How to Deal with Cretinous Twitter Mobs: A Bleg
[by] Kevin Drum
I'm going to venture into dangerous territory and just hope that everyone will give this a sympathetic reading. I'm not trying to shift blame or dismiss a real problem.
The problem in question is the treatment of women by men on Twitter and other social platforms. In a word (or two), there's a subset of really loathsome assholes out there who harass women mercilessly: comments about looks, about rape, about death threats, etc. etc. The best solution, of course, is to get these men to knock it off, but there's no way that will happen quickly. At best, it will take many years to leach this kind of misogyny out of the internet.
In the meantime, the problem is that this treatment causes women genuine pain and stress. I don't get anywhere near this kind of abuse, but I sometimes get a bit of it, and it's no fun. So I have at least a glimmer of what it's like.Women can handle pain and stress, they do it all the time. But the main point is true; there's no excuse for abusive Twitter behavior towards women.
However, the same argument is used when women are criticized on Twitter. This is one reason why it useful to pay women writers to criticize women elite. The whole sexism issue is relegated to the background and people can concentrate on whether the criticism is abusive or valid, instead of whether the critic is abusive.
Unfortunately Drum goes on to place the responsibility for change on the women who are attacked/criticized. His belief that women should be protected does not preclude his belief that women need to toughen up, the sensitive little dears.
So here's my question: is there any kind of relatively simple therapy that can train people not to succumb to panic attacks over Twitter mobs attacking them? I'm not talking about ignoring genuine threats, like folks posting addresses and suggesting someone should be raped. Those should go straight to the police. It's all the rest that I'd like to learn to take in stride as nothing more than the meaningless ravings of cretinous sad sacks.
So: Is there anything like this? Does anyone know a reliable method for building up a thicker skin? Sort of like the hypnosis of Peter Gibbons in Office Space, except something that actually works. I know we shouldn't have to, but sometimes it's worth it even if it's galling that we need to do it at all.Sure there is. Hire people who like to fight, not people who feel bad when someone criticizes them. Pay people who will punch back twice as hard when they are punched. And by "people" I mean women.
Unless you think women are warm, tender creatures who need to be protected from battle wounds, what's the problem?