Warning: incoming rant.
The article (below) is talking about college students
not showing off their accomplishments because somebody might offer an unwanted response in an internet comment. It goes so far as to not just denounce the trolls and the people making threats and blatant ad hominems, but to claim that people who give compliments, but don't give them in the just-right way will damage and frighten the poor delicate college makers away from participating in the maker community.
What terrible affliction makes these particular college students so fragile? They're female! +Caleb Kraft
zine simply accepts the oft-repeated trope that women can't be expected to deal with trolls the same way men on the internet do. Of course, I'd argue just the opposite. Womanhood, just like manhood, implies STRENGTH, and anybody who doesn't grok this needs to stop using words like "feminist" and "gender equality" until they understand what those things mean.
Why are we taking seriously the assertion that grown women can function and accomplish things only at the whims of whatever nebulous social pressure exists (or is imagined to exist) in their environment? This is the opposite of empowerment, and young people are watching.
There are assholes in the world. It's okay to acknowledge that while also acknowledging that part of being an adult is not cow-towing to said assholes when they babble at you. Be too busy accomplishing things to be bothered by noise. Choose what voices you let inside your head with care.
Also, be understanding. Not everything is about you. Be glad that you received a compliment, and don't fret over whether it's the "right" compliment. You'd be surprised where some compliments come from. I grew up in a sometimes-backwards Catholic community...my parents weren't this way, but many people their age told me I could never marry or have a family because men wouldn't want such a geeky girl who was always playing with computers. If a man saw me hacking and said I was pretty, it wasn't really about my appearance, it was a way of thumbing his nose at that attitude and those people. Also, many men, especially geeky ones, don't get to socialize enough with women and can't find their way through the media's mixed messages about how to interact. It's not fair to read too much into things when they are just trying to be nice.
Women: don't wait for a world full of only perfectly supportive people who not only mean well but understand your psyche well enough to be effectively supportive all the time. If you wait for that, well, you'll be waiting forever. Just go do cool stuff, and then put it out there for others to find.
Everybody: if you help perpetuate the myth that women shouldn't or can't stand up to stupid social pressures, you are not feminist. We are perfectly capable of being tough, of being compassionate, of being smart, and of kicking ass. Quit holding up the weakest among us as examples instead of the strongest.