On being scared
I have been an outspoken person online since my father first gave me an AOL account in the 90s.
I have been a public figure for video games and technology companies since 2006.
I am fucking sick of being scared to be a woman on the Internet.
Because I don’t want to have to tell my corporate lawyer about threats to my husband, dog, or myself so that they can double check if someone might actually know where I live or if they really might try and come and find me.
Because I don’t want to be told to limit how I speak about women’s issues because I have worked on games that have problems with sexism and misogyny.
Because I don’t want to be told how fat or fuckable I am every time I appear on a video, live stream, or picture to promote something for my job.
Because when I post these comments as examples of problematic behavior towards women I am told that these are compliments.
Because I don’t want to have moved three times because I believed people on the Internet knew where I lived.
Because I don’t want to live in a world where anyone thinks it’s okay when a fan replaces every instance of my name with bitchface cuntbag on his forum.
Because I’m scared even writing this.
Because if I still worked in video games, I would never publish this.
Because my job might be in jeopardy if I did.
Because my company would have to face the consequences if I did.
Because the games I worked on would suffer if I did.
Because my family and friends would be in jeopardy if I did.
Because all of this would get worse if I did.
But here’s the thing.
I’m not going to stop talking about the things I’m passionate about.
I’m not going to stop speaking up about issues that impact my life and livelihood. I’m not going to opt out of public-facing positions so that I don’t have to put up with this. I’m not going to stop trying to make the tech industry a better place for women. I’m not going to stop trying to make the Internet a safer place for women.
These things scare me or hurt me because that’s what they are meant to do. And that’s precisely why I keep going.