I was somewhat surprised when a man I didn't recognize approached me when I got off the treadmill at the gym and asked, "Did you go to Howard?" I gave my usual bare minimum and said, "No, sorry," and tried to make a gesture of stepping around him. I was trapped.
While some dismiss this growing problem of online harassment as simply harmless male trolls spewing their venom, such abuse is driving women journalists off the web. Why the differential between threats to women and men? The answer lies in persistent stereotypes about women, power and speech.
True, when it comes to grownups, we usually refer to it as harassment and not bullying. But come on, people. Keep your eye on the ball here. Don't get distracted by the semantics and miss the substance.
I believe many employers can do more to prevent harassment. Most companies cover harassment in their company policies and disciplinary codes. In many countries and states this is required by the labor law. Fewer companies present proactive training on this topic.
Should we be throwing the book at these teenagers when they are supposed to be hitting the books? The failures of our legal system to properly address online harassment begin with our schools and with children.
You, the faceless one, who hides behind empty words. You, the unhappy one, spreading your misery through harassment and humiliation. You, the angry one, trying to feel powerful by intimidating others with your hate. I refuse to let you hurt me.
Twitter has been a space to share information but it has also been a space where civility can be thrown out the window, free speech is hailed and abused and where the silencing of individuals, particularly women and minorities, has become commonplace.
My husband and I have traveled many places with our son, who is 7 years old and diagnosed with Down syndrome. We have traveled through many airports and have always followed the TSA policies. However, on this one particular day, we encountered rude and unpleasant harassment.
Kids can be mean. Perhaps it's part of their exploration of boundaries and their power in social circles. As parents, we can teach our own kids the importance of kindness, respect and treating others as we want them to be treated. And, we can guide them to stand up to bullies.
There are no scars from the domestic violence I endured. I never had a black eye or a bloody lip or bruises to cover up. My girlfriend, "Luciana," had a hold on me in a way that doesn't leave a physical trace. She stalked me.
At the intersection of equality and liberty lie many hard cases that require careful consideration of complex evidence and subtle balancing of competing rights. But this is not one of them. If I were the OCR I would listen to the ACLU and uphold free expression at Berkeley.
As a culture, we understand that sexual violence is wrong. We just don't like to think of it as a mainstream problem. Unfortunately, it is a mainstream problem, and we need to refocus the public conversation to begin to change that.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has published a second edition of its outstanding Guide to Free Speech on Campus, one of its five Guides to Student Rights on Campus. Every college student should read this book.