Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Saturday 2 July 2016

Public Humiliation

I’ve been writing a lot of political blogs recently… No surprise there, I guess. I am going to try to mix it up a bit from time to time; I don’t want to become boring… That won’t stop me having a good snark, though.

I’ve got a FaceBook page; I’ve had it for several years. FaceBook’s fine; plenty of us have it.

I do have certain preferences when it comes to this particular brand of social media, though. My page is open to all, completely public, no secrets. I occasionally post a status update, and I advertise this blog on that page. So far, so ordinary.

I do not post negative comments or private information on my FaceBook page; the first would just make me look like a whiner, and the second isn’t appropriate. I don’t intimately know many, probably most, of the people who have friended me over the years. If I want to talk about something privately, I do it in private. If I want to whine or moan about something, I do it to the husband and one or two other people who are close to me.

I perfectly understand why people share the details of their lives through social media, but it’s just not my thing.

I rarely, almost never, plant posts on other people’s FaceBook pages, unless it is the husband’s or the dort’s. I’m not very keen on people posting to my FaceBook page, as their opinions and mine might not necessarily line up. My FaceBook page is a representation of me, not them, and shouldn’t reflect anyone’s thoughts, but mine. However, if someone does post something, I generally leave it where it is.

I have no problem with other people tagging me into a post, and I certainly have no problems collecting likes and comments or liking and commenting on others’ pages. You might want to read my blog post about ‘digging it’.

My newsfeed doesn’t tend to be terribly interesting. There is rarely anything on it that is very out of the ordinary. There is a lot of stuff on it that is more-or-less meaningless to me, trite or banal.

This is not an indictment. People can post whatever they please on their own FaceBook pages; I can always scroll past anything on my newsfeed that doesn’t take my fancy. All those pictures with adages attached are a case in point. I also tend to hit the ‘don’t show me button’ on anything that’s just horrible. Yes, I know that my vegetarian and vegan friends are fighting a worthy cause when they attack animal cruelty, but I’m aware and responsible on this subject, and I really don't want to see pictures of actual animal cruelty. If they’re intended to upset, they’re working.

Lately, I’ve seen rather a lot of videos on my FaceBook newsfeed, short clips, generally of people making fools of themselves, or of each other.

I don’t find this stuff funny, although I know a lot of people do. They can watch them, if they like.

But, over the past few weeks, I have begun to notice a trend in these embarrassment videos. In particular, I regularly see videos posted by Brad Holmes and shared… mostly by men.

I don’t like the videos, or others like them, so when I’d had my fill of them appearing on my feed, I strolled over to Brad Holmes’s FaceBook page and had a look at some of them.

The format is generally consistent. Brad is off camera, presumably filming, and he asks his on-camera girlfriend a question or begins a conversation with her. The intention of these films is to set the girlfriend up as an idiot, and Brad clearly takes great pleasure in this, mocking her and laughing openly when she says something that might be considered naive or foolish.

Whether these videos are set up, or whether the girlfriend’s responses are entirely natural doesn’t matter. The films are misogynistic. They beg a number of questions:

Why is Brad dating the girlfriend if she’s so uncommonly stupid?
If it’s because she’s also beautiful that only goes to show how shallow he must be.

Why is Brad sharing his girlfriend’s foolishness with the World?

If it’s because she’s foolish, then he’s clearly a nasty piece of work. No decent person exploits the naively foolish. Shouldn’t we nurture people we care about, love them and even teach them? Mockery is cheap.

If Brad is so contemptuous of his girlfriend that he’s eager to expose her weaknesses, what kind of a man is he? And what kind of a relationship do these two have?

Oh yes, I forgot, he’s a man whose only criterion for choosing a mate seems to be that she is beautiful.

Contempt is never a good basis for a relationship. When it creeps in, the relationship is lost.

Presumably the on-camera girlfriend is a consenting participant in these videos.

That rather depends on how you view consent. Most people would require good reasons or considerable persuasion to make a fool of themselves in public and to be mocked for it by their loved one. So, what are Brad’s excuses for posting these videos? How does he convince the girlfriend that it’s a good idea?

Because it’s funny?

Well, as far as I’m concerned the videos aren’t funny; they’re painful and misogynistic.

Because it’s work?

Do something a bit more worthwhile with your life, Brad.

Because they’re popular?

Yes, popular among other nasty, misogynistic men. All the time Brad’s FaceBook page has large numbers of followers and all the time his videos receive tens of thousands of likes, Brad’s ego is being massaged and his nasty little practices are being justified.

Because he tells the girlfriend he loves her anyway?

How many nasty, abusive men have told their partners they love them after abusing them mentally, physically or psychologically.

That’s right… All of them.
I couldn't stand the idea of advertising Brad Holmes
by using his picture here...
Instead, this is me and the dort, two tough, independent,
feminist women.

The worst of all this isn’t that Brad makes the videos or that the girlfriend allows it. The worst of all this is the popularity of the finished product.

As of right now, Brad Holmes’s FaceBook page has almost 1.2 million followers, and his girlfriend videos regularly rack up around 100,000 likes each.

Brad Holmes has pranked his girlfriend into believing he’s going to propose, he’s shaved off her eyebrow while she was sleeping, he’s pretended he’s leaving her for someone else, and he’s rubbed chilli into her tampons.

Brad Holmes isn’t funny, he’s abusive… And there are plenty of men who find this funny. Some have even jumped on the bandwagon and begun to share their girlfriends’ less sparkling moments with the World.

Brad Holmes and men like him are one of the reasons I’m a feminist. In our house, there’s a word we use to describe men like this. 

It’s not a good out-loud word.

1 comment:

  1. I had to delete my Facebook account a few years back. Humans are just so, oh what's the word... Yeah, it's also not a good out-loud word eh.
    I'll go with "disappointing", yeps.

    Hey I saw this article the other day and thought of you. It's fairly long so if your eyes get too tired, I'll give you the short version.
    You know how in some countries, you're "presumed" innocent until proven guilty (I know, crazy right)...
    In this article, it describes how in the world of sports, you're a male until proven a female.