Well, here we are again.
Please don’t feel obliged to read this post. I only feel obliged to post it because Emma just wrote a blog about me inferring that the reason I’d stopped posting about her was because I had something to hide or be ashamed of rather than that I was trying to let this just die.
For a woman who accused me of bombarding her with emails, she has sent me 13 in the last 24 hours, I’ve replied to half of them – politely but mainly trying to put the matter to rest.
I shall post the entire correspondence below.
The only points I’d like to address about her blog – which will be evident to anyone already following the thing – are that firstly, I didn’t know I was blocked by her. She didn’t inform me and I don’t know how one would even notice – so I was certainly never angry about it. At no point in this whole thing have I felt angry. Also, I’ve never said that young writers should “EXPECT” not to be paid. As for the three ‘missing’ tweets I didn’t post in my original blog which apparently contextualise better – I actually thought they were less relevant. They relate to Danny Baker being offered an unpaid writing job. To me, there is a world of difference between companies asking Danny Baker to write for free and an unestablished young writer being asked to write for free. There is no value in a free job to Danny Baker as he doesn’t need experience or a platform to display his talents to generate further work.
Oh, and there’s one thing we both agree on in her blog, we definitely both agree that she’s been an arsehole, so that’s good.
As I said, don’t feel obliged to read these emails. I post them purely so, if you care, you can make up your own mind…..
Emma’s emails are in italics
Jon’s emails are in bold
I’ve just read your open letter to me and I’m afraid I’ve greeted it with disbelief.
First thing I’m accused of is “dragging” (dragged in your blog but you get the gist) this matter into the public forum. Unless I’m very much mistaken, you and I had a spat on twitter between ourselves. At no point did I mention your username in my timeline. It was an argument I was having with you. Not you and all my followers. Even today, after receiving an endless stream of personal and rude abuse from your followers, at no point did I do a general tweet mentioning your name to my followers. I could have done. But I didn’t.
And I’m not the person who wrote a blog about it and then published it to all and sundry. You did that. So in terms of dragging this matter beyond what it actually was – sorry – but that finger points firmly at you.
Yes. I do have a long history of men tweeting me to argue endlessly, then going apoplectic after I block them and then emailing me because they want to carry on arguing and then bleating about it on Twitter to carry that argument on further and involve people who weren’t involved in the first place. Yes. I do. That’s what you did. You can try and sweeten that up any which way you want. But that’s what you’ve done.
The tone of your email was far from conciliatory. You emailed me because you were angry I’d blocked you. Your second email was aggressive. I’d asked you to stop emailing me. But you didn’t. Last time I had a man I don’t know from twitter emailing me after I’d blocked him, he emailed me eighteen times. You can probably appreciate that I didn’t want 18 emails from you. I had to take legal advice after the last one. And I was told that if it ever happened again, I had to be very firm and quite clear that I didn’t want the person to contact me again. I did this with you twice. I was perfectly entitled to do so.
I am afraid I think your behaviour is harassment. The fact you have written a blog about it and an open letter to me is also harassment. Turning your followers onto me is harassment. This is harassment. Stop hounding me. Please.
I find it very strange that anyone who is blocked on Twitter would then find the email of the person who has blocked them and email them. I think that is peculiar behaviour. I am not going to apologise for saying that.
I have a lot of people contacting me on Twitter. I have many discussions on many topics. Every now and again, someone crops up who just goes on and on and on when we have established, in probably the first or second tweet that we are never going to agree. You fall into that category. I wasn’t going to block you until your snide “Oh hallowed writer” tweet. Also there was a tone to your tweets that I found aggressive. It’s up to me who I block. It’s my account. I don’t have to explain to anyone why I want to block them. Nobody does. I’ve been blocked plenty of times. I expect I annoyed the people who did it. Fair enough. It’s their account. What I didn’t then do is email them, blog about it and write an open letter to them.
If I blogged and wrote open letters to everyone who sent me abusive messages or sent me messages that upset me I would literally get nothing else done.
The tweets I think you should have included in your blog for balance were my tweet of Harlan Ellison’s video – pay the writer. That came from Danny Baker who had just tweeted that he had been offered a top flight job for BBC4 but had been told there was no fee. That’s where this all started. I RTed the link to the video. It was quite clear that it was about writing for a film company who have substantial pockets. I then tweeted that every time a writer agrees to do a job for nothing they are saying “I am worth nothing” Again, this was referring to film work. I think it wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to appreciate that this also referred to TV companies. I then followed that up quite quickly with the tweet that you took issue with. The one in which I said that no writer should work for nothing.
Instead, you have represented on your website that I was advocating that writers should never write anything in any circumstance for anyone or anything. This is clearly nonsense. And if you had read my tweets to other people during our exchange you would have seen me saying that I was only talking about TV and papers – ie companies with funds who can and SHOULD pay.
