If you are easily offended, i suggest you click the back button on your browser now…
Firstly, i must say this. My admiration for these writers, who carry on writing, day in, day out, on issues they feel passionate about, is unending. To carry on doing something you believe in, in the face of such ignorance and stupidity, and sometimes, very real danger, is frankly nothing short of inspiring. These are the people, who inspire ME to write, and give me the confidence to write the way i do. But lets not detract from the fact that regardless of who it is happening to, its fucking disgraceful.
Secondly, these vile, ignorant, probably flatulent as well as impotent fucking morons, who try to silence women writers/bloggers by threatening them are fucking cunts.
“what the fuck are you on about” i hear you say… Let me enlighten you.
For those of us in the blogging circle, you will know what i mean when i say that EVERY blogger receives criticism, and/or negative comments. Sometimes, these don’t necessarily come into the abuse category, sometimes they are as innocuous as a difference of opinion, sometimes contain a modicum of abuse, or personal insults, but nothing worse than you call yourself when you stub your toe (well i do anyway, i usually say stuff like “JESUS SUFFERIN’ FUCK!!! YOU FUCKING IDIOT!!! WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?!!” haha ) and as such are nothing that you would lose any sleep over, give a second thought or even spend more time thinking about it than it takes a gnat to fart.
It comes with the territory, people will always disagree with your views, most, the intelligent, educated types, will openly debate with you about it, the less intelligent will have a little rant, saying that I’m an idiot for thinking that way, and then disappear, the Jeremy Kyle fodder, you know the people who look like they’ve been dipped in a pot of glue and thrown through an Oxfam window, have less brain-cells than teeth, and have about as much class as Leith prostitute doing her special “ping pong ball” party trick, or trolls as they’ve been so aptly titled, now these cunts, these are the fuckwits who will try to abuse you personally.
Of course, the female writers/bloggers, and those of ethnic/racial/sexuality orientated minorities, or pretty much anyone who is an (i hate using the term, as it seems slightly harsh, but i cant think of another term) “easy target” seem to suffer at the hands of the trolls. Personally, i have yet to receive any threat/insult/personal comment that i didn’t read and think “pffffft.. poke it up your well fucked farter” and indeed, on more than one occasion have replied with such, (its not subtle, but since when has subtlety solved anything?) but then also i have a thick skin. Unfortunately, it seems a lot of the women writers/bloggers dont have sch a thick skin.
Or maybe they do, but when you consider some of the insults, and abuse aimed at them, its hardly surprising, more than most of them have had thoughts about quitting writing at the hands, or should i say words, of these anonymous abuse whores.
Laurie Penny, who writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and Independent, said :
I believe the time for silence is over, the implication that a woman must be sexually appealing to be taken seriously as a thinker did not start with the internet: it’s a charge that has been used to shame and dismiss women’s ideas since long before Mary Wollstonecraft was called ‘a hyena in petticoats’. The net, however, makes it easier for boys in lonely bedrooms to become bullies.
And she’s right, for what, she essentially is saying is “get a life you sad pathetic losers, who couldn’t get a laid in a brothel, if they had a grand tied to their dicks”
Were not talking about abuse like “you’re a fucking idiot”, were are talking some seriously disturbed and fucked up abuse. Threats of rape, physical harm, to both the bloggers and their families, abuse about sexual orientation, and physical appearance, private details such as addresses, phone numbers etc being posted on the internet, and even death threats, are commonplace on comment sections if you are a female blogger, or as previously mentioned, a blogger of one of the minority groups.
I wrote a post about some local political issue or another, expressing my misgivings, and a reader kindly took time out of his day to email me.
‘You stupid cunt,’ he said, ‘all you need is a good fucking and then you’d be less uptight.’
I stared at it for a couple of minutes, too shocked to move. There it was on my screen, not going away. Someone really had thought it was appropriate not just to write this email to a complete stranger, a totally unknown person, but to send it. I deleted it, and spent another few minutes staring at the blank hole in my inbox where it had been before shaking it off and moving on.
Said one blogger, in her own blog about this very subject.
