Leslie Jones and Why Trolls Expose Strong Women: #NowWhat

Leslie Jones needs our support.

ColumnTrolls are everywhere–and not the nice ones from “Frozen.” Everyone’s had a run-in with a nasty faceless egg avatar or pixelated American flag on Twitter. But trolling has gone way too far over the past year.

By now, we’re sure you’ve heard that Leslie Jones, SNL comedian, has been bombarded with hate tweets, hacking, and personal attacks this past year.

Troll hackers have compared Jones to a gorilla, posted nude photos of her all over her own site and have made her personal information public. Why? Well, no one knows for sure, but we’re pretty sure it’s because these trolls are scared shitless of strong women.

Sorry. Maybe you were looking for a much more profound, deep statement than that. But honestly, that’s the only reason why nameless, faceless trolls attack independent women: they are cowards.

And we aren’t the only ones who are totally over these tired attacks. Other prominent women are all too aware of these common yet terrifying attacks.

“Instead of doing anything to improve yourselves, you waste your lives online spewing hatred, misogyny and racism. How ’bout getting off your asses and doing something to improve the world? You have declared open warfare on women like Jones because she’s black, a woman, accomplished. But you really hate her because you aren’t any of those things,” writes Linda Stasi for The New York Daily News.

“Because you aren’t, you instead insult women by calling them by body parts, and by using ugly sexual references,” Stasi continues.

“You are such dimwits that you think it’s clever to post nonsense like telling women who’ve accomplished much in life to get a life. News flash: If their lives were any bigger, they’d explode. Meantime, you’re the ones writing hate mail to celebrities you’ve never met. Seriously, losers: Time you all got a life.”

But although it feels good to read and write rebuttals to all these trolls, we have to be honest: These heartfelt columns aren’t going to stop anything.

Every day, another woman gets torn down by her significant other or threatened that he/she will make that woman’s nude photos public if she leaves. And let’s not forget the rapists and abusers who film and photograph their attacks. Until all these hate-filled attacks stop—all of them—we as a society need to take a long, hard look at how we address these attacks going forward.

So, let’s not forget this fact: Leslie Jones and every other strong, assertive woman who gets attacked for being “them” is not the problem; the attackers and the society who lets these trolls get away with these attacks is.

So, let’s do something because just saying something doesn’t work.

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Image of Leslie Jones via Shutterstock, DFree

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.