Wednesday, 1 July 2015

23. Visible women versus the Twitter beast

Lately, there were several articles in the media about on line abuse against women, particularly on Twitter.

Visible womanhood and motherhood provokes a reaction in some that is hard to understand. In the article "Women: invisibility or blindness?" I argued that women's invisibility in today's society is a consequence of the unconscious blind spot we have for our mothers and the influence our mother's narrative have in our lives. Our psyche is first structured by our mother's words and labels in the first years of our lives. What she names is becomes the basic structure of our consciousness. But rarely any traumatic or negative feelings towards her (including blaming her for the pain of separation) will be named and will remain in our unconscious mind, getting projected onto any visible women that appears in the way.

So the Twitter beast is unleashed: women who express themselves are labelled bitches, witches, deserved to get rapped, are gross, disgusting, you name it.  A pregnant meteorologist in Canada is called gross, women avoid appearing in University Challenge in fear of the exposure in the twitter era.

Somehow the internet starts to behave as the world's brain, and its labyrinth of unconsciousness where the most arcaic behaviour still exists, where there is no "no". 
It is as if there is a part of the collective unconscious that need to make sure women wear a symbolic burqa: reports show that women chose to hide under a ambiguous pseudonym or simply avoid commenting.

However the internet is doing something at the same time: by bringing things to the outside world, where there is an "other" that reacts, where there is conflict, it's making them to start to become conscious. In this sense, the best thing women can do is simply respond. JK Rowling, a woman who has received several waves of twitter abuse, believes in standing up to bullies. Beyond the actual, very smart and funny tweets, it's worth pointing out that she is one of the long list of female writers that have been published with male or androgynous names showing that this issue is not new, it only changed format. Having said that, the evolution from hiding and ignoring to responding and confronting is interesting. It's about leaving behind the victim survival archetype. It's the real sign of women empowerment and the equalising power of the internet (at least for the ones with access to a computer...).


PS: Remember the bullied teen who made the amazing prom dress? She's now doing red carpet designs

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