‘You’re Just A Silly Little Girl’ And Other Cliched Insults

Is She Really That Scary?
I’m getting fairly used to people criticising me.

Since I started actually publishing what I write at around eighteen instead of shyly locking it up in a drawer people have disagreed with it. When people actually started reading what I wrote around about the beginning of summer that is when they started getting nasty.

Typically its a criticism of my relative youth and expressing anger at the lack or opportunity for people my age to earn money or even gain respect for their opinions.

Some comments have been as erudite as ‘you’re boring’ or on a piece criticising the support for monarchy I wrote, one person’s response amounted to ‘I don’t agree with you and the monarchy didn’t immediately disintegrate when the article was published so you’re wrong’.

I normally just roll my eyes and challenge them to come up with a counter-argument a bit more persuasive than ‘Nah-Nah-Nah-Nah-NAH-Nah we’re the status quo’.

I also struggle to take any argument seriously when its author over-compensates for a weak grasp of punctuation with excessive use of ALL CAPS.

I’ve gotten off fairly lightly when it comes to internet insults. However, I am perhaps not the most well-known blogger out there and flying the flag for young people’s rights is a bit less controversial than promoting feminism.

However, as Helen Lewis Hasteley’s blog about the reality of sexist abuse online proved, it goes much deeper and much more insidious than ‘liberal’ society would have you believe.

I’ve always been a feminist for as long as I can remember. My mother can be a bit of militant feminist. My father is a feminist. Even my grandmother who suggested I find a ‘nice husband’ when I went to university is a feminist (of sorts).

Therefore I was branded at an early age as a ‘militant’ because I never took any crap from any boy. The fact that I don’t take it from any girl either always seem to be lost in translation. I have never been threatened with rape but I know there have been several poorly disguised comments that suggested I needed ‘lightening up a bit’ in a way I’ll leave to your imagination.

We don’t like to talk about misogyny in polite circles. It is seen as something for ‘the lower orders’ and 99% of the population left that behind in the seventies along with flares and moustaches. It is easy to dismiss these people as just ‘trolls’ but regardless of who they are why should they be allowed to threaten anyone, not just a woman?

Why are female bloggers treated differently to men? They have the same opinions, similar experiences and men have even been known to write in support of feminism too. So why should women put up and shut up?

There is a conspiracy theory about feminists. They seem to assume that we want to take over the world, ban all shaving products and keep men locked in cages. Many people, alarmingly a lot of women especially young women, believe the fight is over and that the only feminists who exist today are just causing trouble.

However if threatening rape is the way some respond to it this shows that there is still a lot of work to do. I agree that sexism goes both ways and there is prejudice against men when they want to see their children, want to work in schools or express emotion. However in order to combat it is not to ignore it and will it to die out one day or complain that men have it rough too, maybe instead people should start confronting the gender bias that lies at the heart of this.

Men are supposed to have the opinions, women are supposed to have the emotions.By threatening violence, these people are proving they don’t have a proper counter-argument and are resorting to extreme measures to make women run and hide. Female bloggers can’t and won’t, because that would be proving the negative stereotypes against them. Society needs to stop ignoring the anomalies that don’t fit the big picture.

The extremes of the minority say a lot about the attitudes of the majority.

Published by

Caroline Mortimer @CJMortimer

Freelance journalist.

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