Rape Threats on Twitter

(269 Posts)
BitBewildered Sat 27-Jul-13 18:11:56

I've just seen this story on the BBC news app. I've not been on Twitter very much lately and am off to have a look now, but at first glance, what the actual fuck?!

www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23477130

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 12:03:00

Some of the men on Twitter started off just challenging Caroline Criado-Perez (and others) with perhaps a sexist remark. They were then challenged on it and escalated to rape threats.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 12:04:44

Woman campaigns to have a female figurehead reinstated on banknotes. Some immature, possibly inadequate individual objects and in a bid to manipulate her and the subsequent outcome (by shutting her up) he uses intimidation via threat. I frequently see this happen to blokes on social media sites too.. The only difference being, that the threats are usually violent.. not sexual.

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 12:15:00

I just can't understand your argument that if these men are just posturing in front of other men machismo-styley why it is necessary to do that at the expense of women? Surely if this machismo thing was just to gain male dominance purely within male company or a male hierarchy, it would make more sense to lord it over other random men and interrupt their day for no reason whatsoever, calling them derogatory names and commenting on the way they look etc?

Why do you not think that cat-calling is not "simply espoused by inadequates desperate for attention" or it isn't to manipulate/break women? Why do men feel it is necessary to interrupt a woman minding her own business and make her focus them if it isn't that they want that woman's attention to be focused on them and therefore they want to manipulate the woman??

"much street violence is preceded by verbal abuse borne out of machismo much like cat calling" I agree, but it isn't just because they are men. There will be something else involved <sigh>.

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 12:41:52

And we aren't saying that men don't get abuse. We are saying that men don't get abuse purely because they are men. We are saying that rape threats and sexual violence threats are directed at women, purely because they are women and that men feel entitled to do that. We are saying that women get abuse for doing very little i.e. walking down the street or voicing an opinion or starting a campaign (which lets face it, was only promoting women it wasn't actually removing any male privilege or anything positively scary like that). We are saying that the abuse women receive is specifically tailored to them being female. And to illustrate that latter point: "I frequently see this happen to blokes on social media sites too.. The only difference being, that the threats are usually violent.. not sexual." Precisely.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 12:58:30

Physical prowess (ie posturing instagram shots with the "ripped pecks"/new deaths head inspired tattoo) boastful pronouncements about about sports ability, greater propensity for street violence be it verbal/physical, the number of notches on the bedpost (indicative of virility..), chivalry..right down to more positive traits including responsibility, strong work ethic etc are all macho traits which are geared towards displaying dominance in his entire social circle (male, female, child.. It doesn't really matter). It's not merely women who are targeted by a macho persona. Particularly when you consider street violence, competitiveness in sports etc. They lord their superiority over their male peers... And v.much so.

Maybe in some instances there is an element of attention seeking behaviour with cat calling but I still believe it's motivated mostly by machismo.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 13:00:49

We are saying that the abuse women receive is specifically tailored to them being female. And to illustrate that latter point: "I frequently see this happen to blokes on social media sites too.. The only difference being, that the threats are usually violent.. not sexual." Precisely

The idea being that women are intimidated by sexual violence and men with physical violence..

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 13:17:00

Typo - Should have said above.. More negative macho traits are "geared towards displaying dominance in his social circle" . Positive macho traits - fortitude, responsibility, strong work ethic are laudable.

FloraFox Tue 06-Aug-13 14:30:50

So abuse directed at women is a tool used by men in a power play among themselves but somehow that's not misogyny. Ok got it. The scales have fallen from my eyes. Or not.

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 14:40:20

What Flora said.

DuelingFanjo Tue 06-Aug-13 14:56:26
DuelingFanjo Tue 06-Aug-13 14:58:23

'In attempting to communicate with you, the marginalized person may bring up examples of the sorts of daily manifestations of discrimination they face. Many of these examples seem trivial to privileged people but clearly reflect the way the marginalized person has been “othered” by society. “Othering” is a system of social markers that defines “Us” and “them”, neatly and conveniently categorizing people into their appropriate places within society. It’s a way of defining a secured and positive position in the world by stigmatizing “others”. In other words, it’s the process of dehumanizing anyone different to the Chosen Privileged.The marginalized person you’re dealing with has been subjected to this “othering”.This means that their body is viewed as public property and the personal, intricate details of their lives and being are perceived as free information.You must nod patiently as the marginalized person tries to gain your understanding of the many complicated and subtle ways this othering impacts their lives until they come across a point that seems particularly grating for them. *Then you must say “oh, but I experience that too!*” '

Perhaps the best way to deal with this kind of obvious attempt to derail is to stick to the issue and ignore the derailment. But I suppose that is also an attempt to silence sad

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 06-Aug-13 17:20:21

Sexual threats are threats of violence, by the way.

