He hijacked Lindy West’s most precious memories, just to abuse her. So she called him up and called him out.
Rape and death threats have become disgustingly common hazards of the job for any woman with an opinion who writes online.
But the most surprising thing happened when one woman decided to confront her most offensive ‘troll’.
US writer and self-confessed “feminist kill joy” Lindy West is just one of the countless women who receive horrific abuse online on a daily basis.
But Lindy, who writes for publications including Jezebel and The Guardian, received even more abuse than usual in 2013, after she criticised male comedians for being “careless” about making rape jokes.
Because HOW VERY DARE SHE question the humour of jokes about violent, degrading rape, right?
Here is just a small sample of the charming feedback she received via social media at that time:
“I love how the bitch complaining about rape is the exact kind of bitch that would never be raped.”
“I just want to rape her with a traffic cone.”
“That big bitch is bitter that no one wants to rape her.”
But the worst was still to come.
After enduring this harassment for days, she was trolled by a Twitter user posing as her much-loved father – who had died 18 months earlier.
The account PawWestDonezo (Lindy’s father’s name was Paul West) had sprung up out of nowhere.
The bio read “Embarrassed father of an idiot”. The location was listed as “Dirt hole in Seattle”. And the profile picture was a stolen photo of Lindy’s father playing a piano in her childhood home.
This new level of cruelty left her reeling – but for once, she decided to “feed the troll” by fighting back.
She wrote about the attack online, and received an email from her troll the next day.