The internet trolls seem particularly active lately, and I should refrain from engaging with them. No amount of logic and common sense ever changes their minds. But sometimes I can’t help myself. What is wrong with these people?

For example, there was the guy who insisted that there is nothing sexist about the phrase, “desperate fat chicks.” Huh? Is there any world in which that is NOT an incredibly sexist phrase? How can he possibly think this is an acceptable way to describe women?

On another page, people were responding to a story about a woman who sent money to her impoverished sister against her husband’s wishes. He retaliated by taking almost all of the money out of their joint bank account and placing it in a new account in his name only. I was shocked at how many people thought he was justified because he was the one with a paid job. They saw it as his money that he allowed his wife to use, not as their money that both had equal rights to. When I pointed out that it was hers too, some troll told me I was “not raised right.” Most of the responders believed that the wife had “stolen” the husband’s money to give to her sister, but did not think the husband’s appropriation of their joint bank account was theft.

Another story was about a woman who said that her brother and his boyfriend were visiting, and her roommate refused to spend time with them, admitting that it was because they are gay. Most commenters said the roommate was homophobic and the sister was justified in being upset with her. But there were some who disagreed and tried to excuse the roommate’s behavior as being not really homophobic; she just wasn’t comfortable around people “who live like that.” But no, that’s not homophobic at all.

A woman working out at her gym was disgusted with a particular gym employee who kept groping her. The management refused to act because she had no proof. So she began her regular workout, but hid a camera nearby. Sure enough, this jerk walked by and blatantly grabbed her butt. Even then, the managers wouldn’t act — until the video went viral and they feared bad publicity. Only then did they fire the guy. There was no ambiguity. The video clearly shows that he deliberately sexually assaulted her. And still, the trolls made comments about how the whole thing was “staged.” That didn’t even make sense. If it was staged, then presumably she and the butt-grabber had arranged the incident together, for whatever reason. So why would she complain to his manager, and why would the jerk get fired? As I said, logic means nothing to these people. Can they just not believe that some men are entitled jerks who think women exist for their own enjoyment? We’ve certainly seen enough evidence of that, including on this video. One respondent even went so far as to minimize the incident at the gym by comparing it to the rapes of Korean women by Japanese soldiers during World War II. In other words, he thought the woman had no right to complain about being groped because women in other times and places have been through worse.

Why does this kind of thinking seem to be spreading? One reasonable theory says that the bigotry and misogyny were always there, but were more likely to be kept under wraps — until our recent bully of a president gave the rest of the bullies permission to go public with it through the example of his own behavior.

Whatever is causing it, I just want it to stop. I am just so sick of the bigoted hatred. Mean people suck.

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