As a fantasy writer I try to create life-like heros and heroines that readers can relate to; characters that are understanding and sensitive, yet show unfathomable courage in the face of extraordinary fear. This makes for a good read. People enjoy identifying with the hero, thinking to themselves, “I would do that, too”, so when the hero suffers a loss, or squeaks out a win in the end, we feel for them, and for ourselves.
But it is all fantasy.
The real heros, the true life stories, are the ones that touch me. Motivate me. Shame me, in fact, as I could in no way have created such amazing tales, or such nightmarish realities. The truth is always stranger and more dangerous than fiction.
The story that touched me most recently was the tale of Charlotte Laws, a mother who went head-to-head with a revenge porn website that hacked her daughter’s email account. She describes her own story as “Enemy of the State”. Fighting for the safety and honor of her daughter (and other victimized women she met along her journey) she was harassed, threatened, and stalked. Normal law enforcement channels, both state and federal, took unsympathetic views, blaming the victims for the private photos they took of themselves.
“Revenge porn” is a new and ugly term on the Internet. If a woman breaks up with a man, he would take any personal pictures of that woman and post them on these websites, complete with names, addresses and, in some cases, where they worked. Other members of that website would harass these women, calling their places of employment and demand they be fired. Their lives were ruined. Two of them committed suicide.
Laws collected information on the website’s owner, Hunter Moore, for authorities. She contacted other victims personally to warn them and advise them on who to talk to and how to combat the “bad publicity.” She built her own Internet following, one that watched for any activity by Moore, then attacked his Facebook accounts, keeping him “offline.”
In the end Laws swayed the FBI, who confiscated Moore’s computer and property. She got involved with California Legislature and helped pass SB255, an anti-revenge porn bill. Next stop, Capitol Hill.
I am moved by her courage and tenacity to fight an untouchable foe. Her family was nearly destroyed by this disaster, yet she found a way not only to build a stronger family unit but save the lives and reputations of women all over the world.
Please, read her story. http://jezebel.com/one-womans-dangerous-war-against-the-most-hated-man-on-1469240835
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