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?!


Just reading this. Wondered where the campaign was because could not find it.


It is total crap and I am just so tired of all this what the f*ck have these people go to do with their time but make threats?

BitBewildered Sat 27-Jul-13 18:52:38

Here's the link for the report abuse button on Twitter petition.

I just don't understand it. Thank the gods for my DH or I'd be convinced that all men are arseholes ...

BasilBabyEater Sat 27-Jul-13 22:35:38

Laurie Pennie tweeted something to the effect that Germaine Greer once said that women have no idea how much men hate them, but that thanks to the internet, we now do.

What is very depressing about this is that the usual response to this shit is: well not ALL men do it (so therefore we shouldn't make a fuss about it).

If it were any other group etc.

I wonder how long women and men are going to stubbornly embrace denial about this misogyny problem.

enpanne Sun 28-Jul-13 10:55:12

A bit of perspective please, a few nutters on the internet are not representative of 50% of the population.

On another note why does the BBC 'technology correspondent' have FA better to do than comment on the drivel that low-IQ idiots post on twitter. Twitter qualifies as technology to about the same level as a rolling pin.

I was about to come on and say I was tired of all the "oh it's only twitter" comments..

It's not acceptable anywhere, and leaving the comments up is as good as condoning it. Threats should mean bans.

poppymagnum Sun 28-Jul-13 11:10:20

I had been following this on twitter. Some of the things that people said to that woman were despicable. It really made me wonder whether parts of society will ever understand how awful this is.

I was also really disappointed with some slebs alluding to the fact that it was just 14 year old boys trolling and that they should be ignored.

BitBewildered Sun 28-Jul-13 11:15:34

A bit of perspective please, a few nutters on the internet are not representative of 50% of the population. Gosh enpanne, thanks for explaining that.

It's wrong and disgusting to expect a woman to put up with rape threats whether they are online or otherwise. HTH

betterthanever Sun 28-Jul-13 13:37:35

Good to see it getting so much coverage on Sky News today - she has come across very well, highlighting a number of issues and I think they are covering a lot of ground on it.
Sky news have even said that people have been telling her to `ignore it' and she has refused to. I will be signing the petition.

I've seen people saying "ignore it"

Daft thing is, I was given that advice back when I was at school and I followed it, I was still bullied for another 7 years. It only stopped when I lost my temper and told the bully to fuck off. So I think it is flawed advice, and even more so when you then talk about the internet.

It's also forgetting that trolling isn't necessarily about getting a rise out of the victim. It's also about gaining "cred" with peers. So even if the victims keep quiet and try to ignore the threats, it will still escalate as all the trolls try to out-troll each other. Good article here. Ignoring doesn't make them go away, you are better off taking away something they want eg. twitter access.

Since when was the advice to ignore terrible behaviour/threats (or anything else which is cruel) ever a sensible response? In sport if there are racist comments they are (or should be) dealt with, no one would say oh just ignore it they are showing their ignorance! If people shout out in court does the judge just term to the jury and say 'ignore them'.

betterthanever Sun 28-Jul-13 18:11:38

Exactly Italian they are using the `do not feed the troll' advice for thier own agenda. Good article murder

kim147 Sun 28-Jul-13 18:13:06

I've been on another forum discussing this. Lots of but why can't you just report it etc.

The internet has been great for activists - change can really happen and a momentum of opinion can happen quickly.

But it's also an outlet for the sexist people out there - and this online abuse can lead to real life abuse. It takes a special person to stick their head up and be counted knowing what can and probably will happen.

It's good it's being taken seriously and is being seen as less and less acceptable. But there are still a lot to do - I hope some people face prosecution for their comments. If someone can get arrested for tweeting about blowing up an airport, then surely this deserves real action?

"If someone can get arrested for tweeting about blowing up an airport, then surely this deserves real action?"

Quite. Which is more likely? Blowing up an airport of raping someone? Hmm.. let me think...

betterthanever Sun 28-Jul-13 18:36:25

They have said on the news earlier that the police are investigating. I am glad to hear that and hope arrests will be made and highly publicised.

betterthanever Sun 28-Jul-13 18:43:16

Sky News have just said a 21 year old from Manchester has been arrested smile hope to hear of more arrests. Unless there are consequences to these actions, especially when so overt, they will continue.

RubyThePirate Sun 28-Jul-13 19:03:47

Excellent news that they've nicked this despicable little shit.

BitBewildered Sun 28-Jul-13 20:03:34

Yes, it's good news that an arrest has been made. smile

BitBewildered Sun 28-Jul-13 20:06:59

Wow! I've just looked at the twitter petition and it's gone from just over 14,000 to over 44,500 signatures since I signed it yesterday!


Hooray uk.news.yahoo.com/twitter-must-rape-threats-seriously-140956007.html#10sdrRE feels a bit hollow to say hooray but at least a result and maybe sends a message. So sad though that the poor woman had to endure that crap.

KaseyM Sun 28-Jul-13 22:43:26

Just saw on twitter that the media turned up at her house! How insanely ignorant is that?!

"A bit of perspective please, a few nutters on the internet are not representative of 50% of the population."

Yes it's just a handful of men but it's ALL women who remain afraid - afraid of speaking out, afraid of doing anything remotely feminist - because we don't know which ones are the "nutters", which ones are decent men or which ones don't really care.

OneLittleToddleTerror Mon 29-Jul-13 10:18:28

This is a serious issue and we should not ignore it. Have we forgotten about the cases where teenage girls committed suicide because of cyber bullying. Obviously Criado-Perez is not going to kill herself over rape threats because she is a strong adult. But not everyone is as strong as her to stand up to the bullies. I haven't been reading the tweets, but I understood they even tweet her phone number and home address. It must be quite terrifying.

VillaVillekulla Mon 29-Jul-13 10:40:43

FWIW I think Criado-Perez is really brave and I really admire her for tackling the misogynists head on. I like to think I'd do the same but I suspect I would be so terrified by the tweets she received that I'd just abandon Twitter.

betterthanever Mon 29-Jul-13 10:44:06

FWIW I think Criado-Perez is really brave and I really admire her for tackling the misogynists head on yes she is and she comes across very well too - I wish I had her strength and was as articulate as she is, she is an inspiration and I will try and draw strength from her. I thank her for standing up for me and every single female.

It is scary isn't it. A few nutters yes, but just bizarre and incomprehensible that such vitriol can come out because a woman did a campaign to get women recognized on bank notes. What makes the 'a few nutters' response inadequate for me is that these 'nutters' have got so upset about something so innocuous. How can it be upsetting to see 50% of the population recognized on a symbol of our country?
If that upsets them then heaven only knows how they would react to a few of the conversations on here.....actually i would pay good money to see them react to a few conversations on here, from a suitable distance and purely for entertainment value.......

slug Mon 29-Jul-13 11:10:53

Actually the banknote issue really appalled me. It was just adding insult to injury by removing the osole woman and replacing her with a man who was vehemently opposed to the vote for women.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 29-Jul-13 12:49:18

The abuse on twitter is disgusting and should be stopped. The response from twitter owners has been poor up until now. However. Laurie Penny is nuts if she thinks women didn't realise how much some men hate us until the internet became widespread. Those of us who have experienced Real Life sexism, sexism that threatened our livelihoods, have far more understanding of the issue than people who earn shitloads, live in an ivory tower and have no more to complain of than threats from idiots on the internet. You can stop looking at the internet. A bit more difficult to ignore sustained workplace sexism which is condoned and participated in by your boss.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 29-Jul-13 12:59:55

I dunno Russians, I think a lot of women are still in denial. And a lot more only really notice the sexism once they hit 30-40 and it starts to affect them really noticeably at work.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 29-Jul-13 13:05:14

Tunip Laurie Penny is one of those writers who thinks the world started with her. It didn't. There was horrendous - worse- sexism before the internet was widespread. And women were well aware of it, thanks.

