So, imagine there was a website run by a Christian group where they outed gay men.  It scanned the internet – facebook, twitter, grinder, what-have-you, and if any of those gays got too uppity (or even if they didn’t), their pictures and names would be found and compiled.  They would be listed.

Bad enough, right?  This would go beyond copying publicly available information, since gay men are being targeted.  It would be creepy because the Christian group has all sorts of issues with “the gays”.

This would be listed under “not cool” right?

Now, let’s make this a generation ago.  Let’s make the threat of being “bashed” or losing your job, or losing your housing, or losing your family, or being driven to suicide JUST THAT MUCH MORE common place.

Now, we’re getting to the point of fucking awful, right?

Now, one more detail.  The huge list isn’t just gay men.  It’s child rapists.  The list is full of just your average gay men – being outed as gay – and police reports of child rapists.  Why? Because the Christian group sees gay men as pedophiles and is compiling this list as a warning against those gay men.

How would you react to this?

Not well?

Would you characterize this site as a name-and-shame anti-harassment site doing good work to expose predators?  Would you stand up for this Christian group and name-and-shame those who insulted them?

Which side would you be on?

Would you call this a hate site?

Would you support those who maintain this site?

Well, Cathy Brennan and her crew are currently doing this.

Not to gay men – nope – to transgender women.  She (under a feminist flag) is outing transgender women – calling them male – alongside their pictures, internet nyms, and legal names.  This is embedded among reports of male rapists and batterers.

She sees herself, I am sure, as a brave and virtuous heroine standing up for “womyn born womyn” against those she sees as a threat.  She frames portions of her hate campaign in the same guise as efforts to “end online misogyny”.

Well – we don’t want her.

The women she lists on her site are no threat to me.

She is NOT speaking for me nor is she protecting me from anything.

She, on the other hand, has worked tirelessly to become a threat to people I know and admire.

Do not be confused.  This is not retweeting insults or taking a screen shot of someone’s assholery, or labeling someone a douchebag for douchebaggery.  It is not calling people out on sexist or homophobic language; or trying to embarrass someone for saying stupid shit.

This is not self-defense.

This is outing people who are part of an extremely embattled minority group and doxing them.  It is potentially making people who do not wish to be found to be found by those who would cause them harm.

This is a reckless disregard for the LIVES of other people.

The reason I used gay men as an example is that not too long ago it was open season on gays in the U.S.  The idea that they should hide away or that they were sick and inherently dangerous, and that they were synonymous with pedophiles was not considered “a problem”; it was pervasive.  It is still all-to-common.  I will not minimize it, but it is not nearly at the level it once was.

The knowledge that someone was gay was not just information – knowledge of someone’s status as a homosexual was a weapon and gave you power over them.

If the internet was a “thing” back while I was a child, you better believe that hypothetical website would have existed and been given a pass.  The average person would see little difference between those who are committing the “sin” of being who they are and those who pose a real danger.

Fear is a terrible thing.

That’s where we are right now, culturally, but we don’t have to be.

Advertisements