It’s not very often one gets the opportunity to see something good turn ugly.
I had that opportunity today on Twitter. (I know, Twitter can be an ugly place. Why am I surprised? Perhaps it’s because it can also be a place of tremendous support.)
While scrolling today, I caught a glimpse of a hashtag that piqued my curiosity: #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear
As a woman and a writer, I couldn’t help having a closer look. Although there were a lot of cringe-worthy moments posted by women in writing, it was empowering to see so many of us dealing with the same misconceptions. While I would never credit a hashtag with any sort of real importance, it was interesting to see this one act as a sort of bond between women writers of every genre.
It didn’t take long for the trolls to chime in.
Some criticized “middle class” women for sitting on their duffs, complaining. Others bashed them for creating a furor out of nothing. Others appropriated the hashtag in order to advertise a product. Others just criticized women and their “bellyaching”, in general.
As one women writer said, and I’m paraphrasing, “Folks, if this hashtag doesn’t speak to you, then it isn’t for you.”
Writers, men and women, have to deal with a lot of interesting comments. We get it. We’ve all been there and understand not everyone is appreciative of the effort and passion that goes into writing. I’m sure many male writers shake their heads when people make judgments about their work as well. However, as in so many professions, women still get the shaft on far too regular a basis. We all know this but apparently it’s a sin to rally around each other to point out the discrepancies.
God forbid women writers have their own hashtag.
Give it a rest, trolls. We have to deal with you in every arena of life. Must we deal with you and your ignorance in this way as well?
I propose a new hashtag: #TakeItSomewhereElse