So, as I might have predicted, my recent post on the rape of Sansa Stark has attracted some *ahem* interesting comments from the denizens of the internets. This isn’t the first time that I’ve talked about a controversial issue from a very broadly feminist point of view and then gone on to receive a substantial amount of hatemail at my blog.
Thing is, I somewhat understood the barrage of hate I received in response to my Scott Aaronson post (bear with me here) – I took an openly controversial stance against a figure who has the support of a large and somewhat aggressive online community. I was aware that I was poking a sleeping bear. My post was also pretty adversarial in tone. The hatemail was mostly bland variations on the theme of I am stupid, I am a fat slag, I deserve to die/get raped – all the usual. The one upside was that it culminated in a rather thought-provoking piece of epistemologically troubling hate(?) mail that seemed to come from Jaques Derrida himself and simply read “Lavinia Collins is so stupid that I bet she thinks this is hate mail.” That was amusing enough that it made the whole mess seem worth it. So MRAs and dickwadges of the internet take note – if you would like to send me hate mail in response to this post, please try to come up with something creative. Cheers.
Anyway, on to the recent comment from a certain gentleman named ‘jedjones1’. I was surprised, to be honest, that I received such a strong response to a post that I had meant – in the main – to be contemplative, considering the show’s propensity to translate consensual sex into rape, and comparing the online reaction to the Cersei rape with the internet reaction to the Sansa rape.
But nonetheless, somehow I had caused offence. I was informed that this non-consensual sex was not rape (?!) because GOT is – well, the commenter said medieval, but GOT is a C21st fantasy novel that uses medieval-style fantasy tropes. But this is the most interesting part:
I hope this latest feminazi clamour to impose censorship, applying the usual methods of bullying and boycotting, with the usual lynch-mob mentality, meets with the failure it deserves. That’s what you seem to be demanding in your last paragraph: blanket censorship of all fictional representations of rape, whatever the fictional purpose. No exceptions…
If you want to understand the consequences of feminist mob rule, or any form of mob rule, supplanting the rule of law, look no further than the world of Game Of Thrones. That kind of anarchy is the end result.
There are a couple of issues at play here. 1. The commentor clearly did not read my post, since at no point did I call for censorship or demand that rape never been shown. But whatever – that’s par for the course for kneejerk reactions to women expressing opinions online.
No, I’m more interested in this idea that me expressing my own private opinion on my own personal blog is an example of ‘bullying’ ‘lynch-mob mentality’ and of course the go-to insult of the internet ‘feminazi’ behaviour. It is a well established maxim of the internet that the race to insult is the race to compare the other party with Hitler or the Nazis. Now, I would have said that what I said about Sansa Stark had as little as it is possible to have in common with fascist rule, establishing the Third Reich or inciting a genocide. I only wanted to reflect on that week’s episode and provide my own perspective. But *sigh* apparently expression of an opinion now qualifies one for the ‘feminazi’ label. It has always intrigued me how me expressing my own opinion on my own blog is an affront to free speech when I disagree with what an internet man thinks. This commenter does not see the irony in telling me that I should not express my opinion because I ??? well what? I didn’t ask for GOT to stop being shown. I didn’t threaten the producers! I am at a loss to how at all I challenged anyone’s right to free speech by expressing my own opinion, but apparently me and my ovaries did, so pardon me.
(I would also like to point out that GOT is not an example of ‘mob rule’. It is an example of a feudal-style pseudo-medieval society.)
Of course, it may be that this jedjones1 chap is just some kind of wordpress supertroll. I did click on the link to his own blog, but since his headline was ‘Child porn’ crusaders, consider this’ I must confess ladies and gentlemen that I did not stay to read. Perhaps it was a well-balanced and sensitively written article, but since he had commented on my own blog in a way that suggested he considered the non-consensual sex in Game of Thrones ‘not rape’ because THE PAST, GUYS, I figured I could probably pass. But do you know what I’m not going to do? Leave him a long comment telling him why he shouldn’t be expressing his opinions. I’m not going to rally my sisters in the feminazi mob (sadly not a thing), because there is none. And I think if you can’t take people disagreeing with you without accusing them of being an organised mob of fascists then you, my friend, are the one with the problem.