Also I would dispute your assessment of when sexism starts to bite at work. I suspect the point at which this happens can be as many points as there are in a woman's working life, and it all depends on the industry/profession you are in, and the people you are lucky or unlucky enough to encounter.

WidowWadman Mon 29-Jul-13 13:27:15

I know plenty of women who believe there is no sexism, as they don't even notice it - I think LP is right in pointing out that the internet has helped raising awareness a lot.

JuliaScurr Mon 29-Jul-13 13:29:54

on R4 WatO right NOW!!!

One small victory for womankind and the misogynists are out in force targeting all their hatred onto one woman. Why is it so threatening to them? It would be funny if it weren't so terrifying.

I signed the petition this morning after I received an email about it. I stand behind Caroline 100% and although I don't use Twitter I know how it feels to be bullied and threatened. There is never an excuse and there should always be consequences for the ones perpetrating it.

ChairOfTheBored Mon 29-Jul-13 14:16:01

Turnip I think you may have hit on soemthing there. I am definitely becomming more confirmed in my stand on feminism and womens issues as I progress through my thirties.

I'm struggling at the moment with a few men, peers not superiors, who seem to think it's OK to dismiss or belittle my ideas and role, and the only reason I can find is my gender.

I've never encoutered it before, and am baffled as to how to tackle it, but it is certianly making me more alert to the explicit and implicit ways society frames and therefore limits women.

eurochick Mon 29-Jul-13 14:26:13

I think that's a good point turnip.

In my profession (law) at least at the big firms, there is equality at grad rec level. HR are very careful to make sure that the process is fair and moderated and I genuinely believe there is no prejudice allowed to surface there (it undoubtedly exists in some quarters but no one person has control over hiring and there are processes to be followed, so the overall outcome seems to me to be fair). However, at the next big promotion (to partnership), which usually comes in your 30s or perhaps early 40s, there is a huge problem andobviously poorer outcomes for women.

On the subject of the OP, the abuse sounds appalling and I'm glad twitter has been pushed into doing something about it.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 29-Jul-13 14:40:41

I take Russian's point though. I and most of my friends have been hit by it more in our 30s but we may well not be representative of every woman's experience. If you are a woman who wants to be a car mechanic you're going to find it hits you much younger.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 29-Jul-13 14:46:20

I'm in a similar profession to eurochick. The impact of sexism is felt at partner appointment time but the actual sexism has been going on from the day of recruitment. Day one, everyone is equal. Day 2, the boys are getting better opportunities than the girls.....sometimes, still. In my day, it was a given, but this is happening less and less now and that will be reflected as the grad recruits come through to prospective partner level, especially as they benefit from better maternity/ parental policies and better attitudes towards work life balance. I'm mid forties. The people 5 years younger than me had a slightly easier time of it. The people 10 years younger than me are having a significantly easier time of it. And so on. People in their 20s really have no idea of what it was like in city professions 20 years ago. Luckily for them.

JustinBsMum Mon 29-Jul-13 17:30:17

Well done Russians to turn this into a woman against woman bitchfest.

Women have it so easy now - yeah right. Just shows what a narrow field you are judging from.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 29-Jul-13 17:36:00

I only see one person being bitchy here justin and it isn't me. If people don't value the gains that have been fought for and won, they'll throw them away again. If they focus only on online abuse they will miss the real sexism that blights lives and threatens livelihoods. If you don't get that then I can't help you.

JustinBsMum Mon 29-Jul-13 17:40:42

Laurie Penny is one of those writers who thinks the world started with her

very balanced comment!

HisMum4now Mon 29-Jul-13 17:40:57

Russians is right, sexism shows much earlier, at uni for me. When I was interviewing for jobs, male students were commenting why do I want to do an internship in US if I have a family... The wife of one male student asked me how could I possibly put DS into the nursery. One male student from my class commented in an assessment center that I am bizarre to want a job like this given I have a kid at home with DH. The interviewer then turned to question me about this.

BitBewildered Mon 29-Jul-13 17:54:05

TBH I think it starts in early childhood with the doctor set in blue and the nurse set in pink. The @everydaysexism project makes me feel angry every single day. It's not just in the workplace, it's in every area of life. Come the revolution! <dons beret>

HisMum4now Mon 29-Jul-13 18:32:58

It starts at nursery. I would like to buy DD3 a lunchbox with spacecrafts. But she doesn't want it. "Other girls will laugh at me because it is for boys"...

FasterStronger Mon 29-Jul-13 20:07:14

an small victory:

Internet troll who abused Mary Beard apologises after threat to tell his mother:


aufaniae Mon 29-Jul-13 20:19:39

"TBH I think it starts in early childhood with the doctor set in blue and the nurse set in pink."

Have you seen the Let Toys Be Toys campaign?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 29-Jul-13 20:39:08

That Beard thing was extraordinary. I was gobsmacked at his stupidity. One of the newspapers says she outed him - no she didn't! He was tweeting under his own name and one of her followers either knew him or found his details instantly.
Mary Beard is always very decent about this and is happy to forgive and forget after an apology, but it had been screencapped and retweeted all over Twitter within minutes.

LadyBigtoes Mon 29-Jul-13 21:35:29

I was amazed by this too. I caught the end of a report about it on the radio and wondered what on earth she could have done or said to set them off (not that anything would have made it ok obviously but I was just wondering). She campaigned for women to go on banknotes! Just how pathetic are these men? It's astonishing. It's really clear to me that they don't just hate women, they FEAR them. They get their pants in a massive twist if a woman basically dares to do, be, say or in any way exist in a way that's not according to how these misogynists think they should.

However I don't think the issue should be rules about twitter or the internet. Sexist abuse and threats etc. should be made a crime just like racist abuse and racially aggravated assault etc are. If you take any instance of a sexist remark, attack or unequal situation and replace the role of the woman with a black person, it's instantly obvious how massively unnacceptable (and rightly so) it would be. Any kind of sexist victimisation should be made illegal in exactly the same way.

I don't think all men are like this but I do think that this isn't just extremist nutters. I know a lot of men who are deeply sexist, but "nice" on the surface, but if they thought they were anonymous or among like-minded friends might well give free rein to this stuff. I think greer was right, men's hatred of women is very big and very powerful.

BasilBabyEater Mon 29-Jul-13 22:03:13


And I do think women are in denial about it.

There is a massive misogyny problem.

The idea that it's just a few nutters on the internet - in other words, STFU women, you don't have the right to be angry/ scared/ outraged - shows how widespread and pervasive misogyny is.

No-one would tell black people "it's just a few nutters on the internet". They'd take their right to be outraged seriously, as they should.

At least people actually recognise racism when they see it. They don't even recognise misogyny and women will quite happily accept some bloke mansplaining that it's just a few nutters so we should all calm down and not critique or examine or question where this visceral hatred of us comes from.

