I think I had my first troll experience on Twitter this past week and I don’t think he was very good at it. Not unless he hacked my phone and released all my private pics without my knowledge (boy, will those viewers be pleased with the 20 pictures I have of things I want to buy for my new house but won’t remember unless I take a picture). I mean, he basically just gave up and blocked me.
Sir, how do you intend to live up to the standard of modern day trolls without at least threatening to defile my dead grandmother?! Honestly, people are so lazy these days.
It was a writer hashtag game tweet that goaded him to respond. The prompt was “parents” in honor of Father’s Day.
It’s from my forever-be-editing WIP which is about a woman who counsels the spirits of the dead to let go of whatever earthly beef they’re holding onto and just like, pass into the beyond already!
Here’s an excerpt from whence the tweeted line came:
“What can I control? I am a specter. I am incorporeal. What more than making the lights blink can I possibly do to rectify this situation with … with my granddaughter and her peers and the generations to come after her who will deal with the same ignorances and prejudices and…” Frustrated, it began to pulse again, its particles straining to hold together until it closed its eyes and sighed. “Nothing. I can control nothing.”
“You can control you,” Catori said simply, quietly, profoundly.
It was a gesture like sitting but instead of lowering itself down onto a surface, Mrs. Wallace’s legs faded and her form descended so that its became level with Catori’s. It had the effect of the woman sitting down across from her without any of the gravity that would have gone with it.
“What if it’s not enough?”
“Then you need to put more faith in the generations of women who come after you,” Catori smiled. “A strong, independent, bold, courageous little girl doesn’t let the world stand in her way. Nor her parents. Nor any of the obstacles that will most assuredly come her way. Will she suffer more for parents who don’t understand or the lack of her strongest advocate?” Catori gestured to the spirit who nodded in recognition. “Yes. Will she become a stronger woman for it? Yes.”
Mrs. Wallace tilted its head, “Then what is there left for me to do? Other than trust my granddaughter, to trust you, dear, to make the world a better place in my absence?”
Catori shook her head consolingly. “Nothing. Trust and move on with the knowledge that whatever your contributions have been, they have not been in vain. And after all of that hard work, all of that vigilance, now you get to rest.”
Even in context, it’s still a pretty assertive feminist stance (when you’re an ineffectual Twitter troll) but I still wasn’t… trying to make a statement. I was playing a hashtag game.
This is why I try to only follow back writers. But you can’t control who you follows you, eh? Some rando who likes to pick fights with lady tweeters when they get a little too uppity about their right to exist and to contribute to a public conversation can just… read everything you write, in or out of context, and reply something like (I wish I had screenshotted it but I’ve never been trolled before so I didn’t know the protocol),
Yes, but is it fair to unleash that kind of girl on unsuspecting men?!
What? What are you…? What does that even…? “Unleash”? I’m “unleashing” a confident girl on the world and it’s not fair because men who can’t imagine confidence in a girl can’t handle it? “Unleash” like she’s rabid and fanatical and I had to hold her back until I found my target?
“Go, little bold girl! Go get the disenfranchised white man who had a tiny bit of his privilege taken away by your very existence! SIC HIM!”
Strong girls need to be restrained! The world can’t handle them! It’s not fair! How dare you suggest it in fiction?!? All the female types might get ideas!
How is it fair to unleash her, he asks. I can’t even. What a piece of garbage.
I replied, “Unfollow me.”
He blocked me.
And now he has NO IDEA what I am capable of unleashing. MUAHAHAHAHA!
Unleash the white man’s hell, little one.