Sunday 04 August 2013

Some things about the #twittersilence today:

I didn’t think that I achieved anything or helped anyone by doing it – but I don’t think it took any effort to not go on Twitter today and it was a cause I agreed with.

[If you didn’t know what it was for: it was a protest suggested by people – predominantly friends of Caitlin Moran and/or employed by The Guardian newspaper – to protest against the violent and misogynistic threats people are getting away with on Twitter. This is not a new phenomenon but threats of rape against Jane-Austen-on-£10 note-champion Caroline Criado-Perez seemed to raise the profile of these terrific chaps who threaten people with rape like it’s going out fashion, which it isn’t.]

I thought it was OK that people didn’t support it; I found it hard to argue- and therefore didn’t criticise – some people who said that they didn’t want to be quiet because some idiots were idiots.

I didn’t really get why it was an excuse for a lot of people to have a go at Caitlin Moran – like I did a minute ago. It seems someone with a large and verbal presence NOT being on Twitter is a point being made.

I saw some people quite verbally opposed to the whole thing – and I assure you I don’t follow people in the rape-is-an-OK-to-threaten people. “What’s the point? It’s just some attention seeking, self-important media whores etc” asked some people (they were women and everything but I didn’t really want to have to say that to make the point). Well if everyone had done it rather than just be judgemental about it, it would have been quite a significant thing. But they didn’t. And by talking about not understanding it and saying things about why it was happening and why it was pointless kind of proved that it had some effect.

One of the things about this whole episode have been the balance between understanding it’s not about the threats being taken seriously, it’s about how that can be a threat that people are OK with using. Or maybe it isn’t. I am NOT OK with anyone threatening to rape someone. And I do think people should be accountable for their threats. So, we’re clear on that I don’t think serious threats of rape are OK and that I don’t think it’s OK for this to be something for people to use as an aggressive ‘joke threat’ to people in any context.

I don’t want to phrase this next thing in a way that could read badly…these people they are sad little bastard hid away the people making these threats. And they’re doing it for the attention and this is just making them more likely to do it. They’re apparently stupid and ignorant and see saying typing the threats as some kind of challenge. This does not mean I am saying do nothing about them nor do I want to be saying I am criticising them for not having the courage in their convictions. This isn’t coming across as well as it does in my head.

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