In our February issue I wrote about observing Icelandic discourse from afar, via social media and also via regular media. My thoughts: there is something broken in the way we handle things, all too often our battles are lost because we just let do with screaming about them on-line, liking a couple of articles that espouse a favourable sentiment and then moving on to whatever’s next, nothing gained, nothing accomplished.
I am still observing from afar, like some sort of pervert. And I am still mostly bemused. However, through all of February’s bursts of pointless i-violence, I gained a little hope. Because someone has stood up to internet violence, with some internet tricks of her own, and kept at it, instead of deflating and retreating.
I am talking about a woman called Hildur Lilliendahl, who is an esteemed contributor to Grapevine and who I am proud to call a friend. What she did was this: she started collecting screenshots of hate-speech directed against women in public internet comments and articles. She then posted them to a photo gallery that she called ‘Karlar sem hata konur’ (“Men who hate women”), directing the public’s attention to just how vile and ugly men can be in their feeble attempts to dismiss feminism—or women’s opinion in general.
Hildur came under heavy fire for the simple act of collecting this hate-speech and drawing attention to it. An all out attack was launched. And she stood her ground, and is still standing her ground. Most people would have balked from the rage and fervour directed at Hildur. I would have. But she stood her ground and she is still standing. Death-threats be damned.
I applaud Hildur and her efforts. She is setting a great example for the rest of us. In the immortal words of I Adapt: “Fight the good fight!”
Learn more at www.karlarsemhatakonur.tumblr.com