There is always place for legitimate protest. Some individuals, by virtue of their status, their privilege might even be legitimate targets for such protest. David Cameron, for instance. Or the Pope.
For both are surrounded, as standard, by their own personal phalanges of bodyguards. The Observer, too, as inanimate object feels a fair target.
Suzanne Moore, no matter your views on her “papabilità”, is not.
Forget the fine words…
Simply put, there are two reasons why this is so. First – and let’s be utterly self-interested, there is an argument beginning to build up of competing victimhoods: an oppression olympics which is tiresome in the extreme. Who bullied who first? Who has more weight, moral, numeric, philosophical on their side? Who has the greater privilege?
I don’t know. I don’t much care and it seems pretty fair conclusion that much of the general public does not either. Except that: by continually stepping back into the gutter,making this vindictive and personal and nasty (and going after an individual in public always has the possibility of being that way or turning that way, even by accident) you win no battles.
…stalking is never a feminist act
Second, and this is absolute. Let me put this politely: what the fuck is anyone with any aspiration to being feminist doing going after another woman in such a way as to make her feel physically unsafe?
Sure: Ms Moore is a public figure, in her way. But publically broadcasting her whereabouts is just creepy. It takes us right back to where i started, treating her as a target, prey.
(Yes: prey, not “pray” – we’ve dropped the papal allusion now).
Even if unintended, the mere fact of gallumphing around the web broadcasting proudly that her location has been discovered is just wrong. A sort of vengeful pack hound thing.
I can’t stop anyone from writing anything. Oh, the joy of free speech…and yes, the irony that that freedom, which the press so assiduously demands for itself, can also be so vicious. But there it is.
Sticks and stones…
I can’t stop peeps from posting this stuff. I can and do very loudly dissociate myself from it. Because while, in the web of sophistry that any and everyone can quickly conjure to explain what they said and why they said it, there’s always a reason, the bottom line is absolute: make someone feel like a target and you can call yourself a feminist – but you aren’t.
Or to put it another way, let all issue forth in the vilest of tweets: piock on the other side’s views, their shoes, their hair. Words will never harm me. Do not cross the line into real life stalking. Or even into behaviour that makes your target feel like they are the stalkee.
Ironically, i had been planning, myself, to attend the same meeting as Ms Moore tonight: I would very much have liked to hear her views on Leveson. Unfortunately, family commitments and local illness mean i won’t be there. Please, everyone who is, play nice.
Whatever your cause, do not disgrace it by behaviour that makes anyone else feel intimidated.