I just want to put my head in my hands.
I value civility. I value extending the olive branch and hearing different ideas. But I also value being blunt, being effective, setting boundaries, breaking out of the echo chamber. Well, guess what? I’m just about out of olive branches. I’m about ready to play dirty or not at all.
The first time I tried playing dirty in defense of someone else happened a few years ago. This person banned me because I was building straw men and attacking the people who were spamming her page, attacking her and her supporters.
This woman, I suppose, doesn’t know what “straw man” means. It’s not a catch-all term for a personal attack. It’s the act of misrepresenting a person’s position to knock it down more easily. And pretty much by definition, it’s almost impossible to build a straw man when the building blocks being used are things that were, you know, ACTUALLY SAID…and not just said, but yelled, cursed, insulted and threatened. By people who had absolutely no business being on that page anyway. But somehow, my pointing that out constituted an attack and a straw man and I was banned.
It’s happened to me a lot over the years. I’ve been banned from Catholic pages for stating inconvenient facts.
I’ve been relentlessly attacked on Amazon for writing a negative review of Kick Ass from a feminist perspective. As is typical of internet trolls, I was accused of being ugly, fat, and jealous of Hit Girl.
It happened to me a few years back when I wrote about my anti-healthist beliefs. I was told that I was morally deficit, disgusting, that I was going to die of these awful diseases and that I deserved it.
It happened with Trump’s election. The same people who responded to Obama’s election by hanging black dummies and setting them on fire, who responded to prominent Jewish activists by Photoshopping images of them in ovens, who responded to the prospect of a HRC presidency by building a model of Hillary Clinton’s head on a pike…now they want us to move on, unify, grow up, heal, and stop being so mean and calling them bigots.
And it happened to me tonight, again on Facebook, on a so-called women’s rights page. I had the nerve to criticize Emma Watson’s celebrity feminism. One woman responded by asking me for my lady card, telling me what I was enabling misogyny and that my comment was woman-hating nonsense. And that I was jealous, a consequence of poor breeding and a lesbian with hip dysplasia.
Nothing was done about this.
How much do you want to bet that of this happens again and I defend myself, I will be banned?
How long will it take for people to learn that being civil in the minds of these people is about shutting up, smiling, and allowing the hostile takeover of our spaces? When will we defend ourselves and our allies as jealously as we defend trolls and interlopers?
Only time will tell. I’m just not sure there is enough time in all of eternity for these people to get a clue.
Update: In spite of being trolled, my comment is by far the most “liked” on that comment thread…and the likes are climbing still.