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

KaseyM Thu 01-Aug-13 23:16:45

Loved Stella's demolition job.

What I don't love is reading the Yahoo comments behind the rape threats story to find just how much these men hate feminists and find ways to blame them for just about anything.

I got on my blog about it. I'm not wildly in favour of Twitter having a 'boohoo' button, because I envisage it being put to immediate use by MRAs to silence feminists. The laws against making threats are already being put to use (the arsehole who threatened to bomb the houses of various female journalists has already had his collar felt by the sound of it.) But I'm slightly surprised that no one seems to be saying: laugh at the obnoxious keyboard warriors. Take the piss. Support each other if you are being jumped at by the crazy screechy poo-throwing monkeys. They hate it. I don't use Twitter much because I am absolutely useless at it and find it completely incomprehensible, but I have had plenty of online fights, including people threatening to burn my house down, shoot me and boil my son in oil. I found the more I laughed at them, the more ridiculously cross they got.

It does seem to me that there's a bit of a Thing going on here where women, in particular, can only be seen to be victims and their only options to 'rise above it' or run off crying for Authority (ie a Man) to make the nasty person go away. Whereas there's nothing that winds a misogynist up more than women mocking him, so maybe we should do more of that, too (as well as reporting threats (as opposed to bullshit abuse) to the police).

SinisterSal Fri 02-Aug-13 00:38:47

Does that not make it into Harmless Banter though? I can see it being twisted that way.

Thing is with Harmless Banter (ie tedious sexist insults rather than actual threats to do harm) is that doing it right back often works. When Harmless Banter is (as it usually is) an attempt to bully, reacting with amused disdain annoys the fuck out of the bully and either makes him say something horrible enough to get sanctions used against him or makes him back the fuck off, looking foolish.

SinisterSal Fri 02-Aug-13 01:00:01

Yeah but I can see it being spun as though it's a two way thing 'Oh they are as bad as each other'. You know how this bullshit works.

Plus it is scary to challenge people. It's an instinctive thing with some people not to square up to a threat alone

BitBewildered Fri 02-Aug-13 01:03:38

bomb threats shock

Fucking unbelievable!

Moistenedbint1 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:14:54

I don't think of myself as a professional victim either. Unfortunately, it's not down to what I think. It's what my attacker thought, and did, that makes me a victim. It seems like you think it's somehow shameful or weak to be a victim of someone else's criminal actions? Which is illogical, at best.

Sinister, I wasn't alluding to women who have suffered from actual emotional/physical abuse. What I was criticizing was the erroneous assumption that all women, by mere virtue of gender alone, are afraid, vulnerable, victimized or whatever..

Moistenedbint1 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:40:04

moistened So in context of this thread, what exactly is your point? That women getting rape threats should put up and shut up because men get threats too?

Goth, online abuse is so often defined as a womans problem... as women the sole target of male ire.. For me this is a complete misrepresentation of the situation. Like many others, I've been using social media for at least a decade, and through casual observation have seen and continue to see both sexes targeted.

Of course women women shouldn't have to passively accept this. Anyone guilty of this is legally culpable.. And rightly so. Kind of goes above and beyond the level of twitter tbh.

DuelingFanjo Fri 02-Aug-13 12:52:30

clicky

"Then you must say “oh, but I experience that too!” You’re ignoring the way your life is otherwise entirely immersed in a state of absolute privilege and revealing the fact you fail to comprehend the process of objectification and marginalizing they go through all the time. When you are privileged, “similar” experiences simply do not happen on an equal footing because they do not otherwise reflect marginalization."

SinisterSal Fri 02-Aug-13 13:28:36

'What I was criticizing was the erroneous assumption that all women, by mere virtue of gender alone, are afraid, vulnerable, victimized or whatever..'

That's not what this is about.... or not quite in the way you mean.

The fact is that we are, by mere virtue of sex, vulnerable to certain types of violence. Sexual violence is a big problem, and it's not being weak and whiny, neurotic or pathetic to fear it. It's a legitimate fear. Maybe you don't personally, which is great. But your personal level of fear makes no difference. It's not all in your own head. It's what's in someone elses' head that victimises you.

It's that legitimate fear which resonates with the threats. Someone could put all their venom into putting hex threats on their Twitter enemies, but that's not a real world problem. It's easier to shrug that off.

"Goth, online abuse is so often defined as a womans problem... as women the sole target of male ire.."

As far as I'm aware this thread is mostly talking about rape threats. Something which happens to women far more than it happens to men.

BasilBabyEater Fri 02-Aug-13 17:00:30

I think a lot of women who say they aren't afraid, vulnerable or victimised, self-censor to avoid becoming a target so they never feel afraid or vulnerable.

