Washington: Stormy Daniels on Twitter has the air of a very smart cat batting off a series of very dumb mice, who come at her under the delusion that the relationship is reversed.
"Scank," tweeted one man at her on Friday. He has 94 followers and a bio that lists him as "Soldier for the Constitution."
"The correct spelling is 'skank,'" Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, replied promptly.
"Actually, 'skanky whore,'" another mouse leaped in, attempting to aid his brethren in the attack.
Daniels cheerfully wrote back: "... at least according to my business card."
As news shows bring on panel after panel to discuss Daniels' lawsuit against US President Donald Trump and the 2006 sexual encounter she alleges they had, Daniels herself has remained off the interview circuit. (Through her attorney, she declined an interview for this article, too.) But she's remained on Twitter – the only medium through which the woman who is currently the most famous porn star in the world can show us how she's handling things.
Online, she is quick, sassy and, most of all, unflappable and relentlessly thick-skinned.
"Stormy is not a Skanc, she's an all out Pig and whore," wrote another commenter as he charged into the fray, bringing his 10 followers with him.
"Exactly," Daniels replied. "I've been trying to explain that for hours."
Daniels knows exactly what strings to pull online. They're the ones women who laugh off insulting comments because they fear the repercussions wish they'd thought of first.
Reading her entire ouevre, her responses seem exactly like comments crafted only by someone who has spent her life in a career that puts women in vulnerable positions: naked on stage, naked in front of a camera. Someone who has learned that angry men often can't be shouted at because it will only make them angrier. (Nor can they be ignored, as that, too, will make them angrier.) Angry men have to be teased and purred at, in a self-deprecating way, even when the goal is to get them to leave.
In other words: You don't get to be an adult performer without learning how to handle men. And Daniels knows how to handle them all the way out the door. Her best smackdowns are impossible to fully appreciate now because the men they were directed at have deleted their original insults, presumably embarrassed by the verbal beating.
"You know you're supposed to read that Bible and not smoke it, right?" she wrote in response to a tweet that now comes up only as "unavailable."
It is difficult to resist comparisons between Daniels' Twitter account and that of her (alleged) one-time paramour.
Trump gained a massive following – the Tweeter-in-Chief – and he uses it, like Daniels, to communicate directly with an American public, from whom lawyers might otherwise try to keep him.
However, unlike Daniels, Trump on Twitter is the opposite of thick-skinned and unflappable. He has used the medium to call his detractors "crazy," "psycho" and a "total flunkie." Even from the highest perch in the land, it's as if Trump would rather head-butt someone, metaphorically, than turn the other cheek.
The #MeToo movement ushered in a lot of discussions about how women have been forced to grapple with harassment, in the real world and online. It also introduced a re-examination of several sexual accusations made by women against the President of the United States. Daniels – who says her encounter with Trump was consensual – is an example of the latter group.
She's also an example of the former: "Slut and whore are words used by people who feel threatened," she responded on Twitter to someone who had tried to shame her. "I find power in them."
The thing is, sometimes people think they're grabbing pussycats when they're actually grabbing lions.