Blogging under a pseudonym is appropriate and understandable in many circumstances, especially if the blog engages with controversial issues, and the blogger has reason to fear for her personal safety and well being. Lobbing nasty personal insults from behind a pseudonym is another matter entirely, and it is the act of a petty, meanspirited coward. However one feels about Ana Marie Cox, she does not deserve the sexist, vitriolic abuse she received in this comments thread at Hullabaloo or in this comments thread at Eschaton. Hatemongering is not “liberal,” and neither is misogyny, no matter how righteously or amusingly it is spun. Disagree with her on the merits or lack thereof; leave the bile spewing personal attacks to the right. We CAN be better than them, the bar isn’t too high.
Update: Excellent relevant comment over at Pandagon, here’s an excerpt:
I also understand that all these jokes about”civility”and niceties are quite funny, and maybe I’m just a prude, but the tendency towards crassness, obnoxiousness & plain rudeness for its own sake in the blogosphere, rubs me the wrong way sometimes. It doesen’t seem all that different from Wingnuts & other clowns who are deliberately provocative & offensive & say things beyond the pale, and when somebody calls them on it, they snicker about offending square liberals’ PC sensibilities. It’s absolutely infuriating when they do it, I don’t imagine it’s any different when progressives do it either.
Another reason I object to is that I see how it affects those who discuss women’s issues. E.J. Graff writes about feminism & women’s issues over at TPMCafe and she usually ends up getting some incredibly intimidating hate-filled comments for her troubles. So much so that after she discussed the myth of the”war on boys”she had to write this;
â€œOh, and before you comment on the Rivers/Barnett article, here’s another thought: a number of writers have noticed that when we write about feminism or women’s issues, we get truly vicious commentary, far worse than when we write about anything else. Personally, I was shocked to discover how much more verbally violent the response is on on women’s issues”
In other words, those writing about women’s issues are being intimidated by violent comments & e-mails (on a liberal site no less) to the extent they are actually writing about it as a plea for civility. According to blogger conventional wisdom though, “if E.J. Graff & other assclowns can’t take the fucking heat that comes from publishing their insipid feminist shitfests well they can GET OUT OF THE FUCKING KITCHEN! & stop writing self pitying horseshit about”civility”, to fuck all with decorum, niceties & all that other bullshit.”