Wow. Wow wow wow.

I have so much catching up to do.

<polishes feminist boots>

Darkesteyes Mon 29-Jul-13 22:28:09

I agree with the consensus here.. No one said "just ignore it" when earlier this year a twitter user made inflammatory comments about the Hillsborough survivors and their families.

Ive seen a tweet that says on Newsnight (starting any min now on BBC2) they have tracked down one of the trolls.

grimbletart Mon 29-Jul-13 23:01:02

Apparently they said he lives in South Shields - let's hope he is waiting for a knock on the door from the police....

I would like to see offenders jailed and put on the sex offenders' register.
That should concentrate their tiny minds.

edam Mon 29-Jul-13 23:11:28

I do hope the cops take the Newsnight report seriously and interview the wannabe thug/rapist.

Twitter bosses have been astonishingly inept - they reacted as stupidly as an old firm that knows fuck all about social media. Manager locked his account, ffs. Hey, it's only women....

TunipTheVegedude Mon 29-Jul-13 23:23:29

Yes Edam, it makes them look like a company that doesn't understand Twitter confused

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 00:38:16

What is it with these social media sites not having any idea of abuse or norms? Like the whole FB banning breast feeding and mastectomy pics but allowing all sorts of other abuse pictures to be shared and companies pushing 'rape' T shirts.
Very mixed messages from these companies to an alarmingly large audience sad

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Jul-13 00:55:24

Less than a few hours after the report abuse button was announced we have Toby Young threatening to use it to report Laurie Penny for calling him out on a comment he made about an MPs breasts.

Well of course i didnt think mysogynists would be planning to abuse it already <rolls eyes> hmm

BitBewildered Tue 30-Jul-13 01:19:23

aufaniae, thanks! I've signed that one too. I am feeling a bit fed up at the number of petitions I've felt the need to sign lately. These things seem so glaringly obvious to me.

Thanks for the Mary Beard link. That was appalling too! sad

Twirlyhot Tue 30-Jul-13 01:22:42

There should be a 'hide' option for Toby Young. Not on Twitter, in life.

BitBewildered Tue 30-Jul-13 01:28:46

grin Twirly

Stella Creasy MP has been receiving rape threats on Twitter aswell. What on earth is going through their minds?!

Twirlyhot Tue 30-Jul-13 01:43:55

They really don't seem to think there will be any consequences. They seem to think it's normal to talk about girls and women like this online.

The latest one abusing Mary Beard is a prime example. Not some 15 year old or someone hiding behind a false name/encryption but a 20 year old, privately educated uni student using their normal account who apologises as soon as someone threatens to tell his mother.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Jul-13 01:50:39

Twirly grin grin

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Jul-13 01:53:30

YY Twirly It shows how normalised its become in their minds.

Darkesteyes Tue 30-Jul-13 01:54:30

The 2 grin faces were cos of the Toby Young comment btw.

MrButtercat Tue 30-Jul-13 08:14:33

A bit hmm that even it was an older Mary Beard being abused online nobody gave a shit.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 08:45:30

Loads of radfems and lesbians have been getting this kind of stuff in these quantities for years and I think some of them are a bit hmm at how it apparently didn't matter when it was them.

I'm sure there are loads of reasons why the press has grabbed hold of this one and I'm sure in PART it is because C C-P has long blonde hair and looks the part of damsel in distress and her campaign sounds so mild and inoffensive rather than her being one of those nasty fems who go on about male violence. (Have you noticed it keeps getting misreported as a campaign to get Jane Austen on a banknote rather than to get women on banknotes? Jane Austen being so palatable and uncontroversial.)

But at least it's finally happening. It is just so good to see such very public statements that rape threats are Not OK.

MrButtercat Tue 30-Jul-13 09:05:39

Exactly Tunip.

Takingbackmonday Tue 30-Jul-13 10:10:25

Freedom of speech is just too important to start meddling; there is currently an 18 year old in Texas facing 8 years in prison for a throw away comment. Yes the abuse is beyond the pale but an abuse button will inevitably be overused and lead to wasted police hours and increased monitoring of our social interactions.

Twitter is a private company; it has no duty of care and we are not forced to use it. Grow a thicker skin or simply get off Twitter.

And Laurie Penny is a loon.

slug Tue 30-Jul-13 10:17:01

There is a vast difference between Freedom Of Speech (which, unlike in the USA we don't have enshrined in law) and hate speech.

Threats to kill are illegal in the UK. Putting them in cyberspace does not make them legal. Nor does it make them OK.

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 10:21:28

I resent the idea that women should just put up and shut up with this behaviour. If young men see grown men getting away with this from the comfort of their own home it will perpetuate the problem. Internet means our youth can have input from non-family members all evening if they so wish, allowing these men to 'inform' them and allowing it whilst at the same time telling women to 'rise above it' isn't solving anything.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 10:46:47

As long as women who argue for equality get threatened with rape and society thinks that is acceptable, there is no free speech for women.

FasterStronger Tue 30-Jul-13 10:46:53

our legal system acknowledges that publicly expressing hatred towards people risks their safety and that of others.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:17:16

Threats YES of course they should be taken very seriously.

Im very worried about the fact people are being arrested in their homes for "offensive" language..

WTF happened to freedom of speech?? So now its illegal to offend people?

slug Tue 30-Jul-13 11:19:54

<<sigh>> It's illegal to threaten people with death and violence.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:21:54

Obviously <<sigh>> but I don't think its illegal to be offensive - yet.

GoodTouch I'm not aware of anyone being arrested for just being offensive. As far as I'm aware the arrests have been for those who've made threats.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:24:16

GoodTouchBadTouch - I don't know what the man who was arrested said but I can guarantee it will have been something a lot worse than 'fuck off you bitch' and the kind of stuff we would normally consider merely offensive.

Have you seen everything that Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasy have retweeted? This isn't about people being offended.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:24:39

Ill try and find it.. I cant remember the details now, but I know it happened a while back

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:25:33

I'm talking about the man arrested the other day. What happened in Texas has nothing to do with this.

Lottapianos Tue 30-Jul-13 11:31:06

"If someone can get arrested for tweeting about blowing up an airport, then surely this deserves real action?"

Excellent point.

Greatarticle by Stella Creasy in yesterday's Guardian:

'Twitter tell me we should simply block those who "offend us", as though a rape threat is matter of bad manners, not criminal behaviour.'

'This behaviour is nothing to do with technology and everything to do with inequality'

'It is not for us to learn to cope with this abuse, but for those involved to change their behaviour'

If this was race or religion-based abuse, instead of misogynistic abuse, absolutely no-one would be suggesting that the targeted people just 'ignore it' or 'don't let it get to you' or 'suck it up' or any other charming suggestions for allowing bullies to get away with using scary and threatening language. It is truly terrifying how quickly some people make the leap from 'don't agree with you' to 'I'm going to xxxx you'. It used to be that women would get called old or ugly or a slag or whatever for speaking out, now it's actual direct threats of violence. Sickening.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:31:18

Well, I found something about a teenager being arrested for sending "nasty" tweets to Tom Daley, only yesterday.

No rape or violence involved there. Just nasty.

