A few months ago, I posted a series of tweets about some of the most disturbing and vile sexual harassment I have received online.
Because the behaviors of online harassers are often so predictable, I feared that doing this would result in a flood of similar harassment, but I felt it was important to speak out about it precisely because men use tactics like this in an effort to silence and disempower women, and because I know that gendered online harassment of this sort is hardly unique to me. It is important that people understand just how ugly and horrifying the epidemic of online harassment can be. This is not something that can be dismissed or ignored; being the target of such sustained, widespread harassment tactics can and does take a very real mental and emotional toll. Nobody should simply have to accept this as the price of participating in social media.
The tweets you see here represent just a small fraction of the responses I received within the first 24 hours of my comments about this particular online sexual harassment tactic. The responses number well into the hundreds and continued to pour in for weeks. Please note that while I’m not sharing any of the copycat responses that included pictures of genitalia or other explicit imagery, I did receive a great deal of those in addition to the responses below.
Content warning for misogyny, gendered insults, victim blaming, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and threats.
Sexual Harassment is a “Compliment”
Just Stop Internetting
What About The Menz!?
It’s No Big Deal