Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Woman, How Dare You?


I just saw Huffington Post blogger Gretchen Kelly's 2015 post that has gone viral again: The Thing All Women Do That You Don't Know About. I had to send her a tweet of thanks and to tell her this post was a gift to all womankind. It gives all of us validation.

What Gretchen's entry tells us is that this is the every day physical life of what it is like to live in the skin of a woman. What it doesn't include is the every day vitriol half the population faces online for merely existing.

While the offline experience is innuendos, cat calls, grabs, and outright physical abuse, the online experience is outrageously venomous because hiding behind a keyboard seems to allow the perpetrator to feel safe from repercussions. Plus, see the offline behavior, court and sentencing examples of situations that were called out, and -- because perpetrating any of this behavior against a woman is an acceptable part of society.

No, this isn't a man-hating piece. If you read Gretchen's post, she is not calling out all men, just the assholes.

Online, there are assholes and there are those who don't know what it's like because they have never walked a block in a woman's body.

If there is anything this election season has offered us (besides the need to have a shower) is that these issues are becoming conversations. No, we don't report it offline any more than we report it online -- until our lives are threatened, which is, sad to say, more often than you'd like to believe.

This may not be the experience of every woman online. It depends on how active you are online and what you talk about, ... and gaming. God forbid a woman would participate in what some young males consider their domain. It probably doesn't matter what platform you're on, although some tend to rally the haters more.

Here are some examples:

Twitter abuse, why cyberbullies target women: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-23488550

Young women twice as exposed to cyber bullying as men: http://sciencenordic.com/young-women-twice-exposed-cyber-bullying-men

Why women aren't welcome on the Internet: https://psmag.com/why-women-aren-t-welcome-on-the-internet-aa21fdbc8d6#.n8m2xwjtk