This just in: women are people and it’s still not okay to threaten to rape someone or encourage them to commit suicide if you don’t like their opinion. I can’t believe that it’s 2012 and this shit is still happening.
It’s easier to ignore hateful name-calling when it’s coming from people you already know oppose you. It doesn’t bother me as such when conservative assholes like Rush Limbaugh call Sandra Fluke a slut, for example. That’s the sort of behavior I expect from him and his ilk.
But what about when it’s coming from what’s supposedly our side?
I’m lucky in a lot of ways. I’m physically intimidating enough that no one has had the brass balls necessary to harass me in person, and I’m a nobody, so no one cares what I say on the internet. But I have eyes and ears. I’ve seen how Rebecca Watson, Greta Christina, and Jen McCreight have been verbally harassed, attacked, and threatened.
I’m tired of seeing all the hatred spewed at women from within communities they’ve helped build and strengthen. A threat of violence against one woman is a threat against us all; I don’t buy into the fiction that “she’s a bitch but you’re different.” It’s never acceptable.
I think it’s easier to brace yourself against hate when it’s coming as a frontal attack. It’s not so easy when it’s at your back, from people with whom you thought you shared common cause. I wouldn’t go to dinner with Rush Limbaugh. But I could potentially end up sharing a table and a water pitcher with people who have threatened and verbally abused women for having opinions, or even perpetrated the more minor but still damaging aggression of accusing women of “crying wolf” for daring to speak up about real in-person harassment. The very thought makes my skin crawl.
I have hate fatigue. I’m disgusted and exhausted beyond measure, seeing how my fellow women have been treated by groups in which they’ve invested a great deal of time and effort. And I fail to see why I should continue expending my two most limited resources (time and money) where there is such vociferous reactionary hatred and not even the fig leaf of an anti-harassment policy.
Sorry, my friends. I think my time and money for now is going to go to Worldcon rather than The Amazing Meeting. The Scifi/Fantasy community and conventions have their problems (hello continuing Readercon fallout) but at least are farther down the path.
Love will triumph in the end. I believe that. I’m going to go where I feel that love, get back my energy, and I’m going to dance.
(Edited at 1815 to clarify a few statements that didn’t read correctly.)