Being a woman on the Internet is no easy feat.
Anyone who's ventured onto the World Wide Web has likely witnessed -- or been on the receiving end of -- comments thrown at a woman simply because, well, she's female. In a video titled "What It's Like To Be A Woman Online," Buzzfeed interviewed nine women who are visible and active on social media about their experiences on the Internet. The comments they've received run the range from horrifying and offensive to downright weird.
Whether left in the comments section of an article or fired off as direct tweets, the responses the women featured in the video received online all share a general theme of misogyny. From outrageous comments on appearance such as “Ugly Jewish whore” and “For your age, you’re looking great,” to mansplaining, rarely can a woman publish a few words on the Internet without receiving unsolicited, irrelevant commentary from the world's biggest peanut gallery.
Hearing women read idiotic commentary aloud brings some humor to a rather depressing reality, but the abuse women receive online everyday cuts much deeper than the few tweets and comments highlighted in the three-minute clip. Women routinely receive death threats, rape threats and even bomb threats when they have a public presence online. And the fact that we have come to view this behavior as somewhat "inevitable" is terrifying.
No woman should ever have to live by the rule: "Block if [the commenter] get scary, ignore if it's just annoying."
Want to help? Go follow all of these women on Twitter: Jessie Kahnweiler, Erin La Rosa, Brandie Posey, Alex Alvarez, Erin Mallory Long, Sara Benincasa, Amanda Savage, Gaby Dunn, and Megan Beth Koester. They’re awesome human beings and deserve to be treated as such.
As Jessie Kahnweiler pointed out, "When people hate you it means you're on to something."