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Byron Shire
January 28, 2021

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A funny thing happened…

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Warning: Mandy feeds the trolls again…

Last week my column on old white men triggered a man who has been trolling me for the last few months to escalate his menace. He created a meme with a picture of me with ‘confirmed racist’ on my head, declaring The Echo is an anti-white newspaper and should be boycotted. BTW, white people don’t experience racism – we are the dominant culture. The troll went to the trouble of creating personalised memes to threaten every business and every community organisation who advertises with us, or supports us to prompt withdrawal of their support, lest they be seen to be in cahoots with my, and The Echo’s, supposed anti-white agenda. They were posted to their business Facebook pages. This entire attack would have taken days. The content was ludicrous, but the intended harm was a reminder that the alt right aren’t just in America. They are here too, in the Byron Shire.

It would have taken days to create the memes and methodically go through The Echo to create personalised images for every supporter. There were a lot of targets. I know because The Echo had to ring everyone and explain to them how to delete and block the sender. To the big brave white supremacist who sends from a fake account; at least have the courage to author your own madness. If you believe in what you say, then why do you need to hide behind an anonymous account? You may not always like what I say, but at least I put my face to it.

It makes me a target. I am well aware of that. It takes a certain courage to have a strong opinion, or to express something that provokes reaction – I knew that my piece last week was going to stir up the angst of some white men who feel targeted by feminists like me. I knew that they’d misinterpret a piece on white male privilege as a personal attack. I knew that the thesis underpinning my piece would be missed by those who find strong women’s voices repellent. That kind of man still doesn’t want to share space. Most don’t get what it’s like to be a person of colour, a woman or a gender diverse person. I get that, and while I find their responses a bit predictable, I appreciate it when they exercise a level of decorum.

My topic last week was the underlying violence and destructiveness of white male power and how it has created a history of wars and conflict, and now environmental Armageddon. The irony is, the menace of the man who is clearly sharpening his axe for me and for The Echo, just confirms my previous editorial. There was a certain violence in his behaviour. He meant to cause harm. People like him don’t want to share space, and they will go to any lengths to safeguard the status quo; to shut the rest of us up. But I won’t shut up, and fortunately I work for a kick arse little paper that publishes stories most mainstream papers wouldn’t.

It intrigues me that when those who posses the most privilege in our society i.e. white men, are called to account, they adopt the language that has been used by those on the margins when trying to call them to account. And they take on the victim role. When I dialogue about feminism and what needs changing people say ‘she’s banging on again’. As though we are only allowed to have that conversation once a year. When I call some men’s behaviour to account, when I write passionately about domestic violence and the death of women at men’s hands it gets called ‘man bashing’. That is meant to discredit the dialogue, to negate the narrative. Women are not permitted to critique the system that oppresses us. We can be killed in our homes, at the rate of two women a week, but if we talk about it, we are man bashers.

In a world dominated by social media it has become dangerous to speak out against the old school values of the dominant culture. As an opinion writer for an independent newspaper I have the unique opportunity to speak to such issues and give a perspective that doesn’t align with most mainstream media’s philosophy. I see it as my duty to say uncomfortable things, to be disruptive, to start conversations. I am a feminist. I am a leftie. I am an environmentalist. I am a pacifist. I am in support of a Treaty with Indigenous Australians. I don’t believe people should have guns. I believe our country should welcome refugees and give land back to Indigenous owners. I would like to see a more equitable social system. I am anti-capitalist. I am against coal mining and old school polluting technologies. I believe in every person’s right to access safety, food, education and housing.

I have never understood how my values are considered ‘radical’ – because they seem like common sense to me. In fact, they seem to reflect what I understood of the bible from my Catholic schooling. While I no longer believe in that god, I have always thought the Jesus they speak of in the new testament to be of a similar mindset. If Jesus had a Facebook account I can guarantee he would be trolled by angry alt right Christians. Jesus would also be a ‘confirmed racist’. Jesus wouldn’t like guns. Jesus would be a feminist.

