WARNING: All links in this post are upsetting either in their use of language or content.
So I was all set to write a post about how wonderful and inclusive Nine Worlds was this year and about how the results of the Hugo awards made me feel genuinely proud and hopeful.
But frankly, I’m finding it hard to hold onto that feeling under the sheer onslaught of misogyny flying around the web at the moment.
Whether it’s in politics where women are being talked about in the most bizarre manner.
Or in the games industry, where Anita Sarkeesian expresses an opinion and is sent death threats.
Or in responses to book reviews. Where again, a woman expresses an opinion and is called a c***.
The thing that links these examples for me is the thread that women are not being seen as human beings. Somehow, in our culture, we are sending the message that if a woman makes a point, not only is it okay to shoot them down but that it’s okay to do some with a deluge of offensive, hostile, degrading language.
That if they dare to voice an opinion it’s entirely okay to threaten them with assault, to sexually threaten, to talk about disfiguring them, or slitting their throat.
It’s not okay. It’s sick and wrong.
And I can’t believe that it’s even necessary to say in this day and age in a so called civilised society. I mean, isn’t this obvious?
Isn’t this just idiot level being a human?
Apparently not for people like Michael, who thought that this was an appropriate way to debate the merits of a computer game. Not life and death. Not even a major change to the law or to somebody's standard of living.
A computer game.
If Michael owns a dog, I doubt he’d use the kind of violent, hate filled language that he does in this message.
I nearly didn’t write this post. I think a lot of other better educated and more affected people than me have already spoken out. But then I couldn’t stand the idea of my silence being taken for compliance.
And even as I write this, I can see more examples. Like the one where a woman is punched in the face at the Notting Hill Carnival because she asked a man to stop groping her.
And I don’t even know where to start on what the World Congress of Families are doing.
It makes me sick.