TrollsFor years now, I have wondered, “Why is he here?” He would be a male.  I can’t bring myself to call him a “man,” although biologically that would probably be the correct term. He* baffles me by showing up on websites and blogs geared toward women only to wonder why the conversation isn’t about men. He peruses posts about what women are thinking, the ones where the comments section numbers into the tens and hundreds, and then calls the issue “irrelevant” or dumb.”  He shows up to every conversation about Black relationships to remind Black women that Black men are not interested in them, somehow missing the irony that by reading and posting — always at length — his action contradicts his assertion.  No matter the issue, he absolutely always faults women in general or feminism at large.

If he posts early enough on Clutch, his comments are shielded from later viewers with a “hidden due to low rating,” the invariable result of the Sisters who got here first clicking the thumbs down button. But for the stragglers, the one who show up to a juicy post a day late (that’s me), his often off-color and vicious comments sit. I always read the rant and I always wonder mid-way, “boy, why are you here?”

I wanted an answer, truly, for years. But I’ve treated the musing like a rhetorical question. Someday it would be answered… better, someday, someone would ponder harder, do the work, and deliver the answer since I was interested enough to wonder, but too busy to really be concerned. And then a Clutch commenter suggested, “someone should write about why there are all these male trolls on women’s blogs.” And so I have.

I had my theories. Leading the list was a lot of men like having sex with women, but don’t really like women. But that seemed too simple. I wondered if berating women online was to get the same effect of doing it in the real world. Guy emotionally batters women because he insecure about self and must make woman feel inferior so he can feel strong and she will be docile. That kind of had merit.

My conspiracy theory went something like—if boy believes feminism is the downfall of mankind, and most women’s sites/blogs are perceived as having feminist leanings, then maybe he thinks women are on women’s sites plotting  to overthrow men. He might think “natural hair” is our code word for “machete.” Maybe his rabble-rousing in the comments can distract us (because, you know, women are like children) and thwart our agenda to take over Man, which, of course, would make him a hero among men. I swear, it’s not really as far-fetched as it sounds.

It still felt like I was missing something though, so I asked my guys — my Male Mind Squad, if you will — why they thought some boys were trolling women’s sites.

The first response gave the most obvious answer: “We live in a trolling world,” he explained matter-of-factly. “Anonymous posting has allowed anyone to be a cyber-terrorist, bully, or saboteur.”

One friend genuinely thought that maybe women were looking at it all wrong and the guys weren’t as bad as I made them out to be. “Men, generally, are solvers and when women have issues,” he guessed. “Some men believe a simple opinion will cure their issues and voila … problem solved.” Or er, started.

A couple of guys had outlooks I didn’t expect (but in retrospect, should have been obvious). “Men are perpetually trying to figure out the foreign specie that is the female human,” one gent hypothesized. “Once men discover the truth, they’re not willing to accept it and become combative toward it. Very similar to a woman asking her man if she looks fat in new jeans …”

Another guy confirmed a theory about these males: “They are there to prey upon any weak-minded women and portray themselves as ‘real men’,” he said. “They’re lost. They don’t understand the entirety of context and what it’s like to BE a woman.”

And yet another guy confirmed my leading suspicion. “On the low, a lot of dudes HATE women,” he said. “This is a vehicle for them to let out their anger bitterness, frustration and venom.”

Why do you think the males are here?

*The “he” I refer to isn’t any of the plethora of men who visit women’s sites and manage to contribute to the conversation meaningfully with their male POV. I get why they are here. Most of what society tends to think of as women’s issues don’t affect just one sex. And well, men who like women and want to get along with tem are genuinely interested in what we’re thinking and talking about. I find their input mostly helpful. Oh, and so the guys tell me there are ZERO forums for men to express themselves, “and probably won’t be,” said a guy friend. I assume all of the above is why men join in from time to time.

Demetria L. Lucas is the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk



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  • Anthony

    People, I am not afraid to comment, I simply feel that there are times that if a man wants to really learn something, he needs to resist the urge to type, and just read what women have to say.

    • D

      True, true.

    • Anthony

      In fact, take gender out of it, because in all situations there are times when you need to stop talking and listen if you want to learn.

    • I got sense!

      And women should do the same.

  • Tim

    Don’t get me wrong. Some brothers have some immature and selfish opinions about women, life and responsibility but those opinions weren’t formed within a vacuum ladies.

    Maybe men comment because we get tired of black women lying to each other. Example….. “Oh, life is so wonderful being single at 30 and 40…. young black women should never get married in their 20’s. Or, the I don’t need a man to help raise my kids nonsense. Or, the mid 30 and 40 year old women complaining and blaming black men because there is minimal or a lack of interest of “good” black men in them.” Who’s fault is that black woman? You all know for a fact that most of you “never marrieds” rejected multiple working, educated, eligible men chasing you when you were younger. Now that you’re older you’d marry a couple of them in a heart beat if you had a chance. That was your mistake. Own it! It’s like Fox News the opinions on some of these post are completely myopic. Someone has to bust that bubble with truth. Or, at least, a different point of view. The ship is sinking ladies. Are black men supposed to remain silent?

