Yesterday, I mentioned a future post about some unfortunate interactions I had on Twitter over the weekend. Well, it’s time for that post! It’s all about my tale of the trolls, and one huge question has nagged at me for three days now: What has our culture become??
I don’t usually get upset, but I’m genuinely frustrated, angry and hurt. I sat glued to my phone this weekend as I blocked people left and right on Twitter. Why? All because I spoke up when I saw a Trump supporter attack a woman. Honestly, this has shaken me. Is this the world we live in now? Is our world a place where this sort of thing is commonplace? How can someone make fun of the appearance of a person with a disability?
THIS IS NOT OK! THIS WILL NEVER BE OK!
Anna March, co-founder and editor of ROAR feminist magazine, wrote a powerful piece for Salon on these types of sexist attacks on women after her own harrowing experience, and as you can imagine, her words rang oh-so-true to me…
Harassment and threats in response to my writing are common for me, as they are for many women who dare to write about feminism and politics and culture while female. It is of course worse for women of color, transgender women, disabled women, queer women and Muslim women. The attacks are gendered and meant to diminish the worth of the women who write. Meant to scare us, meant to intimidate us, meant to silence us.
It’s easy to say “oh, those are just words.” Well, these are the kinds of words I’ve seen fill my Twitter timeline since last night. This is the kind of hate that’s in the world. I’m a person. I matter. And I’m not going anywhere.
And neither is Anna March, thank goodness…
This battle online for women’s voices to be heard is important to win, both online and offline. It is even more important to win online now, as the artificial lines between cyber life and life away from our devices and keyboards continue to blur. It’s about our ability to exist. And we need a plan with actionable steps to ensure our ability to govern while female, write while female, to speak while female, even to breathe while female.
My mom gave me this inspirational photo after everything happened. I have it prominently displayed in my room, right next to my lip balms, and I sort of like the dichotomy of those two things. No one should ever mistake my softness for weakness. Ever. Because like that quote says, I AM A WILDLY UNTAMED WOMAN!!! Take that trolls!!!
How do you deal with online hate/harassment, friends? What advice do you have for these situations? It’s time like these I’m so glad I have this blog community — you all ALWAYS cheer me up!! Thank you for being you!!! Always… xoxo
[Olivia Benson GIF via Giphy]