With that in mind, one delightful visitor decided to try to Stop Feminism by Stopping Me. You guys: I've got my first troll! I cannot tell you how excited I am. I know, I know, Rule 1 of feminist blogging is "don't feed the trolls", but c'mon - let me have this.
YES! I am detrimental to a society which views me as inferior: result! My mum will be so proud.
Oh, so much bile packed into so few lines. Women: nothing but babymakers, and if they dare depart from this sacred duty they are nothing but pure evil (or, in my case, postponing parenthood until I am considerably older, richer, less stupid, and less enamoured with smoking and spending the grocery money on books - pure evil). Pure evil and only half a woman, at that. (Or a third of a woman? Twenty four per cent of a woman? Five eighths of a mile? Inquiring minds need to know.)
Misandrist: oh, famously. The four words my gentleman admirer hears most often are "darling, I hate you", followed by the sound of me rummaging in my capacious handbag for a hacksaw to disfigure his genital region. (We've been together two and a half years now; clearly I suck at misandry. And hacksawing.) I mean, it's kind of sad that I'm so readily reaching for this counter-example, in that I really owe this commenter knob-all and yet feel some need to demonstrate my man-lovin' real-womanliness, but I think I am also motivated by the eternal drive to prove the troll wrong.
And 'whore': well. My absolute favourite thing about this epistle is that it pulls out Sexism 101 moves - an amazing quantity of them in a scant twenty two words - in an attempt to tell me that feminism is unnecessary.
1. Women should have babies at all times, or be fractional bad women.
2. You hate men. I have no evidence for this.
3. Women who have sex are scary. (Women who don't have sex are bitches.)
4. You, a woman, are weak. (Which is why I'm spending all this time trying to stop you doing whatever it is you're doing, which doesn't threaten me in the slightest.)
5. Feminism? What's that for?
Thing is, I am utterly useless in taking criticism. If the troll - henceforth to be known as Epistolero - had dissed my writing style, my powers of reasoning, or the deliciousness of my macaroni cheese, I would be sobbing in the corner with a duvet on my head. (So I guess starting my own blog was a good idea!) And I imagine - well, I know, from hearing seasoned lady bloggers' testimony - that getting a mountain of this crap in your inbox on a regular basis becomes less funny and more grindy downy with every day that passes. Which is why Epistolero and co do it: make it as hard as possible for the ladies to talk about the whole oppression thing, kick their ankles for long enough, stick your fingers in your ears going "lalalalala" whenever they open their mouths, and maybe you can get them to shut the fuck up.
But happily we are not in duvet-head territory. We are in logic-free "FEMINISM IS BAD" territory, where I have superpowers on my side: the powers of whimsy, the power of laughing at trolls, and the power of an unshakeable belief that I am brighter than Epistolero.