Then I guest-blogged for Megan McArdle. At the time, she was employed here at The Atlantic. My stint running her page while she vacationed included the keys to the blog’s inbox. Even as someone who’d previously blogged about immigration in California’s Inland Empire, fielding insults and aggressive invective as vile as any I could imagine, I was shocked by a subset of her blog’s correspondence. To this day, I don’t know if I was experiencing a typical or atypical week. Perhaps in the abstract, there isn’t any threat more extreme than the death threats I’d received and brushed off as unserious. But I read emails and comments addressed at McArdle that expanded my notion of how disturbing online vitriol could be. And it took my actually reading them for my perspective to change.
I’d never been exposed to anything like it before.
This is why I share the shit I get. Men straight-up DO NOT BELIEVE IT until they see the evidence. It’s all “well people are mean to me online too” and “well everyone gets shit online, that’s just how it is.”
Everyone gets shit online, but what kind of shit and how much shit is highly variable.