Tag Archives: anonymous

VOD: Sexism on YouTube Deters Women from Hosting Tech and Science Vlogs

Having worked on The Chopra Well for over a year before joining the Intent Team I know first hand some of the ridiculous comments vloggers can get. They range anywhere from spam and complete nonsense to hate language and death threats. The anonymity of the internet allows people to spread their inner demons with reckless abandon, and while no vlogger is safe from these types of comments – women by far get the worst of it.

In this video, Brain Scoop host and noted YouTuber Emily Graslie addresses the sexist and harassing comments she has to dig through in her inboxes in every week. It’s more than insulting (because it’s the internet and we should just accept that’s the way it is, right? No.) It’s deterring other potential female vloggers from creating their own science, tech or math based channels. Emily explains that there are currently 13 male hosted STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) channels and seven of them have over 1 million subscribers. There are 4 women with STEM channels and none of them have over 200 thousand subscribers. Is that simply because guys are better at explaining and hosting STEM content? If you honestly believe that then we can tell you right now that this is not the blog for you.

The reason STEM channels and fields remain so heavily male dominated is because women are more easily deterred by the ludicrous comments they receive from viewers. There’s more pressure on women to not only deliver great content, but to look hot while doing so. And what does that say about us? That if a woman isn’t found physically attractive then the words coming out of her mouth aren’t important. God forbid she should make any small mistake in figures or say something that could be misconstrued as inaccurate because you can bet there will be a handful of trolls ready at their keyboards to demand she go back to the kitchen where she belongs. It’s 2013, everyone. Why are we still in this place?

The best point that Emily makes is that the commenters themselves aren’t the only problem. It is those that idly stand by and allow it to happen. It is both men and women that throw their hands up and say “That’s just the way it is,” that perpetuate this cycle of sexist, misogynistic nonsense. We have to do better. It’s not enough that you yourself don’t belittle women, STEM vloggers or otherwise, but we have to take a stand against those that do. We may not be able to cure the ignorance that catalyzes this behavior but if we all unite in the movement to say that it’s unacceptable we may be able to shame them back into the dark, secluded internet caves they came out of.

Thank you Emily for fighting the good fight and we wish you the best of luck in continuing your mission to provide stimulating and interesting science content for the masses via the interwebs. We stand with you. If you stand with Emily too let us know in the comments below. If your first instinct is to make a comment about how she needs cuter glasses then I request that you please step to the left – ain’t nobody got time for that.

4 Tips for Dealing with Online Haters

shutterstock_76767721-11By: Dr. Kulkarni

With more of the world creating and consuming information on the internet, online behavior, etiquette, and the rules of engagement are becoming increasingly complex.  Basically, online etiquette is virtually nonexistent.  Sitting behind an anonymous computer screen, with an anonymous screen name, many people feel empowered to say things in comment boxes, chat rooms and on boards that would never say in real life.  In some ways, this creates open, honest, unfiltered dialogue.  On the flip side, it really brings out the dark side of people where they unleash all their frustration, anger, and even boredom through their keyboards.

So what to do if you’re an online writer, blogger, tweeter, or anyone who puts any sort of content out there that people can read and comment on?  These are my top tips for surviving and navigating through the world of online “haters”:

  1. Don’t take it personally.  This seems like an obvious one, but it’s good to remind yourself that the people that are writing nasty or negative comments probably don’t know you in real life.  They have not put as much thought and effort into their words as you probably have into yours, and aren’t as invested in what they’re saying and how it might be hurting you.  Most people just have a knee-jerk reaction, comment on the first thing that comes to mind and move on.  Also remember that some of these people are bored, and it’s much easier for them to tear someone else down than to do something constructive themselves.  So keep a cool head, your emotions in check, resist the urge to respond, and move on.
  2. Know what you’re getting yourself into.  When you voluntarily post your work, writing, or thoughts onto the world wide web, you are by definition exposing yourself to the world (or at least anyone that has access to the site you are posting on).  Take this into consideration before you put something out there on social media, a blog, etc.  If you are writing something that you know in your heart is controversial, that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong to put it out there, but be prepared for the backlash.  And don’t act surprised when it comes.  This is all a part of learning how to handle your online persona.  Having a thick skin is a part of it.  The other part of it is understanding how the majority are going to perceive something, and then tailoring your message to reach your audience most effectively.
  3. Realize that disagreement can be healthy and be utilized as constructive feedback.  On the flip side of the first point, if you see a comment that is well thought out, and written in a respectful manner, but just happens to disagree with you, don’t automatically discount that person as a “hater.”  Varying points of view are necessary for productive dialogue, and people reading your words have different degrees of life experience, perspective, and insight.  Not to mention different value systems and ways of looking at the world.  When something goes out to a broad audience, you should expect dissention.  You can sometimes utilize the feedback to your advantage to help you evolve your own point of view or understand another’s perspective, which will only make you better.
  4. Stay focused on your message.  If you’re reading this, you probably understand Law of Attraction basics.  So you know that split energy or negativity within yourself will cause disturbance in your energy and potentially attract haters.  Try to come from a clear, pure space of love and positive intention in all of your work and writing.  You will never be able to please all of the people all of the time, but focusing on your own strongly positive intention and message will help keep you from being brought down by people at a different energy frequency.  In other words, stay in your own positive mind space, and let your work and words flow from there.  The haters will eventually get bored and move on as well.

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Dr. Kulkarni is a New York City based physician, spiritual author, and personal coach.  Find her @Dr_Kulkarni or visit www.leveragingthought.com to learn more.

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