Actress Shoshana B. Roberts walked around New York City for 10 hours to film an anti-street harassment PSA. Since the video went viral, she has been barraged with rape threats. The short film's male creator? Not so much.
"I’m getting some blowback, but not nearly as bad as Shoshana," Rob Bliss, the man behind the video's concept, told the Washington Post. "Right now she’s getting a lot of threats and things like that and it’s just so sad. It’s like the video is now being echoed in real life."
The fact that Roberts is receiving rape threats is disgusting and upsetting -- but, unfortunately, not at all surprising. There are news stories of harassment and violence against women pretty much every day, motivated by little more than age-old misogyny.
Here are 13 things that will most likely earn you a rape threat (evidenced by real things that have happened to real women):
1. Talk about sexism in the gaming industry.
2. Have a discussion about whether or not most rape jokes are funny.
3. Suggest a woman's face should be on currency.
7. Come forward alleging that a man sexually assaulted you.
8. Criticize gun culture on television.
9. Speak out about rape culture at your university.
10. Be a victim of revenge porn.
12. Write an essay about a time an unnamed man made you feel violated.
13. Be a woman.
It is goddamn exhausting to be a woman in 2014, whether you're walking down the street or clicking around online.
It is exhausting to take note of every man who is on the street around you, wondering if one of them will follow you home.
It is exhausting to have to weigh the potential consequences before posting a tweet with #GamerGate or participating in a video project or saying anything even remotely related to sexism.
We pause each time for fear that doing any of these things will summon the dregs of the earth to our proverbial doors, their keyboards blazing, just waiting to say they'll rape us or that we're too ugly to rape or that we're "fknig btches," since the need for correct spelling is thrown out the window along with any human decency.
Rape threats have become online culture's currency of choice, used to intimidate and silence women who deign to speak up. And it's important to remember that these threats go hand in hand with the street harassment, sexual assault and rape that occurs in the flesh and blood world.
Enough is enough.