I get a lot of trolls on this blog. I think they’re hoping I’ll react to their trolling like it’s not only a surprise, but soul-shatteringly horrifying.
In reality, they’re an annoyance, but even a mere annoyance can distract from the discussion at hand. So, I’m instituting a stronger comments policy here, because I’m tired of letting trolls waste my time in trying to reason with them.
This is how it usually goes down:
1. Troll posts a comment that shows a mere skimming of my post, with poor reading comprehension and no attention to the sources I include. It focuses instead on irrelevant assumptions about how hateful and evil I am, and usually goes on a “what about teh menz?!” tirade.
2. I return a comment pointing out their more blatant logical fallacies and providing them further sources.
3. They ignore those sources, devolve into more name-calling.
4. I inform them of my disengagement from the cycle they’re trying to create, and stop approving their comments for publication.
What readers don’t see, however, is the invisible Step 5, wherein they continue to troll my blog, clog up my inbox, and generally go about telling me how evil I am. They’ve already been informed that they won’t be allowed a public voice on here any longer, so they do it purely for the sake of harassment. They need to grow the fuck up.
The reason I let their comments go to Step 4 in the first place is because I naively hope they’ll take off their blinders for a moment if I address them directly. But it never works, and I’ve now come to question why I bother when I’m going to end up getting harassed by them regardless. I’m tired of wasting my time and energy on purposefully ignorant misogynists.
I already trash all violent comments, because I don’t wish to allow that sort of hate a platform for projection. I’ve decided to also shut down generally ignorant comments before they turn into threads. If you want a word here, do so calmly, maturely, and on-fucking-topic. If you insist on derailing, don’t act surprised when your train crashes.
This blog is not a public sphere, it is not a democracy wherein all opinions must be heard. Frankly, not all opinions deserve attention. No one is forcing anyone to read or comment; you can just browse away if you don’t like what I have to say. Trolling is just internet harassment, it’s school-yard bullying in the cyber world, and I’m not allowing it here.
In short, to the trolls: Go post elsewhere about what a man-hater I am, someplace where you’ll get douchebro back-pats to validate your prejudice. This is supposed to be a feminist space, and letting your hate clog up the comments is obscuring that. You get your say all the time in the greater scheme of life, and I am not obligated to let you have it here. Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences, and within my space, the consequence of prejudice is losing your commenting privilege. Don’t worry, you’ve still got a whole lot more privilege to find comfort in.