When “Aunt Lydia” of Campus Reform Tried to Launch Another Harassment Campaign: This is what she got.

On Sunday morning, after a night of raucous feminist crafting, I get the below note from Abigail Marone (abigailmarone@gmail.com) from Campus Reform, which once again is cleaning out its diaper over one of my tweets.

Good Afternoon Prof. Fair,

I am writing to request a comment for an article I am writing for Campus Reform about your recent tweet:

“Look at thus chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement.

All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”

Would you be willing to elaborate on the tweet? Specifically, do you think students on campus may be uncomfortable because of the references to violence?

My deadline is tomorrow at 6pm. If you would like to provide a comment but need a longer window of time, please let me know.
Cheers,

Abigail Marone 

AuntLydia

Ofred.png

And here’s what she got.

Dear Aunt Lydia (or perhaps, more appropriately, Rachel Mitchell? Which do you prefer? I prefer Aunt Lydia, so I’ll roll with that. Cool?)

First, I do not respond to inquiries about my private speech on any other email other than my private email. Please take note of that for future harassment because, rest assured, you will continue to harass me because I will not be silenced. I will continue to Tweet things that make you uncomfortable and I will do this by choice. I will select words and phrases that will make you and your fellow-travelers furious.

My choice of words is intended to make you uncomfortable. Because I—and tens of millions of women in this country—are uncomfortable with the ongoing war on our lives, our bodies, our fundamental freedoms, and our access to social and economic justice. Women—whether we are white, women of color, rich or poor—are potential victims of this war. And some of us have been victimized repeatedly. (There’s actually a body of scientific literature on this very fact, although the reasons are debated.)

And you, Aunt Lydia, are a potential victim of this war as well even though you shill for those persons and institutions who sustain it and seek to perpetuate it. Do you think your potential assailant will care that you enable the patriarchal structures that devalue our lives and the work we do and construct legal structures that privilege the attacker? Do you think complicit women and lousy men will be less likely to slut shame you because you are one of their paid-keyboards? No, Aunt Lydia.

In addition to confronting actual violence to our persons from strangers and intimates alike, we are also systematically paid less, less likely to be hired, less likely to be promoted and rewarded for our productivity. If you are pregnant or a mother, the economic hit is larger. Oddly, married men are more productive than their unmarried counterparts.  So, Aunt Lydia, the war on women perdures. I’m a fifty-year-old woman. I am fighting the same fight I fought when I was a young woman, the same fight my mother fought and her mother fought before her. Why don’t you fight for us and with us, instead of against us?

Second, why do you complicit muckrakers continue to link my private speech on social media to anyone’s feelings? After all, is anyone made to follow me on Twitter? No. Most people who follow me are not even American given that my work is on South Asia. Oddly, it is you and your wretched excuse for what passes as journalism that actually gives my Tweets legs they would not otherwise have.

Gymnist Jesus

I have to tell you: it makes me absolutely happy when Faux Noise or Daily Failure (or other similar wastes of electrons) takes my Tweets and delivers them to their “readership.” I cannot hope to do better than that. So thank you for amplifying my message about the CON-servative-led war on women in this country.

Rest assured, I understand your game. This is not my first or last encounter with CON-servative bullying. You will run your “story.” Then Faux Noise will pick it up.  (I suspect but can’t prove that this happens collusively and deliberately. Do you meet your Faux Noise “catcher” over a Virgin Bloody Mary brunch to coordinate your contrived arbitrary “deadlines”?) Maybe the Drudgery Resort or the Daily Failure will do so as well. Bonus! Then the outlets for the deeply racist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, x-phobic bigotry connoisseurs run your mishmash of outrage on their pages. (Maybe Sean Insanity or Laura Ingrate will even feature it for their mobs of CON-servative snowflakes.) All of this is an effort to do several deliberately vicious things, which is ironical if anyone took your purported concern about “violence” and “safety” seriously.

