Is it 2007 or 1907?
I was just reading Violet Blue's current blog entry over at TinyNibbles.com. It's about a response to her latest weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle entitled "When a Man Hates a Woman: The ugly side of sex and the Web."I feel like I am caught in a bit of a time warp. Or maybe, more correctly, a reality warp. It's so easy to forget that outside of my bubble of friends - a diverse group of people who are all intelligent, thinking people in various ways and seem to have social skills and a forward-thinking, generally progressive mindset when it comes to people who are different than them - that there are a lot of ignorant, bigoted, just plain hateful people in the world.
The person responding to Violet's article about women in the blogging world who are threatened with violence and sexual assault referred to her writing as "dangerous" and framed it as "propaganda". Now seriously, go read her article and then think about that person's comments in response. What on Earth is "dangerous" about her article? Is it dangerous to call out and disparage rampant misogyny? Is it dangerous to speak out against violence towards women who are simply being targeted for their gender? Is it dangerous to say that threatening women with sexual violence, stalking them and publishing their personal information and location as well as that of their friends and family for all the world to see is wrong? How in the world is that dangerous? I really need this explained to me because to me it's just fucking logical. This sort of behavior should be called out and should be disparaged and should be reprimanded. Not supported by a bunch of douche bags at the New York Times as if it was all some harmless, schoolboy prank.
And then we move on to the "propaganda" allegation put forth by her responder. According to Dictionary.com "propaganda" is:
1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.
2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.
3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.
Now one could argue that Violet truly is trying to spread information and ideas to "harm" a certain person or group. Maybe this comment isn't totally off base. What she's doing is trying to point out the insidiousness of this violent misogyny and declare that it is no longer acceptable and the parties responsible should not have the right to perpetuate it, hide behind anonymity or have major publications gently slap them on the wrist for it and then send them 8 zillion tons of free traffic. So sure, call it propaganda if you will. But don't try to put a negative slant on it, because this is the kind of information that needs to be spread far and wide. It needs to damage the repuatations of the perpetrators to the point where no one lends creedence to their work, turns their backs on them and deletes them from their fucking bookmarks.
It's 2007 people. The notion that a man is still threatened by a woman in the same field as him is beyond pathetic. You're fossils. You're relics. You're sad, sad victims of an archaic mindset that has no place in this day and age. Unfortunately, we can't summon a meteor that targets only asshole dinosaurs like you and all your supporters.