1. The Penny Arcade panel to the right (full strip here), where a character says he is "raped to sleep by the dickwolves," has been a consistent source of outrage from feminist sites like Shakespeare's Sister since August of last year. (A dickwolf is a made-up wolf whose limbs are made out of penises. It has come to stand for rape jokes in general.) In response to the outrage, Penny Arcade made and sold "Dickwolves" t-shirts and pennants. Nerdblogger Courtney Stanton says she was asked to speak at the Penny Arcade-sponsored PAX convention, but turned them down because, as a rape survivor, she felt uncomfortable about the Dickwolves merchandise. Penny Arcade's cartoonists took down the Dickwolf t-shirts.
This is all pretty standard internet back-and-forth between male and female nerds on the internet. But the response from some Penny Arcade fans since the t-shirts came down has been really repulsive. Via Twitter and e-mail, male Penny Arcade fans have been accusing Stanton of lying about being raped, of not being attractive enough to have been raped, and sending death threats. She has posted photos of common word paths from the threatening e-mails on her TwitPic account. (Recently, the Penny Arcade guys have received threats to their families, too.) A Twitter account named @TeamRAPE (RAPE, here, supposedly stands for Rare Animal PreservE) has been a rallying point for anti-Stanton Penny Arcade fans. And someone else has constructed a Tumblr called Debacle Timeline, which is a seemingly comprehensive account of this entire mess. Back in August, there was a legitimate argument between intelligent parties, but now this whole affair has become an example of how dark and ugly nerd culture can get.
2.Bookshelves of Doom has been all over the weird happenings at Bitch Magazine, which released a list called "The 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader." Shortly after launching the list, they removed three books: "We've decided to remove these books from the list — Sisters Red because of the victim-blaming scene that was discussed earlier in this post, Tender Morsels because of the way that the book validates (by failing to critique or discuss) characters who use rape as an act of vengeance, and Living Dead Girl because of its triggering nature," and added three other books. To protest the removal of the three books, five authors asked to be removed from the list. Bitch refused.
Both of these stories are ongoing, and they are both too sad to think about.