"I'm afraid of men on the Internet"

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To use this bad excuse as an open question: Do we have reliable data about the proportion of male misanthropes compared to all male users? And do the possibilities of the web (instant, (pseudo-)anonymity, distance is unimportant) worsen the problem qualitative (not only a higher troll count but a growing share)?


You forgot the gif! Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

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So you’re saying #notallmen?

Suppose we remove the internet from this narrative - what’s left? A woman who uses locks because there are some bad men in the world. Is that a strange story? I think it’s extremely normal. What’s not normal is when your colleagues at work ask you to leave the door unlocked at night.

The problem isn’t one of percentages. If there are any criminals then we need locks and police. Likewise on line - maybe none of us should be putting everything out there, men, women or talking dogs.


“I’m afraid of men on the Internet”

It would seem that the internet just provides one more place for men to abuse women, with more anonymity and less consequence for the perpetrator.

Of course, not all men are trolls, nor are all trolls men.


No, it isn’t strange or unexpected. But the comparison of the internet (e.g. Twitter harassment) and real life (e.g. cat calling) is imo not one to ignore.


While I know a lot of awesome guys and I don’t want to write every guy off. I certainly understand her feelings, I will say when I am on Twitter I definitely worry about a certain subset of guys coming after me. It’s something that’s always in the back of my mind and while I try to not let it affect what I say, it very much does at times.


Back in the day when Flickr was still a thing, I often noticed that many of my female contacts would post a photo, get unwanted attention and all of a sudden back off on what type of photos they posted or just quit posting altogether. It always saddened me because I felt they weren’t being allowed to post their feelings or art as freely as men could. Which is a real damn shame, not only because it’s just wrong on several levels, but also because they were good photographers.



You mean let’s decontextualize the story so it’s no longer a function of the technology that makes it threatening. Look, it was harder to harass people at a distance when you had to sift through a card file to look up what harassment is at your local library before you hit the phone books.


Understandably a lot of guys don’t want to be one of those guys, but here’s a simple test: if your response is to become angry and criticize women for pointing out that the way some men behave is a problem then you’re one of those guys.


Schrödinger’s Internet Commenter, so to speak.


Yes. The case mix of gender may vary from place to place and time to time. So protect yourself from aggressive types. They are all over. Use ignore, flagging, delete, locking, anonymization, tongue-lashings and every other tool at your disposal to beat the crooks. But most importantly, for your own sake of fun, join communities that are supportive, defensive of other members’ rights to freedom from harassment, and most most most importantly, leave the groups & social media that tear you down and make you feel small. If the mods don’t work to retain your membership in their community, they are not doing their jobs and that group is not worth being in. No this is not victim blaming; this is wise up to reality time. Sometimes the solution is to leave the abusive situation, much like IRL.


another quote from the original article. One that’s far more relevant in my opinion. . .

Speaking about locking down her twitter account from day one. . .

“It was a decision that was obvious for a clinically anxious person like myself, someone who never signed up for Facebook because the idea of people “finding me” there was entirely off-putting. I’m the kind of fragile human that experiences undue, irrational neurosis at the very idea of people looking at me, and the prospect of showcasing myself in an exposed forum was a nightmare.”

This has more to do with “clinical anxiety” than men. And to frame it as “men are mean” is a disservice to both men and women.


I have two twitter accounts, one locked where I am “myself” (and where I am friends with the OP) and only people I know or trust follow me, and another one, unlocked, where I watch every word I say because of the kind of men on twitter that will harass you and follow you and dox you if you dare be a woman on the internet with an opinion about the hot button issues of the day: MRA/Feminism/SexEd/Abortion/BodilyAutonomy/politics/Etc

No one is framing this as “men are mean”; we are specifically talking about a certain subset of men that will follow you from platform to platform creating new accounts to get at you just so you have to read their words. No amount of “being nice” or “firm” or blocking/flagging/deleting deters these guys. And in a case before the courts right now, this behaviour bleeds into “real life” with dudes showing up to events you’ll be at: http://www.metronews.ca/news/canada/2015/07/21/women-had-a-right-to-fight-back-crown-argues-in-toronto-twitter-harassment-trial.html - because women are never allowed to not hear what a man has to tell them, apparently.

Edit to add Gabby’s great comic about women creators online, because apart from the actual and real fear, there is also a layer of exhaustion, we’re all so tired, because we’ve been on this merry go round before, and gotdammit, its so exhausting.


Sigh. Smart women (whether"anxious" or not) will start taking fewer steps to protect themselves when enough good men start working against the few bad men.


Millie, would you like an M&M? I have a bowl of them here, only 5% of them are poison, don’t worry, just have some! What do you have against M&Ms?


As a lady on the internet, there are certain topics that I stay out of. For example, any topic where there is a frank discussion of sex. And there are a lot of times when I feel my point of view would be really valuable there. But, I am just not going to do it to myself - the conversations get so nasty and so misogynistic so fast that I will not participate…even in a space like BoingBoing.


Gasp! There you go again, saying men are poison. I’ve got your number, missy!


Had a bowl of MRAs once. It was horrible.