Mary Beard voiced an opinion...

(275 Posts)
AbigailAdams Mon 21-Jan-13 13:53:16

... and received vicious misogynistic remarks as a reward.

Just in case anyone was in any doubt that women were targetted, specifically because of their sex. Mary Beard was recently on Question Time. She has experienced a horrible backlash for this. Mainly focussed around her sex and her looks, rather than what she said. Also not just her, her children as well.

Mary's hellish misogynistic internet experience

She is not alone. There really is a special type of wrath and insults saved for women. It is desgined to silence us. And this is really just a continutation on from Beachcomber's thread on women's voices being drowned (and kim's thread on MN and misogyny). It really doesn't matter about the subject matter, women aren't supposed to have opinions. Unless they of course they uphold the patriarchy.

It also raises questions about keeping anonymity, when speaking out. We shouldn't have to but when you are threatened with "we know where you live" type comments, it is easy to see why it is necessary.

I haven't really got a question, other than why should we have to put up with this shit? What can we do about it?

I think Mary did a really good thing in highlighting what happened to her and Louise Mensch involved the police and these are probably the ways to go with dealing with it. But god, it is so exhausting. So I suppose this is just a rant really.

I want to know what we can do about it.

I've said this on Beach's thread but I think it bears repeating - if you go to google, type in 'Guardian' and a common misogynistic word like 'bitch', there are over ten million hits, and you'll see pages of articles casually using that word. None of them got deleted - hate speech against women just doesn't even seem to register.

I am ranting too, and feel as if I'm very boring doing so, but people still don't see to notice/get it.

stargirl1701 Mon 21-Jan-13 14:00:30

I read your link. Bloody shocking.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 21-Jan-13 14:58:23

The denial depresses me. That bloke on the blog thread who is convinced it is women saying it because men aren't interested in women's appearance. The fact that whenever this is discussed in the mainstream there will be loads of people saying it's just normal and happens to anyone online. (Which it doesn't. Women get it far worse.)

Yes, because it would make all the difference if it's just women having a go at each other, right? hmm

After all, what with the patriarchy being a distant memory, women only ever have a go at other women out of sheer uncircumscribed free will, don't they?

I don't think 'Vince' is short for a girl's name, somehow.

drjohnsonscat Mon 21-Jan-13 15:14:19

awful.

There was a piece in the Times at the weekend about women whose children have been murdered by their partners. It was very sensitive and personal to the individuals, and also heartbreaking obviously. Cue the usual moronic online post banging on about how feminists are trying to do away with fathers and how the article was misleading and dangerous. No thought for the subjects of the article whose children had been slaughtered. This need to deny feminist thought or women's thought or women's experience even transcends the need to shut the F up when a woman is talking about her murdered children.

Oh, no. That's awful. I can't see the Times behind the pay wall, but it sounds as if I'm not missing much!

Poor women, and poor children, that is heartbreaking.

AbigailAdams Mon 21-Jan-13 15:42:32

It is shocking stargirl and I don't know why it shocks me every time I see this kind of misogyny in black and white but it does. It's like a depressing jolt that jerks me back to remind me where my place in the world is.

Tunip, if I put this in AIBU we would get loads of posts about how it isn't gendered. Some people just don't want to see it. Some people, such as Vince are invested in ensuring that it isn't seen as a gendered problem.

"This need to deny feminist thought or women's thought or women's experience even transcends the need to shut the F up when a woman is talking about her murdered children. " Yep, denying women's experiences is a big part of it.

kim147 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:52:35

It's crap - when women are in the media and express an opinion some people don't like, the comments can be awful and are not the comments that a man would receive.

Louise Mensch - I don't agree with her politics but I know some of the vitriol and incredibly offensive comments she received on Twitter and other online media.

I don't know how you stop it. It's just part of the wider way in which women are judged and thought of - especially in the media but it runs deeper than that.

Right with kim here.

kim147 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:57:20

This was on the BBC. How women are perceived in the media

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20554942

No surprise to most people on here.

Thanks, will look.

Sunnywithshowers Mon 21-Jan-13 16:07:16

I'm saddened but not the slightest bit surprised. I've heard before about women being bullied in a misogynistic way on the internet.

StewieGriffinsMom Mon 21-Jan-13 16:30:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Mon 21-Jan-13 17:19:19

"I've said this on Beach's thread but I think it bears repeating - if you go to google, type in 'Guardian' and a common misogynistic word like 'bitch', there are over ten million hits, and you'll see pages of articles casually using that word. None of them got deleted - hate speech against women just doesn't even seem to register."

This is true! A couple of years ago I (naively) thought the moderators weren't noticing these remarks when they appeared in the comments on CiF, so I reported each one I saw. Almost none were deleted. Apparently, it's perfectly ok to say this kind of thing about women.

I no longer buy that newspaper.

Solopower1 Mon 21-Jan-13 17:35:41

I think the Guardian's policy is free speech at any price - I heard Toby Young say as much on the radio.

But it seems to work out that we all get the freedom, but women pay more of the price.

Mary Beard's blog is sickening. I have a colleague (male) who calls it fascism - the way we as a society absolutely insist on everyone looking as near to the norm as possible. If someone looks or behaves differently to us we feel threatened and lash out.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 21-Jan-13 18:03:28

But the Observer pulled the Julie Burchill article, so it's not consistently applied.

Hate speech against other groups is not allowed, only against women, it would seem.

Solopower1 Mon 21-Jan-13 18:15:32

True, Turnip.

Solopower1 Mon 21-Jan-13 18:16:00

Tunip! blush

AbigailAdams Tue 22-Jan-13 10:56:30

Another good article about online misogyny:
Online bullying

StewieGriffinsMom Tue 22-Jan-13 11:04:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AbigailAdams Tue 22-Jan-13 11:11:07

It is really good women are finding the courage to speak out about this. Maybe the papers such as the Guardian will take notice and start removing the hate speech. Maybe Twitter/Facebook will also start reacting to pressure.

I live in hope anyway.

AbigailAdams Tue 22-Jan-13 23:13:27

Mary will be on Woman's Hour tomorrow talking about this.

duchesse Wed 23-Jan-13 01:43:53

What makes me so angry is that these so-called men feel that they have a perfect right (in the name of "free speech") to publish vile gender-based insults about a person speaking her mind. Proof (if ever we needed it) that there is no equality of any sort yet.

Hoping these dinosaurs are feeling the cold winds of change whistling and are reacting like this because they're just so damned confused and the messages are taking so long to reach their brains.

blondieminx Wed 23-Jan-13 02:15:06

Mary is on twitter and posted earlier that the website making threats has been shut down, she doesn't want anyone to be charged (she's more zen than i would be!) but just for people who make vile comments to hear a resounding "NO" from everyone.

If sexist tweets were dealt with in the same way by the police as racist or homophobic ones, then I think we'd see the idiots wind their necks in a bit...

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