This is becoming an issue for me. Well, I say “becoming,” it’s been an issue for me my entire life, but now I have to actually deal with it. It bothers me that men who can behave like decent human beings online are the exception rather than the rule. But the other thing that gets me about this is women are tasked with dealing with them. That’s implicitly unfair.

You mentioned that you’re in a place in your writing that you still try to answer comments but it strikes me that that’s more or less perpetual for writers or really any profession. And that would be fine if there wasn’t this bias that visible women are punching bags.

Just going beyond the fact that you own your own experience and are probably more or less an expert on the topics on which you write what I don’t get is why men insist on using women as outlets for their rage. Firstly, where is this rage even coming from? The only thing I can think of is that these guys were raised to believe they’d never have to be challenged by a woman and zomg yikes. But then even if they are angry, even if they have legitimate reason to be angry why do they expect us to handle it? Why are our lives devalued and threatened simply because men get a bit emotional?

I receive these awful comments day in and day out and so I don’t check my mentions and I cannot be contacted by someone I’ve not “friended” or followed, and I block, delete, and report abusive comments and commentators. But this isn’t something I should have to do. This is something that holds me back and forces me to cut off part of my access to the public sphere over.

Thanks for saying this but I really hope men start behaving responsibly because … this shouldn’t be on women to deal with. If men can’t handle their emotions that really is their problem and I’m just not interested in spending so much time making sure some doofus didn’t get up in his feels just because I pointed out the obvious.

Doctor of Palaeopathology, rage-prone optimist, stealth berserker, opera enthusiast, and insatiable consumer of academic journals.

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