I will not stay silent

Many, many moons ago I ran a  different blog. It started off being some place to write but gradually morphed into a feminist and critique blog. Ultimately I couldn’t keep up with posting (the beast required daily feeding by the end) so I locked it. (Don’t worry, the site is archived with the National Library of Australia, so future generations can ponder why early 21st century writers were so damned sarcastic all the time.) I started this site a few years later and promised myself that I would only post about books, literature and writing – to keep myself out of more dangerous territory. So today I’m breaking my own rule.

Recently, Clementine Ford made the news after she reported a man who had abused her online to his employer. His employer conducted an investigation and decided to terminate that man’s employment.

For some reason, despite the employer having its own reasons for terminating that man’s employment – Clementine has been abused, vilified and blamed. I say “for some reason” but I think we know the reason. The bullies of the internet protect their own. Accountability is a tree falling in a forest on another planet, light years away. According to the charmers recommending that a human being go into the bathroom and kill themselves, or be gangraped, the only person to be blamed for abuse is, paradoxically, the abused. Sound familiar? This isn’t just Clem anymore. This is a pattern. This is all of us.

Today women in media, and from other walks of life, are refusing to remain silent. This by journalist Tracey Spicer :

Every day, around the world, women and girls are harassed, bullied and abused on social media. It’s time say, ENOUGH! We stand with Clementine Ford, and every other woman who has been threatened with rape and murder for simply expressing an opinion. These men need to be held to account. Social media platforms should provide more protection. And legislators, in all jurisdictions, must work together to stop violence against women.

This campaign was initiated by concerned women in media. Clementine Ford did not initiate, arrange or participate in this campaign. But take a look at the @ mentions in her Twitter feed. That’s not an aberration. It’s not okay and I will not be silent.

About Rachel Watts

I am a writer from Perth, Western Australia. My speculative fiction novella Survival will be released in early 2018. View all posts by Rachel Watts

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