My daughter and I were talking about how much personally directed sexual violence geek girls must endure. She was talking about the obsessive personally detailed threats Anita Sarkeesian creator of Feminist Frequency endures from the geek community on a continual basis. Some of these are threats include personal details about her needed to carry them out. This is really scary stuff.
I had just read Ending Sexual Harassment In Geek Culture on Paging Dr. Nerdlove. It is about the controversy over Janelle Asselin's critique of a comic book cover and the rape threats she has received as a result.
We were talking about the article and she casually let drop:
"I received my first rape threat in a forum when I was eleven"
She casually went on:
"Eleven is the age when geek girls first start discovering the Internet and make their first posts.They comment on a game about some small feature that they don't like.Some guy will respond by flaming them with a rape threat."
As they say, "you could have heard a pin drop". This is very shocking for a dad to hear his daughter say. "My eleven year old little girl!" She is twice as old now. Her saying this so casually is deeply disturbing.
My daughter has assimilated it. She has grown a "thick skin". I think she enjoys giving back as good as she gets. But not the violent rape stuff.
It is very sad that the male geek culture permits such abuse to go on. As Laura Hudson (@laura_hudson) said:
"It’s not good that rape threats bother me less now. It’s super messed up."
We MEN need to start talking about this. We MEN need to ostracize the men who threaten rape.
It is really scary for geek girls because there is always a risk that it might be real.
There are unbalanced men out there after all.
How do I change this? I start by writing about it. I talk with other people. I try to get MEN to understand the problem and see how scary it is for women.