For one thing, you intend to outrage CON-servatives (especially those pissed off men who hate women) and thus motivate them to harass me and send me threatening missives. If you don’t intend to do this, then you’re ludicrously obtuse because this is the inevitable consequence of your “reportage.” Would you like to see some of the violent missives I get as a result this “news” cycle? (It turns out, you can see them on my Tumblr blog: ShitMenSay.) And thus you DO KNOW that your “story” is intended to create violent conditions for me and, yet, you do this deliberately. For another, you’re also trying to threaten my livelihood and thus, by creating various forms of insecurity and violence, you try to silence me. But, Aunt Lydia, unlike your “readership,” I am not a snowflake.

Humorously, CON-servatives propound free speech when it comports with their ideology of fundamental inequality for women, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQI, non-Christians, among others who destabilize their fantasy of Ozzie and Harriet.  (CON-servatives can’t get enough free speech it enables the vitriol of inter alia, Nazi marches on American campuses, pedophilia-defending CON-servative trash talkers like Milo, purveyors of all types of hate speech like Ann Poultergeist).

You and I—and all of your readership—must confront the fact that today’s CON-servative party has become a party of white, straight-male, Christian supremacy.  (On foreign and fiscal policy, I am much more of a traditional conservative. But that party is long gone. The CON-servative party is now the party of Trumpism and the fascism and hate it represents and mobilizes.)

And, Aunt Lydia,  you won’t shut me up because I won’t be silent. There is no amount of intimidating “journalist horseplay” that you and your CON-spirators can deploy to silence me.  In short, y’ all keep picking the wrong target.

Third, turning to the tweet in question,

“Look at thus chorus of entitled white men justifying a serial rapist’s arrogated entitlement.

All of them deserve miserable deaths while feminists laugh as they take their last gasps. Bonus: we castrate their corpses and feed them to swine? Yes.”

I am most certainly going to elaborate, Aunt Lydia. There is a war going on against women and you, and your despicable herd of so-called journalists seeking to protect male privilege and shame women for our victimization or our rage, are complicit in this war. And unlike the victims of this war, you chose to be a partisan.

Let me tell you a few things about me, Aunt Lydia. My abuse began when I was in nursery school and ended when I was thirteen. I was abused by my uncle. My family knew but did nothing. He abused his son and his daughter too. His son murdered himself. My cousin is schizophrenic and homeless. I am the “survivor.” The consequence of my family’s selective ignorance is that he murdered my aunt (after whom I am named) when I was in college. Like many women who went through what Dr. Ford went through, I recognized several things during Thursday’s shitshow.

First, I recognized Dr. Ford’s memory and the kinds of things her brain encoded. I remember where I was abused for the first time: on the couch in our basement where my aunt and uncle lived. I know that it happened around the time my infant brother died because my mother was depressed and dysfunctional and slept all day, but I couldn’t give you a year or a month without working backwards from Johnny’s death certificate. (Dr. Ford could have done the same if she knew when Mr. Judge worked at Safeway.) I know where I lived—on Weiser Park in Ft. Wayne Indiana but I couldn’t describe our neighborhood. I couldn’t tell you the weather outside, but I can tell you what the basement felt like.

Second, I remember the feeling of guilt and shame and responsibility even though I was in nursery school. There is one person to blame for these crimes: the perpetrator.

Third, I recognized the rage of Kavanaugh when confronted with his crime. (By the way, his temperament makes him ill-suited to judge catfood much less serve on any bench in this country.) And I recognized the frightened rage of those who protected him. After all, they are coming under fire for protecting him. They are defending their equities in doing so. They are no different from that father who knows his brother is assaulting his daughter but does nothing because action produces outcomes that are too complicated to navigate or negotiate. And ultimately it’s easier to blame the female than it is to blame the male in American society where men are entitled to be unable to control themselves while women and girls are held responsible for inciting men’s lack of control.

You don’t like my violent words even though they pose no threat to anyone. I did not call for violence. I merely articulated what my spirituality says about these vile souls. Surely, as a fine upstanding Christian, you condemn the goddless heathens like me to an afterlife of hell? You can micturate in your yoga pants at my WORDS, but I am angry at the VIOLENCE done to women and children in this country and the preponderant complicity of ONE political party. (PS: I condemn Bill Clinton and supported his impeachment. I wish the GOP had the same standards today! Ellison should be prosecuted, and Frankel should have stepped down. I am not a hypocrite. I don’t support predators because they support my politics. Too bad most CON-servatives are not this ethical.)

