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