My Experience With Internet Trolls

 

A couple weeks ago, I published a tweet regarding Matthew McConaughey’s interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr.  In the interview, Marr asked McConaughey whether or not the American people should “give Donald Trump a break,” to which McConaughey replied, “Well, they don’t have a choice now, he’s our President… it’s time for us to embrace and shake hands with this fact and be constructive with him” (BBC).  Since McConaughey’s comments rubbed me the wrong way, I took to social media to express my feelings on the matter.  I didn’t expect this tweet to take off like it did, garnering several replies from a slew of angry conservatives.  It was even featured in a CNN article.

Of course I believe in free speech, but I also believe that you can make a point without trying to insult somebody else.  If insults are the only cards you have to play, you’re a troll.  One said, “Oh god, another dumb privileged white girl opening her mouth with drivel no one wants to hear.”  Funny you should say that, considering the tweet was retweeted by over one hundred people and liked by over six hundred.  That doesn’t quite equal “no one” to me, but I guess that’s beside the point.  Another replied, “That’s a racist and sexist remark, so you’re stupid.”  Racist and sexist? You mean like our xenophobic, p***y-grabbing President?  Somebody else responded, “If you’re so upset, get off your a** and get a job, pay taxes, then take a day off and go to a protest.”  My personal favorite was from a man, reading, “Says the white woman, AKA the most coddled group of people on this planet.”  That’s interesting, because I’m pretty sure men don’t have to worry about being paid less because of their gender.  That must be because you’re so protected by society, or should I say, coddled…

I’d also like to make sure that we’re all talking about the same person.  Are you all talking about the girl who basically worked forty hours each week throughout high school, and therefore pays taxes, and graduated with in the top ten percent of her high school class?  Are you talking about the girl who is paying her way through college and has been to multiple protests?  Oh, okay.  That’s what I thought.

Many people pointed out that like Matthew McConaughey, I’m white and privileged.  I’ll admit that by that token, they’re absolutely correct.  I am white and I am privileged.  However, because of this, I will use my voice to speak with and for those who aren’t as lucky.  I refuse to be complacent in the face of injustice, even if these issues don’t affect me directly.  I know and love a lot of people who practice Islam and are being personally affected by Trump’s Muslim ban (by the way, if you say it’s “not a Muslim ban,” know that YOUR privilege is showing, and you should stop reading Fox News).  I know and love a lot of women, including myself, who take advantage of the services provided by Planned Parenthood, such as cancer screenings and affordable birth control.  Now, we are at risk of losing access to these services because a group of-- wait for it-- MEN think that abortion is “wrong” (once again, if you stopped watching Fox News, you’d know that abortions make up only 3% of the services PP provides for women).  I know and love a lot of people of color who are told that “all lives matter” on the daily, when statistics have shown time and time again that white people have a significantly smaller chance of having their life taken or threatened.  I’m using my privilege to speak out against the blatant inequity that’s occurring in this country, and if that bothers you, I think you ought to reevaluate what you really stand for.  I do not have to stay silent, I do not have to “move on,” I do not have to “accept reality.”  Because someday, our efforts will pay off, even if we have to fend off a few trolls along the way.

Now, I would like to take a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Bowling Green Massacre.