It’s Not Easy Out Here For A Woman Writer

Sexism is the extra challenge we face

Rebeca Ansar
May 17 · 3 min read
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Photo Licensed from Adobe Stock

I woke up one morning with a strange sensation in my body

I had just dreamt of being attacked online by a troll, though it wasn’t much of a nightmare since dream-me perused through all of the ways the troll tried to get to me, and each of them was laughably futile.

To be frank, the “edgiest” thing about me is likely the fact that I support full personhood rights for women. These are the same rights that men easily get in societies around the world.

There’s a lot going on in the world, and much of it is setting women back.

But the truth is that I do worry

As a woman writer on the internet, my subconscious mind does worry about my mental, emotional, and even physical safety. I shouldn’t be in this position. No person should.

There’s no silver lining to this kind of existence.

I will not normalize the gender-based attacks on women that happen with greater frequency when we decide to fight back through speaking up. I have heard horror stories of women having to upheave their entire lives because of sexist online trolls. These women were pushed out of male-dominated spaces through misogynistic aggression. Threats to their safety didn’t just stay online, either.

The risk is inherent but it is not acceptable. This must change.

One of my goals this year is to become a braver writer. I am already brave, but I need even more courage to write more nuanced pieces that have the potential of upsetting people who never learned the value of being human.

My future pieces won’t squarely fit into one camp or another. What I promise is this, they’re written by someone who is committed to critical thought and wants to learn and understand more about the world.

It’s easier to find the lesser of two evil categories and just give up on the beliefs you hold that could contribute to your “othering”, but that can feel alienating too. At this moment in history, no one “side” seems interested in prioritizing the rights and safety of women.

Of course, as a woman, I have this fear that someone will find an inconsistency in my self-expression and condemn me for it. But, that’s one benefit of feeling like an outsider more often than I’ve felt like an insider. It gives me this kernel of wisdom.

It is imperative to know how to stand alone.

Women are allowed to make mistakes

One of the things I’m doing to water my feminism this year is being open to making mistakes. I don’t know exactly where my life is going. I just know that I have to be a stand-up person, show up for my chosen relationships, and figure out what brings me fulfillment. Other than that, I want life to be open-ended.

So, while I still fear expressing myself, it is the path I’ve chosen to help me take ownership of my life. Along the way, I have and will encounter nightmarish people, but the act of continuing onward is a form of resistance.

I think back to previous iterations of myself and how much I’ve changed my mental models and beliefs. If I hadn’t learned to understand nuanced thought or opened myself up to the possibility of being different, I would never have grown as much as I have.

We often forget that we are the thinkers, not the thoughts.

We are allowed to tweak our approaches. We are even allowed to overhaul our entire frameworks for interpreting the world.

There’s a lot going on in the world, and much of it is setting women back.

None of us should have to bear the onus of perfection in order to speak up. And anyway, a troll doesn’t care if you’re making a solid point. These kinds of people don’t interact with you on a human level.

They want power. They want to dominate.

When we feminists continue to live, grow, and be visible right in their faces, that’s a revolution in itself.

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