Here Are the Sadly Expected Replies to Our Article About a Marvel Editor Harassed for Her Selfie

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My dude, did you even read the article?

Most of you were really great in Twitter replies! Supportive and understanding of what Heather Antos experienced, outraged at how hard it is to be a woman existing on the Internet, especially in prized geek spaces. A toast to people like this, who get it:

(This response wins all Internet responses, forever.)

Some people were considerably less great in the Mary Sue Twitter mentions. I’m not embedding their Tweets here, because I don’t want them to be subject to blowback—continuing that cycle doesn’t help anyone. But I think it’s important to record for posterity that you can’t even write up a case of harassment without garnering some of the same types of insults, accusations, and skepticism that the harassed party faced. The internet is an ouroboros with the head of a cartoon frog.

Let’s begin with some folks who may or may not have read the article in question—but regardless of that small detail, have profoundly missed the point.

Kindly scan the entirety of the text, my guy.

I acknowledge the clear hurt that you are experiencing, and my hope is that you feel also validated one day. It doesn’t have to be like this.

We read comics. We love comics readers. We are comics readers. Maybe it would be extra comforting to you if we were not, but even then it would not detract from the validity of what Heather Antos experienced.

Also, it’s *lying

…what?

This is not harassment. This is a public person on Twitter getting the equivalent of a MILD Youtube comments section.

Thanks for explaining what harassment is and is not! It’s difficult for me to figure these things out all on my own. I spent 8 years as an Internet moderator, but I still get confused.

As usual, SJWs who can’t take criticism ignore the 1000 legitimate criticisms and focus on the 2 harsh comments.

As usual,

(via HuffPost)

And what were the “legitimate criticisms” of a woman taking a picture, bud?

LOL!

You’re feelings are irrelevant here. The facts are what matter.

*Your, my friend. Your. And what are the facts beyond a comics editor taking a selfie, going to sleep, and waking up to harassment? Those are the facts.

“Men are harassed more than women.” Where is this magical world, and how do I get there?

Ahh, the old “do the work for me and maybe then I might believe you” gambit. Perhaps we didn’t screenshot the harassing Tweets because we were focusing on the voice of the woman who experienced the harassment? If you want to see something for yourself, Fuckinggoogleit, my pal.

*Your

You have a frog meme for your avatar whose creator despises everything that you stand for.

Mary Sue, if you can’t link to actual abuse then it never happened.. all you have done now is given actual abusers a target.

*pounds fist on table* Show me the abuse! Bring me the head of the abuse! If you do not provide exactly something that I specify, it does not exist. If it does exist, I will go on to tell you that your feelings are hurt, you’re overreacting, you’re lying, you’re an SJW, you’re irrelevant, but in the interim, fetch me this thing that I demand.

But we do appreciate you for acknowledging that the mere mention of abuse would cause “actual abusers” to come out of the woodwork and pile on. I’m glad we had this delightful interchange of ideas. Thanks for playing!

These types of @replies to Marykate’s story sadden rather than upset me. I’ve spent far too long on the Internet—including that span as a moderator, in which I witnessed the truly depraved depths of humanity—to be surprised by any reactions to anything. I’m more exhausted that it has to so predictably always be this way (at least at first). I don’t think that trolls are monsters—in my experience, they are people seeking their own validation who have been swindled into a way of thinking and acting that benefits themselves no more than it does their targets. But what I won’t stand for is the knee-jerk victim-blaming that echoes how victims are treated in “real life” situations: where’s the proof? What were they doing to deserve it? Are you sure that’s what happened?

The best thing that emerged from Antos’ situation was a surge of support and positivity as the story spread quickly across multiple platforms. There was a time that this would not have been the case. But these days, hate and harassment are leading to broader awareness and push back. Most of the responses we saw on The Mary Sue were sympathetic and awesome. #MakeMineMilkshake trended with messages of support. And Antos’ next “Milkshake” photo tripled in crowd size. I eagerly await the day, however, when none of this will be necessary. I’d like to believe that we’re getting better.

(image: Shutterstock)

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Author
Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.