On Being [A Woman On The Internet]

Alright, very first post! First of all, I would like to thank LadyJess for recruiting me, and I’m thrilled and excited to be a part of this site. (I would also like to back up Jess’ statements about boobs. My boobs have drafted college papers and constitutions for me before, so I have complete trust in their ability to assist my writing.)

Secondly, I want to show my appreciation for my fellow Circle+ peeps. Because it takes a lot of ovaries to get up and do what they’re doing.

The genesis of this site came along in the middle of an Internet sea change, where a woman’s experience on the interbutts has been thrust to the forefront– with a particular emphasis on the ubiquity of harassment. This segment by John Oliver is only the most recent think piece that calls attention to the following facts: if you’re a woman, and you express an opinion, the trolls will come, as if pulled from the (Gamer)gates of hell. If you’re lucky, they just breathe really heavy, pound insults into their Cheeto-dust-caked keyboards, and go away when they tire of you. If you’re lucky.

When GG was raging at the foot of my little internet oasis, I didn’t join the fray. I knew others were fighting that fight for me and I didn’t want to open myself up to anything. I saw what they were doing to Anita and Brianna and Zoe. I kept my head down and watched my Youtube videos like normal, even while I saw my friends and acquaintances doing battle and getting doxxed. And all was well for me…

Until I had to open my goddamn mouth to talk about the shirt thing. Remember the shirt thing? Yeah. Everyone has a war story, and this one’s mine. I responded to some guy’s tweet regarding, peripherally, the shirt thing. I wasn’t overly confrontational, I didn’t open with an insult. I was just making a statement.

And then, like a sexist rainstorm, the internet heavens opened up.

I got about 40 tweets in 5 minutes. Some choice quotes/paraphrases:

  • “Look out, this one’s sassy!”
  • “A woman made that shirt! Are you telling her what she can and can’t make?” [Because apparently feminists are the Lady Police]
  • “I wouldn’t expect reason from someone who defines herself by how she looks.”
  • “She’s probably just sad that no one’s made a tarp with her face on it.” [It’s funny ’cause I’m fat!]

By the way, I’m not telling you about this shit for sympathy, because if I wanted that, I would roll out the REALLY horrible shit that’s been said to me on the internet.

All of that was in response to one tweet. Soon enough, insulting me lost its novelty and they left me alone. Because I got lucky. All that bullshit was me getting off light.

The incident shook me, I won’t lie. But the bigger part of me knew that dealing with abuse and hurtful comments and aspersions cast on your appearance and intelligence… This is part of the package of being a woman on the internet. So I picked myself up and moved on, because I knew it could be so much worse.

And that’s precisely why my colleagues here at Circle+ are all badasses. I guaran-fuckin’-tee you they’ve got war stories that’ll waggle your tits and test your ovarian fortitude. And in spite of those incidents (and perhaps in my case, because of them), we’re still out here doing the stuff we love.

Like I said, it takes lots of ovaries. So give them a hand, and appreciate the fuck out of what they’re doing, because we’re all sticking our necks out to do what we love here.