White Middle-Class Mummy Blogger

I inhabit a very safe and kind corner of the internet. One could argue that I’ve created my online space with its own digital Feng Shui. My current daily issues: breast cancer, geographical schizophrenia, parenting of third culture kids, and long distance love in all of its forms – are perhaps seen as middle class, or even rich girl problems.  I’d have to agree, it’s a luxury to talk about career, education and family.

I realised just how safe my little internet world was a few years ago when I went to hear Stella Creasy speak at a writers conference in London. She was asked about some of the tweets she’d received when she’d chosen to support Caroline Criado-Perez in her efforts to see more women on UK bank notes. I know, outrageous! The panel were discussing comments made on Twitter and the legalities behind them. How much was too much? How far could someone threaten before being arrested?

While the conversation was really interesting I’ll admit I didn’t understand the scope. I mean surely we just had to suck it up when it came to haters online? Everyone knew about trolls and had experienced the occasional unsavoury comment. It wasn’t until Stella actually read a couple of the tweets out loud that I realised I had no idea just how sick someone could be. One particular individual had spoke of raping her violently, and how he was going to break into her house. Another member of the panel, a male, spoke of how after the birth of their child his wife had received a twitter message congratulating them, the attachment was a picture of a dead baby.

In September last year Peter Nunn was jailed for his online activity, in particular his tweets addressed to Stella Creasy. Here’s some of his alleged online charm.

“You better watch your back, I’m going to rape your arse at 8pm…”

“Best way to rape a witch, try and drown her first then just when she’s gagging for air that’s when you enter.”

“If you can’t threaten to rape a celebrity, what is the point in having them?”

But this is all old news.

The current news is Clementine Ford, I’m not going to cut and paste the vitriol she’s received but if you’ve got a strong stomach you can read it here.

I’ve joined together with a group of mates today to tweet and share a little of what Clementine has had to deal with lately. Whatever your thoughts are on Clementines writing – no-one deserves this sort of online abuse. Our communal resonse is this:

Every day, around the world, women and girls are harassed, bullied and abused on social media. It’s time say, ENOUGH! We stand with Clementine Ford, and every other woman who has been threatened with rape and murder for simply expressing an opinion. These men need to be held to account. Social media platforms should provide more protection. And legislators, in all jurisdictions, must work together to stop violence against women.

I inhabit a very safe and kind corner of the internet, we all should.

#endviolenceagainstwomen

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