Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Post for the Guys...

This post is especially for the guys. I would like to ask you all to please go and read this article:

On Being a No-Name Blogger Using Her Real Name - Kate Harding

Ladies may read it as well, but I wager it's all nothing you haven't heard or thought before.

I am not using my real name. However many of you know my real name, or I have enough information on here for anyone who knows me, to know that this is my blog. I did have my real name on my Twitter too but changed that, however I use my first name regularly there. I have toyed with using my real name everywhere, as I really want to be transparent in my blogging/tweeting etc, I want my name to be connected to my writing, but I have had some troubling experiences in the life of my blogging. I have been lucky so far, I've not had anything truly frightening, but I have had some upsetting experiences.

However I don't want those to take my joy of writing, tweeting, sharing photos and videos away from me. I want to stay transparent and open, I'm proud of that. I want to share my experiences and the wisdom I gain along the way, and dammit my opinions too.

So that's why I'm asking particularly the guys to read the Kate Harding article linked above. Because when you fellas let it slide when some douchebag makes our lives miserable, or insults us, or "drunk tweets" feral sexual comments about us, or harasses us in blog comments, or rolls their eyes when we get upset about something and so on, you're giving those misogynistic fuckers the message that it's ok. And that encourages them to take it to the next step, and the next, and beyond.

But I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those men who DO stand up and say "Oi, that's not right." when these things happen. I would like you to know how much it matters to women when you do that. Not just because you're seen as being on our side, but because it gives us a feeling that we are safer having your support. That not every man is out to crush us down, shut us up, force us into our "place". That there is hope for change for women who wish to be seen, who don't want to be invisible.

So thank you.


zombietron said...

God, I remember reading that post a few months ago and just going...yes, yes a million times yes, now why can't it all just STOP?

definatalie said...

I decided to use my real name when I wanted to get serious and develop an online presence for my art. I have only had one stalker.

But seriously, this guy took a disliking to me on an art site when I called him on being a racist bigot after he started railing against the Japanese (ALL Japanese) for whaling. He went to one of my websites, looked up the whois information and found my address - which we are required to record when purchasing a domain. He then created "art" with this information - the most notable being blood dripping from a street sign. My street sign. I went to the cops with his threats and his "artworks" (using the term so loosely here it may as well be undies around someone's ankles in the loo) and do you know what the (male) copper told me? Don't use the internet. Don't put my name on anything. That it was my fault that I was being threatened.


Fortunately for me, this idiot didn't act on any of his disturbing (and violently graphic) threats. Unfortunately for me, my anxiety and agoraphobia increased to a level where even now, my ability to do "outside" things is hampered regularly.

But I learnt two things:

1) You can get your domain registrar to disguise your address and identity. Dreamhost actually offer the option straight out of the box, but the Australian domain registrar I originally registered with did not.

2) The law has not caught up with stalking issues on the internet. The cop I dealt with dismissed my complaint and didn't even record it. I guess it's a "your mileage may vary" situation - my uncle is a cop at the same station and I know he is compassionate on this issue!

I still use my name online, but I take lots of steps to ensure that people don't know where I live or where I might be if it's going to be a private residence or regional location. I refuse to use BrightKite or Google Latitude for this reason. I am fairly well known in Brisbane, and most people are lovely and can be trusted - but there's that small percentage of violent people that force me to take extra steps to secure my safety.

Sleepydumpling said...

definatalie - thanks for sharing your experience. It's good to know that there are steps one can take to help prevent being harassed, but it's also really sad to know that the law hasn't caught up and that attitudes like those of the police officer still exist.

I guess we've just got to keep fighting the good fight.