the ch!cktionary

I'm Lena Chen, a writer, activist, and media producer who's been called a "skank" (by Bill O'Reilly) and "a small Asian woman" (by The New York Times). My favorite part of my workday is the hate mail.

For the unlikely story that is my life, read on.

warning/disclaimer Visitors on this website are being outted and targeted for harassment. Please use pseudonyms when leaving comments, "liking" posts, or entering giveaways.

burning question? Ask here, no promises.

contact All other inquiries (PR, advertising, interviews, etc.) may be sent to lena@lenachen.com.

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irregular features
Ask Lena: Reader Questions Answered
Anatomy of an Outfit
Bad Feminist Confessions
Freelance Friday: Career Advice for Young Writers
Hate Mail
Gratuitous Photos Of My Bulldog
Notes & Snapshots from Abroad
Recent Tweets @lenachen

As I’ve mentioned before, writing a sex blog has made me a moving target for some of the most hateful screeds in the Internet’s existence. My comments section used to be a much more nasty place than it is today, and I was regularly attacked by trolls who called me a whore and wished me death on a near-daily basis. As a result, I’ve developed pretty thick skin over the years, and I can generally brush off these intrusions no worse for the wear. I never expected, however, for these people to also go after my friends, then my family, and now, my readers. And that’s exactly what’s been happening.

They’ve written rants about Patrick, my college roommates, my best friends Jason and Kennedy, and even my little sister. The attacks on my blog commenters, however, appear to be a recent phenomenon. Today, I received notes from two readers, one who found out that several websites published her full name and college, while calling her a “skank” for commenting on my blog. The other also informed me:

"Someone apparently discovered the identities of a bunch of commenters on your blog and put them on a messageboard, as one of the named commenters I’m extremely creeped out and have no idea how this happened."

I’m really sorry that this is happening and I have no explanation for why anyone would put in the effort to stalk not only so-called “sluts” but also the supporters of said sluts (who my deranged detractors refer to as my “tiny cluster of skankleaders”). I think we can all agree that this is a new low in online harassment. Shaming people for reading a blog is completely despicable (not to mention, a total waste of time and energy), but unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where people are mature enough to refrain from calling each other names. Therefore, I think that we have to be practical about the measures one can take.

If you want to leave a comment without putting your name on it, by all means do it anonymously as a “Guest” and don’t log into my Disqus comment system through a third-party account connected to a Yahoo! ID, Twitter or OpenID profile in which you identify yourself. When choosing a pseudonym, avoid one that uses your initials or actual name. If you are submitting a longer comment or question through the Ask feature, you can always do it anonymously if you don’t want it linked to a Tumblr account. Even if you “like” or reblog one of my posts, you may want to ensure that your Tumblr blog does not contain identifying details like your name, school, or occupation. (And if you’ve already posted something that you want taken down or ever have second thoughts about a published comment, just contact me at the email address listed in my sidebar.) I hate that the only solution I can think of is to encourage anonymity, and I wish I could offer people a 100% guarantee that they can speak freely without fear of retribution, but I can’t, so the best I can do is be honest about the situation and give you guys proper warning. I know firsthand how disheartening it can be to be targeted for simply stating what you believe, and I don’t expect anyone to martyr themselves by principle.

That said, I’m now accepting applications for additional foot soldiers in my skankarmy! (Doesn’t that sound like the sort of thing that would come in handy in the event of an apocalyptic world war?)

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  6. chimericalness said: I want to enlist!
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