Sunday, June 08, 2008


A few weeks ago, a post on Shakesville touched on how hard it can be to be a woman in an online environment. We are harassed, threatened, ignored, catcalled - you name it, it's happened. While responding to that post, I mentioned that "I got all sorts of shit. Hey baby, are ya single? A/S/L?" in an MUD.

A troll responded that "Yes, because god knows that asking someone their age sex and location is offensive, calling someone baby is offensive (the women I know like it)..."

I had a quick, dashed off between appointments response, but I would like to elaborate on it.

"Baby" is not a compliment. "Baby" is a term for an infant, one who cannot care for themselves or make decisions for themselves. A compliment, to me, is something about MYSELF. Not a comment on my gender (which I have no control over) or my "hotness" (as perceived via an online avatar). Me. An aspect of my personality. Like "Wow, you listen to other very well" or "You have a great singing voice" or " You have a really deep understanding of positive reinforcement training."

Someone calling me "baby" because an online avatar of mine happens to be a woman is plain stupid, and is certainly not a compliment for ME. It's an insight into the commenter's view - that a woman is there for their enjoyment and, should they not be interesting enough or "flattered" by the "compliment" of their attention, to be scorned and insulted.

So, once again -- fuck you very much, troll. Whatever women you may know who "enjoy it", I'm not one of them. And you would best remember that many women aren't.

No comments: