The shit I get and how I deal with it

I get a lot of shit. A lot of abuse, often misogynistic, sometimes heterosexist and once or twice, a smattering of ableist nonsense. It comes with the territory of being a woman with an opinion who is present on the internet.

Once upon a time, I kept a folder on my computer of screencaps, titled “Misogyny and abuse”. Almost daily, I’d have to update it. I gave up. It was sapping my time and resources, and I realised how uniform it was. There was nothing I could learn from the reboant chorus of cunts who couldn’t stop wishing they could cut my bitchdyke pussy out.

If you google my real name–which my haters seem to think is some sort of state-guarded secret and utter it with the delight of a schoolchild upon having discovered their teacher has a first name–you’ll find several hate-sites, at least two of which are specially created just for me. They feel like they’re so clever, having discovered the link between the Zoe Stavri who sometimes writes articles in the mainstream press, and the @stavvers who tweets “look at this article written by me”. They like to post unflattering pictures of me, and hurl abuse over every single thing I say, making sure to tweet at anyone I follow to let them know “the truth” about me. The truth being, that I’m a woman with an opinion, who sometimes doesn’t photograph particularly well.

The interesting thing is how followers of my dedicated hate-Twitter all seem to be misogynists who I’ve called out. Birds of a feather flock together, and the particular strobilating dingleberry who runs my hate-Twitter seems to be the standard around which they can rally.

Then there’s the time I had a death threat. It was qualitatively different from various haters saying “I wish she’d die” “I could kill her” “I could rape her” &c &c (all of which as happened countlessly tedious times). They’re not threats. Let me tell you what a death threat is. I once pissed off a particularly prolific misogynist and all-round scumbag. He decided to tweet what he thought was my address, followed by an announcement that he’d like to break my neck. The good news is, it wasn’t my address, or that of anybody I knew. As far as I know, none of those people had their necks broken. As I understand it, the shitbowl in question got into trouble with the cops for trying to pull similar shit with other people.

And that’s the common-or-garden misogynists, but let it be known that I also get a fair bit of trouble from another group of bigots: the TERFs. They don’t like me much, because I’m a vocal ally of trans people and speak out against transphobia. The only thing distinguishing them and their methods–attempted doxxings, timeline-stalkings, outright hate speech–from the misogynists I spoke about before is that this lot hate on a specific group of women. While Suzanne Moore may not be a TERF herself, her attempted scapegoating of trans people for “abuse” is a hair’s breadth away from the out-and-out hate speech the TERFs perpetrate.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had heaps of abuse levelled on me in the past that helps me see, clear as day, the difference between abuse and criticism. Yes, even rude criticism. Abuse comes from above, from a person with privilege, desperate to cling on to it. Criticism so often comes from below, rudeness returning fire from a war I had inadvertently declared. In these instances, I step back. I educate myself. I don’t make the same mistake twice, and I become better. If I did anything else, it would make me the bully, not the person I’d harmed.

As for the rest of it, that sort of shit, as I said, comes with the territory of being a woman with an opinion on the internet. At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Then I came to an epiphany: they are doing this because I, as a woman with an opinion on the internet, am a threat to them. They want me to shut the fuck up and stop making life as a misogynist harder for them. They feel their ability to dominate slipping away, and it scares the fuck out of them.

Oderint dum metuant, fuckers.

I feel a little frisson of glee from knowing they are scared of me, then I hit the block button, because I actually don’t want to hear any of their shit. I keep my comments moderated on my blog, because it’s my space, and I can do what the fuck I want with it. I don’t read below the line on things I’ve written that I have no control over.

They’re frightened because I’m right, and that’s all I need to know.

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26 responses to “The shit I get and how I deal with it

  • jemima101

    Just read one of the twitter groups, ffs the hate…you are quite right, you must be doing it spectacularly right to annoy misogynists that much.

  • Anonycoward

    I know you get a lot of bullshit on the internet. So I’m going to be an anonymous coward and say you’re absolutely wonderful. Please keep writing.

  • bezukhova

    Thank you for putting up with the abuse and the hatred and the death threat (which I really hope was a one-off and won’t be repeated). Thank you for your blog, I’ve learnt so much from reading it and the other things you’ve pointed me to through it. Your voice is loud, and clear, and firm and it says a lot of things i’d like to say if I knew how to express them, and a lot of things I wish i’d thought of saying. You are fucking brilliant, and you must never, ever let the bastards grind you down.

  • shonkystagbeetle

    Just want to say Stavvers, I think you are great: I am thoroughly impressed by your clarity of mind, your passion for justice and your sense of fairness, and in awe of your vocabulary; I had to look up “strobilating” and “reboant”!

    In my opinion, you photograph very nicely indeed.

    Thank you so much for your doing what you do. I have learned a lot from reading your blog.

    • boomer

      Oh man. You have a twitter dedication page and all (compiled by an Assange cocksucker granted but still). The blog I found just seems to have a headline and then a screen-cap of whatever tweet you made that pissed them off. That’s what I find most hilarious. They really want to try but have sweet fuck all in the way of the skill, education, or intelligence. I wish I could say something trite like ‘I feel bad for them’ but really I think I’ll just laugh.

      Anyway, I find you inspiring and awesome. It’s not a little thing to live a life that gives others courage or make them feel less alone so for whatever it’s worth thank you.

  • sameolsht

    You are absolutely right and of course, they are scared. Thanks, in part, to the amazing inspiration you provide, I’ve got a lot of local misogynists running scared as well. It’s given me a renewed sense of purpose, and many a belly laugh. When you feel empowered, life is fucking awesome! You are awesome, Stavvers!

