I don’t know whether on-line abuse is mostly reserved for women, especially prominent women, but I suspect it is. Misogyny runs deep in our society, as does envy. Author and commentator, Jane Caro, related some of the abuse she received after tweeting subsequent to the May 18 election result. It was the usual sort of abuse reserved for women, I presume: Blah, blah, bitch, blah, blah, cow, blah, blah. To give an example: some right-wing nut job (RWNJ) had a go at her, ending with “your own bloviated sense of self importance [sic] has landed you where you currently find yourself”. I couldn’t help myself. I replied: “What? As a highly successful, much loved author and commentator?” To which he replied “Highly successful at leading progressive lemmings off the edge of the cliff you mean? A woman obsessed with the currency of victim hood [sic] and indentity [sic] politics. Steeped in the unremarkable qualities of cultural Marxism. Government is God to you moronic leftists. Isn’t it ?” Some of the standard RWNJ tropes of ‘cultural Marxism’, ‘identity politics’ and ‘victimhood’, were used, although ham-fistedly, but there was no original thought behind any of this, just a sneering disdain for a woman who was successful, insightful, and respected. There was also the standard inability of the RWNJ to use English without misspelling words or punctuating effectively. Again, I couldn’t help myself. I replied: “No, we get on with life and do quite nicely. It is the gullibles we feel sorry for. Written any best-selling books lately, have you?” Funnily enough, this vacuous abuser seemed to go away after that.
I never seem to get the amount of abuse that more successful people like Ms Caro receive, except perhaps from creationists. It may be because I am a bloke, although as my twitter handle is anonymous, this is not obvious. It may be because I am such a minor player in this struggle against these mindless RWNJs. Sometimes, I think that, with the 500+ ‘essays’ (or ‘rants’, as my partner calls them) on my website, I can always find a relevant link to send to the abusers. I suspect that showing them I can string a few words together into a hopefully coherent argument frightens them off, as it seems to be anathema to them. If this is so, I am sure they will be happy to know I will continue to ‘rant’.