I’ve gone back and forth about anonymity. I first justified my anonymity by concerns for my future, public image: I didn’t want foul words, written twenty years ago to come and haunt me.
I know realize this paranoia makes sense. In regard to feminism, women are prime targets. Not all of them, not all the time, but it is bound to happen to some of them. I watched with dismay on forum when a good-willed newcomer would get banned for not believing into some party line, or trusting her opinion with strength. I watched in astonishment at hundreds of women justifying an ongoing public take-down of a woman, because she didn’t apologize in the perfect way. I’ve read so many whispers: I don’t speak on that topic, because I am scared of what awaits me.
Now, as it happens, I’m not the only one who reached that conclusion! And while whoever spends time on the internet hears about people getting harassed and humiliated online, it happened before: women getting trashed inside their own feminist groups isn’t new.
I want to explore this issue: why do women join small groups to perform outstanding thinking and reasoning for working for women’s cause, only to destroy each other and viciously attack whoever stands out in just the wrong way. Ironically, it is the very space that allows women to grow that stifles them as soon as they reach some independence.
Image: Benjamin Gauthier (detail)