If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about this blogpost
I know what I'm supposed to say. In a few days or weeks I'm supposed to do some confessional about 'sleepless nights' 'anti-depressants'. That would be a victory for the crusading investigating spirit of the downmarket Press.
For what it's worth, I am not the author of the former @kjmezzo Twitter account. I followed it, and gained some moderate amusement from what is in effect an in-joke. I do not know the author, although we have exchanged 'Direct Messages', not least when I checked if I was failing to spot that it was actually someone I do know.
I'm not sure how many followers the account had, tens rather than hundreds. And I 'know' several of them. Either in person or as a result of years of virtual inter-action. What is striking is how many were women, and even more so, women who describe themselves as feminist, as well as women I would characterise - fairly or not - as being 'a bit prudish'. Feminist or prudish, not the sort of women to tolerate misogyny and certainly not anything that contained a hint of a threat of violence, especially not sexual violence. Some of the people who interacted with the account would have ignored it if they had thought it was me.
Sensibly given the circumstances, the author removed the account. In nearly ten years of blogging I have seen this frequently - an individual writes something they believe to be true and are subject to bullying & threats from someone more powerful. They remove the blogpost or shut the account. They're not admitting they are wrong, simply they don't have the time, energy or money to fight the rich bullies. That's how bullies operate, guessing, mainly correctly, that they will win by force.
This person sent a question to a TV show which invited public questions to Katherine Jenkins. The question was 'What is the difference between a mezzo soprano and bel canto?'. This led to an outpouring by Katherine Jenkins, accusing the person of being a misogynist stalker, even though it's doubtful she had ever previously encountered the word misogynist.
What prompted her to do this? Perhaps a series of articles in the Guardian and New Statesman by writers such as Helen Lewis-Hasteley and Laurie Penny, drawing on the experiences of women bloggers, some of whom describe themselves as feminist. The underlying theme is when they write about contentious issues, they receive comments that don't debate their opinion but are personally demeaning, threatening and, in some cases, violent. Threats to have their tongues ripped out, graphic narrative of how the commenter would brutally rape the blogger. Publishing of home addresses.
These articles started a conversation, Helen L-H was on Woman's Hour. Many other women recounted their experiences of being threatened with graphic sexual violence. There was a buzz on this issue.
And Katherine Jenkins has a new album out which she needs to promote by endless appearances on 'light entertainment' TV programmes and local radio. And, of course, using the annual Service of Remembrance at the Albert Hall, organised that the families of dead service personnel can pay tribute to the war dead in the - deeply significant - presence of the Head of State and Head of Government. And Katherine Jenkins promoting her new album and showing off her latest 'designer' dress.
It seems that saying 'I have a new album out, it's full of banging good tunes' isn't sufficient to market a product anymore. In a post X-Factor society, a sob story is also essential. Katherine Jenkins invents a story of a 'misogynist stalker'. By joining in the buzz and trying to equate legitimate criticism of her shortcomings as a performer with the violent threats experienced by other women, she is diminishing and trivialising their experience, subtly implying they're lying, so she can get more publicity for her album. By pointing out that she's lying, that she hasn't been the victim of a misogynist stalker, I almost feel that I am betraying the women who have written about their intimidation. I hate that feeling. She has grabbed the headlines, distracted away from the issue, and left people thinking it's all a fuss about nothing. It doesn't matter that some women get threatened with rape and beating, because Katherine Jenkins has been criticised for being a fake of limited ability.
The tabloid press write an article which - for its sloppiness, lack of attention to detail, factual inaccuracies, and downright lies - would never be acceptable in my work sphere, would be considered the work of an incompetent.
And now, for the next few months, if not years, Katherine Jenkins is going to roll out her story about a bullying Cyberstalker. I know that she is not telling the truth. I am, and I live very happily with the knowledge that basically, I'm not a liar*. Katherine Jenkins makes a big thing about being a Christian. Perhaps she should examine her conscience and reflect on whether she is telling the truth about being victim of a 'misogynist stalker' or, in fact, a spoilt little bully who wishes to silence anyone who criticises her.
* obviously, I'm as guilty as anyone at coming out with the petty 'sorry I'm late, it was the Tube...' when I ought to be saying 'Sorry I'm late, I didn't leave early enough to allow for even the most minor delay in travel'; also of the 'Of course, you look great!' insincere reassurance.