I put my opinions on the internet for a living, so other women often ask me how I handle the inevitable hate and harassment that comes my way. I always feel a bit unhelpful when I tell them the answer: I just ignore it. Honestly, the “shut up, bitch” tweets don’t even get to me anymore. I almost take pleasure in blocking them without comment. When expletive-laden emails land in my inbox, I take them as proof that my ideas have moved beyond my core audience of sarcastic gender-studies students and earnest nonprofit employees and made it out into the wider world, a place where few people read and even fewer agree with me. I archive them to my “hatemail” folder and go about my day.
The problem is, my personal strategy of ignoring the haters doesn’t square with my principled understanding that it’s not fair to expect women to do this.