“Another article lecturing us about Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin or not sharing stupid stuff on Facebook?” is probably the response I’m going to hear from a few people, but this is something I have to keep bringing up – because people just won’t stop doing it.
Without fail, every time someone posts a picture of a well-known conservative, especially if it is a woman, a flurry of comments come out that I can’t post here due to how egregious they are. These include explicit, sexist, transphobic and homophobic remarks that even make a politically incorrect person like me cringe, and I have the tendency to curse like a sailor as well.
We have to hear about their anatomy, their intelligence (or lack thereof), along with remarks that we as liberals would be furious at if they were directed toward Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Maddow, etc. Yet somehow, some of us consider it OK to make these remarks, because they’re directed at conservative women – and transphobia is one of the things that really pisses me off.
A few months ago, my friend Erin Nanasi wrote an article that is still making the rounds today. In the blog, she pointed out how using transphobic comments against hateful conservatives, specifically Ann Coulter, only hurts transgender people.
Anytime I am forced by my fellow liberals into defending Ann Coulter, I get very pissed off. Although, in truth, I am not defending Ann Coulter. I am defending my transgender friends, and the transgender community. But I’m still pissed off. We, and by we I mean liberals and progressives who still fucking do this, have got to stop calling Ann Coulter “Man Coulter,” and “Stan Coulter.” Or “Trans Coulter,” or calling her a “tranny.” Do you know why it has to stop? Because we’re not hurting Ann Coulter one bit, we’re hurting an already vulnerable segment of society: transgender women. (Source)
I know it feels good to throw back some of the insults and the hateful rhetoric that many conservatives have been told that it’s OK to use against those who don’t agree with them, including their own friends and family. Back during the 2012 election, there were people who called themselves liberals that trolled conservative pages and used some pretty harsh words to mock Ann Romney, Sarah Palin, and other conservative women.
Granted, some of the things that were said were very funny – but others were extremely crude and went so far as to mock Palin’s son who was born with Down’s syndrome. Making fun of a candidate for being an out of touch multi-millionaire or a Koch Brothers puppet? Perfectly fair game and reasonable. Pointing out that his wife paid more for her horse than many Americans will make in a couple of decades? Also fair game. Mocking her for having multiple sclerosis? Come on now, really?
This isn’t confined to only the trolls, those individuals who make it a point to go to conservative pages and annoy the hell out of people on Fox News or Breitbart. I’ve seen a lot of people who call themselves liberals or progressives climb right into the gutter and say some pretty sexist, transphobic or even racist stuff about conservative women. Don’t believe me? Again, just bring up the subject of Ann Coulter and out comes the sexism and transphobia. Here’s just a few examples found under a post from Raw Story where a story about her was featured.
Still not convinced? How is it that she can say something like soccer is stupid (I don’t get soccer either) or hating on a doctor who was trying to help Ebola victims and sure as hell, people will come out of the woodwork to unleash their equally venomous responses? Or how about the fact that Snopes had to post an article debunking the fictitious story from National Report that Sarah Palin demanded President Obama “invade Ebola” because so many people passed it on as being true? I’ve even seen people direct some really nasty remarks against Laura Bush who never did anything controversial or upsetting to liberals, other than making the mistake decades ago of marrying George W. Bush.
Let’s face it. No, let’s make this a public service announcement that reads as follows: “Ann Coulter is a troll. Sarah Palin is a troll. Stop reacting to them. Period.” We can’t keep responding to hateful words from these people with more of our own. They do these things to draw out the worst in us so they can point out our words to their followers as proof liberals are just as intolerant and hateful as they are.
Why does this matter? It matters because we can be better than this. There’s no reason to attack people, especially conservative women, for their gender or appearance when we are supposed to be fighting to end sexism and other unsavory traits of the radical right. We can certainly attack their ideas and call them out for being horrible people, but if we stoop to transphobia, sexism and ableism, then we really aren’t being much better than they are.
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