My experience with sexual harassment inspired me to create Femsplain
Have you ever had something terrible happen to you and wish you could help others who have also become victims? I've been having these thoughts since I was a teenager and was a victim of online harassment.
I was 16 years old and a very naive teen who loved to play online MMORPG computer games (still do). I had an "online boyfriend" who I met through a game which was not a thing at the time. My parents didn't know about him and neither did any of my friends. One day after many months of receiving pressure, I went on cam with him and exposed my breasts. He, without my knowledge, took screenshots and saved them to his computer. A few days later, his computer was compromised and my pictures were stolen and spread throughout the internet and all across the game forums we both played together. Since I was underage the photos were eventually removed, but the scar of the experience and harassment I had experienced still remain part of my past. Men anonymously called my parents' house to tell my mom "Do you know how much of a slut your daughter is?" to the point where we had to change our number and the one thing (computer games) that gave me joy was taken away from me.
Ever since then, I've tried to find ways to help and support women using the internet by joining forums and participating in causes. I've stood up against the mess that is #GamerGate and have talked about my experience with online harassment to any online community that will listen. A quarter of young women have been stalked or sexually harassed online, and the only way to stop it is by spreading awareness. Perpetrators of #GamerGate continue to go out of their way to make women feel unsafe.
This has to change
We sought to elevate these conversations by curating content that challenged the way the world saw us, but we couldn't find anything that resonated. So, we decided to build it ourselves. In October of 2014 femsplain.com was created. Femsplain is a fem-powered content community powered by content from anyone who is female identified. We are a shared experiences publisher whose mission is to give a voice to anyone who needs a platform.
We realized our community is growing at a crazy rate. Which is awesome! But, If we want to continue our expansion, we need to start thinking about ways to support our growth, and Kickstarter made perfect sense. We're on Kickstarter because you deserve a chance to become a part of this revolution. Because we believe that our progress is contingent on your support, and we need your help to define and move this space forward.
We have so many goals, but the one we feel is most important right now is compensating our featured contributors $100 per monthly piece. We also need help keeping the website running, and the server Femsplain is currently hosted on will need to be renewed. And that costs money.
Countless people have donated their time to make this page what it is. Now we need your help to put our name and mission in the mouths of everyone.
Image: Tiffany Hagler Geard/SheKnows
Amber Gordon is a Creative Strategist and founder of Femsplain.com living in New York City. She enjoys internet culture, baking, online gaming and in her spare time watches a lot of anime and Korean dramas.