And btw, I understand that there are good men out there. Smart men. Men who understand exactly what I am saying and are as hungry for change as I am.

In the world we live in, to speak out, or to speak up, comes with consequences. As a woman, as someone who lives as the ‘Other’ in patriarchal culture, I am aware of the mechanisms that shut down dissent; abuse, attack, threats. Social media has provided an elegant platform for abusive personalities to practise trolling and to menace – seemingly without consequence. It’s happened to me regularly over the years, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t frighten me. It does. It just doesn’t silence me – or The Echo.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder what part of ” old white men” isn’t ageist, racist and sexist ? Not that I care,as I’ve already noted, and you have just confirmed, your column is not meant to be taken seriously it is merely for effect or “to express something that provokes reaction” , well congratulations that seems to have worked.
    BTW, “white people don’t experience racism – we are the dominant culture.”so…that must mean women can’t experience sexism because they are the majority in population.
    Cheers, G”)

      • No Paul, it is a stupid argument, and merely made to highlight the stupidity of Mandy’s assertion, which is just a rehash of the feminist rant that has been crafted and embellished over the last hundred years by much more perceptive and original propagandists than Mandy and the rest, who merely spout this rhetoric in order to prop up their inferiority complexes in an effort to appear relevant. None of this is ‘radical’ or even original it is just ” political correctness” out of the indoctrination camps of the seventies al la Germaine.
        At least Billzee and Rob show some reasonable perspective. To answer Robyn, there is also a difference between white South Africans and the majority, they had all the guns!

  2. Mandy don’t call him a troll. Trolls were relatively honorable, we knew where they were and what they would do if you didn’t take care. They were not cowardly, disguising themselves as something else and hiding behind a cloak of anonymity. Don’t dignify the cowardly backstabber, call him out for what he is! Harry Potter knew him as a Dementor sucking the goodness, warmth, and humanity out of all they contact.

  3. Yeah, Mandy. Your ‘un-named’ twit idiot gets a white feather if he’s intelligent enough
    to know what that means. Women were not placed on earth to service ‘the male’.
    Women have lost their lives due to male physical & mental abuse. I know only too
    well what this feels like having had a step-father who bashed my mother to death.
    Forget the law. Tar-&-feather them & place your offender – Mandy – outside the Hub.

  4. How about “writing passionately about domestic violence” in indigenous communities where the rate is 40 times that of the rest of society. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

  5. Too many mature white males in our society have much to answer for. So much arrogance and their need to control others. The old men on my body corporate committee huddle to plot how to subjugate me. Lol. Small men with a need for power. There’s nothing more offensive, except their insipid, sycophant wives who enable them.
    Give ’em heaps, Mandy <3

  6. Really, “white people don’t experience racism – we are the dominant culture”.
    Sorry, the Lebanese gang that raped white women in Bankstown weren’t racist? They were convicted of racial hate crimes.
    Racism, “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism by an individual, community, or institution against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group” It may be typically against a minority (or non-dominant group), but like DV, it can go both ways.

  7. Hi Mandy, it’s really disingenuous of you to link by association anyone who disagrees with you to wife killers, religious zealots, enviro crims and your personal troll. I’m pretty certain that I’d outscore you on any lefty tick-the-box virtue test and I disagree strongly with your article. Here’s why you are wrong. Firstly you make the most basic of mistakes by assuming correlation means causation. The people you so despise are not at the top of power hierarchies because they are male, white or old. That is a sexist, racist and ageist opinion with no factual or scientific evidence to back it up. The two main things that predict success in reaching the top of power structure hierarchies are IQ and the personality trait of conscientiousness. There is decades of research and stats to support this. The standard IQ distribution curves for men and women are virtually identical except at the very extremities. Those at the furthest reaches of the curve, way up in the 99th percentile are nearly always men. we are talking a tiny percentage of people. Personality tests show a similar pattern for the conscientiousness trait. This is hard science with hundreds of thousands of data points. Again it’s a tiny percentage of men who occupy these places. So, the tiny percentage of people who are at the top of, in particular, corporate structures are generally highly intelligent men who are prepared to work single-mindedly till they die. There are women who do it but they are a small part of a very small cohort. There is a lot more science (not Twitterverse opinion) involved and these same sorts of statistics also accurately predict who goes to jail, who let people walk all over them etc etc
    Further, these qualities don’t appear to be fundamentally changeable by socialisation. By linking this tiny percentage of people to men, white people and old people and therefore tarring them with the same brush, you are doing the same thing as linking criminality to blackness. I’s morally, statistically and scientifically wrong. Those people are there because they are highly intelligent and put there goals above all other considerations.

