Open letter to a friend who must go nameless

It has recently come to my attention that another friend, a progressive blogger, has become the target of a cyberstalker. The culprit: you, her (former) collaborator.

Now, I should state in advance that I did not see the blog entries (she tells me there were two) in which you started blaming women and feminism for all your current problems. She deleted them because they were so ugly that she could have gotten into trouble with her supervisors at work.

But you, rather than understanding her legitimate concerns, decided to step up your attacks. Now, not content to blame women and feminists in general, you seem to have fixated on her in particular as the cause of all your woes. You have repeatedly blocked her on Twitter, only to harass her afresh under new handles, but with the same old bizarre accusations. I haven’t been on the tweeter myself that much lately, so I missed all that.

However, I have seen your latest entry on your own (formerly deleted, now resurrected) blog, in which you go on to trash her and claim that she’s the reason you’re mentally ill, you’ve gone through more than $100,000 of your savings, and you’re just a few thousand more away from landing on the street. You seem to think it’s her fault that you are sick, broke, and can’t get laid (your words). Or is it the fault of feminism? Either way, your barely coherent rant appalled me, and I will not link to it; in your shoes, I would delete it and refrain from blogging for the time being, as such defamatory rambling could only hurt you in your efforts to rebuild your life. That is why I am not addressing you here by name.

I don’t know what it’s like to lose $100,000 in savings, as I have never been able to accumulate anywhere near that much. I do, however, know what it’s like to be depressed. I’ve been lucky; thanks to good self-care and daily doses of Vitamin B complex, I haven’t had a relapse in nearly 20 years. If you cannot afford a shrink, at least spend a few dollars on vitamins; they can’t hurt you, and who knows how much they will help? All I know is that they lifted the pall from my own mind and enabled me to function fully as a human being again. Before that, I was much like you: paranoid, irrational, all too willing to blame everyone and everything else, and unable to take responsibility for myself. I couldn’t see past the end of my nose, and I was forever flailing about in a grey fog of pain and exhaustion. The things I did when I was sick still make me blanch with humiliation to this day, nearly 20 years after the fact. And I deeply regret the things I was not well enough to do, too.

That’s why I advise you, as your friend, to cease and desist from tweeting, blogging, and online ranting. Back when I was sick, I didn’t have recourse to any of those things, and it’s a good thing I didn’t; I could so easily have cyberstalked the former boyfriend who wronged me, too. I am grateful that it never came to that, because what with the ol’ Google Cache, those things could have come back forever to haunt me. Luckily, Google was not yet a “thing” back then.

You can ill afford to be sued for defamation of character, and should you find yourself in the position of applying for a job, the last thing you want is for your prospective employer to run an online search on you and find that you wrote all sorts of nasty, ugly things about a woman you wrongly blamed for all your woes while you were sick. I think you know that, since I’m told that you deleted your old blog, where you first started spewing these spurious accusations. In your shoes, I’d delete your new one too, since carrying on in the same vein is self-destructive and counter-productive.

If you are not seeing a psychologist already, start now. Write your thoughts in a paper journal, not a blog, so that there is no electronic record of your worst moments. Share this journal with your therapist if asked to do so. Use it to reorganize yourself and reorient yourself mentally, because if what our friend told me is true, you have gotten very badly disoriented.

As for what you said about feminism turning women into abusers, that is straight-up MRA bullshit and you ought to know it. You say you grew up as the only male in an otherwise all-female household; therefore, you have no excuses for spewing such a load of misogyny. Being the guy who grew up surrounded by women, and presumably more sensitive to their issues, does not excuse it. It means, on the contrary, that you, of all men, should know better than to go tarring women with a broad brush of blame.

So why did you do it, then? Because you had a bad female boss? Because you had a couple of them? Listen, my friend, so did I. I don’t blame feminism for them; I blame THEM for them. And I blame another ism, too: CAPITALISM, which rewards psychopathy in the ruling classes, particularly corporate bosses. Profit is not only unpaid wages that should accrue to the worker, it is the reward of corporate psychopathy; you know this, and I know this. I’ve also had some seriously dickish male bosses, for what this is worth. But you won’t hear me going off on a man-hating tangent because of them. I know that dickishness is a depressingly common trait of the boss class, not males in general. And dickishness, in this context, knows no gender.

Feminism is not your foe; it is your ally, and at this time, you are obviously in no fit state to realize it. After all, it is not about female supremacy, reverse sexism, or penis-bashing as you seem to think; it is plainly and simply about social equality, and human rights for all.

Right now you seem to feel that you have been denied a fair share of something; I’m not sure exactly what you expected, but you sound to me like you have jumped the rails of reason. I am not so much afraid OF you as FOR you. I worry that you might hurt yourself.

Assuming that one day you will be well enough to work again, and that the odds are roughly 50-50 that you will be working for a female employer, again, I advise you to delete that blog. It can only hurt your prospects, and it can only embarrass you when you are well enough to look back and regret the damage you have done. The fellow blogger at whom you have aimed your ire deserves better than that, and so do you.

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