A couple weeks ago Chris and I went on a drive in our new car. The kids were with Grandma and we just enjoyed the journey. During our drive we discussed many things, including an upcoming project of mine that will make me more visible online.
Chris argued that by putting myself out there in any way and by simply being a woman, I am opening myself up to the unfortunate side of the Internet. He hates this side of the Internet, totally thinks I shouldn’t let this stop me, but just wanted to warn me. I told him I wasn’t worried because my focus isn’t anything, even seemingly, controversial. He replied, “It doesn’t matter. They don’t care. It’s just because you’re a woman. And smart. They hate that.”
I don’t get why people feel justified in harassing other people, on or off the Internet. It just doesn’t make sense.
Well, he’s right.
By just having thoughts in my head, I’m controversial.
This underlying and sometimes blatant hatred of women just because they’re women and smart is…well, I just cannot put it into words. I honestly cannot comprehend any possible reason for such a stupid perspective. Why would someone hate anyone for being smart? Having opinions? Or even just existing?
You want to know what else bothers me? This thought that what happens online isn’t real. Last week I read an amazing article that expresses what is real and constant for many women in our society.
John Oliver breaks down the reality for women on the Internet with a little bit of humor.
For god’s sake, you’d think the way the people are lashing out at these women, they were axe murderers or even Hitler himself.
What happens online doesn’t stay online. This harassment affects our every day lives. By continuing to dismiss and accept these crimes against women, the oppressive power will persist on the Internet just as it has in society for thousands of years.