Dear Internet,


I quit Twitter and it was a big story.  But (with the exception of the first story, on Comics Beat) I did not read any of the coverage until yesterday.  It was Halloween, so I was looking for scares.  Wow.  That was interesting.  I want to take a minute here to correct some inaccuracies I saw reported again and again.

The ASK ME ABOUT MY FEMINIST AGENDA cover was not an alternate cover.  It was the primary cover.

Issue 8 did not come out last Wednesday.  It came out the week before.

I had not just posted the cover image.  That image has been floating around for months.  

I had not just announced that Mockingbird had been cancelled.  That’s been public knowledge for awhile.  

I did not get blowback for asking people to buy the comic to send a message to Marvel to make more comics books with women super heroes.  That tweet was over a week old, and met with a lot of support, at least to my knowledge. 

One of the remarkable things about reading the coverage was seeing how it twisted the information in the Comics Beat story, which - despite a hysterical headline - was fairly accurate.  I guess this is what happens when stories get reported without talking to anyone involved and rely on other stories for facts.  

Here are the facts, from my perspective.

I quit Twitter.  I deactivated my account Thursday, after receiving several misogynist and/or jerky comments the night before.  SEVERAL.  Not dozens.  Not a deluge.  One is too many.  I was tired of wasting energy dealing with the constant low-level misogyny and meanness that pollutes a certain kind of comic fandom. I posted some comments reflecting my frustration.  The next morning, when I logged on to deactivate, I saw that I had lost approx 1500 followers overnight.  I also saw that my notifications were filling up with new followers.  I saw that comments were flooding my feed.  I had no idea what was happening.  I had never seen that kind of activity on my account.  But I figured it wasn’t good.  I went through with the deactivation. I assumed I had been trolled in some kind of organized sense, but I didn’t know.  (Still don’t.)  Frankly, I didn’t care.  It was moot.  I was done.    

I felt…relieved.  Like I had backed out of a burning house. 

Then I started getting texts and emails from people expressing sympathy and outrage.  “Are you okay?” they all wanted to know.  “What’s happening on Twitter?”

“I’m fine,” I kept saying, baffled.  

I figured by the way the story was blowing up and by the DefCon 5 outrage that there was some really horrible stuff happening on Twitter, and that I was somehow at the center of it.  But as I said in my previous post about this, I didn’t see any of this.  I was gone.  

It is a strange thing to become a hashtag.  The #StandWithChelseaCain movement (or whatever) had nothing to do with me.  I couldn't see any of those missives of support.  I’m not on Twitter.  I was incredulous at how widespread it apparently was and how everyone in my entire life seemed to know about it.  I think it’s an important statement if it means “Let’s Be Less Jerky on Twitter and Stop Normalizing Sexist Blather.”  

Yesterday as I was sitting here still reeling from the bizarre coverage I had just read with its made-up facts, pictures culled from my Instagram account, and comment sections filled with New People Who Hate Me, I saw someone post a question on my Facebook feed. (I’m paraphrasing.) 

“Is the whole Chelsea Cain thing really about the feminist tee-shirt on the cover?” 

I wanted to respond.  But I didn’t know the answer.  What “whole Chelsea Cain thing” was he referring to?  Everyone I ever talked to loves that cover.  (Well, there was one guy who suggested it be changed to ASK ME ABOUT MY MISOGYNIST AGENDA.) But maybe people had lashed out against it once I had left Twitter?  See, I don’t know.  Then I saw that someone was typing a response.  I waited, hoping to gain some clarity. But the person who responded just referenced the coverage.  

I also saw, yesterday in the comments under a made-up story I read about myself, some people accusing me of making this whole thing up. 



I have not given a single interview about this.  I’m probably the worst person to ask about the “whole Chelsea Cain thing” because I’m so out of the loop.  

Clearly this story touched a cultural nerve.  It’s an important conversation to have.  But it also revealed, to me, how misinformation and hysteria can spread so swiftly and convincingly as the media chases after whatever is trending and tries to find something to say as click bait.  

I thought long and hard about posting this.  Because I really don’t want to feed this story any more oxygen.  But I also wanted some truth to be somewhere on the Internet.