I came across this on the BBC News - and I'm utterly horrified by it.
"The support for a blogger hounded by death threats has intensified with some high profile web experts calling for a code of conduct in the blogosphere.
"The female blogger at the Centrex of the row has been shocked to discover that hers is not an isolated incident.
"It has led her and others to question some of the unwritten rules of blogging. "
As I've said before, Free Speech isn't free - it's not some luxury granted to us simply because we exist: there are limits to all things. I've discussed this before, and I repeat myself - you simply do not get to burble or blurt out whatever you damn well please. Say like, threatening bodily harm to the president, or shouting 'fire!' in a crowded theater.
Kathy Sierra is a Java Programmer, fer cryin' out loud, whose blog is anything but political (not that that has any bearing anyways), who has written or co-authored books on Java...but some of the commentary she's been subjected to is more than borderline disgusting. Indicative of some sociopathic fucktard who thinks the Marquise de Sade was a poseur, or probably has watched the Hills Have Eyes so many times, their already slim grip on reality has blurred.
The other problem I have, is that I was raised (loosely) Irish Roman Catholic - and one never, ever lays a hand on a woman. Chauvinistic as this sounds, on the physical level, women usually can't compete in hand-to-hand combat: there are exceptions to the rule, true, but overall, a woman is at a distinct disadvantage in a physical confrontation. It's just a fact, folks, and no amount of debate will change that. Granted, these were just verbal threats - even if Pegeen said, "...the blow of a loy, have taught me that there's a great gap between a gallous story and a dirty deed", still, there are limits, there's a point of no return even on a verbal level.
As to the complete morons in question, well, if you go around threatening women, you're coward, pure and simple. Unworthy of the mantle of masculinity you fancy you wear. If you're a bully well into adulthood, then it's time for some serious therapy, bucko.
Personally, I'd like an hour in a room with these assholes, and see how they feel about the phrase, 'Turnabout is fair play'. Maybe to find out if that one assbite is any damn good with his foam-flex bat, or to quote Bud White from L.A Confidential: "You're pretty tough with the ladies. Do you dance with the boys?"
And I don't want to hear some crap about 'violence is the first refuge of a coward', or any of that other schmaltz. For the most part, people will listen to reason: but there are those among us, the walking wounded, who are beyond the level of civilized discourse, who only understand one language well, who delight in the scent of fear that they monger, who are too weak or too feeble-minded to feel that twinge of empathy that separates us from the reptiles. In short, feral atavisms- reversions to type, who understand only the language of fear.
Pardon me if I went off in a bit of a rant there, but my ex-girlfriend left her husband of 18 years for me, because he was a drunken abusive wackjob, so this is a point of major contention for me. Bullies tend to make me see red.
In her own words:
"I have cancelled all speaking engagements.
"I am afraid to leave my yard.
"I will never feel the same. I will never be the same. "
Something like this leaves me white-knuckled. Testosterone in full throttle.
Now, I myself have actually spoken harsh words to other blogger's: I have called more than one male out onto the matt, I have been abusive on occasion - but to threaten a lady in such a manner...well, I've made myself sufficiently clear on that point.
So, where is the line drawn? I've been known to play moderator on the NGB, and have edited or deleted posts that were hateful or abusive (these are extreme cases). I myself, on the other hand, have been accused of being hateful and intolerant. As a rule, I tend to be more respectful towards women than others of my gender - but I maintain that I'll not say something online that I wouldn't say to the other blogger's' face - and that if I treat someone with respect, I expect to receive it in return. I'm a fairly friendly fellow.
An opinion, however, is another thing entire: and while other people are entitled to theirs, I feel entitled to call it foolish if I deem it so, in no unequivocal manner. On that point, there is no debate: unless I can be proven to be wrong.
The sad likelihood that this occurrence will force us all to walk upon eggshells: that general consensuses will collectively twist our arms to mince our words, and that PC pedantry will dilute the language to the extreme where we cannot call the shots the way we see them.
"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul." - Gandhi