A couple of weeks ago something happened which really upset me, the details of which I won’t go into here as it is an ongoing case, and is being investigated.
Suffice to say it involved a trusted professional who abused his position.
I was in a pretty bad place as it brought previously buried feelings to the forefront of my mind, and I needed somewhere to voice my feelings.
I needed support.
I needed someone to listen.
In the past I have used Mumsnet, but I had stayed away for a long time, because it is, largely, a platform where harridans congregate to outdo each other in the bitchy stakes.
But – I thought that with my current situation I would at least find some support, a shoulder to cry on.
A few members were, indeed, supportive. However, the troll hunters were out, and they, in their infinite wisdom and being oh so worldly-wise, decided that I was a troll, fabricating the entire thing for some kind of Friday night amusement.
I posted a comment saying I was going to ask for the thread to be removed – however, as some of the members had been supportive, I decided to stay, and try and ignore the miscreants who have nothing better to do than bully others in need of help.
But the powers that be in their perfect ivory towers decided that, rather than remove the haters, they would remove my thread and ban me from the site.
Let me reiterate.
A woman posted on their site that she needed support with an incident which had happened, and she was vilified for it.
I’m a writer, and writing is how I deal with things, so writing it down was my way of asking for help.
Fortunately for me I am made of stronger stuff, but what about the woman who is in a more vulnerable position?
The woman who is feeling close to the brink?
A woman for whom Mumsnet is a last resort?
To be condemned in that way could be enough to push her over the edge, and the bullying masses who populate the site would have blood on their hands, as would the admin who decided to remove both the post and the poster.
I emailed Mumsnet for an explanation as to why I had been treated this way.
They didn’t reply for 24 hours. Their eventual reply beggars belief.
“Thanks for getting in touch. We’re sorry if we were too quick off the mark there.
We’d had a lot of reports about the trollhunting on the thread and as we could see that you seemed distressed and had said you wanted it to be deleted we thought it was for the best to do so.
You could see I was distressed, so instead of getting rid of the troublemakers, you decided to get rid of the victim?
The other thing was that our system flagged you as having two accounts, so we wanted to just freeze the account you were posting from while we chatted to you about that, as we’re afraid we don’t allow people to post from more than one account.”
Wow. Just, wow. Having already acknowledged that it was obvious I needed support, you threw me out on a technicality? I had an old, forgotten account and you put THAT above helping me?
For a site which is supposed to be a safe environment for women, it is a dangerous place to be. It is, instead, a haven for those who feel the need to belittle other women, and make themselves feel better by causing others to feel worse.
This culture of victim blaming is being perpetuated by those in a position to help.
If anyone wonders why women refuse to report rape and sexual assault, there’s your answer.
If other women won’t believe you, what chance have you got against the police, the barristers, the jury?
Couldn’t believe your eyes when you read about Brock Turner?
This is what women face every single day.
There are genuinely compassionate women on Mumsnet, but not enough to make it a safe haven for females to speak out, or look for support.
The site, the women who run it, and the bullies who hide behind it, should be ashamed of themselves.
Congratulations, you have silenced another victim.