To anyone who’s been attacked for writing or saying something true, benign or meaningless which strangers on the internet found so triggering, they amassed in a pixelated blur of torch-weilding ogres calling for your real head: don’t apologize.
That’s it. There’s nothing to be gained by atoning to a lynch mob of internet twits — I wanted to use a different vowel there. There’s nothing to be gained by caving to online pressure by amending your words or deeds based on the apoplectic tantrums of — what I can only assume — are sorry sacks of cellulite leading empty lives. Especially if you were in the right.
Two recent examples pop to mind. Both from Hollywood.
Side note: anyone who says “Hollyweird” is dead to me. I’ve added the word to my banned term list, right up there with “libtard,” “Killary,” and “Obummer.” Honorable mentions go to “Baby bump” and all those people who will tweet those words at me on purpose, thinking they’re original.
Back to the point. In the first case, a coalition of rainbow-colored hobgoblins descended on Scarlett Johansson for being an actress playing a part. She was cast in the role of a transman (a woman who identifies as a man) for the movie Rub and Tug. What the lynch mob found most offensive was not the imagery the title conjures. Forever scarring those who hear or read it. No, no, the mob was outraged by a woman, who makes a living as an actress, which we can further break down as a person pretending to be someone else, playing a woman who thinks she’s someone else. Specifically a man.
This is what we’d call a non-troversy if the word wasn’t on my banned term list. Ted Cruz might call it a nothingburger. Actors play that which they’re not. Hence the “act” being the root word for “actor.” I don’t remember outrage over Johansson giving her voice to a snake in The Jungle Book, with the mob crying about Scarlett appropriating Hillary Clinton.
Nevertheless, despite Scarlett Johansson doing nothing wrong, she apologized and pulled out of the film. You can read the full apology here. When all she wanted to do was breathe life into a trans character, likely pushing the left’s transgender agenda. But since the mob INSISTED a character be played by an actor who is the same as the character, the movie has been shelved. And likely won’t get made at all. So.
In the second case, British actor Henry Cavill, who has recently played Americans despite being British (SHAME!), most recognizably as the most American of all the American superheroes (DOUBLE SECRET SHAME!) apologized for pointing out the #MeToo movement has made him wary about dating women. I wrote about it in full here. Maybe I wrote a tad too much. The cackling hags who call themselves “progressive feminists” usually draw my ire. Taking my own advice, I shan’t apologize.
Despite being completely correct, that some women do equate that which isn’t rape with rape, Cavill apologized for the misunderstanding. Which, granted, is hardly a retreat. But there was nothing to misunderstand. The only thing Cavill did wrong was refusing to double down. When he should have, in my humble opinion, pulled up recent cases of men being falsely accused of rape, or feminists equating almost anything with rape culture, then saying “Go to hell, you crazy witches.” Which would’ve sounded classyAF in a British accent. Oh well.
Because here’s the truth: apologizing to the mob in both the cited cases will only embolden the mob. To attack innocent people they find triggering in the future, and to attack both Scarlett Johansson and Henry Cavill on a slow news day. If you give a mouse of cookie, it’ll find a way to call you a Nazi.
Johannson should have stood her ground. She should’ve said “I’m going to bring honor to the trans community with my raw, gritty portrayal of the struggles of the trans community. Anyone upset by my playing this character is free to sit this movie out. Perhaps use your quiet time to find a hobby which isn’t identifying as a spoiled five-year-old denied a cookie. But I’m here to do my job and to do it better than any other ACTRESS or ACTOR out there.” For which I would’ve given her all the fist pumps. She’s an actress. Her job is to pretend to be that which she is not. Not to appease mental-neutral squishes on Tumblr.
Cavill spoke truth to a movement which, though it started in the right direction, has spiraled out of control into a nationwide bitch festival of angry bitches looking to bitch about everything. He should’ve said “Yes, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for all the men who’ve been falsely accused of rape. I’m sorry some people have been tried and sentenced simply because of guilt by association. I’m sorry I feel uneasy talking to women I don’t know, while in the back of my mind I wonder if they’re crazy, rabbit-boiling loons who’ll ruin me forever with a baseless rumor if I do something they find displeasing. So yes, I’m sorry for what’s become of the #MeToo movement.” For which I would have given him all the creepy winks.
But neither pushed back. Neither stood their ground. The internet mob took two more scalps by just being obnoxious, hateful, and loud.
Final thought here: internet mobs are like bottle rockets. They have a spectacular launch but fizzle quickly. I say this as someone who’s stirred a few mobs myself. I say this as someone who’s received some strange, hostile, and nasty threats from some of the internet’s most bizarre corners of friggin weird. But all the mob has is outrage. They have no power beyond that. And you may be surprised how little the real world cares about what a few dolts with avatars have to say on social media. Hint: hardly at all. People in the real world have lives. Outrage mob bottom-feeders have to hit the Google machine for “What is a ‘life’?”
When it comes to the crazy liberal lynch mob, never back down. Never surrender.
~Written by Courtney Kirchoff