Harassment translations

Virtual spaces and real lives got very creepy this week in two totally unrelated - but to us, equally disturbing - incidents.

First, well-known female tech blogger and educator Kathy Sierra decided to take leave of our virtual spaces after being the victim of misogynist cyberbullying. Anyone who has experienced online threats knows the fear that one feels for putting themselves out there - in Kathy's case, in nothing but positive ways - and despite the community with which you have surrounded yourself online, you're ultimately opening the execrable emails alone. Our best wishes are with anyone who experiences such attacks and hope people will participate in and support Friday's Stop Cyberbullying Day.

We also found out about an incident of street harassment gone too far. Not sure if this is the first of its kind, we're also posting this in no way to diminish the legitimate quandaries in how to handle online harassment and in fact to only illustrate the complexity and wide range of problems we currently face.

Last week, a pedestrian woman trying to avoid a man's advances was run down when he decided that instead of accept her dismissal, he'd drive his truck onto the sidewalk and hit her. While some bloggers make snarky remarks about the incident, we're pretty much speechless.

Look for the ladies of HollaBackBoston at the WAM! conference this weekend.

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