A Note About Being A Female Blogger — And The Sexual Harassment That Comes With It

This is not directed at any one person. This is something I feel I have to say on behalf of myself and possibly many other female bloggers out there.

It makes my freaking day when people email me or comment or come up to me in public and tell me that they like my blog or my videos or my writing for The Frisky. To know that there is someone else out there, across the vast and uncertain hollow space of Internet, to know that someone is reading, someone is taking the time out of their day to process words that I wrote or watch a video I made, means a lot to me.

As women bloggers though, we’re faced with certain issues that men aren’t.

We’re judged harder on our content. Our photos, even just our profile photos on Facebook, are viewed at in terms of how hot we are, or aren’t. Please understand that I realize that not all men are like this. Not all men see women online as an amusing novelty. But the men who do are some of our biggest obstacles we have to deal with.

Just because we are women with a voice and an internet presence doesn’t mean that we are there for you to objectify, flirt with, or sexually harass. We’re writers. We’re creators. We’re reporters. We’re just trying to say something. We’re not posting something so that you can then comment with a suggestive remark. Our posts on dating, sex, relationships, or anything related, are not an invitation for you to hit on us or objectify us.

What is sexual harassment online? I’m sure the definition is as broad and wide as can be. Perhaps my definition is stricter than most. To me, sexual harassment is unwarranted comments that hint (or are outright blatant) about my appearance or sex life when they have nothing to do with the subject at hand. If I write, “Please judge this photo of me; tell me what you think of my face and my tits” then it would be silly of me to then turn around and say, “Why the hell did you just make a comment about my tits?” If I’m blogging about dating in LA and you comment, “Perhaps you haven’t found the right guy yet, hint hint winky face” that makes me uncomfortable. (And that was just an example I made up out of thin air.)

I respect my readers, which is why I’m posting this and not talking down to you. I welcome Internet friends. I welcome people I can chat with and discuss events with. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have Twitter or Facebook. But I think that because my online presence is somewhat big and because I welcome interaction, this is misconstrued as an open invitation to flirt with me. It isn’t. So please treat me with respect. Don’t be rude. Don’t be condescending. It’s embarrassing for both of us. If you can’t do those things then go ahead and do them off of this blog, off of my Facebook page, and off of my Twitter feed.

Thanks for reading.