19 February 2007

Learning to love more, period.

Everyone I know has a love/hate relationship with technology and the internets. It's not that I don't have information that I feel is necessary to disseminate, and it isn't that I don't have the extra twenty minutes a day it would take me to throw up a few stories I've come across that I hope my small audience would read. It's that I, in many ways, on an obviously smaller scale, relate to this account of a well known feminist blogger's hurdles. In fact, I'm pretty shaken up about how much of this seems to ring true in my own life and has now for a number of years, weaving in and out of work I've been doing most of my adulthood.

I have other things to do besides worry about some unknown audience and filter through the hate mail and spam. When I talk to the men in my life about street harassment, they never cease to be shocked (though neither do a lot of women who don't live the same experiences that my friends/allies and I seem to have far too often). The same has always been true when I speak about the prevalence of sexual violence - something else I'm not going to stop talking about because it's real and wrong, and especially since the two are so related. And again, when I talk about the hate mail I get, I get the same bewildered stares. People wouldn't really do that, would they? You fucking bet they do.

So while I may not have much to add, Amanda Marcotte's article will hopefully continue to raise awareness about power dynamics that exist online and the ways people feel cornered and shut down. A well-known feminist blogger once told me that if I'm getting hate mail, I'm doing something right, and yet I can't think of anything more off base. I want to work in a movement of cooperation and alliances, and alienating people and pissing them off doesn't tend to solve a single goddamn problem. So until I'm in a better space to make my message more effective without feeling personally vulnerable, I'll be - as I've been - working elsewhere, on the ground, with people in real time. I seem to be better at that anyway.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stick to your guns, B. Your blogger friend is quite correct; the hate mail is a good (though unpleasant) sign that you'd still be getting if your views were diametrically opposite. Strong opinions that result from well-reasoned thought and observation are their own reward, and sharing them with the world is a brave thing to do.

The angry emotional responses you receive are the result of a lack of reason, so try not to take them personally. Feel sorry that the senders are unable to be rational without letting their emotions get the best of them.

5:57 PM  

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