When women get harassed on the street, or at a bar, or on their walk home from work, do you know what we think? We wonder, am I going to get out of this safely? Am I going to walk away from this? Where are my keys if I need to stab someone in the eye? Are there people on the street? Will they hear me? Which way will I run? Solar Plexus, Instep, Nose, Groin. I’m exaggerating, but only so slightly. Does it disturb you that we think like this? That we have to think like this?
Anita Sarkeesian takes on the losers who targeted her for calling them out for their vicious, idiotic, misogynist hatred … and wipes the floor with them.
But as cathartic and entertaining as it might be, skewering trolls and attacking jerks is never going to change their minds. Putting people on the defensive only hardens their positions.
When it comes to actually changing minds, I think we’re stuck with love.
Recognizing the humanity of people who do awful things is one of the core challenges of being human. (We have enough trouble recognizing it even in people who are like us.) But it’s the only way out. Even when the worst trolls are beyond visible redemption, the way we handle them is visible to so many others who are still capable of feeling empathy or recognizing pain or changing their minds.
From Erin Kissane (@kissane on the Tweetr), one of the best displays of generosity of spirit I’ve read in the past few months.
Worth striving for, even if we fall short.