Yesterday, I got my very first "internet threat." Some anonymous commenter here on this blog decided to threaten me. He probably thought he was making a joke - it came across like that was the intent. I didn't approve the comment, obviously.
I don't think it's a coincidence that it happened soon after I openly announced that I'm a woman.
I'll let you in on a little secret: threatening bodily and psychological harm isn't a joke. No, really, it isn't. The internet is not "less real" than a telephone. I make my living here, I have my friends here, I am a real person behind a psudonym. I can't "unplug" or "take a break," and the police certainly won't be helping any time soon.
So far it was just one comment. But I suspect there will be more.
Until domestic violence became a national policy priority, abuse was dismissed as a lovers’ quarrel. Today’s harmless jokes and undue burdens are tomorrow’s civil rights agenda.