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Megan McArdle

Women and Men, Why Can't We All Just Disagree?

Why the Internet commentariat is a tough place for women.

If you're going to be a woman writing about hot-button issues on the Internet, you should be prepared for some abuse. People are occasionally going to tell you that they wish you were dead, and more rarely that they are planning to make that happen. The lazier among them will urge you to commit suicide and spare them the trouble. Others will describe all the ways in which your appearance, mood and opinions could be improved by brutal assault. Your parents, if they read your writing, will inevitably scroll down to the comments and find suggestions being made to their darling daughter that most people would be ashamed to offer in the parlor of a bawdy house.

Amanda Hess, who has gotten a lot of this sort of abuse, has a lengthy article in Pacific Standard magazine detailing the toll this has taken on her, from the sheer emotional weariness it entails to having to spend time dealing with the cops when she gets what seem to be serious death threats.