Politics. It’s one of those things you aren’t supposed to talk about in public. You aren’t supposed to discuss it at work, or at school, and definitely not over holiday dinner. As a woman and a (*gasp*) liberal, there doesn’t seem to be an acceptable time or place for me to discuss my views on politics, ever.
Do you know how many times in the last few months I’ve gotten the metaphorical “atta girl” pat on my head by old white guys? All of them seem to think they know more than I do about what is best for me. I actually had someone tell me to “leave politics up to the men” after I posted a politically charged story. (Of course he didn’t say it to me in person–that kind of bravery tends to hide itself behind a keyboard and computer screen.)
By now, you know that I am a contributor to the Facebook pages “Bloomington Citizens Against Ian Bayne” and “Bloomington Deserves Better Than Kevin Lower.” I have never tried to keep my identity secret. In fact, I tell everyone I know. I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. Those of us that maintain the page have repeatedly acknowledged that we are just regular citizens who saw a problem and tried to fix it. That sitting back and doing nothing was not an option.
No matter how many times we tell people who we are, though, they refuse to accept it. Just look through the comments on any story that we post. There is a constant speculation from local trolls about who we’re “working for” or who “put us up to this”. When they try to intimidate us or bully us into silence, it’s always with the caveat that we let the person we’re “working for” know their thoughts.
So let me clear this up once and for all:
Ian Bayne and Kevin Lower “put us up to this.” Their woeful incompetence, staggering arrogance, and perversion of the truth “put us up to this.” And we have been so successful in exposing them that you have refused to accept it. The local conservative establishment completely underestimated our intellect, our skill, our determination and our commitment. You were too busy trying to see who was “behind the curtain” to see us right under your noses.
The night that Ian Bayne lost the primary, we received almost 200 messages from one particularly irate fellow who threatened to “expose” personal dossiers he’d collected against us (or who he thought was us.) We have been threatened with lawsuits, implied violence, and, of course, being ratted out to our employers so they’d fire us.
Having a differing opinion. Being a woman, with an opinion.
Here’s the thing: you trolls also overestimated my ability to be intimidated. To give into threats, or be silenced. I have had you film me, follow me, glare and scoff at me. You’ve got all these preconceived notions of how I will act in response to your machismo.
To that I say–and I’m gonna use all caps just so we are clear–FUCK RIGHT OFF. I don’t care about you or your opinions or your preconceived notions.
Go ahead, clutch your pearls, then kindly show yourself out.
I’ve got work to do.