It’s okay that you may not get what I am saying, or understand that I do see that we certainly agree on some things. Because I normally do comedic writing, I know that my tone can get confusing at times, and encourage misunderstanding, even for those who would agree with me. That’s my bad — something I need to work on. In no way do I disagree with all of the points you made or information you shared. I thank you for taking time to read what I wrote. Especially since reading that, or this, is not required.
Maybe it wasn’t clear, but I expected you to have a thought like — “who cares about any of these dumb details about this Irish guy?!” — while reading what I wrote. My example was to say — I too, can point out specifics. And, once I do, I feel like we can agree — the specifics of this Irish guy in Ireland, who is concerned with Bernie Bros — or any of the guys that wrote at Emily — isn’t paramount to this point, or in this examination. It’s not relatively significant.
Imagine if I cited a Polish Bernie ‘supporter’ living in Poland, to make a point about the war on females online, because he commented on a photo of a girl in a Hillary tee. Ugh. Mustn’t we then pull in the perspective politics of Poland… and the fact that they don’t experience American life or vote here, but surely see America in a certain way? Sounds interesting, but is that the packed-path we are pursuing? I think it would all be very much beside an important point — a point we can get to, without any of this.
There is something bigger, that matters. The collective message matters — which is not anti-Bernie, or even anti-Woman for Bernie. You have reason to feel concerned about that bigger message — which is directed against women. I only have issue with the way it was presented.
I didn’t miss that you nodded at the general idea of ‘men on the internet will include jerks’. I am disappointed that you would present this saying, “those are just a fraction of the hate Emily has gotten for being a woman that supports Bernie Sanders,” and not push beyond the temptation to frame this as if a candidate or the support of a candidate is being attacked. Expand to “focus on a non-partisan push against online harassment.” Something you suggested you wanted to see.
Why not lead that effort — right away — with whatever power you have? Who are you waiting for, to do that? Right now, your article, which doesn’t do that, has 1.6K recommendations — and who knows how many reads. You have 363 followers. I think it’s a missed opportunity!
I just read an article I saw reposted, that was from Sports Illustrated, via Medium, in September of 2015, called You Can’t Just Ignore the Trolls. I encourage you to read it, if you haven’t, already — since you, like me, are interested in this topic. I believe it supports some points you’ve made. And that I have made. And perhaps brings them together in a slightly different context.
That article is by a female sports writer, and she suggests at one point, that men are perhaps more vile to women working in sports than anyone. That too, seems like an overstretch of specifics. But hey — she hadn’t yet witnessed this election.
What I am getting at — is that to get distracted by the details of these men is not so useful to women. Titling your plea, or aiming it to bring attention to this in a way that suggests a specific attack on Bernie supporters, is not as helpful as it could be — to women. Some of these guys posting foul messages to her, could be Bernie supporters. I have no idea. Several *seem* like Trump-lovin’ types, but I have no way to know, and I have learned I can’t always predict it. In this variety of harassment, it doesn’t matter.
It might be a little(no, not exactly) like collecting sexist comments from the guys who are harassing these sports writers, and trying to pinpoint which particular sports and teams they support — or some other detail. That isn’t what drives their harassment. It doesn’t get to the heart of it.
What I do actually think may be a little closer to a ‘specific’ that does matter, can be found in this quote from that SI article:
“Of all areas of society, I believe men still think of sports as their domain,” Dzurisin said. “If you look at American males (especially those with a [high school] education or less), they are falling behind women in many areas. To me, it is ‘This is my turf, not yours.’ If you look at their tweets, most generally articulate they believe in very traditional gender roles. Women working in sports or interested in sports are their worst nightmare. It’s bad enough she is probably outpacing me career-wise, but how dare she try to infiltrate the one area that I believe is exclusively male.”
While women, no matter what they do, seem to be able to find nasty treatment on the internet, perhaps, it is worthy to note that there is an extra amount of negative response that is turned toward women when they are seen to be getting involved in, or commenting upon, an area of society that men, instinctively, still believe to be their domain. Not everything is that.
I know we have had many wonderful female presidents — and vice presidents, for that matter, but I still think it’s safe to say politics is categorically dominated by males. And males have not yet parted with the idea that it is their domain. I don’t know if there is a conscious reaction — like — ‘a WOMAN who thinks she knows about politics? I better do something to stop this!’ or just an immediate gut reaction programmed to an outdated societal construct — urges that they feel they feel free to act upon only in some sort of base, disgusting, sexist and cowardly key-smashing online, that is fairly thought-free. Likely both.
Also, it seems when women who already get attention online, get further praised for being seen to step into these arenas where men claim ownership, they police it. They think women don’t deserve all of the attention they get in the first place — ‘and now we’re cheering her on for this? I better take her down a notch.’ Jealously, inadequacy, desire to be dominant — I can see it all wrapped in there. These are confusing times as gender roles shift. Some aren’t handling it well. Like cavemen, who refuse to stand up straight.
Though I might guess some are GOP supporters, who generally devalue women’s access to power and choices, I don’t think Emily’s enemy is men who support any particular candidate. Her enemy, if specific, is men who don’t believe she should have an opinion on politics. To them, that it is not her domain. They decide what she is supposed to be, and she stepped out of bounds.
Perhaps ‘out of bounds’ is just that a woman like Emily has an opinion at all. That isn’t part of their fantasy. But, I do believe there is something to the specific inflammatory nature of a woman’s opinion, on something like politics — or sports — that cannot be ignored. Hillary feels this burn, as well. Believe that.
While my profile is rather low on Medium — and even a mild engagement is somewhat surprising, I am not surprised that of the few that responded to argue with what I had written, it was only men (you are the author, so that’s different). Only women recommended it. What were the ratios like for you, I wonder?
Those men who replied, I believe, are just the type that may have thought that article was about a complete ‘other’ than a guy like them — maybe because they support Bernie. But it isn’t. It doesn’t excuse them. They need to listen, and make sure they aren’t displaying this behavior toward different kinds of women when they show an opinion about something else.
And it doesn’t excuse some guy in Ireland just because he’s not an American voter. Or that he is a Hillary fan, from afar. He doesn’t deserve protection from this message. He follows female celebrities, and possibly when he thinks they should share his opinion, or not have one at all — isn’t beyond judgmentally telling them so. He might be doing worse somewhere we can’t see, if he thinks this is his ‘job’. Who knows. He needs this message.
And finally, you’re not excused, from people like me, asking you, as you continue writing, to think bigger. Or as Bernie might say, think huge. I will continue to scrutinize the behavior of these men, as well as the choices made by those attempting to bring their behavior under scrutiny — especially if it is convoluted by another cause. Like wandering into disproving the existence of ‘Bernie Bros.’ Women need support, not Bernie Bros or anyone being confused for one. Don’t let transgressors seek refuge inside your message.
I’m not aiming to be ‘right’ — that is a not a concept I would even try to argue — but I do want to encourage questions and expansion. Some of us don’t have the audience others do—so we push those of you who do. Ultimately, you’ll do what is important to you. You’ll tag your story with “Hillary Clinton” instead of “Women,” if that is what you’re feeling.
I don’t mind disagreeing. Even my original response title was intended to have humor(for the ladies) — about something that isn’t so humorous(for the ladies). As women, we have to laugh, as much as push back, or else we’ll go bananas! I am fine with a difference of opinion. I not only expect my opinions will be different than others I encounter, but expect to be discouraged from having an opinion. After all, I am a woman.