Women everywhere are raising their voices, demanding to be heard. And, some of the audience gives serious thought to what is being said, and why it is being said.
Then, there is the always vocal minority. I first came across this kind of troll back in the early 90s, when I was wandering around the BBS world.
It’s so easy to assume that all of these kinds of men are socially awkward, living in their parents’ basement, wasting their life on video games and RPGs. Sadly, in the real world, not all of these assholes are that person. Some of them are successful, some are family men, some are truly compassionate human beings in “real life” (very rarely, I’ll admit, but still there are 1 or 2 out there).
Sadly, the problem is that the Internet offers them a sense of anonymity, that their real life doesn’t allow. Such behavior in the real world would cause damage to their reputation, and give them consequences that they don’t wish to live with.
The average troll intentionally wants to stir up trouble. Several psychology studies have been done that have found that trolls are narcissistic, sadistic, and psychopathic. The last, to me, is the most telling. The fact that these people lack empathy and conscience, are manipulative and volatile, and are just out for the thrill of it means that even the most charming and compassionate person you know could be hiding this side of themselves. They are, for all intents and purposes, invisible.
Its the same thing that happens when crowds gather at the site of someone trying to commit suicide. You often get some assholes encouraging them to jump – these people are enjoying the anonymity of the crowd. Oh, there may be one or two people nearby who hear them, and can point them out – but they enjoy the fact that rarely are they in crowds full of people that actually know them.
And as more and more women stand up against the status quo, we are challenging the very base of these trolls’ ability to be the kind of people they really are. To these people, mostly men, women who are challenging the status quo means that their protective coloration has to change. They can’t get away with some of their real life choices, because if women are actually treated with the same respect another man gets, then these men lose the control they have over the women in their lives.
So they threaten, harass, and do everything they can to scare women back into submission. They want us to hide, to avoid, to ignore, to run away. And they LOVE the attention they get while they are systematically destroying the emotional state of these strong women. They see absolutely nothing wrong with publishing addresses, phone numbers, and other ways of physically reaching these women, because they want to make them cower and fearful.
These trolls are stuck in another of those binary thinking cycles. Basically, anything that challenges their narcissistic lifestyle is automatically evil.
Sound familiar at all? It should. It’s high school bullshit on the larger stage of the world. These people have retarded their own emotional maturity to the extent that no matter how old they get, they are still stuck in that level of emotional development.
Sadly, it’s a reality of life for a woman who has chosen to stand up and be heard on the Internet. I started this blog with the full acknowledgement that at some point, I would probably become a target for these idiots as well. But, I’ve chosen no longer to live in fear of what other people can do to me. I’ve chosen to stand on my principles, and speak up for what is wrong in this world. If my ex-husband couldn’t control me, there is no reason I should allow these psychopaths to control me either.
But then again, I have a few advantages that some other women don’t. I currently live in a small town, with police officers living in the house next to ours, and in a house across the street. And, because I am living in a rural town, my family has guns in the house, as do quite a few of our neighbors. And finally, there are enough differences in sleep cycles in the household that it’s rare that we’re all asleep at the same time. In other words, it’s not exactly safe to try to find me in the “real world” and try to attack me. Nor am I shy about reporting credible threats to the police.