So, once upon a time, not super-long ago, I wrote a blog post about a video game. The post was, on the whole, glowingly positive and it must have been okay given that the game company itself linked the review from its social media accounts. 50,000 hits and a crashed server later, I started wading through the hundreds of comments the post had accrued. Almost every single comment was negative, and they were all negative about exactly the same issue: the few hundred words I’d put at the end of the post regarding the game’s somewhat awful female costume design (it’s also worth noting at this point that the game’s representation of female characters was very good, which was acknowledged).
I pretty much got the gamut of reactions from misogynistic epithets to patronising mansplaining, and such was I brought low by my moment of “internet fame”. The reality is, of course, that I got off “lightly” compared to what a lot of other women have to deal with.
To look at the hatred directed at women who speak their minds is to see the wracking death of discourse and, indeed, the source-code of patriarchy itself.
There’s something toxic going on here. A lot of things, in fact.