I don’t know what I’m going to do with you this time.
Here’s the deal, for people who maybe saw me ranting a bit today on Twitter and couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. There was this thing where some once-powerful daddyblogger whose url ends in xxxgonemad.com was allegedly sending Favre-inspired texts and/or DMs to several mommybloggers (and to clarify, when I say Favre-inspired, I do not mean that he sends texts threatening to retire, but then doesn’t retire, and comes back to blogging, and then says he’s going to retire, and then comes back to blogging again). I don’t know what happened REALLY, I just know what a post written by Karen Sugarpants alleges happened. You can read her post here and decide for yourself.
Come to find out that it’s not just one person who has allegedly been receiving said texts or allegedly getting unwanted attention of a sexual nature from this formerly powerful daddyblogger, but in fact it’s many many mommybloggers, or mommyblogger hangers-on, many of whom seem to know about each other, and some of whom indeed seem to have communicated with one another about this behavior after the fact. I’m sitting here trying to envision how this would go down, and I think it must be a little something like this:
Mommyblogger 1: You know what is totally fucked up? Creepy dude just sent me a picture of his junk by text! OMGWTFBBQ1!
Mommyblogger 2: You know what is even more fucked up than that is that I got a picture of his junk too! OMGWTFBBQ1!
Mommyblogger 1: You too? OMG! What the hell?
Mommyblogger 2: Yeah, and also like 24 other people! Many of whom are talking to each other about it. Now, after the fact!
Mommyblogger 1: What should we do?
Mommyblogger 2: Well, I don’t see how we can do anything. The risks are clearly too high here.
Mommyblogger 1: Yes, because if we said anything to anyone, I mean, other than each other, we would —
Mommyblogger 2: We would suffer awful consequences, clearly. Awful consequences that dare not speak their name.
YOU DO NOT start lecturing me about victims of rape and sexual crimes and shame and the fear of coming forward. Setting aside the disturbing fact that some people are comparing receiving junk texts via DM on Twitter to real, literal, bodily rape for a moment, let’s just focus on the fact that people who are capable of communicating with one another about this cannot possibly be undergoing the kind of shame and self-blame that keeps rape victims from coming forward. Is this dude a dirtbag, assuming this stuff is true? Of course. It goes without saying. But that’s not the whole story.
YOU DO NOT call somebody a hero for posting a passive aggressive post that reveals but doesn’t reveal, but does, but doesn’t reveal alleged criminal behavior about which many, many people have known for a long time and could have done something to protect other people but chose not to because they were selfish and wanted to do something for their own gain.
YOU DO NOT applaud a woman for staying silent, after all that we have worked for — NO, what our mothers and grandmothers have worked for, to get us this far.
YOU DO NOT take cover in the language of feminism that was developed to protect rape victims from patriarchal institutions that are historically designed to silence them, and turn it against another woman who is asking you WHY ON EARTH you would choose NOT TO USE YOUR VOICE against somebody who victimized you.
YOU DO NOT use your privilege of speech only when it is convenient to you, or when it makes you feel good, or when there is a clear reward at the end of the tunnel. You use it because you have to, because it’s the right thing to do and because you HAVE to. You use it because you have an obligation to the rest of us to use it.
Asking that people take personal responsibility to protect others from being victimized is not “blaming the victim,” and you know it. YOU KNOW BETTER. Suggesting otherwise is insulting to the women who have been physically assaulted by men they have worked for, who have spoken up and lost their jobs, and not been able to feed their children, and not been able to get back to where they were in their careers even 10 or 20 years after the fact. That is harassment. That is a high risk situation, THOSE are consequences.
Heroes. What a fucking joke.