Thank you Rumbold for this post.
Underflow at 9: I maintain that what I wrote about March 26 was the absolute truth. I was hit by a flying piece of fence that some protesters threw at the police AND by a police shield that day. It’s hardly uncontradictory, I was in the middle of a big fuckoff police battle and, as a reporter, I was unable to pick up anything to defend myself. You can choose not to believe it if you wish, but I am a journalist and I tell the truth. Sorry if that truth makes you uncomfortable.
As for the comment at 3 on asking why I don’t choose to respond to every single carping, bitching ad hominem directed against me – I simply can’t be bothered to engage with mindless personal attacks. I have no particular duty to do so. I have written (and you can find on my blog) all I wish to say about privilege, ‘romantic’ writing, the difference between narrative and fiction, etc, etc – questions that have been raised with me by readers whose respectful critiques I respect in turn.
I know, most of my readers know, and my friends know that I try to be a principled, honest and good-hearted professional with a deep understanding of the ways that class, gender and race intersect with my writing. I don’t have to respond to every crabby little troll to address those issues.
The posts you link to, far from being ‘accurate’, are snide, pissy, poorly-written personal attacks. They’re the blog equivalent of calling someone up, heavy-breathing at them down the phone for a while and then getting enraged when they don’t respond. If people want to see me as a cartoon punching-bag, then fine, but they can hardly get pissy at me for refusing to respond to their childish rants. I have far, far more important things to do.
To which I would add: it's BORING. Every five minutes I spend responding to some random dick-swinging troll on the internet is five minutes not spent researching the legitimacy of international adoption, or working on my book, or answering emails, or reading journals, or going to solidarity meetings, or snatching the occasional bit of downtime, or doing the washing up, or digging little bits of fluff out of my belly button, all of which are activities more deserving of my immediate attention than a small tribe of bitchy online hate-weasels.
I do not believe that, by being young, female and/or opinionated in public, anyone is ever 'asking' for the hateful, poisonous rape threats and death threats that I regularly receive, as do many other women and lefties who write online, especially if we have the temerity to be feminists. [[On the misogyny and rape-bombing question, Cath Elliott's post 'An Occupational Hazard' is a must-read.]] Even if I'd run out of things to say, even if I felt that ceasing to write were any more feasible an option for me than ceasing to breathe, I would probably carry on writing and reporting simply out of a wish to refuse to allow misogynist reactionaries shriek and scream the feminist left off the internet. As it happens, there is more to say. And a pile of important work to do, which I should get on with now.
Thanks to those who have written and blogged in support during the various rapebombing and hatestorms. It makes a huge, huge difference. hashtag-Solidarity.