When the Guardian examined the 1.4 million comments that have been blocked by moderators since 1999, they found that eight of the 10 writers receiving the most blocked comments were women, and topping the list was … well, me. Sure, there’s a small part of me that’s proud – I’m No 1! – but the bigger truth is that I’m mostly just exhausted.
I’m tired of laughing it off and rolling my eyes. Because while misspelled threats or entreaties for me to get back in the kitchen are certainly easy to mock, the disdain with which they’re employed is not very funny.
For all the progress women have made, there’s always an online comment section or forum somewhere to remind us that, when given anonymity and a keyboard, some men will use the opportunity to harass and threaten.
It’s because you’re an idiot not because you’re female.
Anything that suggests there’s still work to do for true gender equality sends some men into a rage – a response that mostly serves to prove my point.
People disagree with you so you must be right. Yes, an idiot.
I can see that in other comment threads – on articles that aren’t about gender, race or sexuality – people have interesting and forward-thinking conversations. I’m disappointed that I’m rarely privy to the same.
Given that it’s your articles that get this, have you, possibly, maybe, considered that it might actually be about you, your ideas, and your writing?
It’s not that I find the transparently sexist responses surprising – writing about feminism online for more than a decade makes you a bit jaded about such things – but it impacts, tremendously, on the way I feel about my job. Imagine showing up to work just to run the gauntlet of hundreds of people telling you how worthless you are.
Perhaps another job would be a good idea?