On Friday I tweeted something funny I saw on my friend Emily’s facebook. It was something her husband had posted on her wall. It was a list entitled “10 Rape Prevention Tips” but when I read it, it turned the usual rape prevention tips aimed at women on their ear, and aimed them at men instead.
My original tweet (cribbed from Emily) is here.
10 Rape Prevention Tips. (not what you expect). @lizzwinstead pic.twitter.com/9CLYqrmVAu
— The Texpatriate (@texpatriate) March 21, 2015
In my tweet, I had “@’ed” Lizz Winstead, a well known feminists/comedian, because I thought she might find it enjoyable. Obviously she did because she retweeted it, intact with my words.
Not long after Lizz retweeted it, apparently Sarah Silverman saw it and retweeted it. Her post is here.
These are great- send to all the men in ur life RT @texpatriate 10 Rape Prevention Tips. @lizzwinstead pic.twitter.com/IPfWsaz9zz
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 21, 2015
It was kind of late on Friday and I went to bed. I had no idea about the retweets that had been sent.
I woke up and as is my habit, picked up my iPad (since phone was dead) to see what new stuff had happened in the social media world overnight. Facebook was all normal. Went to my email…and saw I had about 1000 emails. Um, what? They were all Twitter notifications. Ok, that’s weird.
So I went to Twitter…and BAM, it all exploded. Notification after notification of retweet and favorite, and replies and some weird guys calling me a cunt, and a feminist whore, and some guys saying it was great, and all these opinions, and a bunch of new followers, and here I was, not even having had coffee, wondering WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED HERE?????
Ah. Sarah Silverman happened, that’s what. Wow. So that’s what power looks like.
So, in her repost of my tweet, she RT’ed my post, and left mine and Lizz Winstead’s name in, but she altered my words from what I had posted to “Send this to all the men in ur life”. My original version was way milder, it just said “10 Rape Prevention Tips: Not what you expect”. Her version certainly has some punch, but man, has it pissed off a bunch of people. And they are ALL replying to all. And I am that kid stuck in the middle. I am getting INUNDATED with replies and crazy people and people who just have to let everyone know how outraged they are. I know the nasty responses aren’t aimed at me, and Silverman is a very controversial and outspoken character, so she is is the one they are aimed at. I'm collateral damage.
I get why some people might be kind of miffed by her saying to send the tweet “to all the men in ur life’. No one wants to think that someone they know is or could be a rapist. I totally get that. All I know is, if you really are the kind of person that gets offended by her tweet, you are EXACTLY the kind of person that needs to read it.
I’m pretty amazed at how irony just goes right over the heads of so many people. And also, how many cool people there are out there who get it. And how a lot of them (majority actually) are men. It’s both reaffirmed my faith in humanity, and showed me that the dipshits and reactionary people are outliers. But boy, they can be scary. And everyone wants their say and everyone has their own little soapbox. And they certainly say stuff on Twitter they would NEVER say to someone’s face! People are so BRAVE behind their anonymous accounts.
Whatever. Now that tweet is out there, and it just keeps going…and going…and going. I thought it would all blow over on Saturday and I could have my email account back, which actually shut down from the 8000 notifications I got from Twitter. (Or maybe Twitter stopped emailing notifications, I am not sure.)
It’s made it into the Independent, and the Telegraph, and a whole bunch of other news sites, and man, it just won’t die down.
I always wondered what a tweet gone viral would be like. I’m sure most people who tweet (and aren’t famous) do. I thought it would be kind of cool. And in a way, it is. But it’s also tiring, and a little scary, and infuriating, and damned hard on my iPad battery, and then it’s also a bit….far away, because, let’s face it, this is not aimed at me, I’m just that kid in the middle. I’m keeping this temporary notoriety out of Facebook, and have asked my friends who tried to mention it there to keep it on the downlow, and of course I am not mentioning it at work.
But I kind of wish Sarah might contact me and say “Hey, sister, thanks for the tweet and sorry about the craziness, it’ll blow over, how ya doing?” because this has been one HELL of a roller coaster ride and I am just hanging on for dear life and trying to ride it out.
I’m ready for my 15 minutes to be up. Ready for the virus to be over.