Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stopping the Real Bullies

If it was just about reviews and authors being loud imbeciles, I frankly wouldn't give a flying monkey's hairy ass--we have seen that before, and for the most part we have forgotten the names of the idiots. They were special and sensitive snowflakes who had no perspective (book =/= your baby)

But the people behind the StGRb site are endangering the people they highlight. First they give you all this personal information about them, from residence to real name, and pictures. Then they tell you how these women are lowlifes who deserve whatever comes at them.

Do you think for a minute that there won't be people who will take that as gospel?

It has happened before--google Anita Sarkeesian if you want to see how far it can go.

So we need to do more than say, "authors should ignore reviews" and we should do much more than just say, "oh those authors are hypocrites and crazy and scary"

We need to highlight stories like these, and raise awareness that the more women shut up to avoid being the targets of this type of behaviour, the less freedom we have.

Yes, we have come far in the last fifty years, in most countries, but we have to keep fighting to retain at least a semblance of equality in our right to speak out--let alone to achieve, you know, actual equality (such as salary parity, etc.)

Those words above were said by AztecLady in the comments about the GoodReads Bullies and I wanted to highlight it. Because this is exactly what it's about.

Right there. Pay attention.

This plays into the the socialization of women. We live through emotions and so we see someone we don't especially like and we process it through emotions. So Ridley annoys me and I think she's rude. Someone else experiences her rudeness/bluntness as a personal attack and then the drama begin.

I know Ridley isn't a bully. But the person who feels attacked then does the **sobs** and the "I've been picked on" dance and then that feeds into the other person who feels picked on and before you know it...

snowballs into evil, Cruella deVille behavior the likes of which we haven't experienced since junior high school.

We need to stop relating emotionally to these situations and think for once like men do. You piss me off, I call you out on it when it happens. I don't stew and create drama around it. Or I learn that it really isn't personal at all since it's on the internet and not in my home and get over myself.

Everyone needs to stop looking at these train wrecks and being gleeful but instead go directly to site admin and tell them to close it down.

We need to show that we can stand together to protect the rights of mouthy women, bitchy women, women we might not like but who deserve to speak their minds and not be threatened for it.

If we don't defend each other, then who'll be there when we need defending also?


  1. I agree.

    these bullies are part of the reason I think I've stopped writing. The fear about what kind of comments and then backlash will happen is just plain scary.

    To actively give personal details and hte like though, that's just beyond scary. Whatever happened to the freedom to say what you like?

    Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time but should you be called out for it and made to feel as though you've killed someone with your words? I don't think so.

    Where does it end? Will it end? I doubt it. There are always going to be nutters out there thinking they're the voice of the people and it's ok to do this shit. We need to stop it asap.

    I'm happy to help stamp out the bullying etc - add me in. Gotta make a stand sooner or later, right?

    Oh and well said AL - well said.

  2. First: blushing here.

    Second: yeah, I don't particularly care for Ridley's tone either, which I mention in the blog post that I wrote yesterday, which will go live in *checks time* six hours.

    Last, where I disagree.

    I don't want to shut them up. They have every right to speak.

    I want to drown them out, by speaking in more places and speaking more loudly than they.

    I don't want to say, "I have a right to speak in any way I like!" and then turn around and tell these assholes, "but you can't."

    If we are to defend our right to speak, we must also defend the same right for everyone, not just those we like or we agree with.

    We are free to speak in any way we like, but we must--all of us--accept that we cannot (and we should not) be free of the consequences of our speech.

    And by this I don't mean the "don't yell fire in a crowded theater" thing. I mean, I am free to tell everyone I know--customers and coworkers included--that I hate my boss and that I think that he's the shittiest excuse for a human being ever to draw breath. If I chose to do so, I must be prepared to face the likely consequence--I'd be probably be looking for a new job, lickety-split.

    In the same manner, Ridley, Ann Somerville, and the cowardly assholes behind Stop the GoodRead bullies, have the right to speak--and will have to bear the consequences of what they say and how they say it.

    In most cases, this would mean using the virtual ignore button: I see a comment by Ann Somerville, I'll jump ahead nine out of ten times. I see a comment by Ridley, I'll jump ahead five out of ten times.

    Some other people will chose to engage in a spitting contest with them.

    These are both reasonable ways of dealing with speech you dislike or disagree with.

    What the StGRb are doing takes their freedom of speech into endangering others--perhaps because they are so asinine as to be unable to connect the dots between giving a person's personal information online, along with a long screed about their "crimes," and the likelihood of that person's safety being compromised.

    Perhaps they just don't give shit.

    Either way, getting their blogging platform to shut them down is not the answer--because what's to stop someone else to get me or you or the SmartBitches or any-fucking-one down then, if they don't like what *we* say?

    What we need to do is shine a light on the StGRb's asshattery, bring more eyes into the issue, raise more voices.

    With any luck, one of those sets of eyes will figure out how to get the identities of the bastards out--and even if we don't get there, we can make sure they get so much negative attention as a result of their criminal(1) negligence in endangering these women, that other assholes think twice before going this route.

    (1) Not, I believe, in the legal sense--but then, I'm not a lawyer nor do I play one anywhere.


    Boy, I'm wordy today. Apologies.

  3. AZ, as much as I agree with almost everything you say, I do think that the personal informaton they posted on these women crossed the line.

    And I don't think that some ass is going to go egg Ridley's house or run over her cat because she's rude online.... I also don't know that someone won't.

    I do think that they went too far and their blog needs to be shut down because they could possibly endanger someone.