The social media is a minefield brazenly occupied by both bullies and misogynists. Twitter is a world that attracts the clever, the articulate, the sane and insane in equal measure.
One day on Twitter can be intellectually stimulating and then the next can be emotionally traumatising. It is a platform where clever and stimulating conversations can be had. It is also a platform inhabited by green-eyed monsters just lying in wait to attack those they believe they have the right to attack.
I am a woman who believes in mentoring and promoting other women. While I can rant and rave about the shortcomings of our politicians I draw a line at dissecting other women’s personal lives.
When a Zimbabwean brother living in South Africa tweeted about an intelligent young female journalist I smiled. It was a compliment I believe the young woman deserves. But in no time at all the green-eyed monster reared its head in a tweet in response. Envy is a blinding colour and it does not sit well on anyone.
The tweet in response claimed that the young woman had slept her way ahead in the organisation where she works and accused her of being a spy. Insecure people feel threatened by high achievers and every woman who has made it is suspected of doing so by sleeping with the boss/es. Thankfully on the day, there were intellectually sound and sane people who saw this sick response and took on the troll.
I know the young woman who was being attacked. Years ago I edited copy contributed by her when she wrote for a gender magazine I did some work for. She holds a Masters she actually studied for and is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Say what you will but she is a capable young woman. Her choice of where she works is no one’s business. The politics of what people do in or out of bed, when or where is a personal matter – #HerBodyHerChoice. Women are more than just tits and butts. A woman with a brain is lethal and unsurprisingly some will feel threatened by her.
And last time I checked spying was a real job – so if she is a spy – again it is her choice. We live in a world where we are all free to make choices and the young woman certainly has that right too, no matter how anyone might feel about it. We are not in North Korea where everyone should conform to the same standard.
It is unfortunate that there are still people who feel that it is their duty to assassinate other people’s characters and they hide behind anonymity to hurl abuse. Weak-minded people with no self-respect find nothing wrong in attacking those they envy. Trolls on Twitter are a pathetic lot that one either has to take on or simply block.
“Being jealous of a beautiful woman is not going to make you more beautiful.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor