Buzzfeed Asks What It’s Like To Be A Woman On The Internet
Big hint on this video: Don’t look at the comments.
Buzzfeed Yellow interviewed nine women writers, podcasters, bloggers, comedians, journalists, and artists to talk about their experience with online commenters. I mean, I think we all know where this is going, because if you’re here, you’ve probably read about this in the past. It’s just nice that Buzzfeed put some faces and voices to the experiences of rape threats, body-shaming, mansplaining, and sexual harassment.
The infuriating/frustrating/ridiculous thing is the solutions these women have come up with to deal with gender-based harassment online: Basically, as Amanda Savage puts it, “Block if they get scary, ignore if it’s just annoying.” Or, in other words, expect it to happen (it will), grit your teeth, and try to keep moving without feeling too paranoid.
It’s not that men on the internet don’t face harassment, of course, it’s just that women get a special kind of harassment that has to do with our perceived physical inferiority (i.e. rape threats, threats of violence, comments on our bodies). And the reasons trolls cite for harassing women so often have to do with our gender — it’s because feminism isn’t necessary, or because we’re silly or stupid and don’t know what we’re talking about, or because we’re just angry bitches.
Jessie Kahnweiler has this to say: “Comments keep me going. When people hate you, it means you’re onto something, so I’m not really ever going to shut up.” I’ve hated that sentiment when people cite it to me, but looking back on history, it’s true. There’s always a mass of scared, angry trolls who try to take people who do work to try to drive progress, who do work based on strong principles, down a notch.