Strong opinions on both sides

Jess DeWahls talks to Spiked:

It turned out that an embroiderer was ranting online about the fact that I had work in the Royal Academy. She had attacked me twice before. This time, she basically encouraged her followers to contact all the places that stock my work, including the Royal Academy, and tell them that they shouldn’t work with a transphobe. That afternoon, the Academy emailed me, saying that it had received eight complaints about ‘transphobic’ views I had voiced online.

In other words one opportunistic rivalrous shit (whose work is crap) told people to go after DeWahls and the RA took this coordinated campaign seriously.

Transphobic views like ‘women have vaginas’ and ‘there are two sexes’, presumably. It said it would have to investigate. I replied saying that I was not transphobic and that eight people is hardly representative of the general public. I heard nothing back until the Academy posted on its Instragram story to say that it had dropped me.

Bad manners on top of credulity and incompetence and scorn for women.

At first, I just felt horrible. When you voice views like I do, you get a lot of private support, but people don’t feel they can support you in public.

Unless they’ve already been there themselves, and not only can’t be canceled a second time, but also have better friends and allies.

That changed on Thursday morning, when I woke up to an inbox full of emails from journalists who wanted to speak to me. I spoke to The Times that day, and then the Academy was suddenly really keen to talk to me. An incredibly flustered woman rang me, but didn’t know what to say or do other than tell me that the Academy was just going to sit and let people express themselves, because there are obviously strong opinions on both sides.

As if this were just normal. As if the RA always did what 8 complainers told them to do.

After I wrote my blog, organisations that I was collaborating with immediately dropped me. I helped to raise funds for companies like the Vagina Museum and Bloody Good Period. They dropped me straight away, disassociating themselves with me publicly. I knew my blog would cause a stir. But the reaction was much more horrible than anything I could have anticipated. There isn’t anything comparable in real life to being hounded online and having strangers sending emails saying that they hope you kill yourself.

Ultimately, though, she doesn’t give a fuck.

People like JK Rowling are not cancellable, and that makes the people who hate them so angry. In a way, I’m not cancellable either, because I don’t give a fuck. What the fuck are they going to do? They keep putting rocks in my way and I’m making a fucking statue out of them. I don’t care. I’m not going to have arseholes make my life miserable just because they are miserable.

Living well is the best revenge.

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