On one hand, white cishet men who are more prominent than me by any objective measure – Twitter followers, site traffic, mainstream press coverage – publicly plagiarize me, use ableist slurs like “crazy” and “insane” to discredit me, troll and gaslight me by expressing their “concern” for my mental health, call me “violent” and “angry” to their 200,000 followers (literally), and invest a significant amount of time and energy in inciting violence and ambient harassment against me. Many of these men will also use appeals to my own visibility, allowing them to both deny and exploit the profound gaps in visibility and power between us.
On the other hand, men who take on anonymous identities leverage that gap in visibility – me as someone with a traceable and static online identity, who can be researched and attacked at a known location, and them as ephemeral, untraceable accounts with no community identity or accountability – to terrorize me.
"I have in the first part of this book reviewed the means by which our modern élite has been established, and what a splendid result it is! No longer is it just the brilliant individual who shines forth; the world beholds for the first time the spectacle of a brilliant class, the five percent of the nation who knows what five percent means."
The way she personalizes it, though, presumes a premise I'm not so sure of: that the hatred she gets is because she's not a white cishet male. It may be, it may not be. Some surely is, how much?
EmpressCallipygos: What you're seeing lately is not people "only just now discovering this kind of harrassment is a thing". What you're seeing lately is people only just now deciding that they shouldn't HAVE to put up with it.
I mean, she comes from a PR background, started a PR magazine, and is now mostly known for having an abrasive personality.
When I started that work, I had a career working in product, strategy and technical marketing at high-growth infrastructure companies. I managed teams, launched a lot of products, sold a lot of software, traveled the world, gave talks at many industry events. I made money and had decent titles, and I tolerated the neverending sexism in part for those things, in part because this was my dream.
[Internet fame] puts deep strains on all my relationships as I struggle with the anxiety and stress, with being “present” in physical space, with trusting the people around me. It makes me question the intentions of people who get close to me. It invites people into my life who seek only to use me for some scrap of the non-existent power and camaraderie they think “visibility” gives me, when really it is mainly powerlessness and loneliness that results. As personal “friends” turn my life into stories for the companies they work for, as one “journalist” recently did to me, and as people who stalk me begin to use increasingly complex techniques – like creating false identities and submitting pitches to my company under those identities – I become more fearful and unwilling to let anyone in.
I’m not sure what you think “PR” means, beyond “bad”.
To me it means something inherently without content, except insofar as it repackages other people's content. It means an endless search for attention, which I have in only limited amounts.
I don't have much patience with high-profile linkbloggers any more, no, but I wouldn't have thought she counts as one of them. I wouldn't have recognised her name without looking at the "pre vi ou sly" links, but I don't read much tech news and I'm pretty bad with names generally.
I hope you weren't planning some sort of "gotcha", particularly since I have no idea what special meanings terms may have in the tech world. I took the "PR" term from the Medium article, but I don't think she was trying to insinuate anything either.
Bentobox Humperdinck: Of course I recognize that the world in general does not operate that way, but it should.
This goes against pretty much every fundamental tenant of the way media works in a free society.
Of course I recognize that the world in general does not operate that way, but it should.
Bentobox Humperdinck: Comparing what's really just journalism 101 to rape is really gross.
Asserting that journalism doesn't work if you have to get consent from your subject is way more gross.
[Kane] posted pieces of our email exchange to Twitter, along with dozens of other tweets claiming that I was harassing her, contacting her friends and family against her will, and cyberstalking her. In all caps she tweeted, “LEAVE. ME. ALONE.”
Lore Sjöberg recently posted this on Facebook (reprinted here with permission, not linked to by his request)
Leaving all this aside - do you really believe that Elizabeth Spiers stalked Kane's friends and family?
One of Medium’s biggest controversies last year was my Shanley Kane piece for Matter/Medium because the subject claimed on Twitter that i had violated her privacy and contacted her friends and family for the profile, which was completely untrue.
Not only had we talked about it several times, but her professional background included a stint in a PR firm. So it seemed disingenuous at best, and manipulative at worst, to feign ignorance of the fact that profiling her would involve talking to other people.
I will raise my right hand and testify that Spiers' Internet work is indeed "all about the clicks", and so is Kane's, and so is Mathowie's, and mine, and yours. At least if we're going to be reductionist about it. Metafilter wouldn't exist without an audience, after all.
While it wasn't a big part of our brief-lived (four month) relationship, he often made comments that were racist, homophobic, anti-semitic, misogynist and transphobic. I alternated between being like "hahahaha", “satiring” back to him (including making similar comments), and telling him to knock it the fuck off.
amorphatist: Huh, I didn't know she was an actual out-and-out racist until I read that weev article, that's actually kinda surprising. Her response contains all kinds of ugly.
I got dragged into this because I wrote a piece on Valleywag about the Torvalds kerfuffle. Suddenly I too was the enemy — just for writing a post! Now I was coming under attack by Kane and her acolytes. The Kane stuff was an order of magnitude more intense than any flame attack I've ever experienced. Moreover, other people seized on the Kane attacks to write their own articles about how I was a misogynist pig bastard piece of shit loser asshole with a dead career. My Twitter feed filled up with people I've never met smearing me and attacking me and telling me I was a woman hater who was harming women — simply because I'd written a post about a fight between Shanley and Torvalds. Breathtaking stuff!
A friend of mine wrote to me: "Oh now you have DONE IT. You've taken on SHANLEY KANE. Nice knowing you."
The whole thing was so exaggerated, so blown out of proportion, that I started to wonder if it was all just an act.
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