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I have had stalkers and restraining orders issued in the past, I have had people show up on my doorstep when my personal information was HARD to get,” she wrote.“I haven't been able to stomach the risk of being afraid to get out of my car in my own driveway because I've expressed an opinion that someone on the internet didn't agree with.” In response, she was doxxed.Sometimes, though, the opinions expressed are like those of Jack Kilbride's on New Matilda – well intentioned, not actually hostile.They stumble on this ugly reality and want to speak up about it. It's been thrown out in favour of outright self-preservation.The thing is, women on the Internet have been struggling with various ways to challenge their sexist adversaries for years. Way back in 2011, Tigerbeatdown.com's Sady Doyle sparked the hashtag #Men Call Me Things, listing every gendered slur, infantilising insult, colourful description of rape, accusation of mental illness, threat of violence, and generally hateful shit that men have thrown at women – online and off.In response, they have been abused, insulted, hacked, threatened, stalked, and intimidated for years. It trended almost immediately and was flooded by thousands of tweets.They do this because we're tougher than they can imagine, tougher than they'll ever have to be, and tougher than they can personally handle.
People who had been tolerating sexist, transphobic and homophobic abuse in relative silence had a wealth of ready responses to Doyle's initial tweets.James Clark School of Engineering found that “chat room participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames”.In the study, which created chat accounts with male and female names and logged them into chats to record interactions, “female usernames, on average, received 163 malicious private messages a day”.Her home address and other personal details were posted in her own comments section by more than seven individuals, along with hundreds of hateful pro-GG nonsense.
It was the world of online harassment and fear-induced silencing in a microcosm.These are the consequences, the doxxers seemed to be saying, if you speak out and we disagree with you. Not that gamers have long been a welcoming space for women. I game slightly more than is generally thought healthy.It's a passion, but I hate playing online multiplayer games because the expectation that my gender will open me to insults and abuse – or worse – is more than a little well-founded.4Chan, the breeding ground of Gamergate, is now suspected to be the forum on which users coordinated an armed attack on a Black Lives Matter protest, where five people were injured.) Women of colour face online harassment more than any other group (followed by white women and then men of colour), with all the added racist stereotypes heaped on top of the sexist ones.