Helpful Tips for Tweeting: Don’t Threaten Rape or Murder on Twitter

#rape #murder

#rape #murder

As an American with a Twitter account, I’ve watched with curious alarm as anger over the decision to put Jane Austen on the £10 note has risen to levels where opponents of the 19th century author were threatening rape and murder on the Twitterverse.  From a story in the weekend edition of The Washington Post, “Twitter Apologizes to women abused online“:

Hours after successfully campaigning to have a woman — Jane Austen — featured on a new British banknote, Caroline Criado-Perez was bombarded with rape and death threats. The vast majority came via Twitter.

Who knew Austen could raise such passions in the British public that they would feel the urge to Tweet criminal threats?  And do Americans even know who is on our ten dollar bill? The answer is no, we don’t, but I think it’s Alexander Hamilton Andrew Jackson nope, looks like it really is Alexander Hamilton.

While I don’t think selecting Jane Austen is enough of an outrageous act to drive me to rape and murder, I am kind of baffled by the decision, as Jane Austen is the author of some of the most annoying novels in the English language.  I can say that having read absolute no novels by Jane Austen, as I am an American, and we don’t really need to experience anything in order to have an opinion about it.   Anyway, I’m not reading any Jane Austen, so forget about it, even if you threaten to rape and murder me.   I didn’t read her work in college even though I’m sure I was assigned at least one of her novels (Sense and Sensibility, maybe?  Pride and Prejudice?  Boredom and Agony?  Ok, I made that last one up), and yet I still managed to graduate with a degree in English Literature.  Yeah, the American educational system really is fucked up.

So I’m no fan of Jane Austen but still I think threatening rape and murder over putting her face on a £10 note is a little extreme.  I mean, can’t you just pay with a £20?  And always demand your change in £1? Do you really have to threaten rape and murder?  I’m offering a reasonable solution, and you’ll avoid incarceration and the loss of your Twitter account.

Now I’m wondering what would happen if some American tried to replace Andrew Jackson Alexander Hamilton on the $10 with a woman.  Instead of threats of rape and murder, there would probably be actual rape and murder.  I can’t even think of a woman who could possibly be so uncontroversial in American history that the idea would not be met with a vicious onslaught that would make the entire island nation of Great Britain tremble in the face of our American ferocity.  Oh, yeah, we’ve tried sticking women on coins before with the Susan B. Anthony dollar and then the Sacajawea dollar, but you can see that went over so well I have nothing but George Washingtons in my pocket today.

You can follow me on Twitter @WPKarenBrowne and I promise I won’t threaten to rape or murder you.

The image of the Twitter bird appears with permission.

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26 thoughts on “Helpful Tips for Tweeting: Don’t Threaten Rape or Murder on Twitter

  1. bodycrimes says:

    I respect your right not to like Jane Austen but… you’re wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong. I may have to send a stern tweet out over it.

    The funny thing was, Jane Austen was chosen because she is supposed to be the figure that everybody on all sides of politics either loves, or who they have no opinion about.

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    • Karen says:

      My comments about Jane Austen’s novels are tongue in cheek (but please don’t make me read her). 😉

      Yeah, I was thinking how bizarre to get this upset about Jane Austen. Jane Austen! And then I started thinking about what would happen here in the US and then I realized, yeah, people are crazy all over.

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  2. Frances D says:

    Who would have thunk it?
    Good point about women always being on the dollar coins no one wants – they are to close to the size of quarters. Many of the little grocery stores here in NYC refuse to take them.

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    • Karen says:

      The Sacagawea dollars are really quite beautiful, and they’re gold-colored, so you can get like a stack of ten and you feel like a millionaire.

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      • Frances D says:

        I always used to have a lot if them because the train and bus ticket machines give them as change – my husband used to put them in a special little piggy bank I painted for him in a pottery shop. Wouldn’t it be great if the country dedicated a bill to women with pictures of many women on it?

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  3. Dylan Hearn says:

    A minor correction for you. “Who knew Austen could raise such passions in… a tiny minority of completely idiotic, puerile, inadequate, dregs of humanity who have no right to call themselves men… that they would feel the urge to Tweet criminal threats?”
    It did lead to my favourite Twitter act of cowardice I’ve ever seen (warning: contains strong and offensive language) https://twitter.com/JamesManning4/status/361831861049245696/photo/1

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  4. Katie says:

    Jane Austen really has written some of the most annoying novels ever written. I’m glad I’m not alone in that opinion. Twitter can be nuts.

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  5. ClewisWrites says:

    I know we agreed about Jane Austen when I was drudging through my self-inflicted misery, but you’re right. This is ridiculous that anyone would get THAT upset about her being on the money. It’s not my cup of tea, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the fact that she was a groundbreaking novelist and accomplished quite a bit for women and for female authors at that time.

    Maybe someday we’ll have Oprah on the dollar bill??

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    • Karen says:

      Hah! I was thinking about you when I wrote this post! I hope it’s not Oprah. I was talking with a friend over lunch about what American woman could be honored without causing to much controversy and I really don’t think there is any, but if I had to pick a writer, I think I’d choose Harper Lee.

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      • ClewisWrites says:

        Sadly, you may be correct in that there isn’t a woman who wouldn’t cause controversy.

        Harper Lee is a good choice. Flannery O’Connor would be a good one too…

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  6. georgefloreswrite says:

    Whenever I feel that it’s good to be a woman, I hear of crap like this happening. What a downer! While I may not like Jane Austen either, it ticks me off that having an accomplished woman being recognized is reacted to with such scorn and ugliness. Why it almost makes me want to threaten them with castration and execution, but that would be stooping to their level 😉

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    • Karen says:

      I still don’t understand why Austen inspires such rabid hatred from these people, mostly because all she inspires in me is a feeling of “Meh.” Anyway, despite awful stories like this one, it is still good to be a woman because we get to sit down when we pee, we can cry openly at sad movies and no one thinks less of us, and multiple orgasms. Mostly the multiple orgasms part.

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  7. Elyse says:

    Isn’t it terrific that there is no hunger, disease or wars in the world tone outraged about. No oppression, injustice to raise our collective ire and blood pressure over. No climate change, no storms or strife.

    Just wait until somebody proposes Hillary on the $10 bill….

    And you are wrong about Jane ….

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    • Karen says:

      I know, isn’t it crazy the uproar this caused? It would be funny if those threats weren’t so scary. Well, it’s still funny, mostly because I imagine the men making those threats all have very tiny penises.

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  8. Clever Girl says:

    Can someone please tell me who the hell Jane is?!!

    Okay, just kidding. But really, this ridiculousness makes me feel shameful that I’m half British.

    I vote for Miley Cyrus on the tenner!

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    • Karen says:

      I’d pick Selena Gomez, only because the Latinos are taking over the country anyway, they might as well be on our money. But really, both Miley and Selena have me questioning my heterosexuality, so I’m good with either one.

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  9. Maggie S. says:

    *eyeroll* I had no idea it was possible to pass without reading P&P. I read the whole thing in a weekend and turned in my sloppy-ass handwritten master crap on Monday. I talked like Whatsherface for a week.

    I hate Twitter. People forget folks see that.

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    • Karen says:

      I don’t know how I feel about Twitter. I like it better than Facebook, which is just so many forms of irritation I can’t bear it, but I really puzzle over the usefulness of Twitter. I don’t understand how/why it has caught on like it has.

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  10. Jerimi says:

    What a mess. Yet I have a female (!) friend who insists that straight white men are the single most discriminated class in America. I don’t even know where to start.

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