CollabSystem’s Four Step Guyde on How to be That Man in the Comments

CollabSystem is an inclusive technology organisation. We aim to offer women the same gendered experience that they get elsewhere on the internet. To our mind that is no more evident in the responses women receive to their posts in social media and collaboration tools. You know, That Guy, The Man in the Comments.

To support the consistency of this experience for women, here is CollabSystem’s Four Step Guyde to Being that Man in the Comments.

That feeling of having a TMITC in your life. Photo by David Garrison on Pexels.com

Step 1: Invalidate

The critical first step as that Man in the Comments (hereafter TMITC) is to invalidate whatever the woman has said. There’s no reason to start with this. You could agree or even acknowledge with a woman’s perspective, but that wouldn’t be the invalidating and gendered experience most women are used to receiving.

There are three tiers of invalidation:

  1. Pseudo-smarts: this is where the man projects greater expertise to cast doubt on the woman’s opinion. For example saying ‘It’s more complex than that‘
  2. Play the Woman: this is where the man criticise the woman’s capacity to have a point of view. For example, ‘if you understood this area, you might understand better’. This comment is best saved for highly qualified women, particularly those who invented or discovered the area under discussion.
  3. Denial: just deny the woman’s opinion outright. Traditionally this involves any sentence beginning with ‘No‘ or ‘You are wrong’

At no time is the TMITC’s qualification to invalidate the woman’s opinion at all relevant. After all, they are the TMITC.

Step 2: Gaslight

TMITC’s specialise in denying reality. Therefore it is important that in Step 2 they posit an alternative set of facts and insist that the woman accept it.

There should be no verifiable sources for these opinions besides the TMITC’s opinion. Women are experienced with this being enough for their better understanding of reality being discarded.

Bonus points are awarded if the gaslighting reflects the themes of any commonplace global conspiracy theory.

Step 3: Catastrophise

A woman has expressed an opinion. TMITC’s understand this is a threat to the fundamental order of the cosmos. It is therefore important that they engage the slipperiest of slippery slopes to plunge immediately into the abyss of consequences.

It is not enough to suggest that a woman’s opinion is dangerous. A female opinion must be a threat to societal order itself. Therefore feel free to suggest an imminent catastrophe to one or more of the following:

  • The political system: government, democracy, power systems, etc
  • The family unit: gender relations, any kind of marriage, property arrangements, fertility and child raising, care for the aged, etc
  • Religious belief, religious institutions, values and the like
  • Societal structure: safety, security, freedom, gender, bathrooms, sport, or any social topic of appeal to a TMITC
  • The Economy: business, work, the markets, interest rate, growth, innovation or Bitcoin
  • Mental health: Given the narcissism of most TMITC, the only mental health that matters is their own. A woman’s mental health is irrelevant here.

Step 4: Draw Unfounded Conclusions

Remember this conclusions are unfounded. It is therefore important that they are as wild as humanly possible. Is the woman a member of a leftist, feminist or anarchist conspiracy? You missed the chance to go all three and throw in some critical race theory for good measure.

Be as unfounded and irrational as you can. At this point in the fourth sentence you can begin your barely coherent ranting, if you wish. Any idea that pops into your head as even vaguely connected should be thrown into the debate at this point. Don’t limit yourself to what is socially acceptable. When your employer, the police or social media moderators read this part later it must be as damaging as possible.

Use Capitals. Misspell words and names, especially women’s names. Refer to women by pet names and made up phrases. Rely on slogans not arguments. Repeat a catch phrase you made up and only you understand. Follow the practices of your favourite demagogue in this regard.

Get on with Your Life

Having caused a woman anxiety, distress and all kinds of unnecessary pain through the first four steps of the Guyde to Being TMITC, you are now ready to get on with the rest of your life as if nothing happened. Should you meet the woman in person, you will give no thought to your internet outrage or likely consequences, no matter how much it may be front and center for her in that interaction.

Most infuriating of all, expert TMITC practitioners know to adopt the woman’s views as their own in later interactions across the internet. Don’t reference the source. Don’t acknowledge that you dismissed the opinion. Just claim it as you own and go on oblivious.

CollabSystem is currently working on automation, using the algorithm above to automate the TMITC experience for women all across the CollabSystem metaverse and to offer this as an API service to other social media platforms. However, at present, we find no takers for the latter service as they all seem to have an excess of their own TMITCs.

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