By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood March 16, 2012 at 12:15PM
I'm feeling a bit depressed this morning. It's March and we are supposed to be celebrating the strides that women have made, yet, right now it feels like things suck. I'm hearing some horrific stories of how women are being treated in the entertainment business. I see crazy stuff happening on the campaign trail where candidates say they want to get rid of Planned Parenthood and roll back other advances made for women. And don't get me started on the Sandra Fluke/Rush Limbaugh stuff. That makes my head want to explode.
I woke up this morning to a couple of more misogynistic comments on my site. I didn't delete them (I have deleted ones in the past) because, hopefully, some of you will decide to talk back to these trolls. I've had trolls before and I am used to it, but it still stings. It takes a real effort to comment on a post. And these guys usually never use their names. I know I should have a tougher skin -- and my skin has become calloused -- but the comments are never about the writing (or my grammatical errors) they are always about women and how women want to take over the world and how we should just shut up. And today's brilliant genius compared feminism to Nazism. That's never fun.
And I also woke up this morning to some really vicious tweets and comments directed at the English writer Allison Pearson (I Don't Know How She Does It and I Think I Love Him) in response to a piece she wrote in the Telegraph on gentleman who has "locked-in" syndrome and wants to die. Many people disagreed with Ms. Pearson's position which is legitimate, but she was called a c**t by comedian Doug Stanhope. He decided that disagreeing with her point of view made her a c**t. And his vitriol has unleashed widespread vitriol in the comments. Disagree like adults. Shaming and demeaning women is dangerous.
We are in deeply troubled times where women are in trouble and hated and treated poorly just for being women. I saw a work in progress documentary last night A Quiet Inquistition about abortion laws in Central America. The movie was terrifying. Women sentenced for 25 years in jail for a miscarriage because there is no trust in women. Women allowed to die from septic shock because the laws are so strict that there are no exceptions to save the life of a mother.
And the scary part is that there are laws like that coming to the US.
So I plead for civility. I ask that we all think before calling people names -- women and men. Calling a woman a bitch or a c**t is unacceptable even when women do it. We all get caught up in it, but it really is up to us to break this cycle. I just can't even begin to imagine what kids are processing when they see adults acting like jerks all the time.