When you say you didn’t send anyone my way to abuse me – what did you think was going to happen when you posted that blog and published our emails without putting up those first tweets that put it in context? If that isn’t someone screaming LOOK WHAT SHE DID TO ME I don’t know what is. I didn’t ask you to tweet me. I didn’t ask you to email me. I asked you to stop emailing me. You didn’t. And I think your emails were vile. They were very unpleasant to receive. Quite why you think it’s acceptable to email a woman you’ve never met to be abusive and then not expect me to want to defend myself is beyond belief.
I disagree with people all the time on Twitter. I disagreed with several of your friends today. Some were blocked. Some were not. It is very clear to me who should be blocked and who shouldn’t. Again, it is entirely my right to block who I wish. Someone simply disagreeing with me isn’t one of my blocking criteria.
I think you have blown this entirely out of proportion and you have created a whirlwind when there needed to be none. There is a vast difference between replying to your friends (which they were) and tweeting my followers. I replied to your friends who came to attack me. That was it. I am allowed to do so.
If I had the time I expect I could trawl through your feed and find some suitable shitty things about me. But I’m not going to. I don’t see what the point of that would be or what it would achieve.
I believe young writers should be paid. And that they should not be taught to EXPECT not to be paid. That is my position. And I’m sticking by it.
I suggest you take a long deep breath and walk away from your computer.
This was followed swiftly by…
ps if you want to reply to that email please do, but I’ve got no interest in any further contact with you
I’ll find those three tweets and add them to the blog. They weren’t purposefully omitted.
We clearly don’t see eye to eye about things and there’s no point raking over that mess any more. We also clearly have radically different views as to what constitutes bad conduct.
it’s a shame they happened to clash.
I find it extraordinary that you complain about raking over a mess after the the absolute tizzy whizz you’ve caused. I don’t wish you any ill Jon. I just completely disagreed with you. It was a row on Twitter. It’s not the end of days
And now, in the spirit of all things good and decent, let us shake hands and say no more about it
To which she correctly asserts in her blog that I did not reply. I was out. At a gig. A band called Hot Hooves – check them out: http://soundcloud.com/hothooves
By the time I got home, she had sent me another email, which I replied to incorporating whatever I would have replied to her previous one.
Just to help you understand the sort of day I’ve had after you put up your blog – here’s the latest tweet, from @chazzyb31 which I got about two minutes ago. I’ve been getting these all day Jon. An endless stream.
“I have no idea who @emmak67 is, but I think she’s an over-privileged, out of touch, nasty cunt”
I’m one of the most sympathetic people you could hope to meet but, honestly, you had some faceless idiot call you a nasty cunt whilst I had a prominent broadcaster announce that I was a mentalist, stalking, sexual harassing shit teacher. I absolutely win in the shitty day stakes.
I should also have added in my original email that you also omitted your initial tweets to me. So you’ve made it look as if I started that exchange. Given the level of abuse I am receiving and will continue to receive for weeks to come I would appreciate it greatly if you could rectify that. Thank you
I never said sexually harassing. I said harassing. Which I still maintain you were. But good to know you think it’s fine to whip up people so they call me names all day. At least you only had to deal with me thinking you were an idiot.
Please amend your blog
And I should also point out you wouldn’t have had any of this if you’d left it. Your blogging about it has rattled this on. That’s your doing. I forgot about you days ago.
Now please, can we draw a line under this
You SAID harassing, you ALLEGED sexually harassing when you said “still I suppose some men have nothing better to do than harrass women on the internet” Come on. You know it had nothing to do with your gender. We both deal with young writers, it was ENTIRELY issue-based. You skewed it into a gender/harassment issue and everybody apart from you can see that and see through that.
I genuinely didn’t whip people up.
I know this is going to sound like point scoring or something but genuinely it isn’t. If you look back at the whole thing – it was just me disagreeing with you, that happens on Twitter all the time. I had no misogynistic agenda, no reason or desire to stalk you. I posted the blog because you threatened to report me for harassment. Do you understand how serious that is and why I urgently had to make all the information available?
I didn’t ask anyone to contact you and tried to hold back from interacting for the rest of the day.
The people who are giving you shit, I don’t know. Ross is a friend and Dom is an ex-student and I’m sure you’ve found them both reasonable – they’re lovely people.
The responses you’re getting are not because people disagree with your stance on writing, they’re because of your out-of-proportion manner of dealing with someone who simply didn’t deserve the level of hostility and reckless rhetoric you used.
I wrote the blog to protect myself from a nasty threat YOU made. You didn’t ‘forget about this days ago’ – I woke up to a threatening email from you 17 hours ago.
You caused this, you fanned the flames by making up reckless lies and allegations and you’re having to deal with the fallout from that.
I have no desire to argue with you at all. I never did!
I’ve apologised if I made you feel harassed, I’ve tried consistently to make peace.
I’m almost impressed by the epic lack of self-awareness you’re displaying. You’re now guilty of every single thing you’ve accused me of baselessly – gender agenda, bombarding with emails for hours on end, writing an email as long as an essay, being rude, being aggressive, being a shit teacher (did you notice how almost in the same tweet you went from saying how much you cared about young writers and how 85% of them were hopeless – HOPELESS!) – you’re behaving weird and that’s what’s whipped this all up.
I have no beef with you beyond the slanderous stuff you said today.
