Matt Forney
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cynthia-gockley

Is Feminist Blogger Cynthia Gockley a Dangerous Stalker?

Cynthia Gockley is a feminist and community college instructor from Seattle who blogs under the pseudonym “Cinzia La Strega” (or simply “La Strega”). Since beginning her blog in early 2013, Gockley has engaged in a campaign of harassment against myself and other bloggers in the “manosphere,” stalking us across the Internet, trying to ruin our livelihoods, and libeling us with completely baseless conjecture about our personal lives.

While I have done my best to ignore Gockley, her obsession with me and other manospherians has grown over the past few months. Given her habit of stalking her “enemies” and digging up information on them, their spouses and family members (who are private figures), I believe I have a duty to inform people about how dangerous this woman is.

cynthia-gockley

Cynthia Gockley: Portrait of a Barren Feminist

According to her own words and her Facebook profile, Cynthia Gockley is 58 years old and lives in the Seattle, Washington area. The White Pages lists her address and phone number in Mountlake Terrace, a suburb just to the north of King County; I can’t confirm this, but her IP address places her as being in nearby Everett, so it’s plausible. She currently works as a part-time ESL instructor at Edmonds Community College, though in the past she has also been employed as a massage therapist and as a community services advisor at a funeral home, even writing a blog about her experiences with the latter. She lists the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Louisiana State University and the Seattle Massage School as her alma maters.

Under her “Cinzia La Strega” identity, Gockley has spilled an enormous amount of information about her personal life. She is unmarried and has no children, has been morbidly obese her whole life (at one point weighing more than 300 pounds), and is currently in a relationship with a 65-year old transsexual “woman.” She doesn’t make much money, describing herself as being “overworked,” “underpaid” and in the “basement” of American academia. During her youth, she extensively traveled the world, even teaching in Iran at one point. She is loud and proud about her sexual exploits, referring to herself as an “elderslut,” and at one point was even addicted to soliciting casual sex with men off Craigslist:

However, a few years ago, I had a very different blog.  It was a kind of confessional, recounting with humor and some salacious detail a year spent pursuing casual encounters on craigslist.  (Frankly, I was more than a little inspired by A Round Heeled Woman by Jane Juska.)  Well, as you know, Sex Sells, even sexual escapades as weird and pathetic as I was often describing in my crazy little blog.

Not only that, Gockley’s uncle repeatedly attempted to molest her when she was young, slandering her to her family members when she understandably rebuffed his advances:

Later, I met my uncle at the pool, where he coolly appraised my swimsuit-clad body. “You’re one of those fat women who actually looks better without her clothes on,” he opined. I dived into the water to escape my embarrassment. Later, he came over to the pool where I was idly dangling my legs. He sat down beside me, laid a ham-sized hand on my knee, and invited me to give him a massage before dinner. As he insinuated his hand between my thighs, it was clear that “massage” was code for something more intimate.

Despite this, Gockley seems more offended by her uncle’s sexism then by his attempts to rape her, as shown by how she titled the post “MGTOW, or My Uncle, the Misogynist” instead of, say, “My Uncle, the Alleged Incestual Rapist.”

Gockley seems to have (or has had) poor relationships with most of her family members in general. She has been haunted by nightmares of her deceased mother for the past few years, with whom she failed to “connect” with while she was alive, and she thinks so little of her sisters that she chose to will her estate to her “girl”friend’s children instead:

After C. and I took up, I came up with an idea to leave it in a charitable trust to be administered by her children and grandchildren. When the idea hit me, I became very excited. Not only would I leave my assets to charitable causes, a group of tightly knit siblings would have the opportunity to practice philanthropy. It would give them a reason to gather together annually (at least for a decade or so) to share their values and concerns.  It would surely improve their characters while benefiting others.  And finally, it would provide someone a reason to remember me, hopefully in a positive fashion.  It just seemed like a winning idea in every respect, and the more I mulled it over, the better I felt about this rather unusual plan.

Gockley’s life experiences have left her emotionally fragile and prone to sudden breakdowns, realities which she tries to hide by adopting a false pose of toughness. Occasionally, however, the mask slips, as it does in this post where she freaked out merely at me posting a still from the movie Irreversible on my blog. It would not be unfair to suggest that Gockley suffers from a mental illness, as her behavior consistently displays symptoms of narcissistic and histrionic personality disorder.