  8. Socialism, Vincent, isn’t Communism. Billzee (?) in white communities domestic
    violence is usually balanced out by the female parent who hides the hideous shame.
    I’d like to call for ‘the real numbers’. Sexism, Ken is sexism regardless… let’s stop
    splitting match-sticks. A spade’s a spade… if someone clouts you with it you’ll see
    the stars.

  9. Thank you, Mandy, for continually being brave putting your 100% commonsense and one day (hopefully hopefully hopefully) mainstream opinions out there in the open for us all to enjoy ( or not). Rest assured, we are many, women and men, in all colours, shapes, ages, varying abilities, sexuality and religions, who have similar opinions, thoughts and feelings as you.
    You are definitely NOT the only one.
    I surround myself only with people of that ilk and I am lucky to have an abundance of friends.
    Keep on keeping on and again, THANK YOU, for doing the hard work for many of us

  10. Mandy, your piece is just great. It is carefully reasoned, poised, not unduly aggressive but absolutely firm, and i happen to agree with every item in your credo.

    And I am a white man…

  11. Jeffrey Epstein, Donald Trump, The Murdoch men, Vladamir Putin, Harvey Weinstein, et al the list of “famous” white men who are allowed to get away with rude, abusive, controlling, coercive, misogynistic, bullying, nasty, behaviour just adds to the lack of societies ability to not allowing men like this from getting a foothold in our lives in the first place.

    Back in the sixties, these type of men were “Men” adored by lesser men and revered.

    These men are not men they are Monsters who destroy lives, not just those around us but poison the minds of weaker men who think what these men have done is acceptable, applaudable, and to be emulated.

    The rest of the world needs to see these type of men are removed from any public office and never allowed to reach public office in the first place.

  12. There is nothing worse than cowardly people who speak vitriol and wont own their comments.
    You should slither off back to your hole troll and only come out when you have something nice to say or at least man up and put your name to your comments.

    Mandy and The Echo do a great job a covering community news with intelligent and entertaining insights. Long live independent media!!

  13. Craig – there is no outscoring that needs doing but if it’s important to you to
    believe you out-score any woman with your exploited genius then feel free
    to birth your own child [no woman needed] along with its IQ. Remember to
    feed the young – you have breasts – after all. Differences in life grant us
    humanity… not just numbers.

    • Hi Stefanie, my point was that the people Mandy seems most upset with are a tiny percentage of males and the reason they get where they get is not because of their gender or skin colour. Her second article tried to link old white males to all sorts of horrors committed by a tiny percentage. I know Mandy to say hello to and I believe her heart is in the right place but her logic isn’t in this instance. My lefty tick box quip was meant to show that you don’t have to be a white supremacist wife murderer to disagree with her article. Mandy, as I said, mistakes correlation for causality. You are going the standard route of ad hominem attack that those without a sensible factual reply always fall back on. Try to address the points I make rather than make weird assertions about my parenting ability etc. I view Mandy’s article the same way I’d view an article linking skin colour to propensity for criminality or gay marriage to the breakdown of morals – it’s sexist, ageist and raceist.

  14. Valli Cawte has already answered you, Craig. Continue – if you must. Word-games
    addressing points is your standard – not mine. The dominos fall [as usual] on ‘gay
    marriage’ because it’s supposed to be a winner with or without morals attached.
    Time wasting is no help in that mindset. Speak what you know to be sure – not
    what you expect.

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