Saturday 27 July 2013

I am quite good at keeping up with the latest controversies on Twitter; I kind of missed the latest one a little bit. It is generally a good thing to miss them as none of the people involved generally change anything about themselves. Some people are cunts, some people are outraged, no-one tends to admit they are wrong – or accepts that it is OK to have different views. And in the end people just get slowly bored of the debate and nothing changes (which is fine in most cases).

I am kind of glad I missed this one though. It seems a lot of people were threatening Caroline Criado-Perez after her campaign for a female on a British banknote (well to reinstate a woman – Elizabeth Fry was on the fiver but she’s been usurped). They were saying all kinds of things but – of course – mostly they were threatening to rape her. I feel I have to get into condemning these threats but I am going to hope that it goes without saying that it is vile and despicable and represents – on behalf of the threat make – cowardice and a distinct lack of the masculinity they were probably think they are.

This vile campaign against Criado-Perez has rightly caused some intense reaction from people who don’t hate women and don’t think threatening anyone with anything, but definitely not rape, is OK. There has been a lot of reaction,support and suggested action by people on Twitter. For example it has been suggested women abandon Twitter for a day as a protest – then I saw someone ask if popular and influential men (she meant famous men,  the semilebrity, the someone – the one who fell out with the transsexuals)  would support the cause against fucking men.

This is kind of where I reach the point where I would like to discuss the whole thing with someone. I don’t really know many feminists to talk to. I don’t know how wrong it is that I am a bit annoyed about by the constant reference to men in the whole debate. I am not with these people – don’t tar us all with the same brush (don’t worry I appreciate the irony of the ‘subjugated man’ position).

Trust me, I am not suggesting that this is the most important debate here. But I’ve already passed the motion that someone threatening someone for being a feminist is pathetic – I don’t think anyone reading this would disagree. And so I don’t feel eschewing paragraphs of text condemning fuckwits is something I want to spend my time doing – like I don’t join Facebook groups like ‘Paedophiles is doing bad’ or ‘If you don’t hate foreigners you’re OK with murder’ (avatar: bulldog in front of a St George’s flag). And I definitely think that anyone threatening anyone with anything should be referred to the Police accordingly; I don’t care if it’s ‘just a joke’ and you didn’t mean it – I’m afraid you don’t get to control how threats to do a crime to someone affects the person.

Give those  who subscribe to threatening rape an epithet, be it keyboard warriors, touchscreen terrorists, online platform hosting warlords or smartphone misogynists – or ‘pathetic little coward fucks who talk shit on the internet because they’re frustrated at the own inability to justify their own pointless existence’. But let’s not call them men*.

And while we’re at it I’ll repeat my suggestion that blaming Twitter, as some have, is to ignore the errors of the humans responsible for the hate(crime?). That said there does seem to be a need for some policing of social media – just don’t give the social media the blame for the actions (but it’s fair enough to ask it to police itself). Threats, whether they be groundless cowardice or otherwise, should not be OK just because someone believes in free speech. I do believe in free speech, but I also believe in people being held accountable for that speech the moment it affects another person.

I’ve started sounding exactly like I didn’t want to sound now; I really only wanted to say how annoyed I was about the ‘men’ thing. If you’re thinking I mean that and I don’t care about a woman getting threats from human beings because she campaigned for Jane Austen to appear on a banknote then you’re probably a dick.

*Just because all misogynists are men does not make all men…etc

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