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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

I was a social justice warrior before there were SJWs.

I keep a log of most business-type interactions, whether by phone, mail, or in person, and also some social interplay if it seems off in any way. If things go sideways I want to know what I said or did, and I want to be sure about the other party’s actions so that if I have to complain it is based on reality. So I know that on 09-16-15 I was curious about a website that I had just found: I checked it out, then built a personal page on it from which I made quite a few like-minded internet “friends”. There were some very sweet, clever people on Care2. I spent a couple of months happily signing petitions to support various causes for human rights, animal rights, ocean protection, earth protection, and some politics. Then a troll(s) found me, inserted itself onto my personal page, lied to diminish me, and posted violent images there. I got rid of the troll but only by abandoning my Care2 page which I had been enjoying so much. The website had been unresponsive to my requests for help getting rid of the troll(s).

(Perhaps because Care2 is somewhat of a numbers game, with more participants qualifying it for more money, the website would not allow me to delete my personal page.)

My Last Message To The Troll (a pseudonym) trying to contain the problem. Please consider this. After I got to know you a little bit on Care2 Petitions, and after you expressed some personal concerns to me, I wrote to comfort you, and then I invited you to “contact me any time you like", but you did not. Instead, you posted a warning to friends, some of whom I also share, to be suspicious of people who invite real-life correspondence, which was exactly what I had just done. You warned people to be fearful of exactly what I do. Your posting on Care2 hurt and embarrassed me. Repeat, this HURT and EMBARRASSED me.

While I certainly accept that this is the way for you want to proceed through life, I do not approve of your encouraging other people to be fearful and mistrustful of my way of proceeding through life. Frankly, I do not think it is wise to have any friends who do not have a last name and a physical location in the real world. It is a matter of respect and safety. I respect someone enough to identify myself to them and they reciprocate. If good people are fearful and hide behind an avatar, then bad people can hide behind an avatar among them. I am an adult, I have a last name and a physical location in the world. I encourage every adult who is capable to stand up straight and look the world directly in the eye. For goodness sake, if/when a bad person approaches, you just press “delete” and “block” and then report them. It is that easy.

Ever since there has been writing, people have sent actual letters of correspondence to other people all over the world. Pen pals write friendship letters, scientists correspond about their work, and travelers keep in touch. Paul wrote to the Corinthians. It is a very pleasant and often instructive activity. My intention is not to encourage you to write to anyone, but rather to make you more comfortable with the way other people conduct themselves. Be reassured & be of good cheer, Annmarie

The Troll’s Response was saccharine and fake, obviously made for the record, because it did not stop harassing my Care2 page.

Dear Annmarie ...

Thank you for such a thoughtful message. You are an amazing lady.

I haven't your eloquence or knowledge, but this is for you. <3

Thank you for being my friend! ~ The Troll(s)

And the Troll(s) continued to enjoy itself by bullying me on my personal Care2 page, so as I said I abandoned it.

Nowadays, although I write an occasional note to politicians, usually with copies to the media, to support an issue, I have not had the heart to resume the kind of effort “to help make the world a better place” that Care2 supports. The old activist groups that I supported in the seventies, eighties, and into the nineties, Amnesty International, PETA*, Greenpeace, etc. have become much too militant for my involvement. Sad. Fifty years ago, I would willingly make a four-day pot of inexpensive chili so that I could take postage money from my grocery money to mail support letters for Amnesty International throughout the world, and so forth. However, I now know that the new-waves of these old social justice organizations sometimes break the law, and I cannot be part of that. Also, after fifty years it seems odd that these old groups are still collecting donations; what and where are the results?

I would like to be a new-wave Social Justice Warrior, but for all of these reasons I am not. I have been backed into a corner.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

* And, now PETA appears to have gone crazy with violent civil disobedience, using quasi-pornographic images of women in their ads; and “...put(ting) to death nearly every dog, cat, and other pet it took in for adoption in 2006” because their cruel and crazy philosophy is that pets are better dead than living as companions to humans. I cannot be part of any of that.

Caption: Backed Into A Corner, by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018.

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