WAY OTT if you ask me. Save it for the dangerous people

I'm pretty certain there were threats against Tom Daly, hang on.. oh yes, "i'm going to find you and i'm going to drown you in the pool"

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:33:58

Do you know what the 'nasty' tweets to Tom Daly said, or whether the sender did this repeatedly? Harassment is an offense.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:34:24

Oh right, missed that. I only saw "you let your dad down"

Didn't realise this was in Feminism!

goodtouch Yeah, I only saw that originally and didn't get the fuss. I thought it was an overreaction, but then I saw that. I think it's justified.

The fuss that is. Not the tweet. confused

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:38:13

It often happens that people reporting these stories use euphemisms to describe what was said so everyone assumes the victim is making a fuss about nothing. Much of the really awful stuff can't be repeated in radio and tv interviews because it's too obscene to broadcast. That's what happened when Mary Beard got abused before. When people find out what was actually said, they get it.

GoodTouchBadTouch Tue 30-Jul-13 11:41:58

It absolutely is justified Goths. Weird that the illegal part wasn't the headline..

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 11:44:00

It is weird, GoodTouch. I don't quite understand why it is.
At the moment one problem is they keep using the word 'trolls' so people think campaigners want everything that falls under the umbrella of trolling (which can include quite good-humoured wind-ups) to be banned. They really don't.

I know, you'd think they'd refer to the bit that he'd actually got arrested for wouldn't you?

maggiecockbain Tue 30-Jul-13 13:35:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

maggiecockbain Tue 30-Jul-13 13:38:57

Bullying of any pupil including Tom Daley can be vicious and needs dealing with firmly. It can ruin the victims life by causing them to drop out of school and never get on the education ladder again.

Absy Tue 30-Jul-13 13:53:03

These tweets could be consider assault (which is the "apprehension of immediate violence"), which is a criminal offence, and an offence which has been used extensively in the prosecution of stalker cases e.g. R v Costanza where someone is not in physical proximity to the victim.

If it's a criminal offense, why shouldn't it be taken seriously?

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 14:02:27

I'm sure youth and looks are one factor in this getting such widespread coverage now but it's also silly season - Parliament has broken up, so there's more room for other news.

Whatever, I'm glad it is hitting the headlines and forcing the police, twitter and MPs to take it seriously - unlike the attitude to date, which has been 'shut up women and stop moaning'.

Double standards - the threats against Tom Daley were (rightly) taken seriously, but not against women. And her fellow MPs have done sod-all to help Stella Creasey (bet there are other women MPs who are targets as well e.g. Harriet Harman is likely to be a target as she infuriates men's 'rights' activists).

Absy Tue 30-Jul-13 14:09:30

I suppose what is so disturbing about it (apart from people thinking it's "okay" to threaten someone with sexual violence) is that it seems to be a coordinated attack on women having a presence in a public sphere, as if women shouldn't have a voice.

I mean, come on she was campaigning to have someone's face on the £10 note. It's not like she was campaigning to have all men castrated, or at least all complete wankers castrated (a motion I would be all for). The reaction is so insane and so out of proportion.

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 14:18:04

Oh yes, I think it's all about shutting women up and denying them a place in the public sphere. That's why Mary Beard gets such abuse - because she's an older woman with grey hair who dares to appear on TV.

LadyBigtoes Tue 30-Jul-13 14:19:20

You're so right Absy but luckily I think that really works against them. It is terrifying that they see fit to attack and threaten a woman for such a mundanely normal and everyday feminist campaign - but at the same time it shows them up for the jelly-brained weaklings they are. In a weird way twitter is doing women in general a favour (though individual women are being targeted which is horrible...) - by showing us what a lot of men really think and how appalling it is and how something has to be done to change it. Twitter is like a view inside the minds of idiots who don't realise just how revealing they are being.

LadyBigtoes Tue 30-Jul-13 14:22:03

Totally agree edam. Mary Beard gets it because when applying for her telly pass she forgot to be 25, blonde buxom and simpering, and instead comes over as authoritative, clever and wise without a hint of putting out. Some men just can't take it. She is a bloody fantastic role model for women.

Absy Tue 30-Jul-13 14:31:13

I also think this "women know your place" thing is a general cultural trend. For e.g., I was watching Sky news yesterday and they were reporting on the "modesty" covers for lads mags. They had two seconds of someone from Feminista giving their viewpoint, and then an interview with a former editor of Loaded, and about 30 seconds of four blokes in a pub hmm (definitely a panel of experts) giving their views. The sense I got was "oh shame, poor women being offended by some harmless pictures", completely ignoring what an issue it is.

DH is relatively evolved, but he just doesn't get (nor does a number of male friends) how much crap women have to put up with in the public sphere. There was an ad (I think for Aussie Bum) which showed a half naked man, and he went "that's so degrading - it makes me feel inadequate" not realising that 75% of adverts feature a gorgeous (impossibly beautiful, as it's photoshopped) woman in various stages of undress, not really thinking how that would make women/girls feel.

Also, I was watching the "reverse" music video of the song Blurred Lines (where the writhing naked people were men) and the women were dressed and singing, and my gut reaction was "that's so degrading!", whereas when I watched the original it wasn't as shocking. It's so normal to see naked/near naked women being petted, writhing around, it doesn't even register as shocking, only after a moment's pause. That depresses the hell out of me.

grimbletart Tue 30-Jul-13 14:32:49

Having seen the calm, logical, rational, measured and thoughtful way Ms Criado-Perez dealt with the issue on Newsnight last night I would love to see a couple of these keyboard "warriors" in a debate with her on telly, trying to justify themselves. She would chew them up and spit them out without so much as raising an eyebrow, let alone her voice. I'd pay good money to see it.grin

Just a little fantasy.

delegate308 Tue 30-Jul-13 15:11:26

On another note why does the BBC 'technology correspondent' have FA better to do than comment on the drivel that low-IQ idiots post on twitter. Twitter qualifies as technology to about the same level as a rolling pin.

this goes further than twitter though doesnt it? It invades just about every part of society, from the 'low grade idiots' right up to those who feel its appropriate to make comments about the state of the stomach that bore the royal baby.

And if they came up to you in the street and spouted it at you, you wouldnt be worried about their IQ. Just because people can hide behind their computer screen shouldnt mean that its OK and we should just ignore it. Its still offensive. Its still abusive. And its still bloody frightening for a woman to recieve just because she expressed a view on a public space.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 16:48:28

These cowardly, pathetic teenage boys should be nicknamed BBAKs - brave behind a keyboard. Bet they would just mumble spottily if they ever had to talk to an actual woman of their mum's age. A "Report Tweet" button is a must, in all areas.

Nb I saw a bit of the arse-end underbelly of Twitter when tweeting on SN issues - vile, vile cowardly creatures who sit alone cackling away in their grubby bedrooms.

Love that Mary Beard's followers fought back when she named and shamed. The removal of their cloak of anonymity would be an excellent solution - bet if Twitter threatened that, the jibes would dry up pronto!

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 16:53:42

Btw it is surely only a matter of time before the spotty youths come on here.

What about MN pioneers a "100 reports and you are outed" button?

Ie if 100 or more posters feel strongly enough that your post is vile, your email address is posted?


Freedom of speech surely only works if there is also accountability? Anonymous internet posting is creating a lot of problems.

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 16:54:48

I think it isn't just spotty youths, sadly.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 16:55:51

Mostly men though I would think?

