I had my first official troll on April 11th. A brave, anonymous commenter called me a “fucking slut” because I criticized Judd Apatow as a writer and filmmaker. A few days ago, another brave commenter decided to weigh in on my review of Easy A.
On a post three months old, he wrote the following statement:
“hey, i’ve been waiting on my sammich for like an hour. the fuck?”
And I realized that I needed to further explain my definition of “troll.”
A troll is someone who posts on a blog or message board for the sole purpose of being inflammatory. But the “troll” tag is a genus and I failed to define the species within that genus. Let me elaborate to avoid confusion in the future.
The commenter who called me a “fucking slut” is what we call an Embittered Troll. The Embittered Troll is one who takes offense at anyone who disagrees with him/her, usually about an opinion regarding a work of fiction. The Embittered Troll is a resentful, aggressive creature, one who lashes out with inappropriate, sexist slurs of a sexual nature, usually unrelated to the topic at hand. S/he usually, but not always, prefers to comment anonymously, attacking with ferocity but retreating within its shell to avoid retaliation. Tragically, this species can dish out, but not take, insults, and will wither and die like the Wicked Witch of the West when faced with hir own medicine.
But there is another species within the troll genus called the Comedian Troll. The Comedian Troll is braver and less angry than the Embittered Troll. When the Comedian Troll finds an opinion that contradicts hir philosophy, s/he responds with a more lighthearted jab, one that does not directly attack the writer, but mocks the writer’s view of the world. The Comedian Troll is a little bolder than the Embittered Troll and will often comment using hir given name, if not a surname.
In this case, the Comedian Troll left me his given name (John) and refrained from using profanity or sexist slurs. But I also couldn’t discern his point right away. He commented about waiting for a “sammich,” and what did that have to do with the movie Easy A or my review of said film?
Then it hit me: he was making a joke. He found a feminist blog by throwing some keywords together in Google, saw that I write about the representation of women in media, and decided to make a joke that would invoke my ire.
Because, you see, women are supposed to stay in the kitchen and make sandwiches for their men, and this guy has been waiting, like, a whole hour. When am I going to whip my lazy feminist ass into shape and make food for the menfolk, right?!!
It took me awhile to get the joke. I suppose I didn’t understand it right away because, in my world, jokes are funny. But once I understood the joke, I couldn’t laugh. I just felt confused.
And now, I have two questions for John:
1) Why did you post this comment on my Easy A review, of all posts? What about that post, in particular, provoked you to demand my attention and sandwich-making skills?
2) More importantly, what do you have against capital letters?
There are at least two sentences in that comment of yours and neither one begins with a capital letter. You don’t even write your name, “john,” with a capital J. Did capital letters hurt you in your childhood? Or have you been socialized to hate capital letters during your upbringing?
Either way, I find you very sad.