This is not a reason for trolling.
This is not a reason for cyberstalking.
This is not a reason for sexual harassment (and yes, it’s still sexual harassment if the perpetrator and the victim are the same sex.)
This is not a reason for hacking into someone’s bank account.
This is not a reason for putting your job in jeopardy and maybe even getting arrested.
It doesn’t matter what someone orders or how much they spend; they have a right to expect polite customer service over the phone and online. They have a right to expect page moderators to shut down gangs of trolls. They have a right to expect the employees of a company to do their jobs.
I don’t have to justify my hobbies to anyone. Yes, I’m an adult who collects dolls. I also write books. About vampires and werewolves. And dark fairy tales. Is it such a far-fetched notion that I’d fall in love with a line of vampire, werewolf, and gothic fairy tale dolls?
I’m not going into the absurd story of how a sick person fixated on me because a) I’m an adult who collects dolls and b) I stand up for myself. I’d rather talk about how it’s okay to be a grownup and collect:
My Little Pony (shoutout to the Bronies)
Model tractor trailers
Scale-model John Deere tractors
See, I worked in a doll and toy museum. I know men who collect very very high-end fashion dolls and women who collect vintage TV cowboy star memorabilia. I met a 58-year-old woman at Walmart who has her own Monster High collection. She started collecting the dolls with her granddaughter. I know there are young people and adults who collect any kind of toy you can imagine. Toys. Not just antiques you put in a display case and wait for them to appreciate in value. Toy trains that the 70-year-old “engineers” spend hours on every day, running them, repairing the track, making sure the water in the “lake” the train passes doesn’t have algae, and looking for that certain engine. That certain model depot.
There are people who collect Monster High dolls and spend hours posing and photographing them.
There are people who collect marionettes and go to libraries and community centers and put on shows for children because it makes the children happy and the collector just enjoys playing with their toys.
All those things are better than spending all night and day parked on a department store’s website, attacking people who got the wrong item or were treated rudely. All of those things are better than ruining your own life because you think it’s stupid for an adult to buy a doll for herself. Or himself.
All of those things are normal.
Staring at a computer screen waiting for someone to come along and say, “Hey, your phone customer service is godawfuland then setting out on a deliberate and calculated campaign to terrorize them and ruin their life is not normal.
I like sitting up late watching horror movies and writing scary stories, with weird dolls surrounding my computer. If that bothers anyone, and they want to set up sock puppet accounts devoted to mocking me, and set up anonymous blogs so they can leave pointless comments here, and hack into my bank account to see how I make a living . . . you can bet your sweet ass I will go after them and find them.
And I’m not going to alter my life because of their harassment. I’m not going to change my hobbies. I’m not going to lock my Twitter account. I’m not going to hesitate over posting about what happened to me here. Or on Tumblr. Or anywhere else.
I’m going to stand up for myself and if I’m pushed, I’m going to push back.