Because I’m a Feminist…

I got told to go and kill myself.

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I also got told I was a perfect example of why is was dangerous, foolish and a waste of resources to teach a girl to read and write.

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I was told that my definition of feminism was wrong (despite providing evidence), told I was a “fucking moron” and that I was “full of shit”. I was called an” imbecile”, patronised and called “princess”, told I was “dog shit stupid” and “only worthy of mocking and ridicule”.

Why? Because I questioned someone who said “Fuck Feminism”. I pointed out what feminism offers men. I asked if he really had a problem with women receiving the same rights and privileges that men already have. Honestly, I expected it to spur on a discussion about what feminism is perceived as vs what it actually is. But…It didn’t. This person was not someone I knew. This discussion took place on a friend’s wall and had been a lively chat until this guy came along. It was a bit sweary, sure, but generally a good-natured discussion. 

Being openly feminist meant, basically, that I copped a torrent of abuse from a stranger. My husband, who is never usually confrontational in the least, read the thread and waded in. He told this guy to back off. For his trouble, he was labelled a “eunuch” married to a “feminazi”.  This guy even tried to throw the Gender Pay Gap at me as a put down or insult ( I think?), which is one I hadn’t seen before. 

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Luckily, I’m reasonably thick-skinned when it comes to this stuff. This was not the first asshole with a keyboard that I had encountered. I even told him that. Usually I find them because I can’t help myself and read the damn comments. Or because some weirdo on twitter decides I need to hear his or her thoughts on something. The block button is pretty effective there. 

 My friend who’s page this took place on came back later and read all this garbage in appalled disbelief and told this guy, in no uncertain terms, that his behaviour wouldn’t be tolerated. Another guy who’d been part of the conversation earlier messaged me privately about it, assuring me, basically, that he didn’t agree with this guy and that he was being a “dick”.

This guy, who is a stranger to me, essentially abused me for being female and abused me for being a feminist. I don’t know what his aim was. If it was to convince me of male superiority as demonstrated by himself, it failed miserably. If he was trying to convince me that feminism was not required anymore, it backfired hugely. To be honest, he only convinced me of one thing and re-affirmed one other.

He convinced me, unequivocally, that he was a contemptible human being. He re-affirmed for me that some people feel safe in abusing strangers from behind the safety of a computer monitor.

For this, I can only offer one award:

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This garbage that I copped was from one sad individual and I’m far from the only one to have experienced this.Online trolls are real people- actual human beings- not bots or spam programs. And I’m sure they don’t speak to people face-to-face in the same way they do online. 

But that doesn’t make their words less real or somehow more acceptable and it certainly doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be called on it.

Have you ever been trolled? 

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