Fred about a Fred

(48 Posts)
Thistledew Sun 04-Mar-12 19:53:45

But not on this site, so it's ok.

I have been reading an interesting thread here, which I think has thrown up some interesting positive comments and some predictable negative ones. It does seem to have provoked a possible change in the moderation policy on the site, which is discussed further on a second thread here.

I would be interested in people's thoughts - is it worthwhile trying to change mostly male dominated sites in this way?

I would suggest that posters don't put the name of the website in their threads to prevent us being invaded by people who may be googling to see if the threads have generated interest elsewhere.

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 21:53:11

Thistledew, maybe I am just in a jaded phase, but do you really think that hundreds of forum posters will change what they do unilaterally because a few women kicked up a stink in what the men see as their territory?

As I say, good on them. I am not for a minute saying that they shouldn't be doing what they are doing. I think, perhaps, I am a little fucked off because I posted links earlier to actual court cases by women who cleaned up actual shit for a living who wanted equal pay with men who emptied dustbins. No-one thought "Oh, yes, let's rectify that because it's wrong". They had to go through all the upheaval of a fucking court case, with all the emotional strain and uncertainty that involved. A thread on a forum isn't going to change sexism, I'm afraid.

BasilRathbone Sun 04-Mar-12 21:55:17

I'd quibble with the "rather than protest marches"

I think both have their place.

I don't mean to be curmudgeonly - power to their elbows, the dozen or so women who have complained and well done to them.

But if they can't get it changed, then they should boycott the site and write to cycling organisations to tell them why.

People like Cycling England etc., are constantly trying to get more women to ride. If it's pointed out to them that specific cycling sites are a hostile environment for women, they'll withdraw any involvement with any such sites and that might give its users pause for thought.

Thistledew Sun 04-Mar-12 21:57:36

I agree that the Neanderthals will always find new places to post their shit, but should we, as feminists, be rethinking how we carry out our activism. Are we using the increase in social media effectively?

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 22:02:44

Protest marches are great. Although MWR didn't get any media coverage that I heard, so I am at a loss.

Thistledew, I'm not having a go at you, although I bet you're feeling a bit got at. I am just fucked off beyond measure that we have reached some kind of stalled situation where most folk think that equality has happened when it clearly hasn't. And everyday stuff like bike forums are evidence of that. What consequences are there for women because of the attitudes of those men? Do they interview fairly? Do they serve fairly on juries? Do they dismiss the views of women on the news? Do they vote along gender lines?

It all matters.

Dworkin Sun 04-Mar-12 22:09:29

But I've always thought that being on male dominated forums it's best to use a name that doesn't give your sex away. Shameful I know. However, once the sex (female) of the poster is known the attitude towards them shifts. Some posters shape up and others take it as a challenge.

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 22:10:55

Are we? I guess there is a discussion to be had about social media - it's a fascinating topic.

Is it really up to us to find men's humanity for them? It's not fucking complicated.

thenightsky Sun 04-Mar-12 22:23:18

I'm clearly a female on the site i mentioned earlier. I got invited to be mod.

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 22:31:53

OK, thinking about social media. From my POV, having used forums for a long time, women are left alone if they are talking about women's stuff. If they talk about stuff that men do too, they get male posters explaining what they have just said, but in more authoritative terms (there is a term for this, but some don't like it so I shall refrain for now). If they talk about things that men do to women, they get a whole heap of shit unleashed on them, including real life stalking If they use a male-identified or a neutral name and never give any clue that they have a vagina, then they get to talk on "equal" terms with men. There are some exceptions, but, as irl, the women-moniker identified women have to prove themselves many times more than male posters. In the main.

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 22:34:16

thenightsky, good for you.

You have now kayboshed my most cynical post of the thread grin because I don't like it when it gets personal. I'll leave it for now.

LordLurkin Sun 04-Mar-12 22:37:22

Thistledew Sun 04-Mar-12 21:57:36
I agree that the Neanderthals will always find new places to post their shit, but should we, as feminists, be rethinking how we carry out our activism. Are we using the increase in social media effectively?

Yes they will find new places ....... But the more they are marginalised the less powerful their voices become. And with a reduction of power perhaps they then become less of a pull to other weaker men.

As for thinking of new ways to carry activism forward, I can think of no better way than challenging misogyny than to take the fight right into those spaces where it thrives. It dosent matter if that space is a pub club or internet forum.

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 22:51:10

But why, LL? Why do you think that otherwise right on men (that I bet lots of these men purport to be) have a blind spot when it comes to women? And why should it be women who wring themselves out fighting the fight.

Thistledew Sun 04-Mar-12 22:59:52

I would say that although there are still many people here on MN who do not see the point of feminism, there are also many who have become convinced of its necessity through reading and contributing to them, and also many people who have become more vociferous in putting forward a feminist point of view. Although progress is slow, I think there are many people who have been exposed to feminism who would not otherwise have sought it out.