    • Kate Middleton

      Isn’t it excellent when the bullies and mysogynists suddenly start panicking and indulging in pathetic behaviour like 5 years olds. Julie Bindel is suddenly discovering that people dont like her hateful writing and trying all sorts of devious tactics.

      She has been bullying from a national platform and I reckon I have enough info to get the Graun shut down as well as sue her under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

      16 kids commit suicide at school every year because of bullying and she knows that I attempted suicide at 17 after being assaulted by a doctor and is trying to bully and upset me on twitter.

      http://www.bullyonline.org/stress/health.htm

  • Kate Middleton

    Bindel is currently making entirely false allegations of harassment on twitter and, hilariously, telling me she finds emails with written evidence of sexual assault “disturbing!”

    With bullies like her every thing they say is a revelation abosu themselves & Bindel & her chums just like to make themselves look good

  • sameolsht

    I apologize…I know I just lowered myself to someone else’s rather pathetic standards…but I found one of the sites you speak of and left a comment: This is fascinating! I get the feeling that it REALLY BOTHERS YOU when Zoe expresses her opinions, views, feelings. Is she stalking you, or would you be able to avoid contact with her by staying off of her page? I ask, because I (don’t) care.

  • Kate Middleton

    Julie just didn’t like called out on her disgusting and hypocritical behaviour towards survivors of extreme abuse.

    I have spoken to Deborah Orr since I made this video and also found an excellent article which she wrote in 2002 and told her how it made me cry and she has tweeted “Gosh thanks”.

    I was a bit cross with Deborah when I made this video but things are changing. This is what upset Bindel:

    Being exposed as a disgusting hypocrite

  • Kate Middleton

    Bindel is now referring to the Gender Trender blog on her twitter feed and and saying she thinks it is useful. The arrogant triumvirate of bullies Burchill Bindel and Moore distract from the real battle of working to improve treatment of rape victims and get more convictions among many other things we need to do to improve the way women are treated.

    I have a satirical dance track on my blog. Please help distribute so the bullies spontaneusly combust: and have a dance of course!

    http://katemiddleton-lsu.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/am-i-woman-its-long-way-to-tit-hairy.html

  • Ralph

    Disgareement, rudeness -fine. but Suzanne Moore got loads of misogynistic, violent abuse aimed at her. Some of what she had hurled at her was v similar to abuse Mary Beard got, and I imagine what you are targeted with. All of this is equally vile. Just because we don’t like what SM says doesn’t mean she deserves some of what came her way.

    • stavvers

      Thanks for the mansplanation! As I’ve made clear, the absolutely repulsive thing she’s done is lump the tiny amount of abuse she got with the HUGE quantities of rightful criticism, and then blame it on trans people.

      • Ralph

        A ‘tiny’ amount of violent abuse is not OK. (From what I saw it wasn’t tiny at all)

        • stavvers

          Let me guess: you saw it on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion level transphobic hate site that was doing the rounds? Yeah… that “random” sample was literally all there was and mustn’t be confused with criticism, of which was literally everything else. And there was loads. I witnessed the whole thing. That anyone is continuing to push the line that it was all bullying and nothing else is quite fucked up.

  • adeybob

    thanks for showing us how to be graceful under fire. Please try to remember that some blokes never got past the dick-measuring stage – and are invariably threatened by women who seem to have more of a point than they do.
    Keep your chin up, and your pencil sharpened…your work ain’t done yet.
    Thank you.

  • Valksy

    I wish that I could say I was surprised, but I am not.

    Anyone with a touch of common sense would know that the backlash you face does nothing but provide elegant proof of exactly the points that you are making, and why you are making them in the first place.

  • Valksy

    So thank you for your effort, courage and commitment.

  • Lady Andrea

    Reblogged this on Andreaurbanfox © and commented:
    Excellent blog by a woman being harassed by online low-lives. Being someone who gets a lot of abuse and have my own personal stalker/harasser I can empathise.

    My blog on CyberBullying http://andreaurbanfox.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/stop-cyberbullying-week-message-to-my-stalker/

  • coward2

    At first didn’t find much, but after I looked more (which is good, because these blogs don’t have much attendance) I saw two. They were so badly written and with no comments. On one of them they criticize you because of what you have written about evo psyche. They say that you are not a scientist and right after that they say that indeed men are hiredwired to spread their seed…. So you can’t say anything, but they can, and evo psyche is science… I needed just a little more to leave a replay, but they really don’t deserve even this.
    I don’t agree with you about some things, but you totally scare these idiots. If they were hiredwired e.g. to sread their “precious” seed, leaving women to take care of the kids alone, and to have 1000 “faithful” women each, although men and women are about 50% 50%, they wouldn’t be afraid.

  • NemesisRepublic

    I see the woman who has made it her business, along with her pals, to troll me and lie about me for two years (stalker? Idiotic woman…) is now playing victim here too, linking to her blog etc.

    It’s hysterical rubbish and of course defamation.

    http://nemesisrespondsto.blogspot.co.uk/

    I have also blogged a couple of responses to her bizarre blogs about me. There’s an update to come, re her and her pals’ most recent set of lies and distortions. No doubt me posting this will bring even more extreme stuff from her, but hey. I also suspect she’ll claim me posting here is evidence I stalk her, but as I first re-tweeted your blog on the day it was published and followed the comments since I can say, as with the rest of her nonsense, it’s untrue.

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