Friday, 29 January 2016

Not all harassment victims are viewed or treated as equal.

The journalist Ashley Csanady currently has a PostMedia piece that addresses Twitter harassment in general and in particular what happened when Michelle Rempel filed a complaint with the police.

Her excellent article provides a short account of the Rempel case as well as an overview of recent events, viz. the GAE trial.

It is factual and clear.

It doesn't editorialize or misrepresent as Blatchford is wont to do, when the demands of click-bait reporting or sob-sister sensationalizing gives her the cover she needs to champion the MRA cause.

Further to what Csanady wrote, there are points that bloggers and op-eds can raise.  This is where DJ! weighs in.

Last week I posted this about the sleazy grease of GAE's triumphant sneer.

The main difference between GAE and Damany Skeene is that the former oozes the slimy CONjob smarm that allow him and Ezra Levant to enjoy notoriety.  Their venal vituperation is widely disseminated and cheered by right wingers, racists, homophobe and misogynists.  In addition, GAE walks and talks the MRA/PUA philosophy. His entourage enables his narcissism and promotes him within the audiences of gynophobic orcs that slither at the edge of the world wide web.  He scored a point for Rape Culture!  His victims were not really victims because they had the NERVE to fight back against his vile invective!

Skeene, it would appear, is not supported or validated by any group.  In fact most people recoil from him.  One assumes the only compassionate attention he's likely to receive is administered by healthcare professionals.  He had used Twitter promiscuously to vent fury and hatred against a variety of targets.

The difference between Rempel and the women that GAE harassed, threatened, stalked and abused — online and "in real life" — is obvious. She was a Minister in the Con government when Skeene directed vile threats and verbal sexual abuse at her Twitter account.  Her complaint was legitimate and important because she was an elected official.  Police allocated the required resources to investigate, document, and prepare a case for the Crown to prosecute.  Her squadron of RCMP body guards was likely doubled.

But as Csanady points out, the trial unfolded under the media radar.

This gave me pause. Why did the PMO not seize this opportunity to demonstrate how their government was *tough on crime* and violence against women?

I suspect that if Skeene had been an individual who clearly associated with any left wing or progressive group such as anti-pipeline activism, or had expressed agreement with LPC or NDP policies, the PMO would have gleefully exploited the opportunity to smear the Harper regime's opponents.

But the truth is: deep down, Harper Reformist Cons never really gave a damn about Canadian women or even those prominent in their party. PMSHithead was a spiteful opportunist who attacked women who challenged him, and ditched or undermined those who became politically inconvenient: Deborah Gray, Belinda Stronach, Bev Oda, Helena Guergis, Beverley McLachlin, Cindy Blackstock ... a never-ending list, really.

Which is why Rempel was circumspect, and kept a low profile. There was no advantage then in using the criminal harassment trial to score political points for herself.  The PMO, or CPC HQ would have ground her into the dust.  She noted how the party destroyed Eve Adams because she wouldn't stick to the PMO script.

Nothing about Rempel's circumstances could be framed as a narrative that might enhance public sympathy in Harper's favour.  In fact, it was probably flagged as a potential nuisance and diversion from the grand election campaign plan.

But now.. Rempel is jockeying to gain an advance on other putative candidates for the CPC leadership.  I predict she will judiciously exploit the Twitter harassment trial, to establish credibility and to leverage whatever is beneficial to the image she is carefully crafting.

Update: As the tweet below points out, online campaigns that embolden threats of physical violence against Premier Rachel Notley in Albert keep escalating. The Wildrose Party leader has mildly spoken out against his supporters using these tactics that replicate the worst of US right-wing political dumpster fire rhetoric.

Alheli Picazo rigorously screen caps and archives evidence of online political incivility of all stripe. She documents what she has observed and caught before the thuggish authors delete them.  She regularly posts them in her Twitter line to remind partisans of that "people in glass houses.." thing.

Kathleen Smith has also noted and confronted those who instigate explosions of aggressive attacks against Alberta political figures.

Some journalists have reported on the scurrilous and terrifying threats expressed on Facebook, Twitter and in the comment threads at Levant's monetizing project, Rebel TV.  It is claimed the RCMP is investigating.

Yet NO charges of criminal harassment against the alleged RWNJ *rebels* have been filed yet, even though campaigns of online hatred against Notley have been encouraged and fed by Levant and his goons for over a year, now.

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