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Tue 30-Jul-13 17:01:35

I know this isn't the answer but you can block misogynists on twitter if you want blockbot Shouldn't be needed though angry

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 17:03:42

Not keen on the the Blockbot, as it also blocks feminists with whom the admins do not agree.

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 17:07:10

Good tip thanks. But threats of violence can't be allowed to stand just cos someone is hiding behind a pseudonym. The law is the law, we need all internet companies to put in their T and C "your name will be revealed if you break the law by threatening violence or spewing misogynistic, homophobic, racist or disabilist bile"

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 17:15:51

Oh yes, mostly men. Just think downplaying it by giving it an adolescent slant sounds somehow forgiving.
I think they should consider age restrictions on these sites though, the way they are going. If you are 18 then you have to act like an adult and be accountable for your threats by law. No one under 12 should be subjected to anonymous bile even if it is 2nd hand and directed at someone else.

DuelingFanjo Tue 30-Jul-13 17:19:35

I tweeted about it - replying to something that one person had said and in return i got several tweets back basically calling me a liar when I said being white and male was a really privileged position to be in. I had to block people! Scared me a bit actually as I don't use twitter much and now I am worried.

I am not sure I agree with the panic button idea though, not after seeing how facebook deals with Misogyny (or rather fails to) and Breastfeeding sad

sickofsocalledexperts Tue 30-Jul-13 17:21:57

My favourite Twitter story is where a teenage boy was (anonymously) abusing a top sportsman and ex boxer. Through friends of friends of friends, the boxer discovered troll's address, tweeted it, and also tweeted that he was on his way round to pay a visit. At which point the abusive tweets turned into abject apologies!

Like vampires, shining the light of publicity on them, and naming them publicly, dries up the threats.

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 17:23:56

That is the problem though - they can't see it from their ivory towers. However there is a movement to talk to boys more from a young age here www.upworthy.com/the-problem-facing-young-men-that-needs-to-become-a-household-conversation?c=mrp1 which I think is important to get behind. It's the perpetuation of the current ideals that is the problem. Most men who have seen the link above seem to agree with it although I suspect that they would then still deny having privileges

LadyBigtoes Tue 30-Jul-13 17:32:40

I love the fact that in the Mary Beard case the troll was forced to apologise by a threat to tell his mother grin Whoever thought of that is a genius - using his respect for the powerful female figure in his life to scare the bejesus out of the 20-year-old in question.

betterthanever Tue 30-Jul-13 17:35:18

The guy who was posting those tweets sick ended up going on national TV to apologise, it was good to watch. He wasn't a teenager either must have been late twenties at least.

Lioninthesun Tue 30-Jul-13 17:37:03

Oooh is there a link to that better?

KinkyDorito Tue 30-Jul-13 18:37:07

Boxer went to the end of troll's street and tweeted a picture of the sign. That's when he got nervous! He offered £1k for the troll's details and got them almost immediately!

It's on this programme:


KinkyDorito Tue 30-Jul-13 18:37:48

Lots of exclamation marks. I was a little too excited there.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Tue 30-Jul-13 21:24:29

Tunip the Blockbot admin says he blocks anti-trans and sex worker radical feminists if they are being offensive. He's on Newsnight later BTW. (He's my brother so I have inside info wink)

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 21:28:13

I don't think much of his judgement as to what constitutes 'offensive' smile

TunipTheVegedude Tue 30-Jul-13 21:30:10

also - a small but important point - radfems are anti sex-work, not anti sex worker. Maybe your brother ought to find out a bit more about the radfem position on prostitution, if he doesn't get the difference.

SelfRighteousPrissyPants Tue 30-Jul-13 21:44:00

I think he's aware of that.

I don't know much about who he blocks for what but he runs it so I guess it's up to him to decide who he thinks is offensive. I told him what you said upthread and he said 'fair enough'.

BitBewildered Tue 30-Jul-13 21:48:20

I agree LadyBigtoes that this is shining a spotlight on what some men think of women (particularly vocal, forward women who have opinions). I am glad this issue is receiving media attention, and perhaps some good will come of it, but I hate that some of the media seem to be minimising the misogyny demonstrated.

Freedom of speech is something we need to protect. Surely it is right for there to be consequences for people who make direct threats against another party though, even if the threat is made online?

betterthanever Tue 30-Jul-13 21:49:19

here it is hahahahaha www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_7sXVoC458

BasilBabyEater Tue 30-Jul-13 22:32:48

"Grow a thicker skin or simply get off Twitter."

Translation: Women, STFU about male violent threats. If you're not prepared to put up with men threatening to rape you, you shouldn't be on the internet. Get out of public space, when we talk about freedom of speech, we don't mean your's.

kim147 Tue 30-Jul-13 22:37:41

Newsnight at the moment.

LadyBigtoes Tue 30-Jul-13 22:41:58

Re that last link, kudos to them both actually. The boxer tracked the guy down and made him face up to what he was doing, the guy not only apologised but went on national TV to apologise to him face to face and seemed to genuinely feel like a twat and intended to never do it again. OK it wasn't a case of misogyny, just general abusiveness but it gives me hope that it will get though to the perpetrators that it's not on and what effects it has.

basil I'd say that translation is spot on.

edam Tue 30-Jul-13 22:45:08

Do you think all this publicity will encourage MN to get wiser about handling MRAs who turn up on the feminism boards spouting hate? In the past, sometimes they've deleted the person being attacked, and ignored the attacker. I get that it's hard, that the attacker has reported one post and the person at MN who is looking at it hasn't considered the whole thread and each post made by the attacker, but still...

betterthanever Tue 30-Jul-13 23:00:43

Agree lady shining the light on any abusive actions does change thingsm- for me it the basic rule of actions having consequences and I think it also does show that people can change. We can't give up hope. I think kudos to them both - I think not to give credit to both would be wrong and it is good you point that out.
edam I think all this publicty is good on so many levels. Caroline has lead the way with such a strong and firm stance. Not everyone has those skills, she knew she was representing those who can't do that and my god the impact has been felt, many I presume will still be running for cover. I hope that MN will get wiser too. It does demonstrate what can be done to improve things and that things can improve. It gives me and I hope others too strength.

scallopsrgreat Tue 30-Jul-13 23:02:37

Stella Creasey just rocked on Newsnight. Toby Young looked like the idiot he is. She wiped the floor with him.

betterthanever Tue 30-Jul-13 23:11:44

She was very good!

Goooooooooooooooooooooood Tue 30-Jul-13 23:34:17

She was brilliant. Not that it is hard to make Toby Young look like a prat - he manages that perfectly well all by himself but she was excellent.

(I can't forgive Toby Young for telling everyone how his school would have a fair admissions policy and that even his kids wouldn't be gaurenteed a place. He said ths a MILLION times.....and then he got things changed so his kids were guaranteed a place. It was a sharp and dishonest thing to do)

kim147 Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:56

Is it that Toby Young?

I thought so.

Twirlyhot Wed 31-Jul-13 00:27:54

'She wiped the floor with him.'

Someone should bleach that.

Twirlyhot Wed 31-Jul-13 00:28:29

Going to watch it on iplayer.

