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Am I really who I say I am?

ACTUALLY NO, neither “Ash Bell” nor “abellj” is my real name!

I’ve had to change it here because of the horrible way I’ve been treated by men on other emails and message boards.
And if I can change it, anyone can.

(Please note this is entirely an opinion piece.)

But that’s the WHOLE problem with this fantastic thing we call the Internet!

I was cyberstalked until I was ready to give up and die. That is not an exaggeration.

This is the first time I’ve talked about it on here but, although I was a feminist before, I’m now a cast-iron, 18 carat gold advocate of female rights. The right to have as much fun as a man, the right to do everything a man can do (usually better than him in my opinion), the right to be as outspoken as a man.

And simply the right to exist.  That may seem odd – espousing women’s rights but refusing to use certain boards or to put my photo on a blog. But those are rights- the right NOT to put oneself in a situation ripe for exploitation by men.

I’m afraid there is no getting over this (and I hope that straight women in relationships will forgive me), but MEN ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH.

And using another person’s name to trick a woman into revealing her innermost secrets proves that.

Seeing a photo of a woman he then decides to harass as the “sexiest thing on 2 legs” is completely unacceptable (to say the least), and ought to carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW HE MAKES THE WOMEN FEEL.

In my opinion, cyberstalking is worse than real-life stalking. Yes, the latter is horrible, but there’s a tangible person there (somewhere) who can be confronted and convicted. On the internet there isn’t – it could, literally, be anyone. 80 year old man or 18 year old girl, jilted lover in Nepal or joker in Naples, work colleague you’ve known for years or random psychopath on the other side of the world.

OK there isn’t a lot of point to what I’m saying here. Just getting it off my chest – and maybe ringing a bell (bell! – sorry, I try to laugh sometimes) with other women so terrorised.

EXCEPT to “advise” you of things which I hope you already do.

NEVER believe a person is who he says he is,
NEVER give out any personal details,
and NEVER NEVER arrange to meet someone,
UNLESS you have ABSOLUTE PROOF that they are who they say they are.

I was duped into believing that an elderly man was a young woman (and no, I don’t consider myself a naive person; I’d taken certain steps, but I was shown sham photos and information which somehow I gradually believed), and I was humiliated and unbelievably embarassed as a result. (I don’t mean physically – one thing I didn’t do was send him nude photos.)

Now I check, re-check, and re-re-check, before even telling someone how old I am.

Because NO-ONE knows who’s on the other end of the cable.

As I said, am I really Ash Bell, warning you about cyberstalking?

Well, no, this is where I came in…

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