I've taken a bit of blow-back today from progressives for writing that the articles about Holly Fisher's sex life are unethical tabloid misogyny. I'm no fan of Ms. Fisher. I think she is solidly in the right wing lunatic fringe, and that her views on gay rights are bigoted.
However, I'm opposed to the slut-shaming that she has been going through, for three reasons.
First, the attacks on her are against the backdrop of similar attacks against women in the course of the loose and leaderless movement known as gamergate. Charles C. Johnson, the notorious internet troll who initiated the attack on Ms. Fisher, has been a vocal supporter of gamergate. Johnson launched this immediately after a hit piece by Milo Yiannopoulos about Shanley Kane was published. This is no coincidence. The sustained slut-shaming attacks on Zoe Quinn, one of the targets of gamergate, demonstrated to ethically challenged writers that publicly attacking the sex lives of women could get them a lot of traction in the current conditions on the internet.
Second, Ms Fisher's indiscretions have nothing to do with her politics. I've been told that the issue is her hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is a large and unfortunate aspect of the human condition. Presumably people on the left are in favor of fidelity in marriage. I certainly am. But people on both ends of the political spectrum, particularly young people, do unwise things. Attack Ms. Fisher for her bigotry. Not for being human.
Lastly, the internet is in a very precarious position with respect to free and open speech. Harassment, the worst of it directed at women, has become a large and organized activity. It won't take many more of these sustained harassment campaigns for the public to begin calling for a crackdown. It's not likely to be directly because of the attacks on Holly Fisher. But the focus on her has to be put in the context of the harassment of Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Shanley Kane, Brianna Wu, and a half dozen other women. The people carrying out these campaigns, primarily from the chan boards and reddit, are a coordinated but largely mindless mob.
So if you want to attack Ms. Fisher's political views or activities, fine. But stay away from this tabloid noise about her sex life.