I spend far too much time on Twitter which means I see things like the above tweet all too often. The guy who wrote it is apparently an author who fancies himself quite anti-Trump, and I have no reason to doubt his sincerity. However, this tweet is just classic misogynistic troll crap. I don’t care that the object of his misogynistic judgement is a spokesperson for the Trump administration. He’s drifted from criticizing her on her actions and instead brought up the tired old trope of concern trolling about her poor little children because mothers are supposed to be better than all that.
In my years on Twitter I have encountered many a troll. The bad news is they’re somewhat frightening because they can be very aggressive and relentless in their 280-character attacks. The good news is they don’t have an original bone in their bridge-dwelling little bodies.
Here’s how trolls work. First, they pretend like they are arguing a point on the merits. If it happens that their argument lacks merit and you, a non-cismale person, have the audacity to point it out to them, they respond by calling you either stupid or mentally ill.
If you continue with the debate after this point, they escalate the insults and start making proclamations about how you look. Commenting on weight is a popular troll gambit but they will also just call a person ugly if they’re unsure about body size.
Next, they try to make you feel really bad by suggesting they would never fuck you. This is particularly hilarious since fucking a troll has never been on offer from me. It’s not like I was on Twitter thinking “Hey! I should fuck this person with a flag and eagle avi and a cover photo of his guns and a can of Bud Light! Oh wait. He doesn’t want to fuck me? I feel sad about that!”
But such is the delusion of trolls that they think their sex appeal is actually that powerful.
The last line of insults from a troll is typically to express pity for your spouse and children over having to live with such an unreasonable, crazy, stupid, ugly, unfuckable person.
Which brings us back to the tweet I posted up above. Read it again. I’ll wait.
Do you see it? He was on the final stage of troll insults, wasn’t he?
Men, even men who are otherwise not misogynist, will default classic misogynist tactics to bring down women they disagree with. It’s inescapable, it’s insidious, and it’s also boring.
Seriously, I am so bored of guys who are so deeply entrenched in old models of thought that they can’t even be bothered to come up with a new idea. Why are you so lazy that you’d rather be a male chauvinist pig think critically? This is a fight most of us are tired of having but we can’;t stop having it until y’all stop doing it.
Lest you think I let that tweet go by unremarked, don’t worry. I responded by saying “Trolls on the internet often come after women by saying they’re bad mothers. This usually comes after calling us fat, ugly, and mentally unbalanced. It’s classic misogyny. Do better.”
Will he do better? I don’t know. All I know for sure is that every time I call out misogyny in a public forum I feel better because at least I wasn’t silent.