I write this from a very loud corner of the Twitterverse. There isn’t so much of a silence but a fervent party atmosphere. People are expressing themselves, tweeting politely at each other but getting to the crux of the problem for many of us. Why should we be made to feel like trolls when our only crime is righteous and crucial dissent? Cos there is a difference you know? Here, I will give you an example:
In this set of tweets, Caitlin responds to her friends ‘rape joke’ with affection. It’s a given amongst feminists, whether they be of the intersectional or bigoted variety that rape is not a laughing matter, in any context. It is my DUTY as a woman and feminist striving for a safer future for our children to point this out to Caitlin and ask why someone of her experience and stature does not get that this is unacceptable. If there hadn’t been a long history of silencing from Caitlin’s corner, we might even discuss this like grown adults and respectfully come to the conclusion that rape is never funny, particularly not on a public platform where people will take their lead from you. If my pointing this out to someone who should know better is considered trolling and not genuine concern regarding rape culture, then I call bullshit. I am not threatening to rape Caitlin cos THAT would be trolling. I am not saying she deserves to be raped, cos THAT would be trolling. Yet troll I am allegedly because I choose to vociferously disagree. Do you see where I’m going with this?
Now. AIDS. It’s not funny. It kills. It traumatises people to suicide. But that doesn’t stop Caitlin rinsing the 90s of all its “ew, you’ve got AIDS” type jibes. Here’s a small collection for your perusal (via @eurovicious)
HOW IS THIS ACCEPTABLE? HOW IS THIS WOMAN ALLOWED TO REPRESENT FEMINISM? How can you defend her?
Equal opportunities are for all including those who have an AIDS/HIV status. Why should they be made to feel a certain way so that Caitlin can have a go at ‘humour’?
I’ve been trolled the fuck out of since January, where I have had rape threats, where people have remarked on my appearance and my background. THAT IS TROLLING. They’re not concerned with my politics, or my beliefs, they object to my very presence. They probably hate the fact that I am a woman, or that I am brown and so their interactions routinely focus on these personal attributes. I haven’t once commented on Caitlin’s appearance. I did however respond to her “literally not giving a shit” about me and others like me. I do respond to her ignoramus articles but then I do the same for her peers too. They cannot just be allowed to write whatever bullshit they feel they can make fly that day. Or if that is the case, then we must have the right to respond. Twitter is the platform with which to do that, yet they want to take it away from us?
*There is a fuckoload of transphobia/homophobia in that Storify link but you knew that already
** I refer to threats made against me as trolling. Obviously this differs somewhat from other people might consider trolling but I’ve had no recourse to discussing what these threats mean and how they may be more serious than your regular nuisance troll.
*** Oh, she apologised did she? So did I. Without prompt. But nobody cared.