The Blissful Solitude of a Revenge Porn Crusader (Update)

One of the Popehats (it’s hard to tell whether it was Ken White or Patrick Beige) twitted a bit of hyperbole:

Popehat1

The twit referred to Mark Bennett’s First Amendment 101 post, clearing up the lawprof Danielle Citron’s effort to obfuscate the law in the hope to deceive non-lawyers into believing that her model revenge porn law wasn’t flagrantly unconstitutional.

Citron’s lieutenant in the battle, Mary Anne Franks took up arms against this twit by offering one of her own.

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Obviously, Franks thought her twit witty and cutting.  I thought it rather infantile and goofy, particularly for someone with academic pretenses.  Particularly for someone so quick to attack others for not being as matronly as she demands.  So I went to retwit it.  I tried. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. That’s weird, I thought to myself. And then I saw the notice at the top.

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Blocked from twitting? What a curious thing. I noted that Franks included a couple of other twitter names in her witty and cutting twit, including that of Carrie Goldberg, who is one of Franks’ minions in the revenge porn crusade. I can’t say for sure why Franks feels compelled to add in these names. Perhaps she fears they won’t read her twits otherwise? Or maybe its the comfort of including those people who will support her no matter what.

Having been blocked from retwitting Franks’ snarky riposte, I went to Goldberg’s twitter, and saw (as anticipated) that she had retwitted Franks’ witticism. Aha, I thought. I can retwit it here. But nope, I was blocked from retwitting Goldberg as well.

It’s not Franks’ blocking me that came as a surprise.  She has a history of hysteria that’s made for some interesting exchanges, mostly involving Franks’ ad hominem attacks while crying about being the victim.  But when I twitted about the fact that Franks and Goldberg had blocked my ability to retwit theirs, a bunch of other people responded that they too were blocked by these two revenge porn crusaders.  While Franks may suffer from the delicate sensibilities of an academic hopeful, Goldberg portrays herself as something of a tough lawyer.

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To be a “NY lawyer murdering revenge porn,” one would expect her to be tough enough to handle a challenge. Though that may only reflect her macho twitter image, as there is nothing to suggest that this has ever happened in real life.  Curiously, while Goldberg has blocked me, she also follows me on Twitter. I didn’t know you could do that.

I didn’t go through the small handful of others who comprise the tiny group of revenge porn crusaders to ascertain whether they too had blocked me.  It didn’t really matter. They aren’t open to being questioned by me.  To challenge their crusade is to attack them, and they have chosen to ask the Twitters to block the mean bullies who attack them.

People who don’t shower them with appreciation and adoration impair their right to free speech.  They have a different right to free speech than others, like you or I, because their free speech not only entitles them to make witty and cutting twits like Franks did in response to Popehat’s, but to do so without anyone disagreeing with them, questioning them, challenging them.  That stifles their freedom by hurting their feelings.

It’s hard to carry the heavy burden of being the voice of victims when your argument can’t pass scrutiny.  It’s harder still when one is a law professor, whether fully tenured or just a lowly assistant law professor, and is presumed to have some minimal knowledge of, and credibility about, the law.  It’s easy to deceive the non-lawyers, but why won’t the lawyers just shut up and let you have your way.  Why must they keep being accurate and spoiling your point?

It’s painful to have so many people, experienced lawyers, point out that your efforts to weasel your way around the law is, well, flagrantly wrong.  I understand. I really do. Especially when you’re so certain that your cause is righteous, no matter how much blood must be shed in achieving your goal.

But to isolate oneself so that one can pretend that one’s cause is beyond question or dispute is to choose to live in a delusion.  Even if it makes you feel better, more safe, validated, to shut out any sound or sight other than approval and adoration, it doesn’t change the reality of others. You can shut your eyes as tight as possible and scream “lalalalalala-misogynist” as loud as possible, but it doesn’t silence people who know the substance as opposed to your hype.  It only prevents you from knowing what others know.

In the meantime, the lawyers (and lawprofs who aren’t willing to suspend their integrity) watch all the spin, the lies and the deception that the silly non-lawyers buy without a clue.  Hate us for it all your want. Haters gotta hate, even when you pretend to be the victims to deceive the foolish.  While you push the spin, guys like Bennett will continue to calmly correct the error.  Whether or not that “destroys” anything isn’t the point. That you’ve sold your integrity and intellectual honesty to win a game of advocacy is the point.  And we get the point.

Update:  I’m informed that Carrie Goldberg either wasn’t blocking me or isn’t now, because the twitters might block me from retwitting Franks’ post via Goldberg’s retwit.  In any event, it has nothing to do with a Gucci bag filled with Louboutins. Nothing.

17 thoughts on “The Blissful Solitude of a Revenge Porn Crusader (Update)

  1. David Woycechowsky

    Yeah, people tend to go a little bit crazy when they feel that their arguments are being “attacked,” especially if it is a good attack. One can try to complain, but then one runs the risk of looking petty or being called a bunch of nasty names. Twas ever thus, I guess, but blogosphere makes it more observable and frustrating.

    1. SHG Post author

      You seem to fall into the false equivalencies hole. It’s not the same for a law professor to promote to non-lawyers a flagrant misstatement of the law to further her political agenda as for lawyers to take her to task for using deception and her position to make people stupider.

    2. Fubar

      Twas ever thus, I guess, but blogosphere makes it more observable and frustrating.

      Deciphered from script resembling Linear B, carved on a stone tablet believed to have been displayed on the door mantle of an office in the ruins of an ancient university somewhere in the general vicinity of the Cradle of Civilization™:

      Don’t quote me, that wouldn’t be fair.
      Don’t cite substance, it’s so much hot air.
      Because I’m a professor
      And you’re just a guesser.
      So shut up! Get out of my hair!

  2. an anon non-law prof

    This is a great post. In my own interactions with some of the revenge porn law advocates (interactions that I can’t quote from, lest I violate any implicit email contracts of privacy), I came away very soured. Their discourse seems unlike 98% of what goes on in academic argument. It was largely without charity, argumentative respect, and so on. It was argument used as brute force, a necessity to move recalcitrant others to a pre-ordained right position. There was no chance or thought that they could be partially or fully wrong. If others cannot be convinced of this Truth, they can be silenced through words at least. That’s the impression I received, at least. One of the drawbacks, and benefits, to the academic mindset at its best is its openness and tentativeness; this often ill-equip us for policy crusades which are too often best seen in zero-sum, combative ways.

      1. an anon non-law prof

        By the way, am I off or did the metaphor here fail to cut it? If one takes “un-housebroken puppies” as equivalent to “very destructive/damaging entities,” she’s basically saying “I’ve seen better destructive efforts from very destructive/damaging entities.” Well, ok. The predicate should’ve been something not connoting damaging or destructive tendencies (like “dead puppies” or “housebroken puppies”?), but this is arm-chair metaphoric quarterbacking.

        1. SHG Post author

          Being up to my eyeballs in bad metaphors on the internets in general, and twitter in particular, I’m willing to give her a pass on that. Yeah, it sucked, but that should be the worst of her failings.

  3. DannyJ119

    If an attack is the equivalent of a logical conversation, involving sound reasoning and judgement, then I may be a mass murderer.

    1. SHG Post author

      Yes, I do recall that. I also recall her attacking others for not quoting verbatim. She’s very hard to please.

  4. MJBees

    You misogynists!!! Can you not try to understand how these women ‘FEEL?’ I am female and old enough to remember the archaic definition of ‘twit.” Maybe you should start a new hashtag–”@revenge porn Twit” and respond to them under that meme.

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