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By Amber Loveshe
On June 9th, 2017, Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling began a 14-tweet rant expressing her disgust for liberal men, “whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them.” Her fury was sparked after a man she previously followed on Twitter described United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May as a ‘whore’, Rowling insinuating his selected crude terminology stemmed from a disagreement he had with May’s recent political actions.
“If you can’t disagree with a woman without reaching for all those filthy old insults, screw you and your politics,” Rowling wrote, “Every woman I know who has dared express an opinion publicly has endured this kind of abuse at least once.” And Rowling is right, regardless of whether aligned with a conservative, liberal, or libertarian ideology, women are still termed with profane, sexist terminology in an effort to delegitimize and silence their political opinions in 2017.
In an effort to shed light on how often these slanderous statements are thrown at them, The Libertarian Republic interviewed women from different areas of the political spectrum about their experiences and how they’ve reacted. Leah, formerly involved with RepubGrlProbs.com and a strong pro-life and second amendment advocate, told TLR, “I was tweeting about how abortion is bad for women, stats on how it negatively affects mental health, that kind of thing. And this creep tweets at me, ‘It’s a shame I’ve never met you in a dark alley…I’d show you why you need an abortion.” When these men began including addresses to locations close to Leah, she decided to combat her feelings of terror by joining the National Rifle Association and practicing her second amendment rights.
Ciara LeAnn Ihm, a proud Libertarian advocate from Illinois, told TLR the derogatory comments she’s received made her feel enlightened, “to know that my views had enough of an impact on his feelings that he felt the need to call me such a profane name. If anything it fueled my fire to continue speaking my mind.”
And speaking our minds is exactly what women must do in the face of political discourse. In the United States, we women are blessed with the ability to exercise our First Amendment rights at any opportunity, regardless of whether those opinions are popular or not. Rather than hide in the shadows, speaking louder and taking advantage of our civil liberties only shows the strength of our convictions and proves our opinions are here to stay.
Though I have never personally experience being labeled with vulgar terms for voicing my political opinions, I’ve been questioned by males for rejecting the democratic party. These discussions were often founded upon the premise that the Democratic party must know what was best for me as a woman, and that conservatism and libertarianism were not the answer. However, as someone who believes strongly in individual responsibility, I pay no mind to what anyone else thinks is best for me, certainly not what the government thinks is best for me, and remain true to my original motivation for entering the political movement: to show the world that I am paying attention and I will never be silenced or scared away from challenge anyone’s political ideas.