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.


So, my baby sister graduated from high school last weekend. I am so very proud! We went back to Ohio for it, which I always enjoy. (Apparently I'm just a midwesterner at heart.) KarateMonkey was shocked at the size of the graduating class - 600+. His class was 35 or so. Mine (from the same school as my sister) was 520.

It was hard for me in some ways. I love my life right now. But.... Being at graduation was a reminder of how I felt those days - only 12 years ago. How the whole world was ahead of me, and how I was going to kick its ass and take some names. I never imagined the depression, the dropping out of school and losing a National Merit scholarship, the fights with my family, the fights with my (now ex) boyfriend, any of it. I never imagined being at this point in my life and not even having my associate's degree yet. Those memories were

But, as my beloved KarateMonkey said "All your choices up to now made you the woman I love. And I love you so very much." And he's right. If I had to go through all of that to find him - well, it was worth it.

It was also a good reminder of just how good an education I got. Between a generous AP curriculum, a diversity of electives, and extracurriculars out the wazoo, I was lucky. And so was my sister. She's got a leg up on life - here's hoping she uses it more efficiently than I did.