Darkesteyes Wed 31-Jul-13 01:07:20

Anyone remember the thread by Getting Big on the Relationship threads last year?
If we bring in rules that mean everyone has to use their real names and someone in a similar situation posts to get advice...oh wait they are not going to are they.
If ppl have to use their real names on Twitter it will stop a lot of people who have escaped abusive relationships from using the site. And the rules will go for other websites too.
The Blog of the Day is right....we need a cultural shift.

DuelingFanjo Wed 31-Jul-13 08:03:04

Has someone suggested that Darkest? Because that really would be nuts. Also wouldn't happen, in theory FB only allows you to use real names, and I know that doesn't happen!

Darkesteyes Wed 31-Jul-13 13:49:38

A few ppl on Twitter were bandying the idea about Some really need to #checktheirprivilege.

JuliaScurr Wed 31-Jul-13 14:24:20
HesterShaw Wed 31-Jul-13 17:38:26

Erm...apologies if this has been mentioned, but rather than Twitter itself being the issue and it needing it take action over abusive tweets, isn't the crux of the issue the reason for the abuse? Why on earth do some men get so worked up about women being high profile? Has it got worse recently? Or has it always been the case but social media is now giving it an outlet? What is the reason for the fear and hatred of half the world's population? It's so peculiar to me, I can't get my head round it at all.

HesterShaw Wed 31-Jul-13 17:39:44

Ah, sorry I see this has kind of been talked about. Just reading the link now....

SigmundFraude Wed 31-Jul-13 18:03:49

More recent twitter threats

I'm personally in favour of taking twitter down.

BitBewildered Wed 31-Jul-13 19:36:17

Bloody hell Sigmund! They're a bit cross aren't they?

SigmundFraude Wed 31-Jul-13 20:09:37

Crazy stuff! I know it would never happen, but I think if people had to lose their anonymity online, it would pretty much be the end of this culture of vile threats. Just think how different even forums like MN would be!

There would be a lot less people 'telling it like it is', let alone anything else.

edam Wed 31-Jul-13 20:14:20

Wow. Some One Direction fans are unhinged.

Darkesteyes Thu 01-Aug-13 00:11:39

And there would be a lot less ppl posting to get advice while in an abusive relationship Sigmund.
Imagine an abusive partner finds out their spouse has posted on an internet forum to get advice (thats if theyve been brave enough to post in their real name in the first place but hey if thats all there is) Abusers dont tend to like being ratted out and tend to lose their temper with an obvious outcome #checkyourprivilege

"but I think if people had to lose their anonymity online, it would pretty much be the end of this culture of vile threats"

Some of the people sending threats have been doing so under their real names.

Moistenedbint1 Thu 01-Aug-13 01:24:07

Yes it's just a handful of men but it's ALL women who remain afraid - afraid of speaking out, afraid of doing anything remotely feminist - because we don't know which ones are the "nutters", which ones are decent men or which ones don't really care.

Many women (myself included) don't regard themselves as professional victims actually.

Moistenedbint1 Thu 01-Aug-13 01:30:09

Why on earth do some men get so worked up about women being high profile?

Women don't have a monopoly on victimhood. Much in the same way that trollery isn't solely a male affliction. And for the record, men are also subjected to online abuse, threats etc. But of course, we're conditioned to think otherwise.

SinisterSal Thu 01-Aug-13 08:59:18


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.

Women don't have the monopoly on anything really. But this thread is about online threats of sexual violence. In the context of a society in which one in four women experience sexual violence, and it usually goes unpunished, it's a distinctive dynamic to explore. Differences/similarities/comparisons to RL interactions etc

Interesting name btw

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 01-Aug-13 09:00:23

It is certainly not just women who feel the brunt of the twitter fuckwittage - as mum to a special needs kid, I saw real bile and vicious "retard/mong" type insults unleashed recently by those charming wits, Ricky Gervais and Franke Boyle. These trolls will have a go at anyone for shock value, safe behind their cowardly pseudonyms

Wish Twitter would install a "100 reports and you are outed" button

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?

TunipTheVegedude Thu 01-Aug-13 09:09:15

Yup, it's people in less privileged groups.
The men who I have seen get it include disabled men, gay men, and Muslims.

I haven't seen anything like the same type of abuse directed at straight white non-disabled men though. Being laughed at for being a public schoolboy and bald is really not the same, though some of the more obtuse ones will claim it is.

'100 reports and you are outed' would just become a vehicle for bullying. It would be used against precisely the people we want to protect. The trolls, on the other hand, would change sockie account more regularly so they never made it to 100 reports.

SinisterSal Thu 01-Aug-13 09:10:37

That must be so horrible sickofsocalledexperts sad

How do you get into that mindset? Is it just a few eejits who think that, or is it actually quite a common way to think and there are a few eejits who say it?

It does say something about society, and it's worth analysing in whatever guise, and whoever is the target.

The flip side to the 100 reports would beit's handing a weapon to both 'sides' ifywim, people ganging up on 'good people' eg Feminists or disability rights campaigners or even One Direction fans. I'd imagine you would get loads of hateful stuff being left to stand because of 'free speech' and 'valid viewpoint' and all the rest. You'd still need a mod, or many mods, to analyse the interactions and see what really is going on with all the subjectivity that implies.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 01-Aug-13 09:20:24

Yes i suppose my button would get misused.

I just think it is the veil of anonymity which is allowing people to do this stuff, which doesn't seem to happen on Facebook so much (real names)

And Mumsnet can manage its trolls - so why not Twitter (though vast, I realise)?

Thanks for comments Sinistersal - interestingly, those who used real names in the "mong" type debates (eg Ricky Gervais and Frankie Boyle) have seen their careers go right downhill as there is still social opprobrium at work: there ARE still decent people around too

Wonder if there is a campaign idea here for Mumsnet?

I think if they were going to do the 100 reports then it should just flag up profiles to be dealt with as priority, rather than banned/suspended based on the reports alone.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 01-Aug-13 09:54:39

Yes good plan

After all, it surly wouldn't take much for a moderator to work out that "i am gonna rape you" is a ban-worthy post. Not exactly a grey area!

KRITIQ Thu 01-Aug-13 10:48:39

I think if there is a "hot link" to the page for filing a complaint about violation of terms of service, that would be a good thing. I don't think a button that "fast tracks" complaints or even one that "flags up" concerns would be a good thing, or workable.

It would increase "traffic" to twitter management, who seem not to have the capacity to deal with concerns already being raised. In the days before Twitter and Facebook, I was active in a small friendship/discussion board that introduced an "inappropriate" button, thinking this would help with moderation of "problem posts." The idea was that if a post got a certain threshold of "inappropriate" clicks, it would be temporarily deleted and the member could be temporarily suspended until the moderators could look into the situation. You can imagine what happened next and no, it didn't work. It created more work in the end for moderators and alot of ill feeling and accusations amongst the membership about who did what to whom. That was on a site with fewer than 1000 members.

Tunip I think it was mentioned that some radical feminists did not support the idea of a report button as they feared it could be used by those who disagree with them in an effort to push them off Twitter. It could be used by Twitter members who are popular or in the public eye to encourage their followers to "push the button" on contributions they don't like (whether or not they break terms of service.) In any case, even if the button is just to "flag" posts that could be dodgy, it will still be those who are already most privileged, most supported, most influential who will have enough supporters to generate enough interest in investigating a tweet or member. It will make little difference for the "small fry" of Twitter.