I also think that there are a great number of men and women who do not see the relevance of feminism simply because they have not heard the arguments as to why it is necessary. Many people go through life not challenging the status quo, not because they are bad people, but because it is just very easy not to look critically at your own culture when you are fully immersed in it. I have had an interesting experience this weekend with my own DP, whom I thought was wholly on the feminist page, but who I discovered held a view that I found wholly unacceptable. I told him why I feel the way I do about it and got him to read a bit about it, and he completely saw where I am coming from and changed his mind.

What was heartening about the thread on that site is that there were several male posters who admitted that they had not considered how those threads would make women poster feel, and as a result supported their complete withdrawal.

I think that we are so attuned to noticing the worst male attitudes that occasionally we can forget or be overly sceptical of the decent (or potentially decent) ones. My DP felt awful when he realised how disappointed I was that he held this view, but I was able to say to him that I too once would have said the same as him, and it is only through exploring feminism that I now think differently.

BasilRathbone Sun 04-Mar-12 23:08:44

Yes that's a good point Thistledew.

It's heartening to read stuff like that occasionally.

Like Aye, I'm on a bit of a downer atm, prob because I am reading Mary Daly grin. I've always been of the "most men are decent and on our side" persuasion but recently I'm seeing how little active support most men give to equality for women (as opposed to lip service and "but haven't you got equality now?"). It's depressing to think that actually, maybe most men don't support equality, they just pay lip service to it because otherwise they won't get laid. Stories like your's cheer me up. grin

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 23:10:30

I get that, Thistledew, and I am not in opposition to you. I just don't get why women have to tie themselves in knots, or educate themselves about feminism and transfer that knowledge to men, in order for men to see women as human beings.

Does that not seem odd to you?

I understand that it is necessary to educate adult men about the full human being status of women. It enrages me that it has to be that way.

Thistledew Sun 04-Mar-12 23:30:24

I don't disagree Aye, especially about men taking more responsibility for promoting equality for women. But at the same time, I think that as 'experienced feminists' we can lose sight of the fact that due to the very fact that we have been born into and brought up in a patriarchal society, feminism is not the default position, but something that most of us will have to have learnt. My mother is a feminist and brought me up along feminist principles, but we never really talked about the theories behind it. I held very different views about the sexualisation of our culture, for example, when I was younger to what I do now. It was only when I started my current job, which sometimes involves working with female victims of sexual abuse, rape and trafficking, that I started to look into feminism. I can still remember the first domestic violence case I worked on, which caused me to look at the first website, which led me to read so much more.

I don't think we should resile from trying to provide lightbulb moments for those men and women who are willing to look at things in a new light when presented with the opportunity, just because there are a significant number who are very determined to remain in the dark.

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 23:35:38

I know.

It's shit, though, isn't it? It isn't even about theory. It's just the concept that women are human beings too. That this fact is so difficult for so many to grasp is depressing as fuck.

And I am angry, too. That I should spend time educating men to let me, and others with a vagina, have a seat at the table too. They are not worthy of the power they were born into.

LordLurkin Sun 04-Mar-12 23:51:32

AY -It dosent need to be only women that wring themselves out. It was the need to challenge this status-quo that led me to this section of mumsnet a short while ago.

A good friend who has been helping me with my own struggles this week (closely related to this subject as it turns out) told me "An avalanche starts with a tiny bit of movement, but look at the power it ends up with"

AyeRobot Sun 04-Mar-12 23:57:13

Crack on then, LL, and get your pals to do so too.

We need a rest.

Thistledew Mon 05-Mar-12 19:11:05

So it seems that despite many men actively posting to say that they see no need for any threads with provocative images of women, the view of the business owners is they may be allowing one thread per section with much closer moderation of what is posted.

It is a small gain.

One thing I am trying to think through is the fact that women manage to admire pictures of attractive men without objectifying them and letting it affect the way they treat men in real life.

So is the viewing of images wrong per se? If a picture is posted of a sports person looking attractive in Lycra, is there a difference whether the image is posted by or of a man vs a woman?

I do understand the argument in relation to the pervasive objectification of women, but isn't that the issue rather than the viewing of images per se?

If we could trust men to look at images of women without seeing every woman as a sexual object would that still be problematic?

I think this is an area where Aye's point about men taking more responsibility over self-censorship and censoring of other men is particularly relevant.

Thistledew Tue 06-Mar-12 16:04:37

This would actually be quite amusing if it were not so sad. At the end of this page someone has posted

"If we all post "I HEREBY DECLARE I DO NOT THINK THAT IT IS OK TO BE ABUSIVE AGAINST WOMEN" can we look at our boobs again please?"

He is getting majorly defensive that another poster has pulled him up on the use of "our boobs". hmm

BasilRathbone Tue 06-Mar-12 16:19:26

Christ, how can anyone be bothered to engage with such a bunch of dicks?

Get mumsnet to set up a cycling section. Then you won't have to justify expecting to be treated as human.

Thistledew Tue 06-Mar-12 16:21:53

I did set up a thread ages ago, but it has got a bit dead and buried.

anastaisia Tue 06-Mar-12 17:28:26

I'd ask the men on the site who disagree with it to start posting pictures of other men in lycra. One thread in each section right?

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