Privacy and Responsibility
Posted by honestpoet on March 7, 2007
At another blog (which will remain nameless) some ego-ridden pundit who thinks using his middle initial gives him the moral high ground has decreed that my blog is somehow not valid because I choose to remain anonymous. Just like a religious person (he’s not religious, though he’s just as attached to his own ideas) he can’t accept that someone else’s choice, while different from his, could still be valid.
He reminds me of Tom Cruise dissing Brooke Shields for using antidepressants, looking ridiculous on his high horse (which looks an awful lot like a hobby horse from here — he fancies himself a writer, but I think he’s just a lawyer).
I wasn’t going to write about this, but I began to think I ought to. You see, his lack of understanding my perspective is, I’m afraid, too common. Despite the fact that one of his “authors” recently wrote about her rape, he seems to fail to recognize that things are a bit different for women in this world than they are for men.
I remember in my political science class in college (which I took before the iron curtain came down), my prof was trying to explain to us what “low-grade terror” was like, to help us understand what it was like for people living in the Soviet Union. He made a comparison to what women experience here, with the pervasive violence. We (if we’re smart) are always on the lookout for men hiding, waiting to jump out and grab us. My dad was a cop, and he taught me to check my backseat, to check under the car as I approached, all that sort of thing. He also taught me some tricks his green-beret Vietnam-vet friend had taught him. (I taught them just last night to my daughter, in fact — you know, how to gouge out eyeballs, that sort of thing.)
Men here don’t get what it’s like to live with low-grade terror. So no man is going to make me feel bad for keeping myself and my family safe by blogging anonymously.
I used to blog with my name, but nutty men became attached much more easily, and then I had the additional concern that, with my name, it wouldn’t be too hard to come find me. Not a nice thought, and it became too hard to feel free to speak authentically, to really say what I needed to say, without concern of hurting someone’s feelings.
Yes, I may hurt feelings when I write the way I feel free to do here. But sometimes hurt feelings are necessary for growth. No one ever died by having their faith questioned. But women die at the hands of mentally-ill men every day.
Reading around the blogosphere the other day I came across a young woman’s blog. She had her young, pretty, smiling face right on the front page, and used her name. She was a bit outspoken, like me, not afraid to say it like it is. And here’s the thing. One of her readers was leaving comments about what he wanted to do to her, and it was pretty horrid. (Necrophilia, anyone?) I don’t think she took the threat seriously, but she should have. There have been too many cases now of young women being found by some nutbar who’s formed some sick attachment online, and ending up dead.
It may seem cowardly to write anonymously, and sure, we don’t get the ego strokes of seeing our name up on the screen (I get enough of that, seeing mine in print), but I think more women should take their security more seriously.
And no man has any business decreeing what our choices should be.