A woman’s conversation with her work team overheard in Timberyard was a useful and practical demonstration of how grievances and anger can be dealt with in a work setting.
After the team members presented their complaints to her, she worked through each one systematically and, ultimately, disrupted the narrative they had no doubt used to justify their failure to deal civilly with female colleague who had angered them so much.
Helen Lewis, writing in the New Statesman about Kathy Sierra’s post (it’s titled Trouble at the Koolaid Point on her blog) says that we should care about trolling because it is “fundamentally about the dangerous gravity of a compelling narrative”.
I’m still not clear about the practical implications, but Lewis’ point about the need to do take on these narratives brought to mind the woman’s tactics in Timberyard and the way she challenged the story they were constructing:
So, how do we fight trolls? We fight the stories they tell themselves to justify what they do. We make the case that there are many enemies of free speech, but they are not, largely, female writers or programmers, or women who make TV shows about Pompeii. It’s impossible not to feed the trolls; but we can destroy their narratives.