Back in 2012 Fæ got into some controversy and the Signpost detailed it all — his resignation from the UK chapter under a cloud, his sudden re-emergence as he kicked himself upstairs as chair of the Wikimedia Chapters Association, and the subsequent arbcom case, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ. The case involved bondage nudes of himself he uploaded to Commons, the badgering of volunteers on Jimbotalk, legal threats, and multiple sockpuppets which he refused to disclose. The arbcom case only lists a few socks, but if you dig deep enough into the Wikimedia blog, and other dark corners, you will find he eventually gave up over 200 sockpuppets, which probably makes him a more prolific puppeteer than even Kumioko. Who knows how many more he didn’t give up.
And he was powerful enough, even then, to be able to get his arbcom case courtesy blanked. You can still read it here though. And from what I can tell, it looks like he is still topic banned from “BLPs relating to sexuality” and “images relating to sexuality”. But that is only on English Wikipedia. He is still throwing his weight around elsewhere, mansplaining, disrupting, and dictating to women about what it means to be female and how to run their groups. And it seems he has been given secret permission to form a private LGBT Telegram group, but who gave the permission and where the discussion took place is still unknown. But it looks like the group does not lack for lemmings, or bullies.
A case in point: the proposed Women in Red user group, now dead in the water.
Women in Red has morphed several times. It started out at Wikimania in Mexico City as Project XX, but that was quickly renamed as a courtesy to trans women, as it implied two X chromosomes. It was first proposed by Victuallers, of Gibraltergate paid editing scandal fame, but it was quickly realized that a woman’s group run by men was not a good look. Rosiestep came forward as the female partner, and seems to have enjoyed a lot of support from somewhere with bots, stats, Wikipedian-of-the year designation, and so forth. She remains the public face of the group, but who really runs it is anybody’s guess. But nobody can dispute that WiR has gotten a huge number of biographies of women into WikiData, and from there into the google algorithms, which is the true purpose of Wikipedia.
It is generally known that each project get to designate a member to the Summit in Germany, which has a reputation for beer, not to mention the free plane ticket and luxury hotel. This year the projects are only allowed one instead of two members (or member + guest), which always turns out to be the (male) president of the organization plus one other, but because of the ongoing consultation, maybe it was thought the women needed a representative. So maybe Fae wanted that beer slot for one of his own Telegram people, or maybe he just wanted to wreck it for the women. Or maybe, with the increasing problems with corruption on enwiki, the power center is shifting once again back to the affiliates and Fae wants to seize power before that happens and have the groups stacked with even more LGTB than there are already. Consider this change in the bylaws, from the group’s talk page. But whatever the reason, Fae appeared on the talk page of the fledgling group and strong-armed them into a name change from Women in Red to Gender Diversity Visibility Community User Group, or GDVCUG for short. (See @WikiWomenInRed is DOWN)
Imagine if the powerful MilHist group, which has traditionally been a stepping stone to the arbitration committee and similar hat-collecting, was forced to change their name to “Military history and homosexuality”, or if Opera was forced to become “Opera and transgender diversity”. WiR barely survives and does so only by knowing whose ass to kiss. But no one dares go against Fae, so one by one, the volunteers who started out with such enthusiasm, and have been frequent participants in intersectionality editing events, and enthusiastically participated in events for getting LGBT articles up to speed, have one by one discovered they have other commitments in real life that conflict with their participation in this new group.
And what did WiR get in return? Maybe the LGBT members have turned out to be valuable allies, and that having experienced discrimination themselves will offer some support and understanding?
Here is Fae’s “cunt” re-tweet, that I promised you in the title.
Fae thinks this is funny and re-tweets it for his subscribers.
Is there anyone on Wikipedia by now who does not understand how this is misogyny? How it feeds into creating an environment that allows women to be subjected to a whole spectrum of abuse? How it is used in sexual assault, and in particular to remind women that they can be forcibly impregnated at any moment, and the chilling effect this has on women’s participation?
Does Fae care? No. He thinks it’s funny and thinks it’s worth retweeting just to insult some politician and amuse his followers. Fae is secure in his British male privilege, his arrogance, his sense of entitlement, and uses the occasion to punch down. A politician has made some statement he didn’t like, but instead of addressing the issue directly, he finds a less powerful group to turn around and stomp on.
And Fae has no problem passing on the signal to other bullies, to encourage distaste, dehumanization, and hatred of their target: women.
In fact, Fae seems to specialize in creating an abusive environment for women. Here’s another one he retweeted. This is just what Wikipedia needs, a bunch of dudes who are already watching porn to come over and join some Wikipedia editing events in person. That should make the women feel safe.
Here’s another one, calling a woman a vulgar term for prostitute.
Except it’s not a woman, it’s a female impersonator, Brian Firkus, whose stage name is Trixie Mattel, and who not surprisingly seems to have a much more polished article on Wikipedia than any of the women jazz musicians I listed a few days ago for black history month.
Imagine now someone in blackface, who thinks racial epithets are funny. Is this really okay, that you can all someone bigoted names, and it’s all just pretend bigotry if they are not really a member of the minority they are dressed up as.
These were dressed up for musical performances, which is no longer acceptable because it is thought to perpetuate harmful stereotypes, but what if they had used their costuming to perpetuate hate speech?
For women, navigating a world in which most men are taller and larger than they are, domestic violence and sexual assault are real, genuine possibilities, and very frighting. One in four women has been assaulted.
Most of us know someone or have witnessed a situation where someone was getting hurt, and we had to evaluate it, and if and when it was safe to intervene.
Or we constantly have to evaluate our surroundings as we move from place to place, use public transportation, or just walk on the sidewalk. Is that guy behind you following you and should you cross the street to see if he does the same? Or maybe you should not go straight home, so he doesn’t see where you live. It’s a daily dance, and women learn it from the age of 11, constantly scanning the environment for safety, staying aware of your surroundings and not getting lost in thought. It is basic survival. It sucks your time and your energy. But to someone like Fae, bondage and physical abuse is just another form of entertainment, and is even sexually arousing. Hurting and killing women is just a big fat joke.
Oh Fae gets it all right. He just doesn’t care.