140 Characters of Hate

Look, I haven’t blogged in about forever, but this week, I was horrified by something on twitter that I couldn’t sum up in 140 characters or less. 
 
For the past five days, I’ve been given access to Chrissie Swan’s twitter account (@ChrissieSwan), to send out tweets while she’s in the jungle on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. For the most part, it’s been an enjoyable experience. Cracking gags about celebrities sticking their heads into piles of poo, and being confronted with a meal of an ostrich sphincter. Most of Chrissie’s followers have responded well, sending messages of encouragement and support. Not all of them, however.
 
Now, I should clarify, that most of the tweets I put out under Chrissie’s name, I signed off with my own twitter handle. I thought that should make things perfectly obvious that it wasn’t my beloved La Swan tweeting, but my own depraved self. 
 
 
I don’t know whether the people tweeting at Chrissie in the aftermath of some of these tweets had them retweeted into their timeline without wanting to see them (I had a fairly high retweet rate for some of the tweets I was sending out, so that is entirely possible), or they’d been following Chrissie for a while hoping against hope for some reason to attack her. I don’t know what the impetus is.
 
What I do know is, that they are relentless, misogynist and quite disgusting. 
 
 
 
I so wanted to publicly shame them in this post. Showing you their tweets warts and all, with their twitter handles included, and make an example of them for you all. I even considered doxxing them (discovering, and making publicly available, their actual identity, address, email, phone number etc.) which is surprisingly easy, I was horrified to learn. This concerned me on several levels - what if someone decided on a revenge doxxing (I found my own home address with alarming ease when researching doxxing), and even worse, what if I opened up a vulnerable, possibly underage troll to a torrent of abuse from well-meaning fans of Chrissie, their anger overriding any sense of propriety.
 
Also, the frequency with which these trolls attacked Chrissie (not realising she was not the person sending the tweets, even though they were sending ‘reply all’ tweets to myself as well) made me think they were looking for a response. Desperate for some kind of acknowledgement that their tweet had been seen, that it had somehow affected her - even if in a negative way - and that would make them less invisible, less unimportant, less alone than they were feeling in that moment. 
 
I cop a fair amount of abuse on Twitter, and Facebook, and it just washes off, like water off a duck’s back. Homophobia has been part of my life since I was a teenager. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but it still exists, and I just accept that some people are confronted by anything they don’t understand, or have been taught to hate. 
 
The abuse that was levelled at Chrissie was another thing altogether. Most of it centred on the fact that she was a woman, and there were some grotesque references to her genitalia involved. There were also several mentions of her body shape, in an extremely negative and insulting manner. 
 
Now, you’re really curious aren’t you? What EXACTLY did these people say? I’m not going to repeat any of it here, and please, don’t go scrolling through Chrissie’s @ mention feed. That is the kind of notoriety these people are looking for. They’ve probably read all the way down into this blog, looking for a spark of recognition, an embedded republishing of their vile invective. 
 
I want to tell these people, I do recognise them. I know exactly who they are. Nobody. They’re as worthless and unimportant as they think they are. The negativity they are spewing out into the world, aimed at my beautiful friend, is all they have to share, because that’s all they are inside. A negative space. 
 
You think you’re better than that? Be better than that. Do better than that. 
 
You think it’s hypocritical of me to say this? After all, I’ve made a good living making light of celebrities and their foibles. I have made all of those statements publicly, under my own name. Any celebrity that has a problem with what I’ve said, has been more than able to respond if they are bothered by it. Hell, I was totally pwned by Delta Goodrem on Twitter. She gave as good as she got, and I totally deserved it, owned it and accepted it. 
 
Regardless, if you don’t like someone in the public eye, who happens to be a woman, ask yourself: why are you attacking her weight, her dress sense, her hair, or imagining gruesome and violent things being done to her? What does that say about you? How do YOU feel about you?