Twitter is an echo chamber of social media loudmouths who have confused political activism with domestic abuse. To these shrill critics, it is all about meeting their demands. They scream, rant, yell profanities and devise ridiculous ultimatums. They insist on obedience. And who is the object of their abuse? None other than the woman in charge of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
To use the analogy of domestic violence will reverberate with many. It is the psychological shredding that comes from constant debasement and demands, the chipping away at identity and capacity. And this doesn’t include any physical abuses at the hands of the tormenter.
As someone who volunteered at the first shelter for abused women in the South (Hubbard House), and who was trained to counsel these women as well as rape victims, this onslaught of rage against Nancy Pelosi bears all the marks of domestic violence.
- The criticism/abuse is misdirected rage. Rather than criticize other House Democrats who haven’t called for impeachment or the entire GOP caucus or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the social media abusers select what they consider a soft target – a woman. This coincides with the profile of the abuser, who is often an insecure male who directs his pent-up rage at a female rather than the powerful men in their lives who are the original triggers.
- The criticism/abuse is intended to separate Pelosi from her allies, in the same way an abuser isolates his victim from family and friends.
- The criticism/rage is provoked by unrelated circumstances. Many social media abusers now blame Pelosi for every evil misdeed occurring under the Trump regime, demanding that she magically fix everything from Executive Orders to his Cabinet’s abuses of power to the Trump sabotage of the Fourth of July.
- The criticism/rage is designed to humiliate Pelosi and to remove from her the power she holds as Speaker of the House.
- The criticism/abuse is unabated, personal and accelerating in vitriol. Again this progression in intensity follows the pattern of domestic abusers.
One of the most vocal and vicious of the Pelosi abusers is Peter Daou, who months ago called for her removal. Daou, once an aide in Hillary Clinton’s campaign, has systematically withdrawn from that alliance and blocked every voice that objected to his Pelosi rampage.
Richard Painter, an attorney who heads up CREW and opposes Trump through legal channels, has joined the effort to depose Pelosi. His rage is exemplified in the tweet below.
There are others. Plenty of them. Many are mockbirds who mimic and amplify whichever Pelosi attack crosses their timeline.
There are those who pick up the thread of hate and toss it out to bait others, people like this fellow, who is apparently tweeting from the UK:
We ought to see this for what it is and stop it. Domestic abuse and misogyny are coincidental to autocrats. We have one wannabe autocrat in the White House, we cannot abide any more bullies. We especially cannot stand by while yet another strong woman is pilloried.
To steal a maxim: See something, say something. It matters. We need to recognize abuse and call it out.