All I can say is, the most vicious online attacks are always the ones aimed at women. Although I haven’t had the actual physical threats or much creepy stalking (maybe because people sense that I’m the kind who will hunt you down first*), I’ve had an occasional taste of the “fat dyke” or “no one would fuck you without a bag over your head” variety, always from the wingnuts.
But that stuff? Relatively easy to brush off. (After all: Wingnuts! Usually very religious wingnuts!) Believe it or not, I’m a lot more bothered by the condescending “I’m a progressive man and that means I know more than you” variety. I mean, it’s fine when a man doesn’t agree with me, but when he lists a bunch of reasons that have no basis in reality as justification, and then attacks me after I point that out, it seems to come down to the Power of the Penis. Namely, “I have one, you don’t, shut up and sit down – or else.” I don’t play well with that kind of thing.
I’m always little surprised that so many people like that still exist on our side, but they do. It was especially obvious during the Great Primary Wars of 2007. Why the personal attacks on female bloggers simply for backing one moderate candidate over another? There was something very weird going on there, and I still don’t trust most of the bloggers who took part in it.
But you know: Chicks! Always bitching about something! That time of the month, menopause, don’t worry your little heads, etc. Go buy a hat, sweetheart, you’ll feel better. I’ve heard statements meant to diminish women all my life. I expect I’ll hear them to the day I die.
*Back in the days before caller ID and I used to get the occasional obscene call from some maladjusted type, I’d listen patiently and then I’d say, “Listen, does your mom know you’re using the phone?” Or: “Why don’t you stick to something you know? Hang up and play with yourself!” I always got them to hang up on me.
I remember once walking down the local avenue with my mother and some smarmy guy said, “Hey honey, how much do you charge?” I looked at him and said, “Well, I usually charge by the inch, so I’m guessing you’re a freebie.” (My mom, of course, was more upset with me than she was with the asshole.)
By the way: Great blog, written by a woman who was formerly an extreme fundamentalist, which spells out the kind of harm religious patriarchy taken to its logical extreme.