I was in a Zoom call that got bombed. I can’t recall this happening before though I have been in some odd online meetings. The event was called ‘Switching the Stereotypes: transformational leadership in the workplace’ and was partly in celebration of International Women’s Day.
It took us all a while to realise what was going on but it started with a strange comment appearing in the chat. One of the participants expressed their undying love for a football club when they have no interest in football whatsoever. Then a video appeared unexpectedly followed by some misogynistic comments. By then it was obvious and the quick thinking hosts kicked out anyone from the event that they didn’t recognise. This solved the problem but left the audience a little bewildered and upset.
Organising online events can be stressful, there is a lot to think about and, especially at the start, a lot of comings and goings. Having someone come in and upset the apple cart was unnerving and added to the overall angst. I imagine this is what the perps intended and they probably found it all very amusing.
Was it a coincidence that the event was focussed on women? Not at all, the sexist and demeaning language used showed the intent of those who had hacked into the event. Whilst it was a minor interruption and no big thing on the grand scale it showed that issues of gender and equality still evoke strong emotions. It would seem that there are still plenty of people who want to see women as submissive to men. Why, I have no idea.
The intrusion into the call was an obvious implied threat. We. whoever they are, are keeping an eye on what you are doing and can interrupt it at any time.
In these troubled time, the use of the word bombing may well be inapproriate yet the battle for equality for all people is far from over.