Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Trolls They Be Trollin

Ah, misogynist trolls. I was wondering when one would crawl out and send me a nastrygram about my pregnancy. It was bound to happen sooner or later, and it says precisely what I expected it to.

Fair warning: This comment might upset people who know me or who are just generally not awful human beings. It has some pretty graphic language. So, feel free to skip it or scrub out your brain after.

“Holy shit. Sweetheart, you are seriously too fucked up in the head to have kids. Please, think about the children and get an abortion like now. Yup, stick the scissors in the skull and put that kid out of his misery before it's too late. With someone as neurotic as you for a mother, that kid is going to be seriously fucked up. And no, just because you're able to identify and acknowledge and blog about how fucked up you are with body image problems, panic attacks and obsessive compulsiveness and your tendency towards a perpetual persecution and victimhood complex, that doesn't make you any less fucked up. I'm pretty sure your kids will be gay whether it's a boy or girl. But I feel particularly sad for a boy if that's what you give birth to. You're going to be so obsessive about making sure he chooses his gender identification "wisely" and you'll most likely buy him both girl and boy clothes and make him alternate wearing them on a weekly basis no doubt. If you have a daughter, I'm sure you'll spend many hours reassuring her that being a cutter is perfectly natural and how it's not a parents place to judge. Although I imagine a daughter raised by you, as soon as she was old enough, would make a beeline to the porn industry simply to distract her from how she was raised. Wow. You. Breeding. That is fucking mind blowing. Society's only hope is that your pregnancy goes horribly wrong and you will lose all ability to have children as a result. Of course there's always adoption. But at least an adopted kid has the chance of already being fucked up in the head by being abandoned by his drug addicted crack whore mom. That would be a far better fate than imprinting on your stunning brand of pathological narcissism and hilarious levels of dysmorphia. Word of advice: it's called the morning after pill. Look it up. I hear it's come down in price.”

My general response:

Then this:

And then finally this: 

As you would expect, the above was sent anonymously as a comment on a blog post that’s well over a month old and has nothing to do with anything he’s commenting on. Which means he A. checks in on my Twitter every so often because that’s the only public space I’ve announced my pregnancy B. read through at least enough of my posts to familiarize himself with some of the things I’ve discussed (like BDD) so he can C. further waste his time telling me I’ll be a terrible mom because feminism. I guess that’s like being dedicated, only in a really disturbed way. It’s also a LOT of time to spend on someone you don’t like. But since I suspect the only way he sees anything he’s written published is when he pulls stuff like this, I guess it’s his idea of having a “craft”.

One thing I will say about the above: I feel like the public school system really failed him if he thinks that’s how the morning after pill works. I mean, if you’re going to bother trolling at all, at least try researching what things are. Also, why are trolls so allergic to paragraphs? It’s called the return key, use it.  A giant wall of text isn’t so much a “style” as it is a cry for editorial help.

The purpose of all of this is 1. To be very unpleasant, obviously. 2. To get my attention. Every time I’ve encountered this troll they are VERY put out that I don’t find them particularly noteworthy or engaging so, every few months, they pop back up, wave their arms, and I guess feel accomplished if I acknowledge that they exist? I can’t really express how sad that is as a life goal. If that’s your idea of an accomplishment, you need better hobbies.

Now, of course, by commenting on this and acknowledging it I’m giving him what he wants: a smidgeon of my attention. And I know the “don’t feed the trolls” advice, although I often don’t agree with it. Mostly because forcing me to be silent while they get to be awful without repercussions isn’t really a solution. They still send these messages. They still get off on it. It’s like bullies in school. They just escalate because they feed as much off of you having to deal with them at all, even silently, as they do attention. I’d rather call them out and not let it fester. I’m not any more responsible for what they get out of it than I am their choice to troll in the first place. He can sit around cheering for all I care, trolling is still the most useless way to spend time there is.

And yeah, this person is sad and pathetic and not worth my time. I’m not taking any of this to heart for all the obvious reasons.  Not to mention the fact that none of this is particularly new, imaginative, or interesting. This is the same dreck countless misogynists say. So it’s not even about this one dude and his laughably erroneous view of what a feminist mom would be like is. It’s, at best, an object lesson in absurdity. They couldn’t come up with anything more “scathing” than that my potential child will probably be gay (uh, why is that a bad thing?) and that old chestnut that feminists turn boys into girls or…something. It’s a little too obtuse and silly for serious analysis. As for their “thoughts” on my mental health…trolls commenting on any one’s psychological status is beyond hilarious.

Sadly, all of this isn’t random, it’s deliberate, and it's a choice. And it’s how trolls in general operate. They don’t choose to do anything worthwhile or useful. They use up precious lifetime to just be petty and shitty on the internet for like a hot second of sad, fleeting, mean spirited glee. They could have used that time to start a short story or invent a new kind of sandwich. But for trolls, the entire purpose is to inflict shittiness. As far as goals go, that is really...aiming kind of low. I can’t imagine thinking so little of my own existence that I’d ever waste that kind of energy.

So what does it say about my time that I’m addressing it?  Well, for one thing, that clearly I say things some folks REALLY wish I wouldn’t, so much so that they waste time trying to silence me with personal attacks rather than any kind of reasonable argument. Which signifies to me that, for all that comments like this suck for a minute, I’m clearly having more of a positive impact than they are a negative one. And I get the added benefit of not being human scum. It’s win/win for me, really.

I also think it’s important to tell other people who deal with this that they aren’t alone. That’s it’s ok to feel crappy if you receive messages like this, and it isn’t your fault. You haven’t done anything to deserve it. You just got targeted by someone whose life is so small and so utterly void of purpose that this is all they could think of to do. You could post nothing but cat pics all day, every day, and you’d be adding more value to the world than they are.

As for this troll, I'll let Bilbo and Theoden take it away:

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