The Internet hasn’t given me a thick skin, because I already had one. I think women are better suited to dealing with commenters than men because we have the experience of having been eighth grade girls. No troll in the comments will ever have as intimate an understanding of all your insecurities as your teenage best friends, so the trolls have no idea what scabs to pick. Men seem more wounded by mean comments, and they expect you to be, too, saying stuff like, “I can’t believe the comments on your post! They’re so personal!” And then you look and it’s like someone calling you “a feminazi with bad hair.” And you think, Are you kidding? I have great hair.
Although women now make up the majority of college graduates, the number of female computer science grads has dropped precipitously over the past 25 years—from nearly 40 percent in the mid-1980s to 18 percent in 2009. As a result, only 2 in 10 programmers are women.
It is important that we as women doing dangerous work in hostile places are equipped with knowledge and foresight. Knowing how important it is to stay on your feet in a mob, meant that every time my legs stumbled or gave way or were dragged down, I fought my way back up, saying over and over in my mind, ‘you have to stay on your feet or you will die’…
…But what cannot be taught or trained, is the knowledge of who you are. That is the light that will guide you to recovery in the dark months or years that follow. That is the light that showed me so clearly how important it was to speak out and not to hide.
Lara Logan, Foreign Affairs Correspondent for CBS News, in an essay for No Woman’s Land: On the Frontlines with Female Reporters, a book published by the International News Safety Institute with 40 essays by female journalists working in conflict areas. Via Reuters.
Last week, leading female journalists gathered for a panel discussion about their experiences ahead of the book’s launch. Video from that event can be viewed here.
The INSI will use proceeds from the book’s sale to fund safety training for women journalists.