Well folks, if you want to know the honest truth; I would much, much rather be writing to you about the corrupt Democratic Primary, the evils of Imperialism or why the media feels so comfortable openly lying to you about pretty much everything, every single day. Instead however this will be yet another post about hypocritical, abusive journalist Sady Doyle, fake-lefty magazine Slate and why neoliberal media is completely ignoring the bigoted online harassment of a trans blogger with a tiny website – except this time we get to add a little suppression of free speech because someone reported me as a bot and my account was temporarily locked by Twitter. Fun times, I swear.
First, I’d like to get started by laying out the situation as it stood leading into today. Below you’ll find links to my encounter with Sady Doyle (including screenshots of her bigoted, abusive behavior) as well as my attempts to get Slate Magazine to acknowledge that they’re providing a platform for a woman who abused me online, to talk about online abuse of all things:
I also sent a very similar letter to the only other place I knew printed Sady regularly, the Guardian – who to their credit replied immediately, but only to tell me that since she’s a freelancer there’s virtually nothing they could do about it. The swiftness of the Guardian’s reply and the deafening silence of Slate however, made if very clear to me that Slate was ignoring my letter. I decided at that point to begin waging a one woman campaign to literally shame Slate into acknowledging they were promoting, protecting and increasing the exposure of my bigoted online abuser – thereby exposing neoliberal hypocrisy that seems to think abuse against women online is fine as long as the abused woman is transgendered and the abuser is one of the media’s favorite quotations.
In order to accomplish this, I began tweeting in reply to every single Slate story posted on Twitter with one of the two links above, and some of the screenshots were attached. At first, I did my very best to make sure each tweet was unique but at some point, as Slate continued to completely ignore my very serious question – I got tired and started cutting and pasting the same tweets in reply to different stories. I would like to note that I did not at any time become abusive towards Slate and they seemed quite happy to continue along ignoring me until I started posting screenshots of letters I sent to them and Sady Doyle’s abusive (and kinda pathetic to be honest) attempt to destabilize me. You can of course confirm all of this by doing a Twitter search for the following 3 terms:
@NinaDontPlayMtG + @Slate + @sadydoyle
I also, over the course of this time sent a second, more forceful letter to Slate which I’ll post below (spelling errors and all, I was apparently pretty upset and angry my friends):
Naturally of course, Slate has continued to ignore me on both Twitter and via email, but it wasn’t until I started posting screen shots of their clearly favored journalist Sady Doyle’s transphobic, bigoted online attack on me that someone reported me to Twitter for being an ad spamming robot. I am of course, clearly not an ad spamming robot but my account was promptly locked automatically without so much as looking into the matter by Twitter Support as far as I can tell – have I mentioned that the reason I didn’t talk to Twitter support in the first place about Sady is because they have a staggeringly long history of telling me online abuse isn’t abuse whenever I do contact support, even with screenshots?
Now, interestingly enough – because whoever complained told Twitter I was a bot, the platform’s solution was to send me a message asking for a phone number to help unlock my account. First and foremost, this is a repulsive attempt to force completely unnecessary data collection on people who have absolutely no need or desire to give Twitter a contact number. I am most certainly not a terrorist, I am not an online abuser and if the goddamn company would just have a real fucking human take a look at my account they’d know immediately I wasn’t a bot. Asking for the number and refusing to unlock my account unless I provide it alone is already a serious violation of what most people would consider a reasonable right to privacy.
The problem didn’t end there however as lo and behold, Twitter’s method of confirming that I’m a human involved sending a SMS message to my phone with a code that I could then enter and unlock my account. What’s the problem? Well for starters, I don’t own a cell phone. I have a home phone number and an internet connection – call me old fashioned, but I’ve never really found the need to carry a device that can record my conversations even when it’s off and provide a GPS location to any one of a number of govt agencies that have been known to intimidate small time journalists who write about the things I do. Further complicating matters, my desktop phone is worth about nine dollars and doesn’t have a functioning text box – naturally, I immediately wrote Twitter support to explain this. Then I waited an hour and emailed them again, and again about a half hour after that; as of this writing there has been absolutely no reply.
Eventually, I managed to contact a courageous friend who doesn’t give two shits about Twitter and he allowed me to enter in his cell phone number, obtain the code and unlock my account; which I’m not entirely sure isn’t against the law. Yeah, you read that right – Twitter just made me submit false identification to unlock my account because they absolutely fucking refused to either look at my tweets or respond to my repeated email attempts to solve the problem.
