Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.
Don’t feed the trolls: it’s probably the most common refrain in online discussions, especially when dealing with misogynists in feminists conversations. The idea is that the best way to deal with sexists is to starve of them of the attention they’re so clearly desperate for. Besides, we think, why sink to their level?
But the high road is overrated. It requires silence in the face of violent misogyny, and a turn-the-other cheek mentality that society has long demanded of women. A vibrant feminist movement has ensured women don’t take injustices laying down offline - so why would we acquiesce on the Internet?
…The truth is - despite stereotypes that paint feminists as forever negative - doing feminist work requires boundless optimism. It means believing that people have the ability to be better, that culture can change, and maybe even that people who hate can learn to love. It’s exhausting. Sometimes reminding ourselves how hilariously stupid the opposition can be is a necessary break from the burden of idealism.
- Fuck the High Road: The Upside of Sinking to Their Level, Jessica Valenti’s latest at The Nation (via pleonasticfantastic)