For those saying, "All manner of folks get abuse on Twitter," that is true, but in this case, we are specifically talking about people who are abused because of who they are and the nature of that abuse relates specifically to who they are - i.e. raping a woman, having a disabled person put down, Black people should be assumed to be criminals until proven otherwise, etc. It's not just having a go at someone for what they say. It's having a go because of who they are, and the threats are "backed up" by the views of many within society - not just some random rantings.

HesterShaw Thu 01-Aug-13 11:05:37

Women don't have a monopoly on victimhood. Much in the same way that trollery isn't solely a male affliction. And for the record, men are also subjected to online abuse, threats etc. But of course, we're conditioned to think otherwise.

You are missing the point in spectacular fashion. Why should anyone put up with it? Why are certain people - yes, mainly they appear to be men - so afraid and threatened by other sections of society, so much so that they want to kill and rape them, and say so in graphic detail?

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 11:28:01

Why on earth do some men get so worked up about women being high profile?

yes. why is campaigning for a woman to be on a banknote, something you would want attack?

there are many changes people would like to see in the world, that I personally don't agree with, but (1) I don't care they are campaigning for what they think should change (2) this campaign does not require anyone to change their own life in any significant way.

liam1 Thu 01-Aug-13 13:13:08

Tuesday july 30th 2013 in Scottish Law Reporter. Inquiry called off as crown office refuse to prosecute son of top Scottish judge, who made rape threats to women on twitter. Robyn Walker was the target of a series of lurid and threatening messages when her boyfriend signed for a rival football team. Scotlands top judge Frank Mulholland refused to prosecute. One of the tweets quote hope you get raped and murdered in Glasgow. Question if the establishment male dominated cover this type of thing up what hope is there

JaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 01-Aug-13 16:43:45

We thought you would be interested to see Stella Creasy MP and Toby Young head to head on this Newsnight this week

Darkesteyes Thu 01-Aug-13 17:19:55

Not only did Toby come out with "what about the menz" he totally gaslighted Stella by saying that she said that abuse against men was ok.
She said nothing of the kind.
She totally got the better of him here.
When ppl gaslight i always wonder how they treat others offline.

edam Thu 01-Aug-13 17:37:25

Toby Young is an area, who spectacularly missed the point. Stella wiped the floor with him.

So (illegal) harrassment shouldn't be banned??
He does talk out of his arse doesn't he? What's with the lying about what she's said??
And then he's comparing stopping rape threats to censorship China style?? Wtaf?

HoikyPoiky Thu 01-Aug-13 17:40:37

Stella came across as articulate and clever. Toby came across as a bumbling fool as usual

Loved it. grin

TunipTheVegedude Thu 01-Aug-13 17:58:04

'Toby, no-one's going to stop you making remarks about MPs' tits. I kind of hoped you were going to stop doing that on your own' grin

YoniTime Thu 01-Aug-13 18:04:48

As I watched I wondered if he said those stupid things because he was scared of getting banned from Twitter for harassing women.

BitBewildered Thu 01-Aug-13 20:37:55

Poor old Toby. He made himself look rather foolish, didn't he?

I was shocked at the abuse Mary Beard got a few months ago, which was horribly sexist. It's all part of the same problem isn't it? How do we fix society? How do we show these arseholes that we are all equal?

kim147 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:55:08

I wonder why the recent stuff has had a lot more publicity than Mary Beard? It's been going on for ages - but now it finally seems to be being taken seriously.

BasilBabyEater Thu 01-Aug-13 20:55:13

me too Yoni.

He came over as being worried that he may be deprived of the freedom to harass.

The nob.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 01-Aug-13 21:06:12

I am a little bit cynical and I do think the fact that it is happening to a nice young woman with long blonde hair who has been campaigning for something so anodyne as Jane Austen on a banknote (well, actually women on banknotes but they've all been reporting it as a campaign for Jane Austen) brought out protective instincts in the men who run the media. They could probably imagine their daughters in Caroline's position. Whereas rape and death threats to cropped-haired middle-aged dykes never seemed to bother anyone much.

I think it probably helps that C C-P was in the news last week for the banknote victory because it enabled them to put a face to it, so they'll have gone 'What? Her? shock'

And as Edam (I think) said, silly season when the newspapers are short of stuff to report.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 01-Aug-13 21:11:42

also - to give Caroline Criado-Perez a bit of the credit she deserves - the fact she is so articulate and media-competent will have made it a lot easier to report.

Also, there are the very many active feminists on Twitter and elsewhere online who put a LOT of effort into publicising what was happening - the person who screencapped the tweets into a blog which John Prescott forwarded to the BBC, for instance.

Maybe also the fact that Caroline Criado-Perez has an existing set of people who supported her banknotes campaign and The Women's Room in general will have been a big factor. Easier to mobilise an existing group of supporters than to create a new one from scratch.

I guess everything just came together.

TunipTheVegedude Thu 01-Aug-13 21:14:20

and last thing (because I'm banging on) Caroline Criado-Perez' tenacity over the whole thing. It would have been so easy for her to say 'OK I've done enough now' but she has kept going. She's an amazing woman.

LaGuardia Thu 01-Aug-13 21:25:48

Isn't it possible to turn the twitter thing off? Or is one forced to read everything, like some kind of torture?

SinisterSal Thu 01-Aug-13 22:25:12

Yes of course LaGuardia - didn't you know?

scallopsrgreat Thu 01-Aug-13 22:30:52

'Toby, no-one's going to stop you making remarks about MPs' tits. I kind of hoped you were going to stop doing that on your own' My favourite bit grin

I think your last reason has a lot to do with it Tunip. The energy Caroline has helped generate over this has been incredible. She absolutely has not given up.

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


"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.


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.

scallopsrgreat Sun 04-Aug-13 12:17:22

Cat calls and rape threats are most definitely on the same continuum. They are mainly done by men on women. They require a sense of entitlement. They are designed at the very least to refocus the woman's attention away from what she is doing and on to the man. More often they are designed to intimidate (yes even cat calls especially when unwanted). They are designed to reclaim public spaces as male domains. They objectify women and make it known to women that their bodies are the properties of men for their pleasure or usage.

The only difference is the severity. So yes they are most definitely on the same continuum. The continuum that makes up a rape culture.

Moistenedbint1 Sun 04-Aug-13 12:34:52

I disagree - cat calling is rooted in machismo and/or the need to reinforce a sense of camaraderie amongst fellow men (notice how its almost always done in groups and seldomly alone?). Could also be regarded as herd mentality a bit/one sheep seeking the assurance of the flock.

scallopsrgreat Sun 04-Aug-13 12:52:26

And you don't think the root for rape threats is similar? And what is machismo if it isn't a sense of entitlement to assert male domination?

Moistenedbint1 Sun 04-Aug-13 13:23:12

I think machismo has much more to do with being the dominant male amongst (fellow male) peers.

scallopsrgreat Sun 04-Aug-13 13:57:29

So in that case why is it necessary to threaten women (and other oppressed groups) if it's all about the men?

BitBewildered Sun 04-Aug-13 14:14:31

cat calling is rooted in machismo and/or the need to reinforce a sense of camaraderie amongst fellow men (notice how its almost always done in groups and seldomly alone?). Could also be regarded as herd mentality a bit/one sheep seeking the assurance of the flock. that's possible MoistenedBint1, but I don't want to be used as a tool in that reinforcement of camaraderie, thanks. Nor do I agree that it has nothing to do with reinforcing men as the dominant gender in this already male-dominated society. Cat-calls are demeaning and objectifying the target.

