When you write vulnerable stories, sometimes it’s hard to ignore the trolls.

Darcy Reeder
Sep 30 · 4 min read

We strive to write fearlessly, because the truth is, wanna-be wolves are always nipping at our heels. We have reason to be afraid, but every day, we make a choice to live fearlessly, to write fearlessly, to see these wolves for the tiny trolls they really are.

This week, the fear took me over. I deleted a piece I’d written, about #MeToo, after misogynist trolls ridiculed it on Twitter.

The trolling started when some infamous online misogynists hate-tweeted my viral piece about Married Red Pill. One tweet included the words, “This is why you can’t take relationship advice from women seriously.”

For men who claim to have a monopoly on logic, misogynist trolls sure get irrational when they don’t like what a woman has to say.

Meanwhile, this guy’s Twitter bio promises he’ll get your wife to fuck you if you join his email list. Um, sure, bro.

These men didn’t just ridicule me about #MeToo. They also zoomed in on a photo of me and laughed about the size of my forehead and the ugliness of feminists in general. (Whatever, dudes. I mean, beauty is subjective and all, but have you seen how hot my friends are?)

For men who claim to have a monopoly on logic, misogynist trolls sure get irrational when they don’t like what a woman has to say.

“Some women like abusive treatment of a sort.”
No. No. No. No. No. Some women — and people of all genders — like to utilize power play, in conjunction with mutual consent.

“All she wanted was equality, for everyone around her to tell her she’s special, while doing nothing to earn it.”
Oh, is that what equality means? And we need to earn it now?

“ Of course she looks like ass. Its never a hot feminine women that writes this shit.”
How do I even reply to this? Oh right, I don’t.

Today, I’m channeling Gillian Sisley, the inspiring feminist writer who regularly calls out her trolls for the clowns they are. Because last week, I wasn’t so brave. Last week, it felt like too much, and so I hit delete. I wanted to break their link to my writing, so they couldn’t ridicule me anymore.

So today, I’m gathering strength from friends and allies. Today I’m remembering we can be as loud as the trolls. These Red Pill men call themselves alphas, but that doesn’t make it true.

Wanna-be wolves are always nipping at our heels. Every day, we make a choice to live fearlessly, to write fearlessly, to see these wolves for the tiny trolls they really are.

The piece I erased didn’t detail any of the times my consent was breached, but rather, it was an old piece for the Writing Cooperative about what it’s like to write and submit a #MeToo story for publication.

A year ago, in the now-deleted piece, I wrote:

“Watching the September 27th congressional hearings with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Ican’teven Kavanaugh inspired me to finally write. The words poured out of me. I felt feverish as I wrote, like my eye sockets were on fire. My husband says I get crazy eyes when I write; these were the craziest eyes yet. I left my living room couch and went to a floating cloud-land of pain and youth and confusion and disillusionment.”

I wrote about what it’s like to put your pain on the page, to finally feel ready to birth it. To feel ready to show others, to not be alone anymore. But then, once it’s out of your hands, to wait, and wait, and wait, as an editor decides its worth, to leave your story floating out there, real but invisible.

When I submitted my #MeToo story to a publication, I literally gave a man the power to publicly accept or reject my rape account.

(He published it, for what it’s worth.)

Last week, I felt that fear again, of men exercising power over my most personal truths, when I read those trolls’ comments and took down my story.

I wrote it last year with the hope it would help others decide whether to share their own #MeToo stories. I wanted to empower others. I wanted to feel more empowered myself.

Those goddamn trolls.

Look, we all get afraid sometimes. I tell my daughter all the time you can’t be brave without being scared first. Being brave means doing something even though you’re afraid.

A year later, Kavanaugh is still on the Supreme Court, and we’re all dealing with what that means about how safe women aren’t in our country. Honestly, not just women. People of all genders and sexes are victims of sexual assault. Rape culture hurts us all.

And just as it felt like things were getting better, like our voices were being heard and valued, our country elected this president, elected that Supreme Court justice. For life. For decades and decades of It Does Not Get Better.

Our country told us loud and clear that we are not safe yet. That we have reason to be scared. That we need to keep striving to be brave. For ourselves. For our friends. For our children.

If you’re too scared to share your stories, I understand. I’ve got your back. And if you’re feeling fearless, thank you. You inspire me, and you help me to be brave too.

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories, and share our lives together. We will not be silenced. We will be fearless. And we will write.

Darcy Reeder

Written by

Empathy for the win! Top Writer— Essays on Feminism, Culture, Relationships, Sexuality, Veganism, Politics, and Parenting. She/Her/They darcyreeder.substack.com

Fearless She Wrote

This is a space to empower differences, tell our stories, and share our lives together. We will not be silenced. We will be fearless. And we will write.

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