Ben Livingston, a longtime Seattle pot advocate, has filed a bar complaint against the attorney who wrote a threatening, misogynistic letter to the five female council members who voted against a street vacation that would have eased the way for a future NBA arena Monday. The letter, which a “Jason M. Feldman, Esq.” sent to all five female council members today, laments that the women have “robbed” him of the sports stadium to which he was entitled, and concludes,
As women, I understand that you spend a lot of your time trying to please others (mostly on your knees) but I can only hope that you each find ways to quickly and painfully end yourselves. Each of you should rot in hell for what you took from me yesterday. I hope you enjoy your thirty pieces of silver and know that I will be make donations to your competitors next election cycle. Please don’t misunderstand me. I TRULY pray for nothing but horrible things for each of you moving forward. You have made this world a worse place by whoring yourselves out to the highest bidder. Please Please Please do the honorable thing and end yourselves. Each of you are disgraceful pieces of trash that deserve nothing but horrible outcomes.
In his complaint, Livingston writes that Feldman, an attorney in Lynnwood, “is sending abusive email to female elected officials because he is angry over a land use decision. He makes sexual suggestions and repeatedly encourages these woman to commit suicide,” and asks the bar association to discipline Feldman for unethical conduct.
As Seattlish noted earlier, the female council members, who made up the five-vote bloc needed to prevent the street giveaway to wannabe stadium developer Chris Hansen, have been subjected to a barrage of misogynistic insults and threats by sports fans, almost all of them male, angry that women would take their stadium away from them.
The insults, which can be summarized as “You cunt,” “Die,” “Get back in the kitchen,” and “women are subhuman,” may be familiar territory for women who spend a lot of time having opinions on the Internet. But they’re unprecedented in recent memory for the Seattle City Council, and give the council’s five-woman majority an unwanted taste of what happens when female public figures fail to “know their place” — by, say, voting against an arena supported by a large, mobbish clique of male sports fans. It says something that the sexist vitriol against these five women with the temerity to hold local elected office only bubbled over once men were no longer a majority of the council.
Since all these men (and, it looks like, one woman) were proud enough of their memberships in the He-Man Woman Haters Club to use their own names on Facebook, Twitter, and in emails to city council members, I’m posting them here unredacted.
You all sound like grade-schoolers: the “icky boys against the girls”.
So going forward I in turn be misogynistic in my support–NO to all female Council hopefuls.
You all bring shame to our city, and are an embarrassment with your immaturity and emotional compulsion.
Tim Hirano-Lifelong (50+ year Seattle Resident) and completely resentful of my vote for Herbold-NEVER again.
I know you have heard a million of these today but I really don’t think you ladies did your homework. If you ever left Seattle to see other city’s with multiple sports teams have the all centrally located. We can never make progress around here and try something new. Maybe you should look at how much progress in the world President Obama has made by opening up many closed doors. Wether by hiring many minorities and women in key cabinet positions or starting new relations with Cuba. I guess we have some ladies that are too afraid to stick there neck out like many other great politicians have in our history. I hope if you get a second chance you will change your mind to really make a difference
From: Daniel Anderson
Date: May 2, 2016 at 7:08:03 PM PDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Extremely disappointed with your no votes on street vacation
I sit here and try and think of the words to say but I am so angry I think it is best to just tell you council “women” that you have just ruined your political careers with one vote. I do not want any response just know that I will do everything in my powers to ensure you are all not re-elected. Good riddance
From: Marcus Kramer
Date: May 2, 2016 at 5:08:42 PM PDT
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Lorena.Gonzalez@seattle.gov, Lisa.Herbold@seattle.gov, Debora.Juarez@seattle.gov, Kshama.Sawant@seattle.gov
Subject: How much were u 5 paid off?!
U 5 women were paid off and I hope we all find out how much. U are what’s wrong with government. There is no way a person with common sense would vote for this and then against it without $ being exchanged for some of you. The rest of you have no idea how sports and the economics of it work. Leave it to 5 women to set your sex back and not be progressive and be afraid to take a chance and make something awesome in this city I love and you don’t. Embarrassed to share the same city with u.
(I’ve removed one comment I posted here after the commenter–who said the five council members who voted against the street vacation should get used to criticism if they’re going to make decisions like that–pointed out he was responding to a different Twitter thread.)
The five council members have not responded publicly to the onslaught, but I talked to three of them tonight and they are considering a formal response, possibly in the form of an op/ed, in a week or so. In the meantime, as someone who’s taken my share of online abuse, I take up space in solidarity with the five women of the city council who are having to deal with this demoralizing garbage.
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