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Here is some nice time for you, Wonkers! Last week, writer Ella Dawson wrote an essay on Medium about how she's been targeted rather ferociously by the alt right for having written several articles about the importance of destigmatizing herpes and other STIs, and thanking Hillary Clinton for actually speaking about these asshats and the damage they do to women online.


In response, Clinton wrote Dawson a personal letter thanking her for "speaking up about the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted infections" and for taking a stand against the harassment she's received as a result of that. It is a very, very nice letter!

It's important that Clinton is addressing both of these things, and honestly pretty awesome that she's doing it on such a personal level. And smart, too! Because perhaps the scariest thing about a Donald Trump presidency is the idea of assholes like those who targeted Dawson getting to feel like they've won, and feeling empowered. They feel it too. Because one of the most common sentiments I've seen among Trump supporters online is that they believe with all of their little black hearts that if he is elected, they will get to be assholes to people without any social repercussions.

It may seem strange that these doofuses would be so set off, so absolutely furious, about someone simply saying "Hey! Let's not be shitty to people who have STIs!" What Dawson is doing is not only important, it's entirely reasonable. Stigmatizing STIs is a way of stigmatizing sex, which is stupid, because almost everyone has sex of some variety and therefore is at risk of getting an STI. Even if 80% of us didn't have some form of herpes (either HSV-1 or HSV-2), it would still be a ridiculous thing to make fun of. Making fun of infections or diseases is a gross and weird thing to do.

However, it's actually very much in line with what I, at least, have come to expect from the Alt Right types. The thing they fear is that Dawson is taking away a cudgel they have to beat people with, that she is taking away one of the laziest jokes someone can make. And these are not clever people, so they don't have much else.

It's no coincidence that another thing that gets these people riled up is the Fat Acceptance movement. Because they're thinking "I should be able to call you a fat pig and make fun of you for potentially having herpes! And everyone should laugh along with me, and you should feel BAD! And then I will get to be the coolest kid in all of middle school!"

So, hooray for Clinton sending that letter to Ella Dawson! That was a very nice and thoughtful thing to do! And also hooray for Ella Dawson for taking a very brave stand on some pretty tough issues!

[Ella Dawson Twitter]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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