Justice

What Happened When One Man Called a Woman a Slut on Facebook

December 9th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

A man named Michael Nolan got a harsh reality check when he called writer Clementine Ford a "slut" on her Facebook fan page, ultimately losing his job over the remark.

Nolan called Ford a slut after she shared a Facebook screenshot showing different male users' degrading and abusive comments towards her. Because Nolan's Facebook profile listed where he worked, Ford reached out to his company to let his managers know that he was name-calling her online while representing the business. ATTN: reached out to Ford but she was unavailable for comment.

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Clementine Ford Facebook screenshot

"I wonder if the folks over at Meriton Apartments are aware that a man listing himself as a supervisor for their business likes to leave comments on women's facebook pages calling them sluts," Ford wrote in a Facebook post tagging the apartment company.

Ford edited the Facebook post to update readers that Nolan lost his position over the comment:

 

Update on Michael Nolan:I've just received this message from the Meriton Serviced Apartments Group, and I wanted to...

Posted by Clementine Ford on Sunday, November 29, 2015


"Meriton Group have now investigated the matter relating to the complaint made about Michael Nolan using inappropriate language on Facebook," the company told Ford in a statement. "Meriton Group does not condone this type of behaviour. Michael Nolan was removed from the Meriton site on Saturday 28th November pending an investigation, and as of 2:30pm today 30th November 2015, he no longer works for the Meriton Group."

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In her post, Ford noted that there are consequences for casual sexism and online bullying.

"Perhaps Michael will think twice next time before using his social media account to call a woman 'slut' when she speaks out against online misogyny," Ford wrote. "These men have rarely ever faced consequences for their actions, but that's starting to change."

Ford added that she was not at fault for Nolan's termination, as he made the decision to call her a sexist name on the internet.

"He is responsible for his actions," Ford continued. "He is responsible for the things he writes and the attitudes he holds. It is not my responsibility to hold his hand and coddle him when he behaves in an abusive manner just because it might have consequences for him. Women are often told to stay silent about harassment because it's not fair to 'ruin a man's career.' Why is their behaviour our responsibility?"

Daily Beast writer Tauriq Moosa agreed with this sentiment, adding that it's unfortunate that Ford is facing backlash and blame over Nolan's job loss. Moosa added that businesses often research prospective employees online prior to hiring them, and many people have lost their jobs for things they have posted on social media and beyond.

"Ford had no power to fire this man. Yet Ford is receiving angry, vile messages, written as though she was the main person in power responsible for Nolan’s firing. She was not. Clearly that is his employer who very well could’ve ignored Ford and kept the man on the payroll."

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Ford is one of many women who has been subjected to harassment and sexist remarks online. Professional violinist Mia Matsumiya recently made news for publishing a decade's worth of creepy and racist messages she has received on her Instagram page, @perv_magnet, which has nearly 75,000 followers. She also shares photos of creepy messages that friends and followers send her:

 

A photo posted by Mia Matsumiya (@perv_magnet) on

 

A photo posted by Mia Matsumiya (@perv_magnet) on

 

A photo posted by Mia Matsumiya (@perv_magnet) on

“I received an insane number of creepy messages the whole time I was in [a] band,” she previously told BuzzFeed News. “I thought for sure that the messages were going to stop at some point, but they’ve persisted to this day.”