So what would have happened if I had not had such a brave friend? Well for starters, my Twitter account would have remained completely locked until Twitter Support decided to look at my emails and considering that everything about this process after someone registers a complaint appears to be automated; that may have taken a long time to happen. I mean, look my friends, I know exactly what you’re thinking because it’s what I used to think about online harassment, Twitter support and neoliberal smear campaigns before I became a victim of one. Right now you’re thinking that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill and that I should just block Sady Doyle, never read Slate Magazine again and move on, aren’t you? Let me tell you why everything about that idea is wrong.
For starters, losing access to my Twitter account means that I lose access to my primary means of promoting this website, which is in turn my primary source of income. How much money do I make? I’ll tell you but you have to promise not to laugh – less than $300 a month. You read that right, my primary means of financial support currently makes me less than what’s provided to the absolutely destitute who qualify for only a bare minimum of social assistance. While I am personally quite proud of the work I put into my website, the truth is that it only attracts roughly a thousand hits per day and the entire thing is funded by less than fifteen donations per month. Do you realize that out of almost seventy thousand visits to my website, less than fifty people have even looked at the Tip Jar page? Is there someone out there who’s been tricked into believing that the life of a socialist, post-op trans woman blogger is somehow full of wealth and prosperity because I would like to disabuse you of this notion entirely. I can’t fucking afford to advertise, I have a staff of one and I utterly rely on social media to promote my work. Today I learned that neoliberal fascists are prepared to rip even this meager income and exposure away from me simply to avoid having to answer my question – why does Slate Magazine continue to support my bigoted, transphobic online abuser Sady Doyle despite clear evidence of her hypocritical and offensive behavior?
Now at this point, I would like to make it clear that locking my Twitter account would not have caused me to starve. I have a boyfriend and he has always been there to help me out when ends don’t meet; he isn’t wealthy either however. He owns a small business, in a market that doesn’t really like small business. He works as hard or harder than I do just to pay the bills and frankly neither one of us is going to die rich; a fact that doesn’t really bother me. Regardless, taking away my ability to advertise my website and accumulate even the minuscule amount of donations I accumulate forces me into complete financial dependence on my boyfriend – a situation any feminist, myself included, will immediately recognize as unhealthy for our relationship.
This of course brings me to my second, larger point that is likely to be far more important to anyone reading this than my financial situation – which is the fact that there is absolutely no room for hypocrisy in left wing politics, feminism or when fighting against online abuse. At it’s core, abuse of any kind is about the power dynamic in a relationship and even long after the abuse has been exposed this aspect will often continue to play out just as it has here. I’m not ashamed to admit that Sady Doyle is more popular than I am on social media, that she has access to platforms provided by multi-million dollar media corporations like Slate and that she has an army of influential, neoliberal media friends who are more than happy to believe her when she cries out that I have abused her – despite clear evidence that the situation was reversed. I have a blog and a Twitter account that I will not get to keep unless I stop drawing attention to my abuse.
Listen to what Sady, Slate and now apparently Twitter are telling you here – Doyle, who has literally a fucking DeathStar at her disposal is the victim here and the real goddamn terrorist is the 39 year old, commie fucking trans blogger who gets less than 1K hits a day and had the audacity to screenshot public tweets made by Sady Doyle, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie and all their shitty, hypocritical friends. Is that not the very definition of punching down? Is that in any way shape or form fair, compassionate or supportive of women who are attempting to report their abuse?! Does my feminism, my pain and my reputation not matter every bit as much as Sady Doyle’s; a woman who is now lying to other people about me and actively denying that she targeted me with bigoted abuse? Do you have any idea what it’s like, knowing that someone with literally an infinite amount of influence in media circles (compared to you) is currently telling every potential employer in the industry you’re a crazy abuser and she’s literally the one who fucking attacked you with open bigotry? Yeah Sady, you got your wish – I’m destabilized lady, congrats.
It gets better of course, because Doyle (and I guess Slate Magazine, which continues to support her) are specialists in ruining lives. This evening, I sent links, evidence and a description of my situation to every left wing online magazine, writer and blog I could possibly think of. Right now, the only sympathetic reply has come from a man who Sady Doyle has spend a considerable amount of time exposing as some kind of psychotic, misogynist abuser. If you want to know the truth, the whole time she was saying this guy’s name and accusing him of stalking/harassing her, I actually believed the entire story – because I know online abuse is real, I can easily understand how an outspoken feminist like Sady would attract psycho misogynists and part of me is just too fucking naive to believe someone would be so monstrously inhuman as to accuse another person of such a horrible thing falsely.
