After making a fool herself last week by joining in an online campaign to name and shame a mentally disabled man who publicly “harassed” a group of Asian females, then following up with evasive excuse-making, Australia’s most outspoken feminist chooses a softer target.
This is somewhat ironic in that Ford’s métier is incessant complaining that the lives of all women everywhere are rigged against them by the all-powerful – but totally imaginary – patriarchy.
Obviously confident she’s wisely chosen a target, a Daily Life article follows the Tweet.
One of the chief methods used to silence women who speak out against harassment is to discredit their recollection of events. Instead of being believed when we recount the circumstances of our own lives, we are frequently labelled oversensitive and/or paranoid. Our apparent inability to assess a situation objectively makes us unreliable witnesses.
Ford paranoid? Well yes, a proffered male hand inducing panic.
This has been on full display in the aftermath of revelations that Donald Trump considers the sexual assault of women to be little more than a jolly jape. Caught on tape advocating that men “grab [women] by the pussy”…
Intoxicated with her success as a best-selling author, Ford can’t make it past the second paragraph without warping the truth: the billionaire buffoon didn’t advocate pussy grabbing, he boasted that his status allows him to grab pussy without repercussion.
Which leads me to this – is it any wonder that more and more women are feeling like the only option left to us is to expose these creeps when we come across them? A man vying to be the most powerful leader in the world literally embodies all that is wrong with male entitlement, but still retains his millions of followers. And this is just the cherry on top of the comprehensively shit sandwich that sees women harassed and abused day in and day out yet always expected to keep quiet and play nice lest we spoil the boys fun. What are women to do except to band together and become each other’s last line of defence?
Paranoid? You betcha.
Abuse relies on silence to succeed. It is through silence that abusers retain power. In a world where social media has such high currency (and harassment continues to be executed in such hidden, deliberately covert ways), sometimes the only means available to us is to signal boost actions for other people to see. The purpose of this is twofold. Firstly, it’s to warn other women to be wary of particular threats (a kind of feminist round robin, if you will). And the other is to expose the behaviour of individuals who thrive on the power of secrecy to a public scrutiny from which they can no longer hide.
A “round robin” is type of competition. She probably means a feminist quilting bee.
When I’ve done this before, screenshotting and exposing abusive men’s words or actions, I’ve been surprised at the lengths to which some people have gone to shift the focus of blame onto me. I’ve been told I’m “just as bad, if not worse” than the men guilty of harassment or abuse – because the disparity in our platforms somehow makes it unfair.
Her “platform” is actually huge.
It’s led me to believe that some men view this backlash against gross, vile sexism or harassment as their equivalent of “revenge porn”. But that thing women do, when we post men’s photographs and/or the evidence of their misogyny online? It isn’t revenge porn. It isn’t designed to humiliate and dehumanise ordinary blokes in order to get back at them for some perceived slight. It doesn’t happen in quiet corners of the internet, where men trade women’s humiliation as a means of restoring their masculinity via bonding with each other. It’s done because women are sick of dealing with this shit and, at every turn, being told we’re overreacting or demonising male behaviour.
Why bother to male bond when there’s pussy out there just asking to be grabbed?
If you don’t think the deck is stacked against us no matter what we do, think on what happens when we do go through ‘the correct channels’. Here are two examples. A few months ago, I shared a post directly from the Victoria Police page looking for a man suspected of flashing women in a Melbourne park. He was photographed by a female jogger who reported him to the police. Despite the fact even the police considered this legitimate enough to seek further information on, my post was quickly filled with angry men insisting this woman had gone too far. That we couldn’t be sure she was telling the truth. That she might be getting revenge on him. And – my favourite – that she was just doing it for attention. Never forget that women are not allowed to dictate what kind of attention we do or do not want.
Ford makes a concerted effort to antagonise males, then plays the victim when the nastiness she loves to complain about rolls in.
And there it is. That sickening feeling again that women are just expected to smile and play nice, to let the boys have their fun and to never ever call them on it or fight back because to do so is to execute the most vile and hateful of misandries.
Ford revels in her own vile and hateful online presence.
The behaviour of these kinds of men is unlikely to change anytime soon. What IS changing are the limits to which women are willing to be pushed before we fight back against it. We have been silent and accommodating of our degradation for too long. Now, at last, we are learning to have each other’s backs by any means necessary. Well might Trump stand there and talk about how much he loves women, but the fact is that he doesn’t. Nor do the swamps of his supporters who speak about women in such demeaning tones.
“Silent and accommodating” does not apply to Ford or her cronies.
Women have known these kinds of men for a long time. Now, with the help of each other, we’re helping everyone else to know them too. Women didn’t start this fight – but we’re sure as hell going to be the ones to end it.
She is woman, hear her roar. All credit to Ford for turning patriarchy paranoia into a profitable enterprise