The Semiotics of Internet Reactions To A Documentary About Girls Who Play Rock Music

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The blog Crimitism reports:

Comments which have been left on the YouTube trailer for the documentary Girls Rock! The Movie, about a rock n’ roll camp for girls who look to be between about 9 and 17. All of this was generated within twelve hours of the video appearing.

Part One: General Trolling.

Girls cant play guitar…….

are you a lesbian? if you are thats ok. I’m a lesbian too; in the way that I like women.

if girls want be respected as good rock musicians, maybe they should actually put out a good album.

WHINY WHORES!!! FUUUUCK!

girls are going too wild…..seriously…..get a life

Without men there would be no children and the women with their P.M.S. would nuke each other until there was no world left.

Girls lose.

Shouldn’t they be teaching girls more useful things, such as how to make sandwiches??

I think its cool if girls are in bands, but do you have to look like a dude / really butch….ugh thats nasty.

There are 2 things a woman should never go near: a) a car b) an electric guitar

want to read something funny…”WOMANS RIGHTS”

When they try to rock they just end up looking like morons, stick to the dolls ladys. It’s like a guy trying to be a super model, you just dont do that, unless you want to look like a retard.

Just another lame Self-empowerment video for women, they say they’re so strong, why do they NEED these videos/programs…? It is completely stupid.

Yes, the best way for progression is to poorly imitate what males have already done.

girls do rock, well hott ones atleast

im assuming your a female so i probably would fuck you but then your probably fat so i wouldnt

This is trash. So the girls shouldnt be concerned about being fat and become some alternative crappy emo singers instead? What kind of logic is that? Why cant she join a gym? …

There are many more, you can read them here (or here) if you have the stomach for it. This blog attracts a lot of comments like that, as do most Internet venues related to women and women’s issues. It’s why I sometimes flinch when I hear Internet triumphalist male law profs touting the glories of online cultural production without acknowledging its more problematic side. Can you imagine what it is like for the girls (some as young as nine years old) who appeared in this documentary to read this abusive vitriol?
–Ann Bartow

Update: I missed this the first time I skimmed the comments:

Arne Says:

Hey,

I’m actually the co-director of the film”Girls Rock!”, and was likewise blown away by the deluge of horrid comments. We quickly put an”Approve First”filter on it because of exactly what Richie is saying about the ability of these young girls to fight off cyberbullying. We did, however, decide to let the less personal and stupidly ugly comments (“Dyke slags”, that sort of stuff) remain so folks like you could see what was out there and talk about it. A heartening amount of women and men fought back in the comments and that was worth showing too. Funny thing is, the comments were evenly divided between”Girls can’t rock, only men can play the guitar, they shouldn’t try”and male panic comments like”Why do you need a special camp to separate girls out, they have the same opportunities as men now!”Amazing no-one realized the two canceled each other out. On our site, which is a group blog, we’ve got pretty tight restrictions on who can comment and stuff and so far so good. Anyway, I’m glad to see another place where this is being discussed.

The movie’s blog is here.

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