A member of the Howard County blogging community has come under attack. No, not the usual “you are an idiot,” criticisms which all public affairs bloggers invariably face. These are vile, sexist (often sexually explicit), and personally invasive assaults involving both words and deeds. Perhaps even more frightening is that these attacks, which largely center on misogynistic tropes and stereotypes, are being applauded in public fora. Beyond that, some commenters choose to ignore or discount these hostile statements, choosing instead to word-police how she responds to these outrageous remarks.
By she, I am referring to the author of the Howard County Progress Report. Note: I believe it is important to disclose that I am using this identifying information with her express permission. While relatively new to the blogging world, she has already established herself as a significant influence on the local political scene…including publishing a piece that had a major impact on a Board of Education race.
Recently, she has been subject to a particularly horrifying strain of vituperation that has included:
· Insinuations as well as unambiguous claims that she is “mentally ill”
· Denunciations of her as having “a lot of unresolved anger”
· The use of profane and, at times, obscene epithets directed at her (by both men and women)
· Remarks and actions that delivered the message “we know where you live”
There is absolutely no place for this in civilized society. And, for as much as people talk about Howard County in almost triumphalist terms, there is certainly no place for this misogynistic hate in our community.
Now, is anyone going to be shamed (by name) in this blog today? Not today, no. That said, rest assured that screen grabs have been taken. And the present author has no qualms whatsoever about sharing said screen grabs with the public. It seems like some of you are very proud of your statements, so I am certain you would have no issues if they were signal boosted on multiple platforms and/or sent out widely via email to interested parties.
In short, stop the nonsense or face the consequences. Imagine if you said those same words to her, or anyone, in person…you don’t think there would be repercussions? Think about that.
One last thing, if you believe that someone defending themselves from such abuse is somehow a voice that is “negative” or “nasty”, maybe you should stow your laptop and retire from commenting while you reflect on the idiocy of your statements.