I’ve said it before but 2016 was really an eye-opener for me. Not just in discovering what the party actually stood for (or more accurately, what it didn’t stand for), but in seeing the level of visceral hatred that I naively only thought was possible from Republicans. Honestly, I think there are a lot of Democrats that saw Trump as an excuse to lash out and behave the same way they’ve been admonishing the GOP for. But, it’s so strange and disconcerting to witness.
This week, Joan Walsh took it upon herself to make some pretty sexist remarks about what Ivanka Trump was wearing. She didn’t say the dress was ugly (and to be honest, I thought it was), she said it was too girly for the occasion. I find this to be extremely problematic because instead of commenting on real issues, Joan decided it was important to shame Ivanka for not conforming to standards set based on a woman working in a man’s world. So, while I may not like Ivanka, I thought it was necessary to say something. The critique should have been “What qualifications does Ivanka have to be there?”, not “her dress was too girly”.
This comment unleashed so much hatred from Joan Walsh sycophants it’s unbelievable. It ranged from people internalizing my response as an attack on Joan and therefore themselves, to people thinking I was rejecting feminism entirely, to attacks on my physical appearance and who I am as a person. I also got condescending “lessons” on feminism and how to appropriately dress for work. It pretty much ran the gamut. Just so you don’t think it was entirely negative, I did get plenty of positive responses and defenses of the message I was trying to get across: feminism is about equality — not about lifting women up at all costs, and not about shaming women based on outdated standards set by men. Men have their own agency and we shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions because of the way we choose to dress.
And not all of these responses were received organically. Joan decided to quote tweet me for the sole purpose of siccing her dedicated, weirdly protective followers on me. And thus the hate poured down on me like acid rain. The hits just kept on coming. My mentions were like a toxic sauna of venomous repugnance.
Now is a good time to remind everyone that these are democrats. Because I told Joan that I think her second wave feminism is toxic and dying, and she took it as a personal attack on her age (it wasn’t), she sent her followers to defend her honor. I guess I should have expected that would happen since I criticized a paid propagandist with a blue check. But, I need people to stop trying to say that Democrats are better people than Republicans; they aren’t. Having that D next to your name isn’t some bullet-proof indication that you’re a good person.
So, of course I went in and tried to explain my position. It was astounding how ignorant some people were to the fact that there are multiple waves of feminism. I got blocked, by quite a few people who couldn’t counter my argument. Some people even rushed in to defend the misogyny of others (see above).
One particularly lovely person (above), kept calling me “deary” in an incoherent babble of hate, before ultimately blocking. I guess this is a “get the last word in” tactic. Frankly, it’s just sad.
But the award for biggest coward goes to none other than Joan herself, who decided to block me, seemingly after being satisfied that enough of her loyal sycophants accomplished their job of harassing me. Once again, these are Democrats, folks. DEMOCRATS. So, in case you’re wondering if this is a party I want to be associated with, my answer is no.
*I also wanted to take this opportunity to address something that is an issue. Luckily, I don’t take very much personally so this didn’t really bother me. However, what if I did? What if I was the kind of person to internalize these comments? What if I was suffering from a debilitating depression? What if I was suicidal? The point is, you don’t know what people are going through. There are ways to get your point across without tearing the other person down. Just think about this in your future interactions.
This article was originally published on Medium.