While none of this is a crime, instead of seeking professional help, Gockley has chosen a destructive path. Unwilling or unable to deal with her personal demons, she inflicts her inner torment on the rest of society at large.

From Critique to Stalking

Cynthia Gockley began blogging in January of 2013 under the pen name “Cinzia La Strega,” titling her blog Roosh & Me: An Old Feminist Looks at the New Misogynist, which is still reflected in the blog’s URL (she recently retitled it The Blog of Cinzia La Strega). At the same time, she became a frequent commenter at Manboobz, an anti-anti-feminist blog run by freelance writer David Futrelle, a known liar and fraud who uses smear tactics to denounce those he considers “misogynistic.” Futrelle reads Gockley’s blog and has cited it as a source for his own articles in the past.

Befitting the blog’s title, Gockley’s initial articles were focused on my friend and colleague Roosh, a noted anti-feminist and “game” writer. Of the 19 articles she wrote in the first three months, 13 of them were about Roosh in some form or another. Gockley’s very first posts featured pictures of manospherians’ family members that she stole from their Facebook profiles, beginning a pattern of stalking that has only intensified in recent months. She has a disturbing love/hate relationship with Roosh, as shown by this creepy post she wrote after he replied to one of her YouTube comments.

Gockley began blogging about me in February, alternately spreading falsehoods about me (including claiming that I was 40 years old) and attempting to comment on my blog. While I originally was content to let her vent, I banned Gockley from commenting in June after discovering that while she was polite to me on my blog, she was leaving fake one-star reviews of my books on Amazon in an attempt to hurt me financially. She has done this to Roosh as well; see here and here. Despite her overt attempts to sabotage us, Gockley exhibits nauseating hypocrisy on this issue, as shown by how she wrote a blog post complaining about an “MRA” who left a fake negative review of feminist Michael Kimmel’s book Angry White Men.

While Gockley’s obsession with Roosh has waned somewhat in recent months, her harassment of me has become worse; a great many of the over 150 articles she has posted on her blog reference me in some form. Gockley combs my Twitter page multiple times a day for blogging material and follows me around the Internet, replying to every comment I make on every website she can find; see here and here for examples (the comment that was “deleted by Amazon” was hers, removed for violating the site’s rules). Despite attacking me on a nearly daily basis, stalking me online and attempting to cause me financial harm, Gockley recently had the gall to email me asking for a review copy of my book Writing for Peanuts (screenshot here):

To:
Matt

Name:
Cinzia La Strega

Email:
cinzialastega@gmail.com

Subject:
Writing for Peanuts Review

Message:
Matt, I would be privileged to review your newest e-book on my blog.

Akismet Spam Check: passed
Sent from (ip address): 71.231.73.253
(c-71-231-73-253.hsd1.wa.comcast.net)
Date/Time: December 20, 2013 10:09 pm
Coming from (referer): https://mattforney.com/contact/
Using (user agent): Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:26.0)
Gecko/20100101 Firefox/26.0

It gets worse. In addition to harassing Roosh, myself and other bloggers, Gockley has targeted our friends and family members, who are not public figures and thus off-limits. As I mentioned above, Gockley has stalked and stolen private pictures of manospherians’ family members to post on her blog, and she has also gone after the wife of my friend and Spearhead publisher W.F. Price, digging up advertisements his wife posts looking for work and falsely claiming that Price is a “car salesman” (screenshot here). She also once tracked down one of my high school classmates solely so she could write a post about my teenage years.

While she spends hours rooting through the personal information of people who have done nothing to her, Gockley is zealously protective of her own online pseudonymity. Even as she steals personal photos from Roosh, myself and our family members and attempts to uncover every detail of our private lives, she refuses to attach her name to her blog because she is “just a teensy bit paranoid of nut jobs (like the partially hinged, moronic commentators of Roosh’s blogs) showing up at my doorstep or workplace unannounced, AK-7s in hand.” It’s only recently that she dared to post a picture of herself on her blog’s Google+ profile.

