From Tigerbeatdown, less than a month ago.
It’s concerted, focused, and deliberate, the effort to silence people, especially women, but not always, as I can attest, and particularly feminists, though again, not always, as I can attest, online. The readers, the consumers, the fans, may not always notice it because people are silent about it. Because this is the strategy that has been adopted, to not feed the trolls, to grin and bear it, to shut up, to put your best foot forward and rise above it. To open your email, take note of the morning’s contents, and then quickly shuttle them to the appropriate files for future reference or forwarding to the authorities. To check on the server, fix what needs fixing, and move on with your day. To skim the comments to see what needs to be deleted, to know that when you write a post like this one, you will have to delete a lot of heinous and ugly comments, because you want to protect your readers from the sheer, naked, hate that people carry for you. To weigh, carefully, the decision to approve a comment not because there’s a problem with the content, but because you worry that the reader may be stalked by someone who will tell her that she should die for having an opinion. And when it happens to people for the first time, they think they are alone, because they don’t realise how widespread and insidious it is.
I really despise this idea that you’re supposed to “rise above it.” I fucking hate it. It makes it our problem, while the shit-throwers don’t have to do anything – they just get to go right on throwing shit. I despise the idea (that I’ve seen touted approximately seven trillion times in the last few months) that saying this is misogyny and it sucks is “playing the victim.” I beg your pardon? If you’re mugged is it “playing the victim” to say you were mugged? Sure, it’s childish to make too much of a fuss about one cross remark; it’s spoiled and whiny to talk about your own thin skin while ignoring tanks running over other people; but that doesn’t mean anyone should “rise above” deliberate calculated sustained campaigns of vituperation. If people are trying to bully you into shutting the fuck up, you really do get to resist. Not “rise above”; not ignore; resist.