My name is Molly Crabapple. I’m an artist, comics creator and the founder of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a company that runs alternative drawing events in 140 cities around the world.
Molly Crabapple is not my birth name. I chose to use a different name when, at 19, I began working as a naked model. Working in the sex industry is stigmatized, and using your legal name online puts you at risk for stalking and harassment. It may also be a risk to your family. By the time I had retired from modeling, Molly was the name I was called by almost everyone, on and off-line, and I’ve kept it ever since.
Anonymity online is an important protection for anyone who may receive persecution from their community- be they a Chinese dissident, a corporate whistle-blower, a trans-person, or someone with a sexual orientation or a physical condition that is marginalized.
Anonymity allows difficult truths to be said without persecution for the speaker. It allows honest discourse, self-determination, the free spread of information, and protest against repressive regimes.
While bullying is a real problem, forcing a “real names” policy on all internet users does more to harm, say, Iranian protesters (who are at risk for torture and death if their identities are found) than it does to help American middle-schoolers.
The “real names” policy is something that’s only workable for the most privileged members of a society, whose lifestyles are already exactly what’s publicly approved of.
My name is Molly Crabapple. My name is me.” —My name is Molly Crabapple | My Name Is Me (via ronenreblogs)