Just let it go. Don’t drag this into another day.
Spend one day in the shoes of a high profile woman on twitter and I think you will completely understand.
We are probably never going to agree on anything but I want you to consider one thing.
Let’s say you have a wife, or a girlfriend. You might, you might not. Let’s say that wife or girlfriend has an argument with someone on twitter. Happens all the time. No biggy. But let’s say there was something about the tone of the argument your wife or girlfriend didn’t like and so she blocked the person she had had the argument with.
And then that person emails her. Because he or she is angry about being blocked. And your wife or girlfriend asks them to stop. But they email her again. So this time she is quite firm. And then that person writes a blog about your wife or girlfriend. And then writes an open letter to your wife or girlfriend.
Would you think – oh what a great guy he sounds? Or would you think that’s a disproportionate response to what occurred and I’m not sure I like this guy?
As for you having to protect yourself all you had to do was not email me again. That was it. That was hardly the ask of the century. You were tweeting me in your capacity as a teacher. And you were tweeting someone who is regularly asked to mentor young writers. What you were doing was directly connected to your job. That’s how I read it. You will probably think entirely differently.
I think you need to calm down about all this. It was a spat on twitter. That was it. You have made a mountain out of a molehill.
Oh my god, you’re still going.
I don’t need to calm down about this because I don’t care – you’re the one bombarding me with emails, I expressly asked yesterday to not let this drag on to today. You’re making the mountain yourself – you’re the one making mountains. If you have experience of this stuff, why don’t you just ignore me? What are you hoping to get out of sending me so many emails?
I’ve genuinely considered the hypothetical situation you posited. And my answer is, if this happened to my wife or girlfriend, that I would have read the content of what the guy was writing and – had it been identical to the content I created – I’d have pointed out to her that there was clearly nothing sinister about any of it. I’d have told her not to threaten him with action over the non-inflammatory emails he sent, I’d have told her not to spend a whole day on Twitter slandering him despite his staying polite and I’d tell her to just walk away from it rather than sending endless follow-up emails.
I’ve actually had to hold some of the women in my life back from entering this matter. They, along with women on-line who have contacted me who I don’t know, are disgusted that you turned it into a gender issue. You sound ridiculous when you invoke the ‘angry threatening man’ defence. Even complete strangers can see that there was nothing in my words, tone, intent or actions that conform to a notion of misogyny and I’ve remained polite and calm.
Your version seems to hinge on me being angry about being blocked. As I’ve said before, I wasn’t even aware I’d been blocked. I emailed you – as it says in the first paragraph of that very email – to apologise and explain. How can you find anything in there with a threatening or stalkerish tone?
Obviously, I will never spend one day in the shoes of a ‘high profile woman on twitter’ but the simple truths are that you don’t HAVE to be on twitter and you chose to continuously (you’re still doing it!!!!!) exacerbate this situation.
So, once more, I apologise for any misunderstanding and suggest you don’t even reply to this email.
Let’s both do something more worthwhile and productive with our weekends.
All the best,
Yes. Good idea. Let’s never speak to each other again. Thank god for that
Finally, the capability to admit that someone else was right.
There was a slight addendum to this which, hopefully, represents the end of the correspondence. I was alerted that to a tweet she’d made:
My mother the philosopher klaxon “Emma, beware the obese man with a tidy beard on his own with a laptop”
which seems a strange thing to post apropos of nothing but as this final correspondence shows when I – full of belly and tidy of beard – expressed disappointment she claims ignorance, so let’s give her the benefit of the doubt….
Honestly? You’re making fat jokes about me now?
Are you ever going to stop emailing me?
I have absolutely no idea to what you are referring. I haven’t got the first clue what you look like.
And by the way – I find it very interesting that you haven’t seen fit to publish my reply to your open letter. What a surprise.
Fine, I’ll publish everything.
I’d really hoped this was all over.
Can you explain what you meant about me making fat jokes about you please?
I’m referring to the quote you posted from your mother.
At this point, you’re harassing me. I don’t want to discuss it anymore. I don’t want you to email me again. I’m asking you to draw a line under this and stop referring to me in any way online.
That’s got nothing to do with you. I am baffled as to why you would think it has? I will say it again, I have not the first clue what you look like. Why would I? I’ve never met you. Your avatar, if I remember correctly, is a normal sized man with a moustache.
Have you a God complex or something?
Please don’t ever email me again.
And with that, hopefully, we have an end to the matter forever.
Oh, and yes i did agree to post those other three tweets on the blog, but I can’t be bothered. You can find them in her timeline.
Thinking about it, to try to draw some kind of positive out of this whole thing – I’m happy to capitalise on the increased traffic and any goodwill you might have for me by telling you about the film I just made – an independent music doc, narrated by Stewart Lee, about and featuring interviews and never-before seen archival footage of Radiohead, Supergrass, Foals, Ride, Swervedriver, Talulah Gosh and more. Why not watch the trailer and then order the 2-disc DVD set from http://www.acpgthemovie.com if you put the word ’emma’ in your order, I’ll throw in a free ACPG plectrum!