It's easy not to be afraid if you don't say anything that might not call violent repurcussions down on you. If you stay quiet and toe the line and tell other women they're pathetic for being afraid, MRA's will like you and not target you.

The laughing at them thing works up to a point and is also very enjoyable, but not with someone so deranged that being laughed at is perceived as an existential threat, the source of which must be eliminated. Remember that old Germaine Greer quote, women's greatest fear about men, is that they will kill them, while men's greatest fear about women, is that they will laugh at them. Sometimes, it can actually be dangerous to laugh at a violent man. I think that's very rare, but we should acknowledge it.

DuelingFanjo Fri 02-Aug-13 17:08:56

"If you stay quiet and toe the line and tell other women they're pathetic for being afraid, MRA's will like you and not target you."

Exactly! 'rape jokes? yeah - they are funny, I don't mind'. 'cat-calling? it makes me feel great, I love it and other women who don't really need to get a life or are probably just ugly so they can't take a compliment, they should because one day it will stop when they are old and wrinkly' because basically they have unwittingly been conditioned into thinking that they just have to expect this kind of abuse (And it IS abuse) and shrug it off and smile.

betterthanever Fri 02-Aug-13 19:36:39

I think a lot of women who say they aren't afraid, vulnerable or victimised, self-censor to avoid becoming a target so they never feel afraid or vulnerable. I was only thinking about this yesterday and whilst I stand up for myself sometimes I don't all the time because I feel that fear and I feel very vulnerable. I never tell anyone else they are pathetic for being afraid but I do avoid, self censor and stay quiet.
The covert abuse is what I have expereinced more of as I do speak up sometimes they look for over ways to get to me - puncish me for speaking up but in a way harder for others to see.

BitBewildered Sat 03-Aug-13 07:58:25

So my DH was telling a story about how he was travelling through France and got ever so drunk one night while on his own. He staggered back to his hostel and went to bed. I then said, sadly, that I would like to be able to go out to a bar in a strange town, have a few drinks and then stagger off to bed, but that it wouldn't be safe. All those around the table agreed that it wouldn't be safe. What would make it unsafe for me, but not for DH to be in that situation?

That is what this is about. It is more unsafe for a lone woman to move freely about her business because of the danger posed by men. That is understood by society. That is what the rape threats draw from and feed into.

JuliaScurr Sat 03-Aug-13 08:20:17

yes, Bit
we should push the connection between online and rl threats of rape etc
1 in 4 women is sexually assaulted
2 women a week are killed
we're not over-reacting
this shit actually happens

Moistenedbint1 Sat 03-Aug-13 23:43:28

Exactly! 'rape jokes? yeah - they are funny, I don't mind'. 'cat-calling? it makes me feel great, I love it and other women who don't really need to get a life or are probably just ugly so they can't take a compliment, they should because one day it will stop when they are old and wrinkly' because basically they have unwittingly been conditioned into thinking that they just have to expect this kind of abuse (And it IS abuse) and shrug it off and smile.

I'm sorry, but rape threats and cat calling do not fall within the same category... (and deep down, I think you already know that)

BitBewildered Sun 04-Aug-13 08:33:27

Both are sexist.

They are part of the same continuum (and deep down, I think you already know that)

Beachcomber Sun 04-Aug-13 09:18:29

Cat calling AKA street harassment is part of rape culture. It is a reminder that we are rapeable. Rather like rape threats. Definitely in the rapey category.

Moistenedbint1 Sun 04-Aug-13 10:11:11

they are part of the same continuum

That's little more than feminist supposition.

Moistenedbint1 Sun 04-Aug-13 10:22:29

As far as I'm aware this thread is mostly talking about rape threats. Something which happens to women far more than it happens to men.

No, your link refers to the introduction of a "report abuse" button on Twitter which can/will be used by anyone experiencing threats of a violent/sexual nature. That includes men, women and children. Sure, its been prompted by the Criado-Perez incident but it will be relevant to everyone.

grimbletart Sun 04-Aug-13 10:27:18

This time it's a bomb threat to Mary Beard - sent after yesterday's Twitter boss apology and promises to take action.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/23565145

HesterShaw Sun 04-Aug-13 10:30:12

I don't actually think they know what they are upset about, these morons who are making the threats. If you were ask them, there is no way they would say "Because powerful women are making me feel emasculated." It's more of a case of being a sad little keyboard warrior trying to cause a kerfuffle.

BitBewildered Sun 04-Aug-13 10:46:21

MoistenedBint1 this is a thread about rape threats, specifically ones on Twitter. The 'report abuse button' link is also in the thread, but not what my OP was about.

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