A Blogger I Know Was Outted
I’m going to keep the details vague, because I don’t want to participate in this outting, I just want to comment on the practice of revealing the “real” identities of bloggers who choose to write under pseudonyms.
There are a lot of reasons why bloggers chose to use pseudonyms: the freedom to express themselves without inadvertently hurting or antagonizing family members and friends, job security, privacy, etc, etc.
When I started this blog, I decided to use my real name. I had my personal reasons just like the people who use pseudonyms do. It doesn’t make me braver, it just means that I wanted this blog to become part of my resume, so to speak. I wanted to become a writer, and this blog is a platform I can use to get my name out there. To get other writing jobs.
Choosing to publish under your own name or a pseudonym both come with their own set of pros and cons. Sometimes, there are subjects I don’t write about, because they could hurt my family and friends. Sometimes, I wish I didn’t censor myself, and using a pseudonym would definitely do away with that problem. Using my real name also makes applying for certain jobs more difficult.
I was a substitute teacher there for a while, and the last thing I needed was some enterprising student or fellow teacher to google me. There are a lot of career paths that are no longer a possibility for me, because I write about sex. And although, I stick by my decision, it sucks that society puts these kinds of limits on us.
You’ve all heard the stories of people losing their jobs, of people having their lives turned upside down because their blogger identity was outed. I find it shitty that we live in a world where someone writing about sex workers rights will get fired from a teaching job because of it, and I find it sad that we live in a world where people are determined to out these people just to create havoc in their lives.
In this particular case, the blogger whose identity was outted is a very critical writer, in the sense that they are not shy about voicing their opinion and deconstructing other people’s writing. One of the writers this blogger often criticizes discovered their identity and outted them on Facebook. The comment thread that ensued disgusted me.
These people, feminists, sex writers, etc, obviously don’t agree or like this particular blogger, which is fine, whatever, but what disgusted me was how they attacked the way this person represents their gender and sexuality. One person even went so far as to figure out where this person works and threatened to call their employer in the hopes of getting them fired.
I find this kind of behavior very distressing. I just wanted to say that I think this outting of bloggers is really disgusting, and there’s no reason why we should participate in these kinds of personal attacks. Messing with other people’s lives in this way is just unconscionable. It’s one thing to criticize a persons politics, but it’s quite another to try to get them fired, because what they say upsets you.