I just want to go on record and say that the “International Day of Hating Tim Wilson” event is A Bad Idea. It’s only going to backfire and provide Tim Wilson with more fuel for his unfettered free speech ideological platform.
It will do this because, almost undoubtedly, Wilson will be able to weather any day-long storm of hatred the Left cares to muster, no matter how co-ordinated or prolonged (honestly, a day of harassment? Please! Try being a female game developer and living through a sustained weeks long campaign of harassment). He’ll weather it fine precisely because he is in possession of the very privileges that the marginalised and the under-privileged often do not possess: a robust social support network (that isn’t made up of also ostracised, also contingently employed, underpaid, overworked individuals), with the wealth and ability to ‘tune out’ from (i.e. submit to the opportunity cost of opting out of) social media for a day or two, not to mention the benefit of not even being able to be the target of insults based on a history of marginalisation, oppression, slavery.(1)
Instead, what Wilson will be able to do will be to kick back, switch off his phone and ignore emails for 24 hours and weather the storm. Come Tuesday, Wilson will now have at his disposal a case study that “proves” precisely why racial vilification laws etc aren’t necessary, and just hamper “free speech”, and why all those blacks, women, gays, jews, etc, etc, etc should just toughen up and stick it out just like the courageous Tim Wilson.
The Left is not going to win with hate. Shame, maybe, as I have argued elsewhere – but even then, only some of the time, and importantly only within a context of respect and the offer of reintegration. Wilson should feel ashamed of his horrible ideological alignment with a neoliberal agenda, and the cronyism that it has always fostered (why do you think he was appointed?!). But hate filled shaming is stigmatizing, and works to exclude. Who are we, the disorganised and disarrayed Left, to ostracize Tim Wilson? He’s laughing at us. He’s even attending the event.
Har har. The joke’s on us.
(1) Actually I’m really interested in the idea of what, precisely, the event organisers have planned on doing on the day exactly. Sending him mean emails? Calling him “a cracker” to his face? I’m really interested in this point since one of the main organisers is Timothy J Scriven, USyd political maven and notorious “Against Identify Politics” brocialist. I would have thought that some sort of economic strike would have been the order of the day, not some affective release of invective… surely that plays right into their hands?! Where’s the industrial sabotage, Timmy???