[Content Note: Misogyny, Trivializing Harassment]
So, this past weekend, I received a message from this guy I’ve been talking to online. In it, he briefly mentioned that he had been taken to court for, in his own words, “a bogus restraining order.” I was immediately bothered by the fact that he could bring up the fact that someone felt the need to get a restraining order against him in passing and automatically assume that I’d accept his framing of it as “bogus.” I’m not so inclined. I’m inclined to be rather wary of him instead and feel a great deal of sympathy for the unknown person who got (or at least sought) a restraining order.
It also occurred to me that this is not the first time that some random stranger has invited me to enable or participate in their problematic and marginalizing behavior. For example, it wasn’t that long ago that some stranger invited me to join in his “I’m sick of women” fest. It makes me wonder how frequently this sort of thing that happens. It also leads me to thinking that maybe it would be helpful for having a site for this sort of thing.
I’m imagining a site where allies of various marginalized people post examples where other people say something problematic and even invite us to affirm — either directly or through silence — their problematic ideas, thoughts, and behavior. I figure such a site could offer three things:
1. Raise awareness of just how prevalent such invitations to join in or enable the marginalization of others actually are.
2. Help allies and potential allies better learn to recognize such invitations.
3. Possibly help allies and potential allies find and develop justice-minded ways to respond to such invitations.
I’m hoping that some of my readers will find the idea interesting and offer their feedback and suggestions on how to best make such a site and how to make it something that’s actually helpful.