Knowing what I now know about Doyle however, how can I possibly trust her testimony as to this man’s behavior and intentions anymore? The guy followed me on Twitter, his email seems completely reasonable and he’s probably aware that I’m a feminist, trans woman because I’ve literally said so twenty times the past couple of days – there was nothing hateful about his letter. What he did do, is warn me that people like Sady would never stop destroying my reputation. He follows me on Twitter, I could reply to his email; should I? What if Doyle is right about him but wrong about me – I can’t really say either way because I have only this one email from him against literally thousands of words Sady spent destroying his image in my mind before we ever interacted. This is of course why it is fundamentally important to never cry abuse falsely or for political purposes because doing so literally diminishes the value of claims of abuse for all the disadvantaged and powerless. This concept is quite clearly lost on a well-off white woman like Doyle but will be readily familiar to anyone from a minority class reading this who’s ever been sexually assaulted, and I say that from experience.
That in turn brings up another question; since liberal media seems more than content to completely ignore my evidence that Sady Doyle harassed me online with bigotry, do I start contacting right wing neocon news organizations that I know will despise me but will happily print my story just to make Slate and feminism as a whole look like shit? I’m being denied a voice and justice by the very people who are supposed to protect me from those who would do so – do I then turn to their enemies, literally running into the arms of the worst people alive because nobody else will listen to me? These are the kinds of choices I’m making right now my friends and I have to be honest, they aren’t very pleasant.
In conclusion, I would like to sate emphatically that I am being harassed, fucked over and denied a voice by Sady Doyle, Slate Magazine and numerous members of the left wing media. Furthermore, I am literally powerless to stop the post-harassment smear campaign these cynical, hypocrite mutherfuckers are running on me without help that I’m beginning to sense will not be coming – because Doyle has successfully convinced people I’m just a nutbag “BernieBro” with a vendetta to avenge Matt Breunig; who I do not fucking know personally and just started following on Twitter last week might I add.
I am not, I am a trans woman blogger who writes about corruption and lies told by media personalities like Sady Doyle – I myself am a feminist and I only interacted with a tweet from Sarah Jeong to point out a false harassment claim to my followers through the quote tweet button and highlight the dangers of using the term harassment in place of “I disagree with you and would prefer we stop interacting.” I do not know why Doyle felt that justified launching into a 30 minute “mean girl” harassment attack on me while openly tossing bigoted attacks about “an operation to remove the tweets” at me because I’m trans – but I suspect it has a lot to do with my attempts to speak truth to power at her and her openly mendacious friends through my Wall of Shame.
What I do know, is that I’ve taken a number of messages from this experience that I can safely thank Sady Doyle, Slate Magazine and roughly twenty five supposedly left wing, mainstream journalists I attempted to contact for help about this for; I’d like to share them before we go:
Believe Women (unless they’re tranny bitches who are too socialist for us)
Believe Women (unless you don’t consider them women despite SRS)
Believe Women (unless they have screenshots of our friend abusing them)
All Feminism Matters (except for trans women’s feminism)
All Feminism Matters (except for a socialist’s feminism)
Socialists are white, male misogynists – even feminist, post-op trans girls
Speak Truth to Power (unless it’s neoliberal media power, we’ll smear you)
Expose Hypocrisy (unless it’s neoliberal media hypocrisy, we’ll destroy you)
Report Abuse (unless it’s neoliberal media abuse, we’ll bankrupt you)
Fight Bigotry (unless it’s bigotry by people neoliberal media likes)
Fight Transphobia (unless it’s neoliberal media transphobia)
Slate Magazine supports bigoted online abuse
Slate Magazine only pretends to give a shit about trans abuse
Slate Magazine only pretends to give a shit about trans women
Cross the neoliberal online smear-o-sphere and we’ll silence you
Cross the neoliberal online smear-o-sphere and we’ll nuke your repuation
Cross the neoliberal online smear-o-sphere and we’ll destroy your platform
Neoliberal media doesn’t care if you go bankrupt, are hurt or even die
Nobody believes you, even with screenshots; you should hide in shame
Nobody cares about you, we only care about your abuser Sady Doyle
Shut up, go away, never talk about your abuse again
It doesn’t matter how you felt; we prefer Doyle to the truth
Just give up already
PS – Vote Clinton
- Nina Illingworth