For some reason there is something… or somethings… about me some people just really hate. I mean, I never expect to be everyone’s cup of tea. But honestly I am surprised at times the amount of obsessive hate I get directed at me. Particularly the obsessive part. Like the folks who obviously disagree with me and clearly straight up do not like me, yet still apparently read everything I write here and on other websites- and check all my workouts I post online. I mean, I have a blog specifically identified as being about feminism, I expect the random nasty comments. That some people really get so obsessed though that they don’t just say “haha fattie!!!!” (<- real comments I get often) and move on but keep following all my activities across various websites- that was a bit unexpected.

But I guess I should have expected, I’m fat, I’m a woman, and I’m queer a dyke, several characteristics that mean a lot of people are very bothered by my mere existence on the internet. I actually try not to venture too far away from certain safe internet spaces usually (my facebook that is limited to those I have friended, and a few forums that restrict membership and are heavily moderated against hateful or harassing comments). Though I’ve branched out recently. Though I still won’t go on reddit. But I have this blog, and another, I use twitter now and then, and I started posting on instagram a lot and even made my account public, and I’m active on this fitness website called fitocracy.

The latter being the primary source of most issues I run into.

None of this should surprise me. I stayed out of #gamergate and mostly out of #shirtgate but I read about both and I know women who actively posted bout them. I know about the rape threats and misogynistic comments that followed those who did. I know about the doxing and many women who had the harassment go beyond the internet resulting in being stalked and threatened IRL. Women who no longer could feel safe in their own homes all for speaking out on the internet against sexism and in support of other women.

Misogyny on the internet isn’t news to me. But I stayed largely uninvolved in both of those precisely because I have limited energy to deal with bullshit. I have more than enough stress in my life already, and I do research that revolves around violence against women- when I want to relax and get away from that, I don’t want to get away from it by reading a bunch of rape threats.

And it shouldn’t surprise me running into so many issues on a fitness based website, it should be no surprise that a number of men who are interested in lifting feel the need to fuel that interest with misogyny and homophobia. Because it’s all about proving one’s masculinity which apparently means tearing down women and gay men.

And even though this is titled “haters gonna hate”, I wish I could sit here and say that it hasn’t changed anything for me and I just ignore it. I do my best to, but sometimes, it doesn’t work. I’ve deleted a number of workouts after just downright mean comments (not advice, just mean for the sake of being mean.)  I’ve started not tracking a lot of workouts online- not for the reasons I hear others use about just not caring about points anymore, or because they track other places instead, no- for me when I choose not to track something online it’s because I just don’t want to deal with comments from folks about how they are laughing at my workout.

I want to connect and talk to folks who have a similar interest and I want to celebrate progress, but I can’t do that without also opening myself up to all number of rude comments there, and here, and probably soon enough other places as well as a small set of people follow me around from site to site.

Part of my inspiration for this is when I see folks say this doesn’t happen, they don’t see it. Well, you wouldn’t if it’s not directed at you. Many of these exchanges have not happened in the open. I’ve deleted them on other sites, on this site comments need to be approved so if I delete it without approving it no one except me knows it happens. And so that’s part of why I’m writing this. To acknowledge that this happens, even though if you looked through comments here or elsewhere you would find no evidence of it.

And a big part of my inspiration in writing this is just how exhausted I am with it. I’m exhausted at having to put my guard up if I venture over to certain sites. I have to prepare for the backlash if I do something as radical as suggest that folks should maybe not use homophobic slurs. And it’s just fucking exhausting and there are so many times I just want to delete all my accounts, block everyone, and hide from the whole world because of this. Usually I get over that. I get some rest, get my strength back up, but the mental armor back on, and venture back out to deal with it all again. But god damn it blogging, tracking workouts online, and wanting to talk to other people about lifting should have to feel like that.

And it’s on a totally different topic but I am somewhat reminded of this article I read recently about Lena Chen’s experience blogging about sex. There are a number of parallels, plus it’s a great piece and worth reading so I’ll take any excuse to link to it.

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Comments
  1. I’ve not been a target of this kind of behavior since I’m as middle-of-the-road as one can get, but am constantly puzzled by commenters on other sites, who, as you say, don’t like anything about what has been written or the writer, but obsessively read and comment. In real life, we avoid people we don’t like and don’t read that which is not our cup of tea. Anyway, I hope that you continue to be inspired in your own progress.

  2. A lot of these trolls are self-hating projectionists. Like my momma always says- consider the source!

  3. kellyldalton says:

    I love your blog, and I’m kellbell over on fitocracy–friend me there for guaranteed positive comments! 🙂

  4. Jason Ellis says:

    I am a man but I hate rapist. Women, must be respected and not forced. I wanted to ask those rapist, what if your sister will be raped or your relative how would you feel? “The golden rule don’t do unto others what you don’t like others to do unto you”

  5. natalieh says:

    Reblogged this on On the way to nicer and commented:
    Is it trolls just can’t abide a happy woman?

  6. natalieh says:

    You write awesome things and it seems there are full time trolls. I saw a Christmas greeting that read “Merry Christmas , Happy New Year and DONT READ THE COMMENTS.”
    It’s a plague. One response I like is “mean tweets” on Jimmy Kimmel. It holds people accountable, there’s feelings to be hurt.
    So, if you do anything interesting at all you will get the trolls 😦
    AND
    I need you to keep writing.
    Love from a fat, feminist, queer. 🙂

  7. I can imagine the sort of commentary your workouts get, because I read a lot of comments sections, and it seems like there are people who do little else except actively seek out people to hate. I totally don’t get it – I have so many better things to do with my time than that – all I can say is, self-care is important, and it’s definitely wise to choose your battles and take steps back when you need to. This sort of thing can have a negative impact. I’ve never been on fitocracy, but I hate that you don’t feel good about posting there about something that’s an important part of your life. I don’t blame you for stepping back. But thanks for continuing to blog here and for talking about your experiences.

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