So Jennifer McCreight has decided to not blog for a while. Why you ask?
Have you not been Paying attention?
Stephanie Zvan over at Freethought Blogs, really hit the nail on the head here, calling us out for not paying attention to what was being said. Also, and more importantly, she calls us out for allowing it in the first place. Yes, us. You and Me and everyone who calls themself an ally of McCreight .
Zvan points out that the same people that have been so negative against A+ and McCreight (and apparently Freethought Blogs (FtB) ) are the same people who are so hostile against theists, paranormal believers, homeopathy and other non-skeptics. We have stood by and let them be such and even giggled along with their stream of insults and threats. The old “New Atheism” has spawned this, at least in my opinion. The New Atheists made it ok to ridicule, belittle, mock, scorn and in general be ass-holes to those who don’t agree lock step with us. None of us are completely guiltless here. I know I’ve been overly agressive with particular religious people, and I know I have sat quietly while others have been outright insulting.
There are words for this kind of behavior, Bullying. Ironically, it is what FtB have been accused of, which is a hard claim to support with the claimants recent actions. The victory crowing of McCreight‘s critics is evidence enough who the bully is here.
Also, I don’t by the “Its the Internet” BS. That’s just code for “I want to be a jackass, but I don’t want to be called on it.”
I’m Calling You Out.
Anonymity on the in internet is quickly coming to an end. Pretty much the only places you can really get away with being a completely faceless individual are places like Reddit and YouTube’s comments section. Pretty much everywhere else your identity is attached to your posts and comments. Which has toned the internet down a bit, but I also remeber the development of the Internet Rules of Conduct, created by…another woman…which were meant to address the appalling behaviour of anonymous individuals on the internet.
I think it’s time to step up once more, and start making the harassment that Women and Gays et al, experience on the internet by making it public. Speak out and you’ll find a lot more support then you will ridicule. Also, rape, violence. and death threats are illegal, and you can and should report them to the authorities. Report them to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or wherever you are getting them. It only takes a minute and it’s a positive step, however small, against internet harassment.
There is also the option I take, which I’m not sure it’s the best; I just don’t read comments. I make vids and blogs, and twitter my heart out, but with the exception of rare occasions, I don’t pay much attention to the comments. I have found this does two things, 1) I don’t get all worked up on negative talk and 2) It doesn’t feed the trolls. On the down side it does limit the amount of interaction I have with my audience, which is the only reason I pay what little attention I do.
But My Privilege!
I think the only people who will be upset at what I am saying here are those who will see it as a threat to their privilege. I mean, who am I to take away their god given right to threaten to rape a chick they don’t know on the internet? What am I, some rape hating lesbian whore? Kinda…
Why do you even need to use that kind of language anyway? If you disagree with someone say so civilly and maybe a discussion can come of it that might sway that person to your point of view. Telling them you’re going to kill them or you hope they kill themselves is immature at best and illegal. You, whoever you are, never have the right to threaten, slander, or verbally assault someone on the internet, or anywhere IMO. If you think you do, maybe you should examine yourself and figure out why you think you have this right.
In this LARP I used to play, there was a side game called The Game of Escalation, where whatever was done to you, you had to do back in spades. The winner was the one who’s retaliation was so bad that the other person couldn’t reciprocate, and no, there were no rules beyond that. There was also the ever present threat of losing one’s “man card” which only helped to fuel the game.
That’s kinda how I see trolls and the privileged individuals who want to shout obscenities randomly. For some reason it’s fun for them to bully, offend, and ridicule other people who are mostly strangers to them. They get some kind of kick out of it, and they see it as a right, a privilege they have, to do so. Well it’s not, and like all bullies, someone needs to stand up to them. The more people that will stand up to them the less power they will have to bully, and hopefully they will eventually go away.
Until then, this is a group effort that I hope people will join me in.