Even More Cyber Abuse of Women

Amanda Hess certainly struck a nerve. Following up her article, Why Women Are Not Welcome on the Internet, the Pacific Standard has added four sections of testimonials: This Is What the Harassment and Abuse of Women on the Internet Looks Like:

Two years ago I began posting a serialized novel to a fan fiction website. An individual somehow determined my userID and password, logged onto the site as me, and added a bogus chapter to my novel.

The bogus chapter was less than a page long. But is said something completely revolting. Supposedly, the female characters in my story found it sexually pleasing to have each others’ feces rubbed in their faces and over their tongues.

I deleted the objectionable material and complained about it to the webmaster. I changed my password. The objectionable writing was re-posted, with additions. The offender was communicating in his own name. And then again, in mine.

At the invitation of two users on a different fan fiction site, I moved my project over to it. A few days later, the objectionable posts re-appeared on the new site, embellished with more details about a giant orgy that takes place in a bomb shelter.

… and Amy Wallace has chimed in with, Life as a Female Journalist: Hot or Not?:

In online comments and over email, I was called a prostitute and the C-word. J. B. Handley, a critic of childhood vaccination and the founder of the autism group Generation Rescue, affiliated with the actress Jenny McCarthy, sent me an essay titled, “Paul Offit Rapes (intellectually) Amy Wallace and Wired Magazine.” In it, he implied that my subject had slipped me a date-rape drug. Later, an anti-vaccine website Photoshopped my head onto the body of a woman in a strapless dress who sat next to Dr. Offit at a festive dinner table. The main course? A human baby.

Wallace notes that while much of the problem is with anonymous trolls, a lot happens in plain sight, with no consequences.


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