Right. After this long winded tweet, I am putting this to bed once and for all. I am now receiving death threats. Some people want to kill me because I stuck up for a friend. Death threats. I mean, really? Are you serious? Some nameless, faceless cowards actually want me to die. What a wonderful world we live in. And all because of this: I don’t think Steven Moffat a misogynist. I don’t think he is a homophobe. What he is, is a thoroughly decent man, who, in my opinion, writes high quality drama that is hugely popular and continues to win awards. In my opinion. What I witnessed the other week was cyber-bullying at its most rampant. Now, I consider myself a feminist. I am the first to champion women and I happen to work in an incredibly male-dominated profession where good, challenging, stand-out women’s roles are still dwarfed by the huge amount of amazing men’s roles. And where women still have to fight to be taken seriously and keep their clothes on. I am also a mother, first and foremost and I juggle those two careers precariously. Women are made to feel guilty for having children, not having children, working for a living, getting married, staying single, usually by other women, I hasten to add. I have been a professional actor for nearly twenty years and in that time I have been on the receiving end of misogynist behaviour more times than you can possibly imagine. I was sticking up for a friend, who, I felt had been bullied. Now, if you don’t like Doctor Who or Sherlock or indeed, any of Steven Moffat’s writing then don’t watch it. If it upsets you to the point of sending him death threats, then don’t watch it. Be constructive, please, of course, I am all for that but when that criticism turns ugly (and I stress, the stuff I read had become incredibly offensive) then constructive criticism goes out the window and it becomes very personal and frightening. Last time I checked, death-threats were not in the least bit constructive. I have recently just tried to stick up for a young actress who was being harangued on Twitter. It amounts to the same thing. Faceless bullying again. And it is in no way constructive. I sincerely apologise if I came across too strong with some of you. Twitter tends to have that effect on people. The internet can be a fantastic place or Hell on earth. My reaction, in hindsight, may have been a knee-jerk reaction. Maybe that’s because I was horrendously bullied as a child and so any sort of injustice and cowardly attack is heightened to me. Or maybe, I was defending a friend who has contributed to British drama more than any one of the people who were cussing him last week. You see, you all have a remote control. You can always switch off. Just an idea…
There are times when I am ashamed to be human.
I have no words.
Some people should have their asses kicked so hard they could taste the soles in their mouth.
Jesus. What. Some people…
Amanda FTW. Love her.
How. Is this. Still. Happening.
I’ve had enough. Here’s a clue people. If you’re sending out a message into the internet void that you would never utter from your mouth to another person, that is a message that should stay in the belly of your soul, never to see the light of day.
Don’t confuse having an opinion or criticism with you having a magical pass to say or do whatever you want online. Whether it’s to harass anyone through social media- celebrity or not- or to form a blog whose entire existence is focused on sending out hate-filled missiles. Also, if you are a “criticism” blog and every post you make nitpicks and pulls apart every sentence and utterance of a writer to construe a meaning that does not otherwise exist, you are not a criticism blog. You are a hate blog. Most likely operating in order to keep your deflating ego filled or to channel the anger you feel in your real-life into a false -online life. I’m looking at you STFU-Moffat.
Criticism has its place. In a public arena, of course! What should never exist are powder kegs of rage. Its far easier to drop an idea in people’s ears and send them off to do your dirty work than it is to do the work yourself. When you falsely label people as racists, bigots, and abusers you do a disservice to those that suffer the persecution of actual racists, bigots, and abusers. These words do have a meaning and ignite people to vitriolic action.
There is also a certain amount of accountability every one of us must face online and in our real lives. Having an opposing point of view on a topic does not mean you have an open invitation to call them stupid, hateful, or send them death threats.
We need to be better than this. Not because it is Tumblr. That doesn’t matter. Life is not Tumblr. We need to be better because when we walk away from our computers a real life is out there, and its our duty as humans to care for each other.
Whether they look like us, look nothing like us, agree with us, disagree, love us, and most especially if they hate us. Yes, especially if they hate us.
I know this is not a popular opinion, and I’m sorry to my followers for all the ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME!’ posts I’ve been sending out lately. I think we’ve all felt that same tension snap through our bodies from recent incidents. I’ll try to get back to keeping quiet and blogging pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch. Just remember.
Don’t perpetuate the hate.