I got cussed out in pretty much the most vulgar way possible by a male (I can’t call him a man) for the grotesque sin of responding to President Obama’s tweet about the beginning of autumn with “Happy Fall, Mr. President!” Of course I reported the person and of course Twitter isn’t going to do anything about it, but . . . trolls. Why?

I’ve read about the studies that found that most trolls are mentally disturbed sadists (no !*#&@!, Sherlock), and intellectually I get that they’re just angry, powerless people who get a thrill out of trying to shock, scare, or anger others. Particularly women. But what did this loser think he was accomplishing by using such extreme vulgarity towards a total stranger who happens to like a president that he despises? Did he think I was going to cry, sign out of Twitter, exchange insults?

I think what was in his mind when he was typing that tweet to me was something along the lines of, “I’ll teach that bitch not to run her mouth about that blankety blank blank in the White House.”

I’m not going to hesitate to continue speaking positively about President Obama. So the entire little rage episode hurt no one but the troll. He made himself angry, worked himself up into a state, got his account reported. He wasted about five minutes of my time. He gave me a good idea for a blog post. He got nothing out of what he did but a momentary sick little thrill.

Ultimately, it’s not about President Obama. It’s about people trying to intimidate others-especially women, especially women of color-into not talking online. A lot of people get attacked so often and so viciously that they do decide it’s best for them not to be on social media. Like one of my favorite actresses, Ginny Goodwin. She deleted her entire Twitter account. I strongly suspect it was due to harassment by people who don’t like her character on a TV show.

Don’t like a TV show character-attack the actress

Don’t like the president-attack anyone who says anything positive about him or her.

Don’t like same-sex marriage, abortion, women who play video games, women who want a woman on the $20, Black Lives Matter, people of other religions, people who aren’t part of any religion, people who don’t like Common Core, feminism, fat people, people who don’t eat meat, cats, people who are against trophy hunting, people who think Sea World should be shut down, people who actually follow Jesus’s teachings and think we should feed the poor? Attack, attack, attack. Shut them up. Make them afraid to talk about anything. Is the person pissing you off a woman? Make sure you at least imply some sort of sexual violence. That will shut the bitch up.

Not this bitch.

I like being online. I like talking to people who like the same things I do. Some days I do a lot of retweeting. When I’m in a good mood, like yesterday, I’m quite chatty. I’m not going anywhere because some sick sad person hates the president. I will report them all even if the person who gets the report decides to ignore it. I’ve gotten such violent threats after writing about protecting feral cats that I reported the person to the F.B.I. But here I am, still writing about feral cats and saying “hi” to the president and saying any other damn thing I feel like saying.

I’ve been bullied my entire life, and I’ve lived in situations where I couldn’t say what I thought because someone in my home might physically hurt me if I did. I’ll never live that way again.

I’m certainly not going to shut up because of some foul-mouthed irrelevant cyberbully. It saddens me that people I’ve known for years now only post from locked-down private or anonymous accounts, or have gone entirely offline.

Maybe I stick it out and keep speaking my mind for them.


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