And in yet another example of her hypocrisy, while Gockley lives in paranoid fear of one of my readers coming to murder her, she has no problem with making violent threats against her enemies, such as in this comment at Manboobz:

Woo, this is close to home. I’m not trans, but my partner is. I’d like to hear one of these ass hats say this stuff out loud in my presence: they would feel the full weight of my righteous fury (all 200+ # of it behind one arthritic fist). Seriously, bring it on!!! (I’m not really a violent person but in this case I would make an exception.).

Also of note in that comment is Gockley’s confession that she stole and destroyed a book from her public library solely because she didn’t agree with its contents:

And speaking of Bailey and his horrible, rightfully discredited “science,” I will make a confession: I actually “lost” my public library’s copy. I know, I know that’s BAD, but I couldn’t bear the thought of some unwitting young trans person (or spouse of a trans person) checking it out in good faith and then wasting months if not years worrying about “autogynophelia” as though it really were A Thing.

This is both immoral and illegal, though as her stalking shows, neither morality nor the law concern Gockley that much.

Finally, Gockley’s constant threats to quit blogging and her inability to actually stop are indicative of a serious underlying pathology. She has declared that she will quit blogging about Roosh, myself and the “manosphere” no less than three times in the past year—most recently in December—but has come back every time. This is all the more disturbing when you consider that she derives no joy from obsessing over our writings, describing herself as an “anger addict” and saying that we put her in “a state of chronic, obsessive rage.” Gockley’s “girl”friend has repeatedly attempted to stop her, claiming that her blogging is “contributing to [her] depression and increasingly bleak perspective,” but has had no success thus far.

Conclusion

It would be a fair guess to say that Cynthia Gockley’s obsession with myself and the manosphere is motivated in part by her own personal failings. She is overweight and in poor health, childless, unmarried, has a history of being sexually abused, is estranged from her family, and is employed at an embarrassingly low level for her age. And as it turns out, Gockley herself confirmed this in a comment at the Bodycrimes blog (screenshot here):

So many good points here. Part of the reason I stopped blogging about the manosphere is because I couldn’t manage to maintain a healthy perspective on it. Everything I read seemed like a direct, personal attack, and slid right under my skin and stabbed me in my vitals. I guess I’ve lived long enough to have accumulated wounds that are easily re-opened. That’s why I love blogs like yours; you (and some of your commentators) make me laugh; it’s very empowering. I can only peer into the abyss while clutching the hands of others.

It’s worth noting that Gockley wrote this comment two days before she resumed regular blogging, after declaring that she was quitting for the third time the month before. In another comment at Bodycrimes, she admitted her inability to stop herself (screenshot here):

My SO thinks this obsession is very unhealthy for me, and advised me repeatedly to cease. She doesn’t want to read my blog or talk about it at all, ever. I promised to quit but of course I immediately fell off the wagon. Seriously, I think of this as an addiction, like smoking.

While I sympathize with Cynthia Gockley and her struggles with mental illness, her libel of me, Roosh and our associates is unjustified and indefensible. Her claims that Roosh and myself are “sociopaths” is stunning considering her narcissistic and histrionic online antics.

Through her writings and actions, Cynthia Gockley has proven herself to be an unstable, dangerous individual and is possibly on the verge of a meltdown. For your own safety, you should not employ Gockley or interact with her in any way. I have no ill will against Gockley and wish her the best in coming to grips with her psychological issues.

For further reading:

UPDATE: Barely three hours after this post’s publication, the proprietor of the Bodycrimes blog has made her site private. I have added screenshots of Gockley’s comments there to this post.

UPDATE II: Gockley has responded on her blog. She has not denied a single thing I’ve written about her, but instead is complaining that I’m “intoleran[t] to criticism” and that her life has been “published without her permission on the Internet.” (But when she was swiping the personal photos of manosphere bloggers’ family members and hounding their wives, that was apparently kosher.) Gockley is also threatening to explore her “legal options,” which is hilarious considering that she was the one who put all this information online, and reposting publicly available information is not illegal.

UPDATE III: On February 13th, four days after this article was published, Cynthia Gockley took her “Cinzia La Strega” blog offline. I have made screenshots of every article of hers linked in this post and will be uploading them as time permits. For the record, Gockley has yet to deny the factual veracity of anything written in this post. I still have no ill will against her and I sincerely hope she gets the psychological help that she needs.

Read Next: Lindy West and the End of the Feminist Nomenklatura