Saturday, September 7, 2013

A public stoning

I witnessed a public stoning last night.  It was the cyber stoning of a woman on a "social" (antisocial) network.  She posted these alarming words: "Feminism is the radical notion that women are people."  There was an  anti-woman/anti-feminist cyber shit storm. I put in my you-go-girl two cents and got called names for it.  The saddest (yet completely understandable) part was that the woman then cancelled her account and went away. Thus making more real the false belief that the internet is mostly inhabited by young straight white men by making people who aren't those things either pretend they are or disappear.

Weirdly, a lot of the commenters (men) were talking about "free speech" as they shut down hers. Unless you stick to self-selecting sites like G+, facebook, or flickr it's ugly out there in cyberspace.

Laurie Penny, my new hero, who has received threats of murder, rape, and bombing for simply opening her big female mouth, talks about it in her blog:


Laurent said...

No it is true you have to be careful what you say because the bullies are roaming the internet. The sad part is that many do not read the comments, they just react and impose their view. They are not interested in your argument. It is a form of totalitarian thought process.

Claire M. Johnson said...

This does not surprise me. The Internet has become a very scary place.


I know a lot of people disagree with me on politics and religion, but no one says much except for a random relative who thinks I won't block or unfriend them..yeah, how's that working for you?

L said...

Yikes. I was nearly publicly stoned for bringing some feminist notions to a critique my first week of school. Well. After feeling really self-conscious I decided that that feeling was kind of bullshit. I'm still gonna show up and say what I need to even if it is unpopular. It's sad though -- and I really like the stoning analogy.

David said...

Well, how good to see you blogging again, Elizabeth. We all know now how the freakie-weirdoes are out there and gather in groups. To assault tennis-playing Bartoli for her looks. To abuse the woman who wanted Jane Austen put on a £10 note.

It's sad but true that one just has to avoid these places. On a blog you can control what goes up - assuming you get the odd abusive attempt to slip through the net, which hasn't been my experience yet. But it's so often been said that discussion boards are school playgrounds where the bullies always shout the loudest.

Still, there's an awful lot of hatred of women and minorities in a cross-section of society. Most of it is just pushed underground by legislation. That's better than the hatred coming from the top, as it does in Russia.

I still believe much, much more good than bad is achieved through this bizarre medium. It connects people - the bad, I know, as well as the good; but let the good prevail.

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