I try to avoid side posts other than the meat and matter of the blog, but occasionally an issue comes up that seems to me worth remarking on, and in this case it is at least relevant to this blog.
You may have noticed that this blog has an overtly left-wing perspective that is actively sympathetic to, among other things, feminism. This perspective is in part the product of extensive reading. Some of that reading consists of academic tomes and philosophy. Other parts of that reading consist of blogs and casual conversations. And one of the single biggest sources for my viewpoints are a wealth of feminist bloggers. It is my genuine belief – and I say this as someone well familiar with academic popular culture studies – that the best work in the field is often done by feminist bloggers. They have quietly reinvented or helped to reinvent a wealth of new perspectives that have been jaw-droppingly lively and productive for understanding media.
Among the ones who have influenced me – and this list is not a list of the greats, but an idiosyncratic list – are places like DC Women Kicking Ass, A Random String of Bits, Game Girl Advance, and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. These are, of course, just the ones I happen to remember – there are many more stray LiveJournals and the like I’ve read one or two posts by and not written down or remembered the name, but have been quietly influenced by and responding to for years now.
I say all of this because there is a well-documented problem of female bloggers getting viciously trolled and abused, with threats of rape and sexual violence against them and horribly derogatory personal attacks. The Guardian ran a chillingly good story on it this weekend, but it’s not the first thing I’ve seen on the topic. It’s a real problem.
I love the feminist blogosphere. They are among the giants whose shoulders I stand upon. And so I want to make this post. Partially because raising awareness of the issue matters. Partially because it’s important to stress that this is a human issue, not a women’s issue – anyone who is interested in having a world with more exciting, moving, and interesting comments and observations in it wants more women bloggers.
But mostly to say this:
I have very, very good commenters on this blog. But then, I’m a male, and apparently that helps me. I can’t imagine most of my readers are the sorts of people who send vicious abuse to female bloggers, mostly because I can’t imagine that what I write would be of interest to an asinine cave troll who would do things like that.
All the same, if there is any blogger, anywhere in the world, that you would e-mail to berate for their physical appearance, that you would threaten or joke about raping or hurting, or that you would advocate violence against, you had damn well better be willing to make those exact same threats to me. Because if you would do that to another blogger, then I am every bit as much your enemy as the person you are abusing. I despise you. I think you are a miserable piece of shit. The Internet is brightened when your power goes out and you are made to shut up for a bit. I am the person you hate. Me. So whatever hate you want to spew, spew it at me too, you fucking coward.
As I said, that’s not to, I don’t think, the overwhelming majority of my readers. But it needed to be said.
Hand of Fear post will go up tomorrow, with a staggering epic of a Deadly Assassin post due on Wednesday. I think it’s gonna be a good week for the blog, personally, and I’m looking forward to seeing the comments and discussion on it.
But seriously. Go compliment your local feminist blogger. I bet she’s awesome.