This is the anger: “Who is this woman who is fat and opinionated and outspoken and happily in love and content in her life and unafraid of making a connection? It’s an injustice that I’m miserable and she’s not.” This is the anxiety: “I need to pick on her perceived weaknesses as a surrogate for coping with my own.”
“The men targeting Occidental’s anonymous report form are mad that women are being listened to, that men’s voices are no longer given so much power that they can effectively drown out the voices of women. They’re mad because they’re not the only ones that matter anymore. I get it. To them, it really does feel unfair. Something really is changing. They ARE being demoted—from a superior to an equal—and it feels wrong to them because they’re so used to being privileged … [The backlash is] a good thing. It means we’re winning the fight. They’re gonna have to get used to it.”
I would disagree; I think the online assholes are a relatively small minority, perhaps 2 to 5 percent. Comparable to the number of sociopaths in a particular population.
And there is the mobbing problem: One person can send just one horrible tweet, but then many others may pile on. A single vicious tweet may not clear the hurdle of discriminatory harassment (or repetitive abuse). And while a mob of individuals each lobbing a few attacks clearly looks and feels like harassment, there is no organized group to take legal action against.
If I slather myself with honey, and put fish in my pockets, and start pushing at bears...
I don't really have a case when suddenly I get mauled and I go to the bear-judge and say, 'Hey, why did your bears maul me?'
And when Rebecca Watson reported the threats targeted at her to the FBI, she initially connected with a sympathetic agent—but the agent later expressed trouble opening Watson’s file of screenshots of the threats, and soon stopped replying to her emails. The Broadwell investigation was an uncommon, and possibly unprecedented, exercise for the agency. As University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire criminal justice professor Justin Patchin told Wired at the time: “I’m not aware of any case when the FBI has gotten involved in a case of online harassment.”
Thank the Lord for the ongoing union between capitalism and sexism because there are some days I’ve been waking up and I haven’t been feeling bad about myself. “Women can now rest easy,” promises Fresh Body as they describe the way their product can replace my “dreaded boob sweat. . . with smiles.” Which is impressive because they’ve managed to stop me worrying about something I didn’t even know I was worrying about. Or start me worrying, as the case may be. These people can simultaneously tell me what’s wrong with me and sell me a solution for it! That’s time efficient, as much as anything.
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