I do see "I'd like to get you in the back of my van, little lady" as beyond catcalling, moving into threat. The man saying it is saying what he wants to do to the woman hearing it, not with the woman hearing it. That's why it's a continuum. I agree that more men would say "look at the tits on that" than "stop talking about banknotes or I'll rape you" but I don't think there's a neat difference between catcall and threat, or that catcalls can't be threatening in themselves as it's showing a disregard for how the hearer feels about what's being said.

BitBewildered Tue 06-Aug-13 23:22:00

I suppose this whole use of the threat of rape as a punishment or consequence of a woman voicing her opinion in such a public way angers me so much because I could easily imagine some of the men I have known over the years doing it if they could work out how to. One of the most sexist men I have ever come across is my oldest brother and I know he will be applauding these idiots and think they are perfectly justified in their aggression. I am much younger than him, and grew up watching and listening to him spouting vile shite. To be fair to him though, he hates anyone who isn't English, male and white. The cock.

I'm still very uncomfortable with the way this specific manifestation of misogyny is being dealt with ie 'Let's Have More Censorship' with, as far as I can see, no acknowledgment whatsoever of the idea that women can fight back even verbally, laugh at the trolls or just refuse to run off crying. This idea that women are utterly powerless in the face of male violence and need to appeal to Authority (ie *other men*) to make it all stop... Yes, a lot of men are physically stronger and bigger than a lot of women. But a female kickboxing champion could easily flatten quite a lot of obnoxious men. Quite a lot of strong, healthy women could defend themselves physically against men who display as aggressive but who are basically out of condition and would struggle to get the top off a ketchup bottle. But the idea of women being strong and able to defend themselves without the help of a 'nice' man is really threatening to the patriarchy. Women are socialised to remember that men are big, strong, frightening and must be respected and deferred to, otherwise they will Wield the Mighty Penis against us. A swift kick to the Mighty Penis leaves the man a writhing, sobbing wreck on the floor. A good laugh at the Mighty Penis, especially in a situation where the aggressive man can't physically hurt you and doesn't know where you live, may still leave the man a writhing, sobbing wreck. The whole idea of 'men' being physically superior (in terms of being able to overpower 'women') is one that actually needs examining and demolishing, because it isn't fully true and never has been.

BitBewildered Wed 07-Aug-13 01:07:08

I agree with you, I don't want women to think they need rescuing or protecting either, and I don't really see what a report abuse button will do to stop the attitudes that drive the making of the threat. I object to the threats being made though. I was wandering about an old castle the other week and it made me think of the stocks. I would like to throw rotten eggs etc at these men. I think it's the idea of public humiliation. I suppose they could be made to stand on a stage while we all point and laugh ...

SinisterSal Wed 07-Aug-13 12:22:17

I dunno that sounds a bit like 'Laugh it of' to me, another way of saying 'Ignore It'.

I'm sure many many people do laugh at them at poke back as individuals. But I think it's important to give out the message that this is not acceptable, on a societal level. We don't expect black people to laugh off racism, or gay people to laugh off homophobia. Or at least, we don't expect that that alone will solve the bigger problem, nor do we see it as running to Big Daddy when they get pissed off with it.

scallopsrgreat Wed 07-Aug-13 12:39:00

I agree SinisterSal. It puts the onus on the victim to deal with it too. What happens if you aren't witty? Or you get triggered? And as you say getting individuals to deal with individual issues doesn't address the societal problem.

I think the idea that people have to be protected against being'offended' whether they like it or not is an equally dangerous one. We already have a hostile, authoritarian Government who are eager to increase their powers, which means we need to be a bit careful what new laws we demand.
Making threats against another person is already illegal. The police can and will act, and have done so.

slug Wed 07-Aug-13 14:56:46

I agree with you SGB. There already are sufficient laws to deal with these incidents. To suggest more would be to open ourselves to the charge of "special pleading".

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