Carrie Fisher isn’t magically impervious to harassment—and that’s okay.
Carrie Fisher has been dropping some major truth bombs lately. As the world watches The Force Awakens, the internet at large feels compelled weigh in on the “most important” question about the movie: did Carrie Fisher age well? In response, Carrie tweeted that her looks aren’t important, and her aging process shouldn’t be up for open discussion.
Everything Carrie tweets is on point, and I highly recommend reading through her full account. But there’s a problem: every article I see praising her badass responses indicate that the truly amazing part is her indifference to the criticism. “Carrie Fisher doesn’t care what you think” or “Carrie Fisher gives zero fucks” are common themes.
But Carrie Fisher does care what we think, as she explicitly says on her Twitter; the harassment “hurts all 3 of [her] feelings.” So why do we insist that she’s unaffected by it all?
When we craft a narrative of Carrie “giving no fucks”, we tacitly enforce the idea that women should face harassment stoically. We admire this above-it-all attitude because we want to be so strong that we’re totally impervious to sexism.
But showing vulnerability is one of the strongest, bravest things we can do.
Opening ourselves up and revealing hurt in the face of harassment is frightening, yet undeniably powerful. Just look at what happened when Lindy West told an online harasser how much his actions hurt her.
Feelings hurt or sad when we’re criticized isn’t weak: it’s human. Even if you know that the opinions of strangers on the internet don’t matter—even if you reject the very premise upon which they’re criticizing you—words cut deep.
I’m going to continue being open about how hurtful—crushing even—my experiences with harassment can be. Thank you to Carrie Fisher, the face of so many little girls’ hero, for modeling how to be so powerfully vulnerable.
PS: this was a bit of a heavy piece, so here’s a picture of Carrie Fisher’s fantastic frenchie Gary: