It’s Not You. It’s Me. Misogyny, Social Justice and (My) Personal Narrative

Pendant by Amy Davis Roth.

Pendant by Amy Davis Roth.

My last post focused on the microaggressions that women face, both online and off. Because of it, I was asked, by a good friend and a feminist ally who wishes to remain nameless, why I focused so narrowly on women’s experiences when it might have been stronger as a post about all the experiences of non-privileged populations, one of which he belongs to.

I originally wrote the introduction to the post with thoughts about how my experiences extended beyond my feminist outrage. It was a more academic and less-personal post. Then I took that out. I feel like my writing stands better as a personal account. This doesn’t mean that I believe women’s issues are the end all and be all of social justice. I write about them because they are what I experience. I have a personal narrative for them because they are *my* personal narrative. I don’t have a strong personal narrative of racism, transphobia, homophobia, body shaming or any of the other issues that mean just as much to me, and anger me just as much.

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It’s Not Just the Internet. It Never Has Been.

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One of my favorite necklaces, by the fabulously talented Amy Davis Roth at Surly-Ramics.

You hear the lament again and again, while reading about anti-woman trolling online.

“Oh, the anonymity of the internet makes people behave badly!”

“If we just used real names, there people wouldn’t be as vicious.”

“Oh, that’s just 20-something guys in internet chatrooms. That’s how they all are.”

On the contrary, the viciousness we see, isn’t just a side effect of the internet. It’s a side effect of our culture.

No, I would go beyond that. It isn’t a side effect of our culture. It *is* our culture.

Why would I ever say this? I mean, everyone knows that those anonymous trolls on reddit would *never* act like that in the real world. It’s the structure of the internet that allows them to be assholes. Everyone knows that if we just avoid the problematic sites, like reddit, or the skeptics movement, or, well, anywhere else online, we wouldn’t have to deal with this.

Bullshit.

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