Thank you for writing this. You are absolutely right that it should not be “heroic” for a woman to speak her mind (or to reproach sexual harassment and other shitty misogynistic behavior online), but fear- and hate-based woman-trolling is unfortunately common enough that it’s still important for people to be sharing stories like this.
This reminds me of a story on “This American Life” a few weeks ago about a Jezebel journalist’s confrontation with one of her most pernicious trolls. Your story may not have the same happy ending (although self-actualization and remorse from trolls would be an ideal end to this post!), but it is nonetheless powerful and inspiring to hear your perspective. I appreciate your vulnerability, your resilience, and the way you are handling something so ugly with grace and humor.
The internet abounds with these feckless, anonymous mobs of chauvinistic demons, but as you note, it’s also a necessary platform for circulation of other important ideas (including comedy/commentary on life and society from women and other people of diverse backgrounds). I applaud you for neither taking the bait to stoop to their level, nor allowing their voices to silence you.
Also, I personally love the trout analogy! Chelsea Handler expressed something similar about her social media trolls in her new Netflix series, and I completely agree; stop seeking it out if it bothers you so much.
Sometimes observing this kind of irrational vitriol makes me want to disengage completely, but you are so right that perseverance, patience and persistence is key. I’m sorry you had to go through all this, but please keep being a strong, silly and sassy voice of reason!!!!