Dear Shonagh/Writer in Residence/Aurora New Dawn,
When we first read your so-called "open letter" we thought it was some kind of elaborate practical joke; we haven't heard such whiny, elitist, middle-class, psuedo-feminist claptrap spouted outside of the comments section of The Guardian.
The opening line of your letter really says it all, you hadn't come across our page until yesterday. Coincidentally we see exactly the same admission from one of your supporters on her blog, penned from the furthest reaches of Ecudaor!?! So without any fundamental knowledge, background or history to our page, it's ethos or it's community standards or guidelines you feel the urge, or indeed overwhelming need, to wade in and tell us what to do, how to behave, how to interact and why all 27,000+ of us are all such nasty and horrid bullies. It appears that ignorance, snap-judgements and bigotry are not just the preserve of the right.
Shonagh, it does not surprise us, nor indeed do we find it ironic, that you were on your way back from a "national roll out" (whatever the f*ck one of those is) on Stalking. You spend your entire lives submerged in a succession of workshops, "safe spaces" and conferences on what a wicked world we live in whilst never seemingly having the chance to witness, savour or enjoy the real world for yourselves.
Whilst pages like Britains Biggest Tossers and 4000 chavs a year die from tesco cheap booze. Every little helps :) and Portsmouth Walk of Shame Watchdog exist in a primordial swamp of abusive, sexist, racist, bullying and bigotted pages you took it upon yourself to be angered, outraged and prompted into action on all Portsmouth residents' behalves for something benign that you yourself admit you know nothing about.
Whilst we feel it is really beneath us to respond to this ridiculous and somewhat offensive nonsense we would like to set the record straight; how a photo of an unidentified person, who's face isn't even visible, taken in a public place, and the light-hearted ribbing and humour that ensues, could be portrayed as bullying of any form is a nonsense. Neither person in the photos our letter refers to have contacted us to ask for either picture to be removed; neither has one single member of their friends or family. Surely for there to be a victim of bullying there has to be an actual victim? Aurora New Dawn don't even ask those they claim to be representing if they wish to be painted as victims, they take it upon themselves to claim someone's victimhood on their behalf; the sheer arrogance and misguided self-importance is astounding.
You then seem to have purchased a job-lot of artistic license in presenting the circumstances the initial photograph you reproach were taken in. The fact that your little foray into creative writing is an utter fiction is at best bemusing:
It would seem that the human approach – the polite tap on the shoulder and a quiet word to let her know what had happened – had passed one (some?) of your followers by. Instead, out came the smartphone, up went the photo, and so commenced the public shaming, bullying and vilification of a woman who did nothing other than stand talking to people on a pavement, outside a bar, without realising that her dress wasn’t quite playing along.You weren't there so it is no surprise that this little flight of fancy never actually happened. Several people who were at Skye Bar that night confirm the details shared by one female reveller:
I thought she had no knickers on and people kept going up to her and pulling it down for her but at the end of the night it was up at the front as well. Turns out she opted for the red thong :D
So the little fantasy background you've shared with your readers, created in your own head, bares no relation to the actual events. Right. No doubt you will retort that it doesn't matter the background to the photo but if that is the case why did you even feel the need to invent one? To embelish your piece with a nonsense of fiction? If it was actually just to win an argument, and the moral highground, rather than holding genuine actual concerns for this young woman and the serious issues you've discussed you've done yourself, and your cause, a great diservice by entering into the grounds of sophistry. The fact is this woman clearly had no shame in showing her wears to the public for most of the evening, it is you who has chosen to tarnish her with shame and it is you who has conjured up her victimhood status.
Over the past few days our page, our admin team and our followers have been subjected to a pretty nasty and pernicious trolling campaign of anger, insults and abuse at the hands of Aurora New Dawn and their tiny cabal of militant faux-feminist activists; several of your supporters even echoing a comment made in the blog, mentioned above, calling into question people's right to have a rainbow flag for marriage equality and LGTB rights as their profile picture simply for having the temerity to disagree with your Stalinesque party line...astonishing, conceited and so, so arrogant! The hyprocrisy of people purporting to be campaigning against bullying actively participating in bullying, abusive and intimidating behaviour is not lost on us.
