Quick hit: real life is so much nicer than the Internets

Borrowing both the term “quick hit” (ie, short post) and a thought from Lauredhel of Hoyden About Town:

I’m a bit bogged-down in contemplating the oft-recurring trope — accepted in so many places as a truism — that men who harass and abuse and insult women online would never do such a thing ‘in real life’. Boggle.

(A common variation is the assertion that they would ‘never get away with it in real life’.)

See also of course Skud’s post. Even if this trope this was true women are caught in a bind: some men are ‘only’ harrassing women on line, which is ‘OK’ because you know, these things happen on the Internet. (Makes me question the supposed geek ideal of human evolution towards any kind of disembodyment, let me tell you.) Some men are the ‘real’ bad guys who do this in ‘real’ places. So, even if that were so, how the hell are we meant to tell the difference?

For men reading thinking “well, shit, this is all rather discouraging” (a) you’re right and (b) if you’ve never seen Kate Harding’s On Being a No-Name Blogger Using Her Real Name, do head on over, and, as they say, read the whole thing.