Is it really sad that I'm not even surprised by these results

(12 Posts)
MrsPurchase Tue 12-Apr-16 13:28:09

This article appeared today on the online Guardian site . Essentially, the Guardian looked into the 70m or so comments left on the website, since 2006. Of the top 10 journalists and writers who received the most abuse, 8 of them were women, and 2 were black men. The bottom 10 for abuse were all men.
I have a small disclaimer - I haven't been able to access the full article; it obviously needs a sooper dooper flash plug in or something, and I'm being let down by my technology. So I haven't RTFT but have read the opening paragraphs.
TBH, I think I'm more saddend that I'm not actually surprised by the results, rather than angry at the results.
I am angry, I think, at some level. But I'm more experiencing a wave of sadness about the fact that I'm not surprised at all.
I'm not articulating myself very well, I'm aware. I think it boils down to: I shouldn't have this ennui....? Am I tacitly accepting things as they are? That women 'just get more abuse'.
I hope not.

scallopsrgreat Tue 12-Apr-16 13:40:17

"Articles about feminism attracted very high levels of blocked comments. And so did rape." sad

I'm with you. It saddens me but doesn't surprise me.

I do think there are positives though. It does support our intuition in this area though that online abuse is gendered (and also racist). It is helping to measure the problem. It is also naming the problem. all good starting points.

Queenbean Tue 12-Apr-16 13:51:12

I'm not really surprised. The subject of the articles that are being written by women are far more likely to elicit those kind of responses.

Ie, the recent article about the black woman hashtag received an awful lot of comments, whereas a white man wouldn't have written that in the first place

I do also think that the Guardian can be very sensitive about comments and deleting them quickly if they don't explicitly agree with the points of the article. There was one about a woman who tracked down all her exes before getting married just to be sure, she even compared the size of his dick to everyone else's (unfavourably). The guardian was so hot to delete any comments that weren't really positive about her.

So yes, it does happen. But partly because of the subject and partly because the guardian can be heavy handed in deleting comments

MrsPurchase Tue 12-Apr-16 14:29:27

YY to both of your comments; looks like I'm not alone then in not being surprised.

thedancingbear Tue 12-Apr-16 14:36:16

It occurs to me that this could possibly say as much about the Guardian and its approach to identity politics (which I'm aware has taken a bit of a kicking on here recently over its pro-trans aspect). It's possible the Guardian mods start from the (subconscious?) proposition that women and black people need sheltering from critical comments, whereas white, male contributors can and should suck it up. Note that the Guardian's definition of 'abuse' in the article seems to be 'blocked due to violation of our community standards'.

If that's what's happening, it's arguably a manifestation of the same prejudices, just not in the way the Guardian assumes.

I mean, I can completely believe that women writing about feminist issues get a kicking 'BTL', as they say, but does anyone seriously think the average Guardian reader has it in for black contributors, for example? Many liberal lefty types will bend over backwards to avoid offending someone of colour.

Queenbean Tue 12-Apr-16 14:43:13

It also seems to be quite an own-goal to delete those kinds of comments, as actually, some intelligent debate can show people why their comments are wrong / educate people in to thinking differently

Just blanket-deleting anything negative doesn't achieve anything good at all

RaeSkywalker Tue 12-Apr-16 14:58:05

Thank you for posting this. It makes my blood boil but I'm not surprised!!

itllallbefine Tue 12-Apr-16 15:02:37

It's the subject matter that attracts the flak, if the white men were posting articles about men's rights and the corrosive effects of feminism, they would also get loads of abuse, but generally they will writing about tennis and stuff.

I've said this before, but to many people entry level feminist beliefs are controversial (i.e. that women are worse off than men, or that our society is stacked against women). So - i wouldn't read this as sexism necessarily.

scallopsrgreat Tue 12-Apr-16 16:03:44

"The subject of the articles that are being written by women are far more likely to elicit those kind of responses." OK if we take that at face value why do these types of articles elicit that kind of response?

But I'm not sure that comment doesn't stand up to that much scrutiny. Why would a sports article written by a woman elicit more abuse than one written by a man?

BertrandRussell Tue 12-Apr-16 16:18:02

"I've said this before, but to many people entry level feminist beliefs are controversial (i.e. that women are worse off than men, or that our society is stacked against women). So - i wouldn't read this as sexism necessarily."

Even if you think it's controversial, surely that doesn't make abuse Ok?

And these articles are not all about feminism. Unless being written by a woman makes it feminist?

BertrandRussell Tue 12-Apr-16 16:57:09

"Women writing about rugby on @guardian have a block rate of 3.4% of comments on their articles. Men just 0.5%."

Probably because they are droning on about how unfair It all is. Or talking about their periods.

PalmerViolet Tue 12-Apr-16 17:27:32

But I'm not sure that comment doesn't stand up to that much scrutiny.

Agree, it's not just feminist issues that elicit anger, abuse and threats from men. Women writing about football have received unbelievable abuse from men if their ideas don't completely tally with what those men believe. And it's not "you're talking crap, Bloggs is the best goalie on planet Earth" type abuse, it's universally misogyny and threats of harm.

If I can be arsed later, I'll dig out some links which show this attitude.

It's also been my experience that men tend to get abuse of the "you're a daft cunt" type, when women will get threats and abuse. BAME and Jewish men and women tend to get seriously horrific racist and anti semitic abuse, but again, the abuse aimed at women tends to be worse for the sheer violence it threatens. Even in the Graun. Ther Bonehill's of this world troll lefty papers because they hate leftys so much, so yes, there is the same, if not worse racist abuse on there than on, say, the Scum website.

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