A female journalist who wrote about how she did not want to have children has received so much abuse her employer has had to get a security guard to protect her.
Holly Brockwell, aged 29, was commissioned by the BBC to celebrate its ‘100 Women 2015’ series in an article she entitled ‘Desperate not to have children‘.
In the piece, which was published early this week, Ms Brockwell wrote: “As a woman, there are four little words I can say that invite more condescension than almost any others: “I don’t want children.”
“The fact is, there’s nothing about creating another human that appeals to me,” she wrote.
“That’s an emotional thing, and translating it into rational reasons takes something away from its strength.”
She went on to describe the most common response when people hear of her decision to seek sterilisation – “But why?” – and explained that she’s been called “selfish” and has experienced difficulty having her tubes tied by medical professionals.
However she, nor the BBC, were prepared for the extreme backlash and stalking she faced as a result of her honest comments and story.
The attacks she received via social media were so offensive and vitriolic she was forced to shut down her Twitter account.
It has been reported since by Business Insider that Holly had to be accompanied by a security guard when attending public events where people knew she would be in attendance.
Holly told the news outlet: “They actually got me a bodyguard to take me from the car to the building, they’re worried someone is going to attack me”
She added: “There is no escape from it, it’s across all social channels, in my work email and my personal email. … I got a message from Linkedin!”
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Spinster Bridget Jones cops a lot of flack for being single and not having children.
It is a sad reality that even in the year 2015 women who express their genuine feelings about not wanting children are tormented by those who cannot try to understand or accept it.
In a follow-up article for the corporation, Ms Brockwell explained that she was forced offline after being inundated with insults and threats ranging from “ignorant”, “selfish”, “stupid”, “an attention seeker” and “in need of psychiatric help”.
“The volume of messages I had within half an hour on Twitter, Facebook, email and Instagram worried me,” she said.
“Things that I can’t repeat and I would never say to anyone no matter what they had done.”
“I feel like that’s significant because it was nearly all from men – although there were a couple from women – men trying control a woman’s body,” she said.
“I am used to trolling as I run a women’s tech website but even I was affected this time because it was so vitriolic, so personal and nasty, and so specific about me and my professional life – not even about the issue of having children which I had been writing about.”
Holly has now written a follow-up article for the BBC on the trolls that tried to silence her and how she will handle herself on social media from now on to avoid them.
Every woman should feel free to express their views on having children without such horrendous consequences. Holly, good on you for sharing your story.