In reading the Washington Post’s favorite stories of 2018 a couple weeks ago, I was struck by one in particular – Suzanna Walter’s “Why can’t we hate men?” article on why women do indeed have every right to hate men, if they want to. The article starts out slowly and builds steam, and then in the final paragraph, comes what struck me immediately as “bait

Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this.

In my case, of course, hindsight didn’t need to be 20/20 because WP also posted Ms. Walter’s followup article right afterward, which she wrote about 3 months later, “Mob misogyny is nothing new. I have the death threats to prove it.” The curtain pulled back, the bait revealed – why wouldn’t a sociology professor take an opportunity to prove her point, that the kind of men she was rallying against would react in an obvious way – with calls for her firing and of course, because the kinds of men who do this can’t just stop at firing, with her murder.

She points out that she got negative feedback from both men and women, but while “some of them [were] critical of my position [….] none of them [were] threatening.” Women don’t feel the need to call for the deaths of people they disagree with, apparently. But Walters’ obvious bait caused alt-right men to froth at the mouth and see nothing but red.

So, well done, Walters’ – your duo of articles; the setup and the reveal, were masterfully executed. When I read your first article, my main thought when I reached your purposefully-incendiary final paragraph was to frown slightly, shake my head, and say “huh, well, that’s a little much isn’t it? I’ll vote for whoever I want, thank you very much.” Then immediately afterward, think to myself – “ah-hah… I see what you’re going for.” Any sane and normal man would have a reaction similar to that, or even more mild, or possibly even completely agree with her; “I’m a man, and she’s right, I’ll never vote for a fellow man again!” – fine by me, your vote is your vote; go for it!

But as expected, the internet is filled with entitled, wimpy man-children that simply are incapable of handling even reading the words of a random woman on the internet, that they’ve never met and probably (ugh, hopefully, for her safety) never will meet, either. Why are they so thin-skinned? Why can’t they simply shrug and say, “well, I disagree, but whatever” and then move on and read another article?