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Tue Jan 6, 2015, 11:29 AM

Online and Offline Violence Towards Women

Long excellent Read

This is part one of a four-part series. Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

Fixing this is going to require a lot of talking.

I try not to keep track of the threats. High profile women face hatred and threats online that can take your breath away. It has mine. Iíve been threatened with rape and being beaten to death and fucked to death with inanimate objects and more rape and put into slavery and more beating and then some more rape.

Sometimes the threats are sexual, sometimes just violent. I donít know about all of them. I know Ryan Singel, my editor at Wired, often deleted them, along with comments about my looks, off the bottom of my articles before I could see them. I have a hard time remembering specific threats, because I have to block them out to function. Once, a man in Britain said he would send me a specific poisonous spider that would jump out of the box and kill me ó points for creativity. A man in Australia told me that he fantasized about raping me then beating me to death. That stuck for the sheer vividness. Though when I think about his fantasy, itís not really me heís doing it to. Itís some kind of inanimate blow up doll of me.

I would fight, I think. I have a history of fighting back in real life. Sometimes it has worked, and sometimes it hasnít.
For all the theories and fantasies about how weíd take down our attackers, itís not so simple to decide if you should fight back. Some say you shouldnít, because thatís how women get beaten badly or killed, and raped is better than dead, or eating through a tube for life. Or, if you win, you might go to jail for years. Raped is definitely better than going to jail for years, especially given the prevalence of rape in prison. Thereís another benefit to not fighting back, which is this: if you know you canít win, either because of physical or situational coercion, you can just leave your body. You just let it happen to the meat and send your mind somewhere a thousand miles away, where none of this is real. It works for rape, it works for beatings, it works whenever you are in terrible pain and no one is there to care for you. You make your body a stranger, you stop caring about it, sometimes you even hate it, and then it all happens to the stranger you care nothing for.

The problem is it can take years to come back to your body. It can be the hardest trip you will ever make. The stranger meat youíve learned to hate takes all the abuse, and becoming one person again can be the task of a lifetime. Reuniting your mind and body is like trying to find your way in the dark, and every time someone says ďBitch youíd look better with my cock in your mouth,Ē you risk getting lost again.


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