I always wondered when it would happen, and it surprises me that it took this long: My online harasser found the blog. He may be reading this post. He may be digging through the archives for more ammunition to try to bait me with (favourite tactics include racist remarks, slut-shaming, and insults about my body, mixed with comments that are supposed to make me believe his claim that we’ve met offline). I could keep quiet about it, allowing this cowardly keyboard warrior to silence me, accepting this as the consequence of being a woman online. Fuck that.
How did we get to a place where 76% of women under 30 are harassed online? Why is it that within hours of posting this article, five women told me their harassment stories just from the past week? On top of dealing with this shitheel, I’ve been masturbated at on a streetcar, followed home late at night, called a plethora of disgusting names for having the audacity to decline a second (or in some cases, a first) date, and had to deal with rumours that I slept my way to the middle by having a threesome with my boss in exchange for a title change and marginal raise. I tell you these things not because I’m an outlier or special case: I am the norm and that’s not fucking okay.
I am so sick of this shit, for myself and for other women. I’m sick of a culture that tolerates this, that dismisses harassment—online or off—with ‘boys will be boys,’ that tells women to toughen up if they want to hang with the men, that says feminism is unnecessary and anti-man at best, that victim blames and discourages us from speaking up at every damn turn.
So no, I will not be quiet in the hopes that it’ll just stop, I will not mind my own business the next time I see someone harassed or threatened in public, and I will never stop sharing my story. I hope you’ll join me.