Rape Threats & Moving Forward

internet-safety-month

I cringe every time my phone lets me know that there’s a pending comment on this site–is it a rape threat or a white supremacist rambling? Perhaps it’s a comment from someone who liked an article or wants to provide a correction. I like the latter comments, but too often it’s the former.

It’s a harrowing place online for women, especially WoC, trans* and queer women, and women living on other margins. Every comment might be a death threat, and it makes you wonder–do they know where I live? Can they find me?

Give it a few seconds and you can drown out the voice telling you that Mr. Keyboard Warrior is triangulating your coordinates, but then comes the process of dealing with the comments. Do I read it? Do I respond (the answer is “no”)? Do I approve it? Am I censoring dialogue, or is that little red button my only shield online?

What’s the Best Defense?

The best defense is what feels right or you.

Most of the time, you simply hop back online. You scroll past the comments section on other blogs. You complain to your Twibe, Facebook Friends, and G+ hangout compatriots. You keep moving forward, you write another article, and you remind yourself that haters gonna hate.

How do you battle online burnout?

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