Author: Heather Mallick
Heather Mallick is a staff columnist at the Toronto Star. The author of two non-fiction books, she has written for the Globe and Mail and CBC.ca. She is the winner of the 2015 Landsberg Award, which is presented by the Canadian Women’s Foundation and the Canadian Journalism Foundation to a journalist who profiles women’s equality issues.
I am a confident writer, always have been. But I recently chanced on a column I’d written in 2004 by that hang-about village idiot, Bill O’Reilly, on Fox News, and my blood froze. That was the year I was first hit by online bursts of hate. I’d reached the 10-year point at which the wonderful U.S. journalist Michelle Goldberg has suggested that online feminist writers might well burn out. A decade of being called a “c—t” and an “ugly bitch”? It saps the soul.
But I keep writing about equal rights, and so do most feminist journalists. It’s worth doing, not only because it’s how we earn our pay, and not only for moral reasons. I’m thinking of our daughters, and granddaughters. Imagine the bleak future they’re going to have if we back down now. We’re headed into hard times, and they’ll be that much harder for women without power, without public voices.