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Nation writer horrified that people actually disagree with online feminist pronunciamentos

February 23, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

The bluebird of unhappiness: mean, antifeminist tweets!

Horrors! Feminist writers are shocked, shocked that people actually disagree with them on the Internet! They’re so dismayed that some of them are actually quitting the web! (My question: How soon?)

That’s the gist of Nation writer Michelle Goldberg’s lead piece in the Washington Post’s Outlook section. It’s titled “Feminist Writers Are So Besieged by Online Abuse That Some Have Begun to Retire.” (Retire? Mmmmmm!)

It’s apparently just occurred to Goldberg—and some of the other feminist writers she names—that online articles have these appendages called “comments sections,” and that some commentators don’t really think much of what the feminists have to say. And sometimes the commentators are kind of rude and they call the feminists nasty names. Boo hoo!

And there’s also this thing called “Twitter.” It’s so darned easy to use that once people figure out your handle (which usually isn’t very hard, since if you’re a writer, you typically publicize it everywhere you can), they can start sending you some pretty mean tweets. Isn’t that awful?

***

But Goldberg seems to be after something more. She doesn’t quite say so, but it’s clear that what she’d really like to see is online censorship: silencing those crude and distasteful Internet voices. Her unspoken message is: Why doesn’t Twitter do something?

“Once a woman is singled out by a men’s rights group such as A Voice for Men, the misogynist Reddit forum The Red Pill or even just a right-wing Twitter account like Twitchy, she is deluged with hatred. The barrage, in addition to scaring its target, serves as a warning to onlookers. Jill Filipovic, a senior political writer covering feminist issues at Cosmopolitan, says she recently tried to persuade a friend to run for office. ‘There’s several reasons why I wouldn’t want to do it, but one of them is that I follow you on Twitter, and I see what people say to you. I could never deal with that,’ the friend told her.”

And it’s worth noticing, as Twitchy’s Michelle Malkin has, that Goldberg completely ignores the Internet hate pile-ons that conservative women who write online face on a daily basis.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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One Comment
  1. Lastango permalink

    Leaving the university bubble, where Marxist speech is privileged — and contrary speech is suppressed at the institutional equivalent of gunpoint — is a jarring experience for feminists unable to smoothly transition to another Ivory Tower.

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