I was careful in all the ways they tell you to be, to make it difficult to find my house, for example, and most of the rape threats, and the death threats, the casual verbal abuse from people who disagreed with my stances on subjects like rape being bad and abortion being a personal matter, weren’t really that threatening in that they didn’t pose a personal danger to me, and I was rarely concerned for my safety. That wasn’t the point, though, which is what I told a friend when she got her first rape threat and called me, sobbing. I wished she’d been spared that particular blogging rite of passage, but unfortunately she hadn’t been.
She later added.
Helen Lewis-Hasteley, who invited other women to share their experiences said:
I wanted to have several writers addressing the issue at the same time because these threats are frightening but they are also embarrassing, I know many people will say that every commentator on the internet gets abuse, but what really came through to me when I was looking at this was the modus operandi of the attackers, which was to use the rape threat.
The first time I wrote an article that attracted a lot of adverse comment, I lay awake that night, wondering if I would write another blog post. Even if the individual comments are (just) within the bounds of civility, the effect of feeling a wave of attack wash over you is one that has to be experienced to be understood. After a while, you toughen up: stop reading the comments or stop letting them get to you.
But that’s the small beer (which is what the comments I’ve attracted are). What does it feel like to be subjected to regular rape threats or death threats? To have people send you emails quoting your address, or outlining their sexual fantasies about you? That’s the reality of what many female bloggers experience.
Linda Grant, who wrote a regular column for the Guardian in the late 90’s, decided to stop writing online because of the reactions.
I have given it up as a dead loss. In the past, the worst letters were filtered out before they reached me and crucially they were not anonymous, what struck me forcibly about the new online world were the violence of three kinds of attitude: islamophobia, antisemitism, and misogyny. And it was the misogyny that surprised me the most. British national newspapers have done little, if anything, to protect their women writers from violent hate-speech.
More and more women are deciding not to write, or at least considering not writing anymore because of the abuse of these socially inept keyboard warriors. One female blogger i spoke to personally, was that scarred by her experiences with blogging, and the abuse she received, she wouldn’t even speak to me about them when i asked if she would share her experiences for this article.
She commented :
To be honest, it still upsets me and i would rather not.
It seemed to me, that she was so upset by me asking, (Note: this part has been edited, as it has been pointed out that it seemed as if i was prescribing feelings rather than an opinion, which of course is what this is) that she seemed to take me asking as being pushy or nosey and promptly ended the conversation, adding :
I have said no thank you, please respect that i have said no.
This alone, in my mind certainly, highlights the fear and terror these writers and bloggers feel because of this idiotic, moronic fucking abuse. Debating with someone is one thing, threatening them with rape or physical violence to make them stop is fucking pathetic. DID YOU SEE THAT MALE BLOG TROLLS… FUCKING PATHETIC. You sad little cunts need to get your hands off your tiny little dicks and get your shit in one sock.
We are losing some of our finest minds, and writers, all because you, a sad little loser, who probably masturbates into his own faeces, cannot get laid, or has such low self esteem, you feel the need to put others down to make yourself feel better. These fuckwits, CLEARLY have no concept of the damage these comments are doing, to the authors of the pieces, how vulnerable they make them feel, and why? because you don’t like women having a voice? because you don’t like women having an opinion? or perhaps its because you don’t like women being out of the kitchen…
Whilst the mainstream media, the New Statesman and the Guardian have dealt with this issue, they did nothing more than report it, there was no scathing condemnation, there was no ideas as how to prevent it, or even how to punish those responsible for this hate crime, and yes, as far as i am concerned, it IS a hate crime.
Unfortunately, the anonymity that the internet offers both fuels these fuckwits, and serves to protect all but the most idiotic trolls, who either through blind fuckwittery, or through sheer arrogance , give away their details thinking there will be no recourse.
I hope that in future, we can see some of these pathetic little arses brought to justice, and some of their victims compensated for the psychological damage they have had inflicted, at the hands of people who make the National Front and EDL look like MENSA members. I also hope this blog serves to make said trolls realise what a pathetic waste of oxygen the rest of the British public think they are and goes someway to show support for women writers, and eradicate the apathy that most of the mainstream media seem to have shown on the subject.
Sadly, i feel, for the foreseeable future at least, nothing will change. I sincerely hope that it doesn’t take physical harm, or even worse, a death before the powers that be, introduce legislation that will make the penalties for such fuckwittery harsher.