Being a young female on the Internet

The blog title made you worry and start reading this, didn’t it…

Three-quarters of women and girls expect abuse if they post an opinion about politics or current affairs online. People tell you to watch yourself online; be on your best behaviour if you’re going to ‘put yourself out there’.

55% of women suffer anxiety and a sense of powerlessness from this abuse.

I recently wrote a blog about the everyday sexism I receive as a young female horticulturist doing what is perceived as a ‘man’s job’. This article was viewed and read by many different people who agreed that these comments are absurd, misogynistic and patronising.

Then I received more comments.. an influx of direct messages from (in this case but not always) men offering their opinion on the situation:

  1. I was asked where I lived
  2. What my dad does for a living and if I worked for his company
  3. Told I had to meet up with them so they could share their opinions face to face
  4. They tried to add my personal accounts on Facebook, Instagram etc
  5. Made personal comments about my appearance
  6. Sent harassing, inappropriate comments that I have blocked them for
  7. Emailed me for not replying on social media
  8. Being aggressively abused for not replying to the email

The blog I wrote was a personal article on how misogyny affects me; I don’t regret posting it even when people were telling me to watch what I say because it could make others perceive me negatively.

I felt enriched after many of you agreed with me, saying it affected you too but not letting it bring you down and powering through it, consistently breaking stereotypes and changing the world. To contrast this, the horrible comments left me feeling powerless, intimidated and enraged; it proves my point even more and highlights how dangerous the world can be when it escalates from being ‘harmless’ comments.

Statistics from Amnesty International’s latest report, link here.

6 thoughts on “Being a young female on the Internet

  1. Richard Chivers says:

    Awful awful experience for you Eleanor. I’m so so sorry to read the abuse you suffered and it’s yet another example of the abhorrent behaviour women are facing for having a bloody good opinion. Good on you for calling it out in this post. R

    Like

  2. Ali says:

    I am so sorry that you suffered this abuse, Eleanor. It reflects very badly on our culture, and perhaps highlights all the attitudes that went under the radar for a long time. This is why we do need feminism: many men and women will say we don’t and that things are not so bad, but if such an inoffensive post results in this abuse, then clearly things are so bad.
    I love this post by Shelly Pruitt Johnson for highlighting the way small things make such a big difference without us being aware of it:
    https://shellypruittjohnson.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/that-one-time-the-president-made-me-teach-feminist-philosophy-for-christmas/

    Like

  3. Green City Gardens says:

    Unfortunately social media can seem to be a touchstone for people who have lost all sense of common decency but we cannot let the naysayers stop us from sharing experiences and opinions. Good for you for sticking to your guns.

    Like

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