Pictured above is Kerry Washington from the upcoming HBO film, ‘Confirmation’ about Anita Hill.
Anita Hill, who is no stranger to to public criticism and hatred, has the opposite idea for female writers who have been told “Don’t read the comments”. In a recent interview with Broadly, the professor and attorney, and subject of HBO’s film “Confirmation” said she would tell female writers “to read as much of the hate mail as you can stand”.
“I think the mail is quite revealing. It’s revealing of a certain kind of anger towards women, and it’s revealing of a fear of equality — a misunderstanding, a myth of what gender equality means, as some sort of unwarranted threat to men. To some extent, it’s healthy to read them.
I’ve held on to all of my negative [letters]… I do have them, and I do read them. I keep them for a purpose, to learn something.”
Quite honestly, if you are not a straight and white male, you tend to receive the majority of online harassment. The Guardian who did an analysis of their own writers, found that 10 writers who received the most abuse were eight women (four women of color, four white women) and two black men. If reading the comments pose a threat to your own personal well being…then it’s best to just not read them. Like Hill said, read as much as you can stomach. But in reading some of the hatred, you begin to see how little substance there is behind what they’ve got to say.
“I think some ways it might be helpful to see where [the detractors] are coming from,” said Hill. “To say, ‘well, I guess it’s not even about me personally.’”