There is one thing that has been disturbing me more and more lately. It isn’t some of the articles we see about really offensive acts, of sheer lack of feeling, or mind-boggling lack of awareness. It is the comments these articles generate.
Melinda Tankard Reist copped a lot of flak over her article on the reaction to Pippa Middleton’s arse not so long ago. And as we see there, the horrible, nasty comments from people just blew me away.
Really serious trigger warnings for violence, rape and general arseholery – but here is the article in The Punch that seems to have triggered so many offensive comments. Fortunately, there have been many reactions to this – and the defiance in the face of such cancer of the soul of our society. From Melinda herself – hell there are so many good articles on her website I’ll just leave it at that.
We see editorials or columns that can be quite offensive. But they are nothing compared to the vitriol that comes from the readers. I’ve seen it so often.
The campaign against The Rock’s “Win A Wife” campaign was another classic example. One fairly small offensive campaign is launched. A few strong people stand up to oppose it. And then all the comments from “the public” fly.
It amazes me how many seem so threatened by strong women standing up and speaking out, threatened by anything that risks their position of lords of all they see. I really don’t get it, you know. For so long I thought I was weak (growing up) but now that I am older, much much older, I realise just how strong I always was.
But it worries even more that all this is a sign. A sign of a growing tide of the new right. Opposition to everything that has been fought for over the last 100 years. The battles for equality of women, sexual freedom, the recognition that the world does not entirely comprise of cis-gendered people (that sexuality is a continuum rather than a dichotomy), and that people who have disabilities are actually people with rights.
It isn’t just a case of people disapproving of another’s view, or of how we have a world where “PC has gone mad”. It is a case of commenters overtly attacking others, threatening them.
In particular I have noticed places like SMH and others. Maybe it is just the MSM and public availability.
I am really interested to know. What sort of attitudes have you encountered? By simply standing up and publicly speaking your mind, how have you been bullied through the anonymity of online commentary? What do you think is behind it?