This is a long and disturbing but very important read. It’s a set of examples of the shared reality of many women who dare to build their careers writing in male realms – or what many men think are male-owned territory. Most of those men will generally be okay with women in the field as long as they can make jokes and they don’t feel choked by a slight variation on deodorant in the air, so women have to remain as tokens for things to be okay. Some of those men, though, feel threatened and offended by women in these fields enough to stalk and harass and threaten them. Their logic is not one of being personally affected by what the woman does, but that “somebody’s gotta do it” – someone has to take a stand and put these women in their place! Anonymously, albeit, under multiple guises of fake email addresses and new Twitter accounts with no profile pick but the generic Twitter egg. An interesting comment is made in that article that on Facebook there’s less harassment because the anonymity is harder to create – but there’s also more information on these writers on personal Facebook accounts if they so choose to set one up for the same reasons we all do.
Let’s be clear: if you ever say “what did she expect” about any woman being harassed online, you are participating in victim blaming.
— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) January 2, 2014
Yet these writers and cultural critics continue doing what they love doing – after all, or else the terrorists win – and continue to fight and call out the abuse they face. There’s an interesting thought in the article about the problem of reporting abuse on Twitter. Accounts get shut down. There’s nothing left of them – no evidence. Law enforcement doesn’t seem to grasp that concept, or accept screenshots as evidence, so until there is an actual murder, kidnapping, rape, or assault they don’t think they fit into the picture. Perhaps the NSA can catch this evidence, or already has, but it’s not a concern of national security what threats women face. Women, I guess, aren’t Amurrica enough.
I could shout out generic intimidating things into the air that’s shared with men putting all this effort into their misogyny, about how we are going to fight and they are going to get pwned, but that is not constructive here. This isn’t about trash talking. It’s about continuing to do what we would like to do if there weren’t such hatred against women, while also calling attention to these men continuing to do what they like to do because there is. Other men should join the gender dialogue and call out the people making threats to people’s safety in a way that says “shut up and let her do her job”. And don’t focus on the women themselves – focus on the abusers. Focus on how what they’re doing is a danger to society at large, where it stems from and what it’s a part of, and what they themselves are – WHO they themselves are. Investigate and out their identities. Cops may not try until the rest of us do it for them.
(Post Script: This is better written commentary by, you know, actual professionals – http://jezebel.com/we-must-not-shut-up-about-how-women-are-treated-on-the-1496622407)