I gather there was an attempt on Twitter on Sunday to stop essentially sexist “trolls” through silence for 24 hours.
I doubt it worked, despite the fine intent.
In fact, I was quite alarmed by the whole idea. Firstly it penalised the victim, by restricting their free speech for a day. But secondly, far worse still, it gave the impression that sexism is confined to Twitter. It isn’t. It remains widespread and accepted to an outrageous degree, even in “civilised” society. Half a century from now we’ll look back with shock at horror at what we still allow women to go through.
Basically, women still can’t be professionals without ludicrously excessive reference being made to how they look. Car reviews by women habitually draw more reference to the presenter’s looks or potential “performance” than the car’s; women sports officials and reporters still have to allow a polite exchange of views about their looks habitually; even this year’s Wimbledon champion fell victim to it courtesy of a BBC presenter! To be clear, it remains permitted, even in the most civilised walks of life, for the first reference to a professional woman’s ability to be about her looks rather than her capacity to do her job well. This is not the case with men. So it is universal discrimination on grounds other than merit. Yet we all just stand idly by!
So, on sexism, it is long past the time for silence.