Is #NotMyAbuela the Latino Gamergate?
Imagine — after a long day of campaigning to bust through the glass ceiling and infiltrate the boys’ club of American electoral politics — you arrive home only to be greeted by an email from one of your most trusted interns, one portentously marked ‘urgent’. What could it be? A behind-the-times muckraker unearthing Emailgate, Benghazigate or VinceFosterGate? You preemptively ask your maid to close the deadbolts, turn on the alarm system and fetch you the bulletproof pantsuit. “#NotMyAbuela is trending. Top trend number two. We must act now.”
Women, especially women vying for positions of power, face coordinated misogynist hate movements with worrying frequency. Those like myself who have many female friends certainly recall the hateful rhetoric and terrorist threats of #GamerGate, the “activist” movement that harassed women and minorities under the thinly veiled justification that video game journalism is supposedly rife with conflicts of interest. My friend Brianna Wu, for instance, whose cinematic sci-fi game Revolution 60 is available on iOS as a free demo and a $5.99 paid app providing numerous hours of story-driven exploration-focused 3D action, was forced to leave her house after a horde of dudebros threatened to fill her mailbox with Roman candles.
Worse yet is that many of these tweets targeting Clinton did so in Spanish, effectively using the language of Francisco Franco’s brutal fascist regime as a form of encryption. Encryption has become a hot button issue in recent years with the majority of news coverage focusing on its status as the tool of choice for everyone from hitmen and pill-slingers on the Dark Web to libertarian Treasonbros hellbent on exposing the security weaknesses of our nation’s first President of color. Due to the language barrier I can therefore neither confirm nor deny that hundreds of thousands of death and rape threats were directed at Secretary of State Clinton earlier this week.
Her crime? Attempting to appeal to the growing Hispanic population while the GOP candidates demonize them. Her campaign employed state-of-the-art GIFs and urban slang to make it clear that her common-sense solutions to the bloated and cumbersome social safety net and support for the deportation of Central American children are in the best interest of what may someday be our nation’s largest ethnic group. The coalition of dudebros, Berniebros, Mexibros and Puertorriqueñbros targeting the Hillary campaign for their “misstep” search for gaffes where there are none for a variety of reasons: Berniebros recoil in fear at the prospect of a woman president due to their assumption she will “friend zone” them economically. Latinos remain unenthusiastic about Hillary’s campaign as many of their home countries normalized female leadership and had their own Slay Queen leaders like Eva Perón decades ago.
Whatever the reason, those of us committed to advancing progressive causes cannot let online bullies stop us from making history by opening an “Incognito Mode” filled with brutal pornography and anonymous harassment. In conclusion we should probably consider repealing the 1st amendment