Freedom of speech means these people are quite within their rights to set-up their own Facebook pages, or launch their own funny, little petitions, but, much as you wouldn't go into someone's home and start laying down the law, shouting the odds or being generally nasty and abusive, so you shouldn't do so on someone else's Facebook page. It is rude, ill-mannered and shows a fundamentally ignorance to internet, and indeed social, etiquette. Much like your ghost victims you see a dichotomy where none exists.
Shonagh, you want to talk about hypocrisy then let's talk about hypocrisy.I don't know which highbrow broadsheet newspaper you buy but you can bet your bottom dollar it has employed and paid people to hound, stalk and harass people before publishing their photos without permission. You can guarantee it has objectified and dissected famous women's bodies, clothing and images in a none-too-friendly or sisterly fashion. You are active on Facebook but this is a social network that allows a platform to the fascism of Britain First, and the racism of the BNP and KKK, through to the countless pages and groups promoting sexism, misogyny and pornography. Aurora New Dawn itself is more than happy to hold social and fundraising events at an Albert Road venue that has actively promoted and hosted Dapper Laughs, probably Britain's biggest proponent of rape culture, body-shaming, slut-shaming and any other shaming buzzwords you wish to conjure into existence. Now what was that you were saying about hypocrisy again...?
With over 27,000 followers we far more understand and represent the joys, concerns and interests of the people of Portsmouth than an extraneous so-called charity that has thrown all of it's resources, contacts and networking into a petition that struggles to get even a few hundred signatories. We wonder if those who have made charitable donations to them are aware of how their money is being squandered. There's also a beautiful irony that the vast majority of those who have signed a petition calling for an end to anonyminity, have chosen to remain...anonymous.
We are far more concerned that a cabal of extremist radical feminists are cloaking themselves in the guise of a charity to propagate and forward a blatant political agenda; one where they create "victims" were there are none, where they claim any man accused of sexual violence is inherently guilty simply because he possess a Y chromosome, and choose to waste their time and resources mounting a witchhunt against a community Facebook page and it's followers when there are thousands of women and children, and also men, who they refuse to work with, that are the real and genuine victims of sexual violence, intimidation and abusive relationships. Their exploitation of victimhood to further their own misguided agenda is an insult to the real victims of bullying, abuse and harassment.
Spotted Portsmouth recently ran a hugely successful campaign during Mental Health Week, was 100% behind promoting and reporting the recent local LGBT Pride event, regularly highlights the issues of animal and child abuse, homelessness, addiction, bullying and sexual violence and stands on a progressive platform of inclusiveness, equality and community.
Aurora New Dawn are nothing more than an insignificant, politically-motivated clique; elitist, self-appointed guardians of morality, sneering at the working-class, exploiting harassment and sexual violence to further their own bizarre aims and careers, obtaining donations to promote a peverse radical feminist, Dworkinesque, man-hating agenda where all women are victims, all men are perpetrators and any rationality or logic is lost in a blur of A-level cod-feminist doctrine.
It's time for you to grow-up, smell the coffee, get from behind your desks in your little charity offices, civil services buildings and lecture theatres where you have been isolated and insulated from the real world for so long and realise your ethereal little fairy kingdom of middle-class smugness is actually populated with real people, working-class people, who act, behave and socialise in a far different way from yourselves.
Spotted Portsmouth condemn all forms of bullying and sexual violence unequivocably and urge all victims to approach a genuine and responsbile charity such as Rape Crisis, Survivors UK or Ditch The Label where they can receive the proper and appropriate professional help, guidance and support.
In conclusion it only remains for us to leave you with the song I have been listening to whilst typing. Remind you of anyone?