Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Right-Wing Morality On Parade

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 31, 2007

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What is it about right-wingers online that makes them so likely to be abuse-hurling misogynistic screamers like Michael “Savage” Weiner?

Joan Walsh over at Salon, in seeing how a bunch of online knuckle-draggers stalked a woman blogger and drove her off the Web, discusses her own run-ins with right-wing woman-hating “bastions of morality”, described her own experiences with these charming men:

 When I joined Salon in 1998, I had no idea what was about to hit me (figuratively, folks, I’ve never been hit). I had written about controversial topics for newspapers and magazines — race relations, affirmative action, women’s rights, Israel and the Palestinians; every kind of politics, state, local and national. My edgiest work had been the target of nasty letter-writing campaigns, even protests. But I’d never been truly, viciously attacked, in terms relating to my intellect, my appearance or my sexuality, and I’d never experienced a personal threat — to anything other than my future employment at a given publication, if it caved to outside pressure.

But once I joined Salon I started receiving the creepiest personal e-mails about my work. Anything I wrote that vaguely defended President Clinton or criticized his attackers, in particular, would get me a torrent of badly spelled e-mail, often from Free Republic readers and posters. There were themes: A significant subset tended to depict me in a Monica Lewinsky role, often graphically. Like Kathy Sierra, I endured too many references to “cum” in those e-mails. I’ll forgo other details for the sake of brevity and discretion.

This is why I deal with right-wing trolls in three different ways, depending on the troll type.

Trying to engage them in a good-faith discussion never works, because they’re not here for a good-faith discussion, they’re here to shut you down.  Here are some ways to respond, depending on the troll:

1) The Spam filter.  That’s where the alcoholic guy who hangs with the local neo-Nazis has been banished.  Anything requiring further action is to be referred to the FBI. 

2) Engaging them anyway — not for their sake, but for the sake of the lurkers watching.  The more they talk, the worse they look.

3) Using their postings as fodder to show their, ahem, idiosyncrasies to the rest of the world.

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