For Female Candidates, Harassment and Threats Come Every Day (SLNYT)
August 24, 2018 8:51 AM   Subscribe

The abuse already common in many women’s everyday lives can be amplified in political campaigns, especially if the candidate is also a member of a minority group. Four days before the 2016 congressional primary in her Northern California district, Erin Schrode woke up to tens of thousands of messages. They were everywhere: in her email, on her cellphone, on her Facebook and her Twitter and her Instagram...
posted by pretentious illiterate (8 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
After I read this article, I wrote the following email to the Attorney General of Massachusetts:


I'm from Massachusetts, born and raised in [TOWN], and I've always been very proud of my state. But I was reading this New York Times article about rape and murder threats against female candidates and I was very disturbed and confused. One of the candidates it profiles, Brianna Wu, is from Massachusetts. I don't understand why threats of rape and murder against female candidates aren't categorized as hate crimes and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. These kinds of threats, as a whole, even when they don't result in violence, have the combined effect of silencing women and driving them out of the public sphere.

This affects all of us, and I do not understand why people aren't going to jail for it. Even a handful of high-profile prosecutions to make an example of people would make a huge difference in teaching people that there are consequences to their actions.

I would like an official answer as to why no one has been charged with a crime in relation to the harassment of Brianna Wu. My phone number is [NUMBER]and I can also be reached at this email address.

Thank you for your time.


I remember, vividly, Eyebrows McGee's story of the harassment that drove her out of local politics. I think about it all the time - as lucky as we are to have her here, what a loss that was to her community at large. I would like to know if there is anything more pragmatic we could do to get these kinds of cases prosecuted. I would like to see someone go to jail for it. Any thoughts?
posted by pretentious illiterate at 8:55 AM on August 24, 2018 [52 favorites]


I bailed out of the article at the point where in usual NYT both-side-ism, they tried to position being called a "GOP Stepford wife" as harassment and equivalent to the thousands of death and rape threats liberal candidates received.
posted by tavella at 9:09 AM on August 24, 2018 [14 favorites]


I've taken a break from facebump today because these ugly angry white men are all over spewing hateful rhetoric on my women friends feeds, and being an easily angered idiot myself, I lean towards firing back in the most hateful way possible. Not helpful to my friends, so I just walked away. I fucking hate angry white men.
posted by evilDoug at 9:10 AM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


Any thoughts?

Literally the only thing that will make a difference is if crimes against women are taken seriously. This includes domestic violence and discrimination by the police, in addition to targeted harassment. It also includes harassment or assault at the hands of the police themselves. And it includes making sure there are fucking consequences for piece of shit law enforcement officers who don't think crimes against women matter.

And, increasingly, I think the only way for this to happen is to have women in charge of fucking everything.

If I were benevolent dictator, there would be a new department of the federal government responsible for going after misogynists and racists like specially bred terriers. Fearless, ruthless, vicious, and untouchable. And very well funded.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:24 AM on August 24, 2018 [31 favorites]


Those people are shit, especially Steve King. Fuck him right in the ear.
posted by corvikate at 10:40 AM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


If I were benevolent dictator, there would be a new department of the federal government responsible for going after misogynists and racists like specially bred terriers. Fearless, ruthless, vicious, and untouchable. And very well funded. - schadenfrau

Whelp, saving THAT in my scifi story idea folder.
posted by bridgebury at 10:40 AM on August 24, 2018 [9 favorites]


If these people are known and not charged then maybe hire loud bands to play in front of their houses. Lots of people could show up unexpectedly and mill about and create a media circus. Troll their FB pages. Report their FB pages as spam and harassment. Report their accounts as fake. Do it to all of them.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:58 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've been following the death-threat issue for Christine Hallquist since she won her primary. (Takes a British newspaper to report this, of course.)

I don't live in Vermont and thus can't vote for her, but as the wife of a trans woman who's involved in local politics (fortunately, at a level that hasn't resulted in any death threats yet), I have a great interest in her campaign and career.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:22 AM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


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