    • PJ

      “Maybe men comment because we get tired of black women lying to each other.”

      But why do you care so much about someone you don’t know or are not married to OR have no intention of marrying/dating?

      I personally get tired of black men pretending that it’s normal to be unemployed and living off of women, but I say you know what that’s THEIR life. Let them live it. As long as it’s not in my life it’s none of my business. I’m not here to fix men and you shouldn’t be here to try to “fix” women. You’re not helping.

    • D

      “I personally get tired of black men pretending that it’s normal to be unemployed and living off of women”

      As opposed to the perfectly normal situation of unemployed stay-at-home mothers living off of men.

      Anyway, I’m just as tired of the women who irresponsibly choose bums and by choice allow themselves to be a bucket of blood for a mosquito. But you’re right that is their life. Let them live it.

    • PJ

      I realize that I may have violated my own rule by posting to this person, but I really wonder why some of these ranting men seem to be so interested in “fixing” us when they claim to not even want us? Go ahead about your business then man! lol

    • Tim

      @PJ

      Just because some have already pissed away their best days doesn’t mean there aren’t young ladies who aren’t being helped in some way by being told. Yes, your youth and beauty is a great asset but an asset that depreciates every year. Use it wisely.

    • Do better

      @ Tim…Your statement “pissed away their best days” is exactly the type of sexist BS this article and other posters are referring to. Why are the years when a woman is sexually attractive to men her best? Oh, because in your view, the ultimate HONOR a woman can be bestowed with is for some horny little a**hole to stick his peen into her for his own sick pleasure!??? You are clueless, dangerously so, about women. A woman’s youth and beauty are assets only in the context of some objectifying male doing the assessing. And yes I said male, there are men out there but the ones who view a woman’s worth based on superficial bs don’t deserve that title.

    • Tim

      @Do Better

      Men are visual and if you think youth and beauty is looked at as an asset by only men think again. Go pick up a woman or teen magazine or turn on your tv to one of those chick flicks or 90% of the commercials for woman’s products on tv and in ads.

      No one said it’s the only asset. Just that it is a great asset that depreciates every year which is correct.

    • Christina

      This is stupid and no one ever says those things anyways, so if that’s what you’re getting from the articles you’re obviously not reading it and you don’t get it. you don’t get it, you can’t “fix” it. “the ship is sinking ladies” lol please. Bye.

  • Skye (box)

    Just imagine finding my fiance history on his computer frequenting a website for women called clutch so embarrassing!

    • SideChair

      Thank you. As long as you are engaged to a real man then you’re good on that front. Lol

  • seriously?

    This is the most negative I’ve seen yet xD

  • D.T.

    I’ve been accused of being a male troll before and I’m a woman. I’ve gotten the “hidden due to low rating” tagged to my comment numerous times and I find it quite funny. Anytime I see a comment hidden I’m more interested in what that person had to say than anyone else. 

    A lot of women can’t handle the truth. If you are fat, then guess what? I’m going to say you’re fat and should lose weight. If the topic is about single mothers (by choice), I’m going to be critical.  If the article is about how great and mighty black women are when I know we have tons of issues, then I’m going to say something in true DT fashion.

    That doesn’t make me a troll. 

    I think a lot of you want men to come on here and kiss your posteriors by cosigning a lot of the bull some of you spew. Not only is that annoying, it’s also boring. 

    Now if someone comes on here saying “bw are dogs” or “bw are scum” then I could see the point however I think most of this is about harsh criticisms and hurt feelings. 

    • Kacey

      Um…ChillyRoad, is that you??? You need to quit hiding behind all these different screen names. SMH.

    • D.T.

      Once again it never fails for some of you to resort to accusations when you can’t refute what’s said. Typical…..

    • ChillyRoad

      @Kacey

      Thats a really damn low blow. Says so much about you though.

    • Do better

      Man or woman, a self-righteous jerk with nothing but negativity to offer will get thumbs downed. Get used to it. And have fun pandering to the patriarchy, you little handmaiden you. That’s if you really do have a vagina. You’re not my sister.

    • I got sense!

      Wow.

    • Sweetles

      What is disgusting is that you resorted to name calling just because you don’t like her views. Would it be appropriate to call you a troll? The even sadder part is that you got a number of thumbs-up. A lot of you aren’t interested in respectful dialogue. Whenever someone posts an unpopular opinion, or chooses not to participate in group-think, you start in on that commentator. That is the thing about this forum. I’ve learned that differing points of views really aren’t welcome, and that many of you really do just want to co-sign each other to death.

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