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A friend of mine told me she left a social media site yesterday, for fear that the violent rhetoric I received from a group of people we know well there would be aimed at her also. Seeing violence against me, &my death, publicly&casually discussed had a silencing effect on her.
It made me eye wideningly aware that this is at the stage of being a form of online coercive control. It’s social blackmail. If they can’t keep a woman in line with shame,fear,threats&ostracisation then they can at least keep the women around her in line by making her an example.
Women are always going to be the most likely to retreat into silence out of self preservation,even though the environment they’re in is damaging,b/c we live in a world that has conditioned us through Male aggression/violence. That silence becomes a wall that keeps them in.
For those of us whove scaled/partly scaled the wall, It can be difficult to know how many women agree with us but won’t climb. Talking to my friend it struck me she’s responding as women have been taught to respond to a set of behaviours that are dangerous to our safety&wellbeing
Some other women have always,maybe will always,participate in those behaviours,too,presumably because siding with brute strength is easier than risking being crushed under its judgement. So for many women, just waking up, they have nowhere to go.They’re surrounded on all sides.
When we cut our way out of the barbed wire circle that contains what we are allowed to think about all this, it creates a small opening. A small space of fresh air and freedom that women we care about can see and begin to move towards.
I know there’s some anger towards women who are enabling this. They get called handmaidens etc. Talking to those women, I see at least some of them as stuck. They are people who have often been particular victims of Male aggression& desperately don’t want to be again.
The most vulnerable women will be the women who are forced to comply longest. (That’s not to say some of the most vulnerable women won't be leading the charge against this, too, but exceptional courage from some of you doesn’t change the main reality).
When we wake up every day&do what we can,we are making a path that they can travel at some point to get away from an environment in which they are being pressured constantly to conform or receive abuse&threats of violence and sexual violence. We receive them but no longer conform
They’re just trapped as women have always been trapped in our society by constantly applied pressure.Our rabble of women&others who have found each other&are willing to endure slings&arrows for what’s right are creating a space which allows women like my friend to join us in time
& they will join us in time b/c the way they are being treated on an individual level is so horrible that eventually enough of them will start to pushback, especially given the logically bankrupt nature of the narratives they’re expected to parrot&how all women suffer for those.
Talking to my friend made me feel lucky b/c I realised shes more afraid than I am,now,& I have people here I can go to,to get support when Im subject to that kind of abuse. In responding to our isolation with community,we’ve taken away one of the most potent tools used against us
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