February 13, 2007

"Terrorized Into Quitting Their Jobs"

So now both Shakes and Amanda have resigned their positions. Shakes has been less public about the details of the harassment she has received, but this has gone into the realm of witch hunt.

There will be some who clamor to claim victory for my resignation, but I caution them that in doing so, they are tacitly accepting responsibility for those who have deluged my blog and my inbox with vitriol and veiled threats. It is not right-wing bloggers, nor people like Bill Donohue or Bill O'Reilly, who prompted nor deserve credit for my resignation, no matter how much they want it, but individuals who used public criticisms of me as an excuse to unleash frightening ugliness, the likes of which anyone with a modicum of respect for responsible discourse would denounce without hesitation.

There are women all over the blogosphere (and plenty who aren't) who recognize what happened here. Shut your mouth, bitch, if you know what's good for you... And when they initially refused to back down, and failed to follow the script, the howls of fury and shrieks of stung bullies echoed. And the abuse rained down.

An obvious and extreme case of women not being allowed to be angry, to be rude, to be scathing. Why not The Rude One? Why not Jesus' General? Amanda has had the nerve to stand up, to fire back, to expose the rhetoric and politcs of oppression of what they are. Is she nice about it? Fuck no! Why should she be nice to those whose misogynistic ideology, poorly concealed behind a semi-respectable veil of dogma, aims at silencing women and compromising their autonomy? She mocked them, and used their own tortured logic to expose the fear and loathing, and desire to control women's voices and bodies.

Many people when confronted with these images of fighting off attacks dismiss the anger and the parries of writers like Amanda, because they don't see the insidious and relentless assault. They miss the iceberg, and see only the tip, hear only the cries of loudmouth bullies like Donohue. They complain that bloggers like Amanda cry victim, and turn a blind eye to the day-in-and-day out attacks on women's autonomy. And so when attention settles on the abuse that the bullies heap, what gets heard is their howls about being oppressed. The bullies are oppressed when someone stands up to them, because the bullies "consider not being allowed to persecute others a form of persecution against themselves.."

Plenty of bloggers have leapt to Amanda's and Shakes' defense, and many others are pointing out how laughable and contemptible a critic Donohue is. Smashing him isn't the point, easy as it is to find evidence that he definitely has a major problem with women, among others. It's like whack-a-mole.

These people - Donohue, Malkin and the gang - very deliberately unleashed an unholy terror on two women. They heaped abuse on women who dared criticize those whose ideology would impose oppression, who dared call the misogyny out in broad daylight. And in so doing what have Donohue and his allies done?

They have proven their critics absolutely correct.

They have shown themselves to be everything Amanda said they were.

And now, they are walking around feeling victorious for terrorizing two bloggers, for swiftboating two low level campaign workers, for getting the weak-willed Edwards campaign to back down. But what they have really done - and it is evidenced in the sick feeling many people, many, many women, have in their stomachs because they know this kind of bahavior for what it is - is betrayed their true colors. Though they claim to represent the Prince of Peace, these bullies wear the uniforms of, speak the words of, and terrorize like thugs.

Posted by binky at February 13, 2007 07:53 PM | TrackBack | Posted to El Infierno de kansas | Extremism | Gender and Politics | Hacktastic! | Media | Politics | Religion | Reproductive Autonomy | Shame | Shine the Light on It | Sperm Worship


I sort of understood Amanda's resignation (though disagreed); I'm not sure Shakes' resignation makes as much sense. If she felt personally threatened, I suppose I understand (though, of course, that makes it more likely the wingnutosphere will attempt the same tactics the next time something like this comes around).

I'm moderately attempted to blame some (all?) of this on Edwards' weak-kneed (and slow) defense; a more aggressive and quick denial of the charges against the two (and a continued one, past the initial tepid support) would have helped, I think.

Posted by: baltar at February 13, 2007 09:10 PM | PERMALINK

Rather than update the link to the Rude One in the post itself, I'm putting it here.

Posted by: binky at February 16, 2007 06:32 PM | PERMALINK
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