I recently posted a photo such as this, where I’m holding Linda the Black Widow, on my blog and the comments coming in are kinda cracking me up.
Here are a few:
“what is photoshop”-
Well, if you knew me personally, you’d understand why this is funny. I am so computer illiterate I could never use photoshop- you’re lucky I know how to use tumblr…. Also, if you follow me, you know I hold all things “creepy” on a regular basis.
“this bitch really let a venomous spider bite her trying to be cute”
Apparently, I’m a bitch? And who said Linda bit me? I didn’t! Black Widows are extremely shy and non-aggressive. They are nothing to be afraid of, like any animal, if treated with respect (which usually means just leave it alone) and not threatened, they will not feel the need to defend themselves. I was not “trying to be cute”.. The point of this blog is to educate others about the natural world. Me holding a venomous beneficial black widow reinforces the point- most of the negative feelings people have towards spiders are based on irrational fear.
“Now they call her rotten hand”
Once again, you’d practically have to force a black widow to bite you. Also, even if she were to bite me, it certainly would not rot my hand. Black widow venom is a nuerotoxin, and does not cause necrosis.
Spread a little love to spiders and read about my research here.
Interesting (though sad) how your post triggered what sounds like dudebro panic and gendered slurs. If a visibly-male blogger had posted an equivalent image, I wonder if the same respondents would have commented about how “metal” and awesome he was. For a guy to do what you did would mark him as brave, and they could bask in reflected glory. But for a woman to do it, and do it casually, like it was no big deal, calls the whole shaky edifice of courageous manliness into question.
(I’m not saying it’s interesting to you, or anyone else with a lifetime of experience of online sexism. It’s just interesting to me.)
It reminds me of the moment I alluded to in my reblog of the original post, when my then-girlfriend and I were in a pet shop, and she got all excited about the tarantulas, and a petshop employee pulled one out of its terrarium and put it on her arm. She was having so much fun, and I remember how it made me feel when she asked me if I wanted to let it crawl on me. My courage was being tested, and it definitely came up short. But I was aware at the time that that was all on me; she and the petshop employee were just enjoying themselves, and wanted to share the experience. I was the one with the problem. It made me feel defensive, though. If I’d seen it on the Internet, rather than have it happen right in front of me, maybe I would have reacted as these commenters did.
Following up on my earlier dilemma, I did tell Linda (my wife, not your spider) about my finding the widow in the garage the other day, and about my having failed to kill it. It led to an interesting (again, to me) discussion of the ethics involved. The one thing we were able to agree on is that my letting the garage get so cluttered as to make it into prime black widow habitat is problematic, whether or not we’re willing to regard the killing of black widows as justified.
Reposted from http://ift.tt/1nqxT9w.