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Women and Online Harassment

I wanted to write my first real 2014 post about something light and fluffy – like telling you about details of my Australian vacation. However, when I read this piece today by Amanda Hess, it stirred up such strong emotions in me that I couldn’t not write about it.

Even now, an hour after I read the article, I am still very much worked up and angry about the ordeal she and other women on the internet had to experience.

I’ll give you some time to read it here: Why Women aren’t Welcome on the Internet. While it is a long piece, trust me, it’s worth investing the time to get to the end.

As a woman on the internet myself and writing about the controversial subjects that I do, I know that I am opening up a can of worms whenever I publish any type of opinionated post or article.

I’ve been the victim of much online abuse, be it angry tweets, hate mail or abusive comments on my blog. I have also featured on controversial gossip websites with posts that are written directly to abuse my looks and writing.

Most of the comments about my looks and my weight I brush off – I mean, really what can I do with that? Whenever someone calls me a fat bitch, how can an Asian be a Trophy Wife, aren’t Trophy Wives supposed to be hot and how can you call yourself one when you’re an ugly, old slut, I hope you get a STD and die – I mean, whatever. Generally, they’re just idiots letting off steam.

However, it’s the ones that target my family, my upbringing and my writing that really upsets me. People who attack my family saying that my mother must have been a whore because she raised a whore, how they hope my parents are ashamed of what a disgusting slut I’ve become and men who constantly insult the fact that I’m an advocate for women’s sexual freedom in that they believe my writings will encourage their daughters to open their legs to everyone they meet.

While my abuse is not at the level that Amanda Hess experienced, it is still relevant to the point that she is trying to prove: women aren’t welcome online – especially women with opinions: opinions about sex in particular.

Of course, the majority of the abusers stem from anonymous an account – which is especially frustrating as most of the women online operate under their real person and in the context of their real life, like myself. There is nowhere to hide and judging from this article, no protection given in instances where women feel threatened.

I have always deleted or blocked my abusers in an attempt to just brush it off and forget about it – but this article really made me think: maybe I should be retaliating, addressing the issue instead of pretending that it doesn’t happen. Maybe these abusers need to be put in their place. I’ve always operated under the idea of “ignore it and it’ll go away.” But maybe it’s time to take a stand – not just for myself, but for all the other women bloggers out there.

I write this to all my readers out there – I know that a lot of you who read my blog are also women on the internet: women who operate blogs like myself. I implore you to get this message out there – internet abuse, online stalking and online rape culture is NOT okay.  As Amanda Hess puts it – it is absolutely the next civil rights issue and something that needs to be addressed.

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13 comments

  1. Kua - January 8, 2014 3:25 PM

    I would like to read this article by Amanda Hess… Where can I find it?

    Reply
  2. Kua - January 8, 2014 3:25 PM

    Never mind…

    Reply
  3. Bobbi - January 8, 2014 4:52 PM

    Is it just me, or is there a problem with the site now? I tried following your link… fail. Then I tried clicking on the link from my Google search for the article… no dice. Lil’ help?

    Reply
    • Trophy Wife - January 8, 2014 4:54 PM

      Hi Bobbi,

      My link is working fine? Maybe try a different browser?

      Hope that works! Otherwise let me know and I can email you the piece.

      XOXO,
      TW

      Reply
      • Bobbi - January 8, 2014 5:02 PM

        Yup, you’re right! It isn’t working on IE, but it is on Chrome. Thanks!

        Reply
  4. Kate - January 9, 2014 6:28 PM

    Your post reminded me of this article on Lena Chen, a sex blogger who was condemned and people started harassing her and even the people who tried to defend. At times, social media brings out the worst in us all.

    Reply
  5. Kate - January 9, 2014 6:29 PM

    Your post reminded me of this article on Lena Chen, a sex blogger who was condemned and people started harassing her and even the people who tried to defend. At times, social media brings out the worst in us all.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/12/9/lena-chen-onlineharassment.html

    Reply
    • Trophy Wife - January 9, 2014 7:55 PM

      Dear Kate,

      Thank you so much for sharing Lena Chen’s story – reading it I experienced many different emotions – sadness, anger and fear. I am saddened that she had to go through all that she did, and at the end, had to remove herself from her own country. Anger at the ignorant people who did this to her, and finally, fear because I can see this happening to myself in the future.

      This is why we need to put an end to all this abuse – easier said than done but a small step in the right direction is better than not taking any action.

      Best,
      TW

      Reply
  6. Jamie - January 23, 2014 7:19 PM

    Thank you for posting your experience and this article. You are a brave and beautiful woman, and I am glad you are out there on the interwebs writing for all of your readers to enjoy! It’s wonderful that there is a strong and vibrant community of female bloggers, and I think you are changing these dynamics just by having a voice. Rock on :-)

    Reply
  7. Randy - January 24, 2014 4:27 PM

    As long as women try to go against the purpose that God made them for, they will have trouble. There’s not a woman alive that should be anywhere except in the kitchen or the bedroom,and they should either be cooking, cleaning, or otherwise pleasing their man, not tweeting or facebooking. If you can’t find the right man to please it’s YOUR fault. That’s the ONLY reason God made you to start with, to please a man. Accept that fact, do what you’re supposed to do, and all will be well in your world!

    Reply
    • K - January 25, 2014 10:43 PM

      Amen.

      I love the smell of trolling in the morning.

      Reply
  8. K - January 24, 2014 10:53 PM

    I will add this link and encourage discussion on my blog site about it.

    I have been a victim of both physical stalking and on line stalking. It must be my perfume.

    Anyway, the on line stalker started to become a physical stalker. Fortunately in this situation he went away on his own in time, but the fact that he made contact with my friends via email and kept tabs on my whereabouts was alarming to say the least.

    I have not made the same on line mistakes again, but the fact that I had to give up my freedom of speech, of blogging like I once had was heart breaking. It is an adjustment I had to take for my personal safety and that of friends and family. That being said, one should never have to worry about those things regardless.

    Thanks for sharing the link. I found it an interesting read for sure.

    ~cheers

    Reply
    • Trophy Wife - February 7, 2014 9:36 AM

      Dear K,

      Please can you share a link to your blog? I would love to read it!

      Online stalking ruins lives.

      xoxo,
      TW

      Reply

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