Sometimes, Christmas comes early. And when one is a trans woman who maintains any kind of public presence, Christmas takes the form of the occasional ingrown toenail in human guise showing up unbidden in one’s online life with bizarrely explicit comments on one’s gender, appearance, or sexual prowess. These can be hurtful or even dangerous, but most of them are just…kind of sad. A skilled tormentor could use comments like this to probe at one’s deepest weaknesses and anxieties and leave a psychological mark that takes months or years to heal, but these people are no such thing. Rather, these people try for “shocking” and come off as juvenile as the average South Park episode, and half as entertaining.
Which brings us to my old friend Niall Corbally.
My dear readers may remember good Niall from approximately eighteen months ago, when he sexually harassed me in my Other Messages folder and I retaliated with a catfishing scheme, with delightful results. Well, Mr. Corbally remembers me, too. After mercifully dropping out of my life for about a year and a half, he’s back, and making himself known in the comments on that post from August 2016.
Ah, August 2016. I still had hopes of a job in academia, back then. It was a different time.
Niall Corbally, so he tells me, has been having trouble finding gainful employment. That wouldn’t make him terribly unusual in the current climate, except he is adamant that his difficulties are because of me. According to Mr. Corbally, my account of him sexually harassing me and him getting progressively creepier with my associate has rendered him un-hireable.
Here’s how I feel about that.
Niall, of course, doesn’t see it the way I do. Far from realizing that this is how a just world treats a creep who makes a very public hobby of sexually harassing women with graphic sexual fantasies, and who particularly targets women from a highly marginalized demographic, he thinks this situation is unjust. What’s more, he thinks the fact that he is a creep who has been recognized by prospective employers as a pointlessly risky hire on account of being a creep, is something I did.
No, honey, no. No no. No no no. No.
I didn’t make you a predatory douchebag who makes games of trying to make women uncomfortable, Niall Corbally. You were one of those long before you decided to benight my inbox, and you’ll keep being one for a while yet. The thing you’re supposedly forcibly unemployed over? It’s you. It’s who you are, until you decide to be a better person than you’ve yet shown yourself to be. I didn’t do that to you.
And it’s just one more facet of your cabochon-cut sliminess that leads you to imagine that the one who fought back, hard and effectively, and made you experience consequences for showing up unbidden in her inbox and asking her to step on your testes in high heels, is the villain in this story. You treated someone badly, she told others, and now she’s the harasser? Please.
You might even really imagine that you get a free pass on being this kind of asshole due to the long list of pitiful characteristics you and your defender (sockpuppet?) have claimed: drug addict, recently bereaved, autistic, unemployed…self-identified asshole. That last one rather undercuts the whole list, doesn’t it?
Take it from a recently bereaved autistic woman who was unemployed for a year and who will probably never work in the field she spent her life training to join…it’s really not very hard to not message selected strangers with detailed sexual fantasies. I’m currently not sending detailed sexual fantasies to literally billions of strangers, right this second! It’s that easy.
And so here I am, growing bored and a little vengeful now that you’ve chosen to inflict yourself on me again, Niall Corbally. Like every abuser I’ve ever had, Niall Corbally, you forget what you did, and imagine my response to you was how it all started. You think I spun this yarn out of nothing, and put it online out of sheer lying malice, because you can’t admit to yourself that it’s not my writing that ruined you…it’s you. You’re the ruin, Niall Corbally.
And I didn’t write my account to destroy you, Niall. That’s only a pleasant side effect. That story is to warn other people about you, for their benefit. For the rest of your miserable life, Mr. Corbally, you’re going to have to explain to people who seek out information about you how you sleep at night knowing you made a hobby of harassing transgender women online…and still haven’t so much as apologized.
So go on, Niall. Keep messaging me in desperation, as though my daring to post about your moral turpitude were a worse offense than you being you. Keep claiming that my quietly leaving an account of your behavior up on my web site counts as harassment. Keep imagining that a retracted joke about you leveling the scales with a donation in my direction makes this “extortion.” Keep imagining that you can sue a Canadian blogger for quoting you. You don’t scare me, and I don’t pity you. Other people avoiding you because you’re a scumbag is exactly what sexual harassers deserve. Thank you for reminding me that, in the age of #metoo (thanks, Tarana Burke!), it’s now more possible than ever to make sure that sexual harassers experience consequences rather than satisfaction. This thought brings me joy.
I will close with the same thing I tell my abusive parents whenever they experience rage at the fact that they can’t abuse me quietly anymore:
If you wanted me to write kindly about you, drift-race enthusiast Niall Corbally, you should have behaved.