Life isn’t a game where the object is to collect the most awesome points. I think it’s great if you’re able to solve your problems without recourse to the authorities, but you don’t get to snidely look down on others if they can’t do the same. But if your argument against a woman involving the police to deal with a stalker is basically “Who’s against the patriarchy NOW?” and “Real women ride motorcycles and beat up the creeps they encounter!” you are a) incredibly naive and b) kind of a nasty person.
…OK, I wanted to say two things, as it turns out. The “just been mean/physically violent until the trolls go away!” is not just an unfair double standard – do men who have opinions in public have to do so? No – it is actually REALLY FUCKING DANGEROUS. Some predators back off when confronted. Others take verbal or physical aggression as an excuse to escalate the situation. And a woman who has been able to shut down predator type A “being directly and verbally such a cunt that he soon disappeared” (that’s a quote, by the way) will get a very rude awakening if she tries such tactics on predator type B.*
…Make that three things: the problem isn’t that women are insufficiently awesome. The problem is that we live in a world which actively and passively dehumanizes women and enables predators. Or even more succinctly, if members of group A are routinely assholes to members of group B, the solution is not for group B to be assholes right back.
What the solution IS is not for me to say. I am not a feminist activist; I’m more like a fan of feminism. But trust me, there is a discussion happening. Just not in Vice magazine.
*Simone de Beauvoir, of all people, describes exactly this situation happening to her rather farouche young friend Lise: “One afternoon three young fellows passed her in a deserted street…one pinched her bottom. She promptly lashed out at him, and was shattered to find herself lying on the ground with a bloody nose and one tooth broken.” The Prime of Life, p. 477