Angry Women – A Rant

by Ian Jade

Yet again, as I seem to do so often, I bumped heads with someone online. This time, more than usual, they came across as irrational, judgemental, condescending, smug, dictatorial and generally unpleasant. Despite their profile stating their love of logic and reason, the actual dialogue we had descended pretty quickly into them telling me what I thought, accusing me of having a hidden agenda, mocking and refusing to engage with anything resembling a factual argument, and outright stating that facts and logic ought to defer to “common sense” arguments that pass without examination.

What is perhaps surprising is that this person was a woman – and one supposedly advocating women’s rights, which is a cause I feel very strongly about – however because I dared to question her interpretation of some issues she went on the attack, and branded me a faker, a saboteur and an embarrassment to myself and the women in my life.

So, yeah, obvious troll was obvious, move on, it’s the internet. Except that this person seemed to be involved with the @EverydaySexism project, and I am deeply concerned with the sheer hatred that she vented on their behalf. Apparently after having similar discussions online a handful of times, she has seen it all before, and is qualified to judge my motives, intentions and how I treat the people closest to me, and people in general, from a few messages under 140 characters. Wow. Superpowers, seriously. Should put those to better use.

From the moment I dared to disagree with her, my argument was invalid. Criticize her interpretations? Hater. Support her? Hater in disguise. Present her with facts? Dismiss them. Appeal for rationality? Laugh in my face. Everything she claimed to stand for evaporated with her glee at having found a suitable-looking target for her venom.

I tried, in the face of increasing frustration, to present the point I was trying to make, but she refused to read the detailed explanations she had insisted were the only way to properly debate this. She said she’d wait around to read them, then logged off. Claimed never to have seen them despite my reposting to her account.

So this is what feminism is reduced to? Childish gloating and playground tactics of who can shout loudest? I had been broadly supportive of @EverydaySexism, knowing that there are many chronic examples of sexist behaviour that pervade the social climate we live with, even though I had misgivings about some of the examples they chose to label as sexist. After this frankly infuriating and disgraceful exchange, I no longer associate with them, and would urge any serious feminists to do the same.

There are better ways to fight inequality than this insane hate-mongering, and I am choosing something more productive.