Cookies for Breakfast: So a Girl Walks into a Comedy Club ...


This is something that happened to a friend of mine in her own words.

So, on Friday night my friend and I were at her house and wanted to get out and do something for the evening. We brainstormed ideas and she brought up the idea of seeing a show at the Laugh Factory. I’d never been, I thought…

Disagree with a woman? Make a video game about punching her!


This is a thing that happened.

Helen Lewis wrote an article on the New Statesman yesterday on the online harassment experienced by Anita Sarkeesian, which I’ve been following for a while. To recap:

American blogger Anita Sarkeesian, who launched a Kickstarter programme to raise $6,000 to research “tropes vs women in videogames”. Donating was - and I really can’t stress this enough - completely voluntary. There are Kickstarters for all kinds of things: for example,  a “dance narrative featuring some of NYC’s most compelling performers that celebrates the pursuit of love and the joys of imperfection” doesn’t sound like my kind of thing, but God Bless Them, they are 89% funded towards their $12,000 goal. 

But a big swath of the internet wasn’t prepared to live and let live in Sarkeesian’s case, and began spamming her YouTube video comments with a pot-pourri of misogynist, racist and generally vile abuse. Each one individually was grim; together they constituted harassment. (You can read the full story in my blog here).

Since then, Anita Sarkeesian has been subjected to a good deal more harassment…

Read her post for the full rundown, but it includes: image-based harassment, rape threats, hate sites, and death threats. One man, Ben Spurr, created a game in which users could punch Sarkeesian’s face and bruising would appear …

This whole situation is so frustrating and sad. But one thing needs to be said: the actions of a few cannot be attributed to the whole. The men I know who are active within “gaming culture” are generally awesome people. Thank goodness those who actively participate in viciousness and misogyny are - for the most part - the exception, and not the rule.

Speaking out against hate and misogyny on the Internet is something we could all do more actively. Thank you, @jsmooth995!

And if anyone still isn’t convinced of how damaging these types of attacks can be, please take a moment to read this: On Blogging, Threats and Violence.


Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

A friend tweeted me the link to a Tumblr post by Allison Pregler (Obscurus Lupa), and it overwhelmed me with a combination of gratitude and sadness. These are her words:

Blaming Scarlett for Spoony’s problems is the most bullshit thing I’ve ever heard, and you should be ashamed for using that excuse. He’s been harassing her, her friends, anyone associated with her, for existing, for the crime of breaking up with him, and you have the fucking nerve to call her promiscuous? Because damn it, she’s done absolutely nothing like that, and someone has the right to exist in this world. It doesn’t matter if she twitter flirts, she has the right to fucking exist, and no one, NO ONE should hold anyone ransom for their own happiness. People have shit on her because of HIS attacks, and this shit needs to stop now. You said she did something wrong for breaking up with him when he’s depressed? Fuck you.


I’ve only met Allison once, at MAGFest 2011, and I thought she was really lovely and was sorry we didn’t have more opportunity to become friends. (Everyone should have an Arizonan redhead in their lives, after all. We’re super rare, like unicorns or meaningful Pauly Shore movies!)

Reading her words today, it really touched me that she said something in my defense, as I’ve often felt like Public Enemy #1 for nearly 1-1/2 years now. Some would say that’s a designation of my own making, but I counter that if you truly knew me, you’d know someone who’s deeply caring and compassionate. And you would also know someone who believes strongly that being selfish rather than saintly is the only way to pursue a happy and fulfilling life.

"If you’re not selfish enough to reach for your own happiness, for what’s best for YOU, there won’t be anything to offer anyone else." - Abraham-Hicks

I’ve heard many times that I should have said something long ago, “made an official statement” of sorts. Often I wondered if that was more of a self-serving request than anything, given how many times people have tried to probe me for information. Curiosity is addictive; knowledge and entertainment is the stuff that makes the world worth exploring and life worth living. So it’s understandable - but it’s also my life, and I still believe that sometimes actions speak louder, and say much more, than words can ever hope to. As such, I remained stoic and never spoke an ill word about anyone, because there was genuinely nothing untoward to say. The fascination and speculation still hasn’t abated though, so I’ll make this one and only comment:

Sometimes, relationships just run their course. Friendships, business partnerships, romantic involvements - they’re all subject to the natural ebb and flow of emotions, time, circumstance, etc. That doesn’t mean that love is lost; on the contrary, sometimes the most loving thing you can do for someone is to let them go, if the path you’ve both been walking is feeling increasingly divergent. People grow apart, goals and desires change, and (much to the frustration of many), there’s nothing at all intriguing or scandalous about it. So imaginations are ignited, speculations are made, rumors are formed. And why not? Fantasy can be a helluva lot more interesting than reality. But gossip is like an epic AoE spell that you’re unwittingly stuck in the middle of. Even months - years - after it’s cast, you’re still feeling the aftershocks.

This last 16 months has been really difficult, for both of us. I’m mindful enough to take responsibility for being the catalyst; the cause for the effect. But if a levee breaks, it shouldn’t continue to be blamed for the flood. It was Louis XV (or was it Madame de Pompadour?) who said: après moi, le déluge. Not Scarlett. I never wanted to cause so much distress. But those who would put more faith in conjecture have made it their business, and though it unwittingly involves me, the motivation and fascination therein are actually none of my business.

"Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering." - Miguel Ruiz

But … easier said than done. I’ve received more vitriol and viciousness than I’d ever wish on anyone, and all of it based on the misguided (though well-meaning?) desire to white knight for someone whom most of those lobbing hostility had never even met. I can understand being upset because someone you’re a fan of is upset, but to what end? Despite your ill-wishing, I just don’t think my “ugly ginger cunt should be stabbed to death” to make you feel better, nor do I think it would accomplish its goal. And I happen to think I have rather nice lady parts, thankyouverymuch. So HA HA on you!

Even so, when someone whom I admire - who has the ears and eyes of many TGWTG fans and haters alike - is willing to take a stand on my behalf, it’s such a powerful and deeply moving gesture (sad though I am that the necessity was ever there to begin with). There are a great many people who dove off my friends list, both in a social networking sense and in “real life”, like I was a sinking ship back in February 2011. Some stayed, but sheathed themselves in shadow - wary of acknowledging our friendship in any public manner, lest it would lead to unrest. A handful tried to use our friendship as subterfuge, either to quench their own curiosity or as a means for passing along information. (Shame on you.) But a few unwavering souls had my back from the beginning, for whom I’m forever grateful.

It’s been said that a traumatic event will show you who your real friends are; truer words were never spoken. But more importantly is how you react, and how you let it affect your life moving forward. I’m of the mind that whatever life takes away from you, let it go. And if you’re reminded of it - whether because you choose to be, or because someone or something brings a memory to mind - do what you can to remember the good in that person, that moment in time. When I think of loved ones who’ve passed away, I don’t imagine them as they are now: a body in the ground or an urn of ashes. In my mind’s eye, the good remains. We had more enjoyable time together than many are blessed to experience, and that’s what matters. That’s what I focus on, and it’s my sincere hope that others will too. You may dislike me for many and varied reasons, but no one can say that we didn’t make each-other happy for that long moment in time.

That’s all I can really say, and I can only hope it will suffice. Thank you for those who’ve shown support (to either one or both of us), and thank you to Allison for having the wisdom to see what many could/would not, the fortitude to bring it to light, and for giving me the temerity to finally have a voice. Ginger power, lady. Ginger power.