By Laura Johnston Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Cleveland blogger Amy Martin shares her harrowing experience after posting a story about gender equity.
Two years ago, Amy Martin pounded out a blog item on LinkedIn, with the headline: "It's Time to Get Terribly Uncomfortable About Gender Equity."
"When it comes to gender equality, we know that systemic change takes decades, if not centuries," wrote Martin, now vice president of marketing for Mezu Inc. "It also requires the kind of conversations that make people fidget in their seats, turn their cheeks a little pink and even leave some quietly sneaking out of the room the first chance they get."
That blog post made men so uncomfortable that they responded -- on a public business social media website, using their real names and company affiliations -- that Martin should be beaten regularly, punched in the face and "gang raped in a side alley."
Martin, the founder of the women's blogging collective, She in the CLE, had been the subject of much vitriol in the past for her feminist viewpoints.
But the reaction on this day threw her.
Today she wrote her first blog post in more than a year, describing the incident.
"If you know me, you know I don't back down easily, and I certainly don't scare often," she wrote. "It takes quite a bit to shock me. But what happened on LinkedIn that day -- a platform for business professionals -- shook me. And I am still not the same because of it."
Martin tried to shake off the comments. And she responded to the violent comments with a polite note, letting each man know she had tagged their company's human resources representatives.
At least a few lost their jobs.
One wrote again: "You vindictive b---h. You will pay for this."
Martin said she smirked. But she was soon angered by the responses of those around her, who questions whether she considered the safety of herself or her daughter.
Martin stopped blogging. She started keeping her thoughts to herself.
But today, with an honest, horrifying post about what happened, she reentered the conversation.
"The real me knows we all have a role to play in changing this narrative. We all have to join and expand the conversations until these sentiments about women no longer exist."
Read Martin's posts. Let us know what you think.