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What I Learned In Feminist Blogging 101

March 19, 2010

This morning I got an email from Mary B notifying me that we have our first “concern troll.”  Since we’re a new website, we weren’t sure what to do about him at first, so we let his comments through.  We’ve been having a little back-and-forth in the comments section of my recent post on violence in my personal workplace, and  I must say I feel good about my most recent comeback.

Fighting off a troll is everyday business in blogging, I know.  But something about it feels very personal to me.  Because lately I’ve been realizing how often, in real life, I’ve allowed myself to be completely derailed by people just like our little troll.  I’ve allowed some of the men in my life to make me paranoid, to send me chasing my own tail.  I’ve ended up a gaslight victim, shadowboxing with everyone, including myself.

Not anymore.  And I have feminist blogs to thank for that.  Via feminist blogging, I’ve found new friends and allies – women who exhibit bravery in the face of misogyny and abuse.  Women (and menz!) who have taught me that rape culture is real and that we can fight against it.

I have watched my oldest friend name the abuse she suffered at the hands of a horrible man.  And nothing is greater to me than seeing her now, thriving and beautiful.  Because she did not stand down.  Because she fought for herself and came out whole, a marvelous and talented woman who teaches me something about myself everyday.  Because of her, and because of all the women I’ve met through blogging, I will not stand down.

The world isn’t easy to change.  But there are plenty of people out there trying, and I’m proud to join the fray.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. marybullstonecraft permalink*
    March 19, 2010 8:41 am

    Thanks, love! I’m glad we’re blog buddies, and I will totes have your back in any troll smackdown, internet-based or otherwise.

  2. March 19, 2010 10:50 am

    You can’t let the trolls get you down!

    But I will tell you, the worst will come when you post something about rape culture, or your own experiences, and someone you know and trust will out themselves as a troll, rape apologist or just a plain asshat. I’ve had it happen both online and IRL and it feels like getting punched in the gut. Then the realizations start, “Oh my god, I let this asshole into my house! I drank with him! And here he is telling me that by doing any of those things, I was tacitly giving him permission to rape me…That because we’d been drinking together, it wouldn’t have been rape to him. Or because I let him in my house, it wouldn’t have been rape to him, no matter what I said.”

    Hopefully you won’t have to deal with it, but odds are good it will happen. Just keep your chin up and realize that the problem is them, not you.

    • March 21, 2010 3:03 pm

      Thanks, GeekGirls. Having the support from friends we’ve made in the blogopshere helps us a lot. When I did that guestpost for the Harpies about assault, I know I was being protected in that I never had to see the comments from trolls and the like. I’m sort of holding my breath, because I know it will come to us here eventually. And when it does, we’ll just have to figure out how to deal with them. Because we aren’t going to shut up!

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