a clever ploy, making us think that his wig and painted, luscious lips were a mockery of Laci instead of a marketing ploy. Sometimes the truth is hidden in plain site.
What are they paying you, John? And was it worth your soul?
As Dante wrote, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”
Though I’d like to wish John luck on his journey through the gates of hell, I am still too mortified and embittered to feign the proper etiquette.
But all is not lost. The writing is on the blog wall and, even given John the Other’s wit and coaching, Jessica Valenti remains a fool. “Back The Fuck Up”, demands legal enforcement that men do not engage women in public within a defined “buffer zone.”
Aside from women being uncomfortable trying to move about in a safety bubble (which, in trying to squeeze through doorways, could make her feel fat and would interfere with the display of her fashion choices) it would, ultimately, amount to that dreaded victim blaming. While Valenti failed to mention how she envisioned her BTFU policy being implemented, I imagine it looks something like a male body condom.
The running flaw with the Valenti version of JtO’s FTSU campaign is something John should have been able to foresee. Feminists can not maintain a train of thought long enough to complete an article let alone to follow through on a campaign. Where Jessica Valenti starts by complaining that feminists are always being defensive instead of proactive, she tries to resolve the problem with a campaign that again, eliminates female agency.
Back The Fuck Up sounds aggressive but, in reality, it is yet again merely focused on what other people should do. It is the equivalent of yelling “Stop! Or I’ll yell ‘stop’ again.” Teaching Valenti to inject female agency into her campaign ideas is as impossible as teaching Laci Green to stop flaunting her cleavage in videos complaining about sexual objectification.
Give up, John Hembling. You’re grooming a lame horse.
I’ve mulled over all the possibilities, trying to make sense of John’s betrayal. I raged, I seethed, then worked through the stages of grief and allowed myself to cry. The pool of tears that gathered in the bottom of my ramen bowl became a scrying glass and I was enlightened by a singular solution that could make sense of John’s betrayal.
He was bored!
I don’t want to raise false hopes here, but I believe there is a small chance John the Other is not dead to us.
In the past, John has lamented that FTSU is far too easy. All a person has to do is google “feminism” in the news, make one random click of the mouse, and find material so laughable it’s hardly sport to pull it apart.
It is entirely feasible that JtO hasn’t actually abandoned the ship for a douche canoe after all.
Perhaps this isn’t a betrayal but a sacrifice. John has descended into the intellectual void to make the fight more fair and interesting. As we know, MHRAs believe in equality and, if anyone can do it, John Hembling could immerse himself in feminist madness and still emerge intact.
If ever there was a time we could help bring JtO back safely, the moment is now. Jessica Valenti’s campaign has begun and, though she doesn’t see any practical uses for it, she is bathing in the “ethos” and might not notice John’s escape.
Run, John, run!
Come back to us! But, for the record, you got some splainin’ to do.