I dislike the internet (ironic I know). I dislike most modern technology really and tend to stick to the news websites, Facebook, and the odd Google search. So I am always vaguely disconcerted (and sometimes just plain horrified) when I read news articles about how terrible some things on the internet really are. Like this article from Lindy West about internet trolls. I remember reading about the online rape rape threats received by Stella Creasy MP but obviously put it out of my mind until reading this latest article.
The attempts by internet trolls to silence women online (as described by Lindy West) is tantamount to the outrage expressed when women first started speaking in public/entering public debate. The idea that “that’s just how the internet is” and Ms. West’s counter-claim that it’s not how the internet is for men is telling.
How many women in the pre-Second Wave era quietly accepted (even if they were seething inside) that “that’s just the way the world is” when their boss groped their bum, or when their husband raped them, or when they had to give up work after having a baby?
Just because the world is a certain way does not mean that it should be that way. That’s the same now as it was fifty or a hundred years ago and the internet is no exception. When enough people deem something to be unacceptable, it ceases to be acceptable. It blows my mind what passes for acceptable (or at least too difficult to deal with) in modern-day online and media discourse.