I Will Not Be Silenced

Beth Leyba
Posted August 6, 2014 from United States

As a writer, I take it upon myself to occasionally Google my own name to see what’s out there, and awhile back I was appalled to find myself being degraded, defamed, and made fun of on a PUA (pick up artist) forum. I will not link to it here, nor will I name it, as I don’t want to give them the publicity.

My life and character were speculated upon, and even my child was brought into it, with the assertion that any man who would ever want me would only really be after molesting her. Someone posted a couple of pictures that they found on the internet and declared that my daughter (who was only around age six in the photo) was certain to grow up to be a slut.

I was declared fat, that I looked “annoying as fk” and am probably “an unbearable ct.” I was also declared to have insane standards, it was assumed that my ex-husband didn’t stick around because I was repulsive, which by the way apparently applies to all single mothers, and more. I was initially aghast, and then thoroughly pissed off, but then couldn’t help but laugh. Are they serious? They don’t know me.

What I found interesting was that the one article they chose to critique was a lighthearted one where I simply shared some of the life lessons I have learned. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beth-leyba/this-is-35_b_5298086.html) I mean, really? It had nothing to do with feminism nor was it in any way written to be about men at all, yet I was targeted by these bullies. My writing is an extension of myself, and I strive to be bold and authentic, but one article cannot possibly encompass all that is me and all that I believe.

I know that feminist writers are often the brunt of harsh criticism and even direct threats of rape or murder, and while that prospect certainly scares me, being targeted by cyberbullies only strengthens my determination to speak, and speak loudly. As Ellen Degeneres stated when she was the target of a boycott: “My haters are my motivators.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zNKTTtAXCs

Thanks for the encouragement and empowerment, boys. You make it clear that female voices on the web are very needed.

I will not be silenced by hate.

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Comments 7

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Aug 08, 2014
Aug 08, 2014

Hello sister, I salute your courage and your undeniable voice of truth. Just like you said your writing is an extension of yourself and no one should be cruxify for reiterating this expression in different ways. Criticism is good for "the voice". It makes us define different strategies to catapult their bullies. Once they understand that they are your positive publicist through their negative opinions they may want to desist.

The fun thing is the more they say the more you make headlines and the more women and men are drawn to read and listen to your cause. On the brighter side of it we need criticism, hurtful though it may be, it makes the voice thicker and the messages more intent. I appreciate your courage never to be silent. Thumbs up sister!

Aug 08, 2014
Aug 08, 2014

I thank you for the resolve. No matter what, we women must never allow ourselves to ever be backed into a corner. Bravo all the way!

Rabia Mazhar
Aug 09, 2014
Aug 09, 2014

Dear Creative Beth I salute your boldness and courage and truly respect your womanhood as a woman . I agree with you that haters are the best motivators , but i must say that those , who use the haters at motivators are way more strong , but alas ! the haters can never understand this . Keep up your spirit and courage . May Almighty be your strength and may he always protect you and every woman on this planet . Amen

Love Form Pakistan Robo

Aug 10, 2014
Aug 10, 2014

Dear Creativebeth,

Your courage is inspiring. Your refusal to remain silent is your message that you will always express yourself regardless of the situation. I am sorry to hear that some even attack your young daughter. More needs to be done to address cyber-bullying and abuse online.

Well done and keep the flag flying.

Best regards, Osai

Tan Ching
Aug 10, 2014
Aug 10, 2014

I think faster communications to the person in charge of the forum or social media companies' staff so as to get the comments to be deleted, to avoid the unnecessary emotional distress one has to go through or even immediate response by internet companies to take actions so as taking down the comments that are too extreme, to avoid the situation to further deteriorate. If one can erase the comments directly on facebook or twitter etc, why not? But feedback should be reported to the authorities if situation persists so that harassment laws via internet ( if any in one's country ) can be used to protect us, internet users.

Aug 15, 2014
Aug 15, 2014

Hi Beth, Thank you for sharing your story with us. You are doing a good job with voicing not only what has happened to you, which is very unfortunate, but to give others who have faced similar issues, to speak up. Keep up the good work.

Aug 27, 2014
Aug 27, 2014

Dear Beth,

Thank you for sharing your experience with us but above all, thank you for your determinism and courage. Your voice/writing is needed and is waiting to be heard/read for many other women in need of motivation.