My question for YOU is why are you CON-servatives so afraid of women’s rage and anger? You KNOW there is a war on women going on AND the Republican party and evangelical and other so-called religious CON-servatives are partners in waging it. I’m going to give you some facts, Aunt Lydia. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):

  1. Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
  2. 1 in 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
  3. Between 2009 and 2013, Child Protective Services agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence to indicate that, 63,000 children a year were victims of sexual abuse.
  4. A majority of child victims are 12-17. Among survivors who under the age of 18: 34% of victims of sexual assault and rape are under age 12, and 66% of victims of sexual assault and rape are age 12-17.
  5. And, less spoken about but equally important, ~ 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

Women are also the victims of partner violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

  1. On average, ~20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in this country, totally some 10 million women and men.
  2. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime in one form or another. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  3. The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%. (Yet this country can’t get enough guns.)
  4. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
  5. Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.

You should familiarize yourself with the other statistics.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (and organization eviscerated by the current regime), “Homicide is one of the leading causes of death for women aged ≤44 years.”

Since your “publication,” purportedly addresses “campus reform” and “safety,” are you concerned about the environment of sexual violence and predation that female students, staff and faculty encounter on our campuses? If not, you should be. Here are some more facts for you, again according to RAINN. Sexual violence on campus is a pervasive fact of life.

  1. 2% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (among all graduate and undergraduate students).
  2. Among graduate and professional students, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
  3. Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.
  4. 2% of students have experienced stalking since entering college.

Turning to my own experience at the University of Chicago, I was subjected to an attempted assault, an individual who tried to make me fellate him and stalking.  (There is something about a bold woman that really pisses men off. Maybe you should write about that?)

WithHer

In short, Aunt Lydia, your priorities are screwed up. You need to ask yourself why you are using your voice, your keyboard and your words to defend a system that is designed to allow men to harm us. Why, Aunt Lydia, are you deliberately engaging in a campaign to smear me–a private woman–who is rightfully and righteously angry at the war on our lives, bodies and livelihoods? Why are you deliberately whipping up a mob of toxic men who will write about 150 emails to me..some of whom will threaten me, specifically, with specific kinds of violence? Is this why you went to journalism school ? (Assuming you went to journalism school.)  Is this really your professional aspiration? What is the next step in your aspirational ladder? Daily Failer? Faux Noise? Seriously.  Why do you want to be a complicit cog in this machinery that mows us down and protects the perpetrators? Think about it.  Think about using your voice for good..not integrity-free, muckraking.

Have a fabulous Sunday.

As always, this will be a blog post by the time you get it.

Warmest

C.C.F.

N.B.: This post was edited for typos etc. after I sent Aunt Lydia the first draft.

Post-script: When I went to see what garbage this hack puked up on her Twitter feed, I found that this CON-servative snowflake had actually blocked me. I don’t think I’ve even had an exchange with this Aunt Lydia. Abigail

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Your horrific experiences – and they were horrific – as a child do not supersede due process of law. Be angry. Call for all of us to do better. But we as Americans cannot forsake just laws simply because we wish for a certain outcome.

    Like

    1. You seem to be confused about the difference between a prosecution for a crime and the privilege of a life-time appointment to the SCOTUS. There is no “due process.” However, many of us–including Dr. Blasey Ford (who still cannot go to her home or work due to terrorist threats) wanted the FBI to investigate thoroughly. Unfortunately, Republicans and the assailant himself did not want that. Odd for an innocent person? Why did the president hamstring the FBI, limit its scope in all ways and preclude it from interviewing/deposing key witnesses under oath? So we would have loved the due process of which you speak. But we were denied it. Have a great day. I hope I’ve clarified your confusion. I DO hope you expressed your outrage to the president himself for denying actual due process and for using his pulpit (as the most powerful person in the world) to condemn, mock and harass survivors. I hope you expressed outrage as senators who repeatedly said they’d confirm him no matter what. If you haven’t done so, please do.

      Like

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