I disagree with your very narrow definition of 'machismo'. You sound very male-centric.

chibi Sun 04-Aug-13 14:21:09

redefine women in law as airports

anyone making a threat will be chucked in gitmo or subject to rendition

kablam- solved

scallopsrgreat Sun 04-Aug-13 14:46:58

As you say BitBewildered it doesn't matter whether this is some fucked up male camaraderie nonsense, the fact is it still involves misogyny, objectification of women and it is still posturing of male dominance over those deemed less than equal. In both cases.

I do take your point about how they tend to do it in groups but I think it is for different reasons (or for additional reasons) to you Moistenedbint1. It has more to do with safety in numbers and being more intimidating as a group with less chance of recourse from the victim. It is not a coincidence that these men are often in vans/cars driving past or halfway up a building or a safe distance away where the victim can't easily reach them. The keyboard abusers already have that mentality. They believe they are unreachable and there will be no recourse. It is also not uncommon for them to rally their friends and/or followers (on Twitter) should the victim start shouting back.

I am still not seeing much difference between cat calling and rape threats.

Moistenedbint1 Sun 04-Aug-13 14:59:23

so in that case why is it necessary to threaten women (and other oppressed groups) if it's all about the men?

Cat calling is driven by machismo. Threats, be it violent/sexual are a separate entity. Men, women and even children are accountable for the latter. (Often motivated by a need to intimidate, break the will of another, control the outcome of a situation or merely source some attention for themselves.. Devil makes work for idle hands etc)

Yeah and you sound very gynocentric Bewildered. Hey, glad we got that established.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Sun 04-Aug-13 15:01:52

Mb, you don't see a continuum between, say, "look at the tits on that!" and "I'd like to get you in the back of my van, little lady" and "stop talking about banknotes or I'll rape you"?

Is the second one a cat call or a rape threat?

BitBewildered Sun 04-Aug-13 16:42:07

Cat calls are misogynist when used by men towards women. Rape threats, particularly when used as an intimidatory or silencing technique as in those being discussed on this thread are misogynist.

Darkesteyes Sun 04-Aug-13 17:01:50

This is what i received on Twitter today.

""Sorry but lads mags reflect male desire they dont create it. Certain female body traits universally desired. See David Buss."

I replied that it is no excuse for abuse in the street. Abuse directed at women who dont meet that realm of desirability. And if that were true men would all be chasing the same woman.

His reply "no it doesnt It means men chase all women who to some extent meet those criteria. Doesnt justify abuse but its true"

And then tweeted me again with no other prompt from me.

"evolutionary psychology might be inconvienient to your world view but that doesnt mean it isnt entirely valid We are mammals.

This is just one example of the mansplaining ive been getting. Its nowhere near as bad as what others have experienced.
Typing it here ive realised how bloody condescending it is.

TunipTheVegedude Sun 04-Aug-13 17:47:37

LOLOL @ ev psych being 'entirely valid'!

AnyFucker Sun 04-Aug-13 17:49:45

if cat calling was purely "machismo" and male place-marking the blokes would be doing it to each other

Darkesteyes Sun 04-Aug-13 17:52:51

YY Any Fucker EXACTLY.

JuliaScurr Sun 04-Aug-13 19:17:02

'we are mammals'
except for the ones that are reptiles

AnyFucker Sun 04-Aug-13 19:21:42

and the onesand the ones that are pondlife smile

(no offence to actual pondlife intended)

AnyFucker Sun 04-Aug-13 19:22:08

oops, typed soemthign twice...you get the gist

scallopsrgreat Sun 04-Aug-13 20:54:41

Yep that was the point I was trying to make AF. Where are all the random blokes being hollered at in the street by other men?

AnyFucker Sun 04-Aug-13 20:56:38

They don't exist <shrug >

BitBewildered Sun 04-Aug-13 21:51:46

These threats are still happening. I understand that it's just words on a screen, but this is, as MNHQ would say, beyond the pale.

People send stuff like that because they know it will upset the recipient. Why does a woman having an opinion frighten some men so much? Why do they feel that it is justifiable to abuse another person so viciously? I know they're inadequate little bigots. However, I do believe that it has a lot to do with the general objectification of women in the media, and in society as a whole (get yer tits out). So many people seem to be blind to the misogyny displayed everyday in every walk of life.

Moistenedbint1 Mon 05-Aug-13 01:02:58

If cat calling was purely "machismo" and male place-marking the blokes would be doing it to each other

Admiring the ripped pecks on your mate Bob isn't going to garner you any brownie points down the pub though, is it? Many men (esp insecure ones) seem to have this inate need to communicate how "hetero" they are and that often manifests itself in catcalling.

Moistenedbint1 Mon 05-Aug-13 01:07:11

And this is precisely why they usually have an audience during a "cor look at the rack on that" episode. It's totally transparent behaviour.

BitBewildered Mon 05-Aug-13 02:08:14

Yes, I do understand that. I still wish they'd fuck off though, when it happens to me. I don't see why I must put up with having humiliating and degrading comments yelled at me from a passing white van. Just because some neandertal bloke has a vague insight into his own inadequacy? How is that fair or right. Anyway, that's another thread. Rape threats on twitter are connected to the same misogynist sense of entitlement.

Tortington Mon 05-Aug-13 02:14:35

i don't think its insecurity at all, i think that gives them a cop out tbh

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 05-Aug-13 09:12:02


Was the second phrase in my list a rape threat or a catcall, in your opinion?

Moistenedbint1 Mon 05-Aug-13 10:45:50

Sounds more like wishful thinking Doctrine.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Mon 05-Aug-13 10:53:08

Wishful thinking on the part of the shouter, MB?

BitBewildered Mon 05-Aug-13 11:47:32

So, these threats are still continuing. And men like our very own MoistenedBint1 are still trotting out the pro-rapey-bastard guff (as amply demonstrated here).

It is a sad state of affairs.

Moistenedbint1 Mon 05-Aug-13 12:00:06

Men like our very own Moistened...

You really are clueless... About to start rolling out the trite, hackneyed, oh so predicable pejorative crap are we.. Ooh it's an "mra", "rape apologist", "hand-maiden colluding with the patriarchy" .. "Completely unaware of her own subjugation" blah blah fucking blah.

Heard it all before. Countless times.

Oh and I'd like an example of that "pro-Rapey" stance please.

Pro-Rapey.. Christ what age are you? Are your parents even aware you're using the computer unsupervised?

AnyFucker Mon 05-Aug-13 12:19:06

Only just watched the Newsnight clip. Stella Creasey, MP was very good wasn't she smile

BitBewildered Mon 05-Aug-13 12:51:41

Yes, AF, I thought she was good. Very patient with Toby Young, too.

AnyFucker Mon 05-Aug-13 12:53:30

Is it just my PC that automatically defaults to that post with the clip in it, even if I click on another ? Just out of interest.

BitBewildered Mon 05-Aug-13 12:56:48

No, it happens on my phone and laptop. I have reported it, to see if they'll put a link on instead, but nothing so far.

AnyFucker Mon 05-Aug-13 12:58:37

Thought it was just me smile

DuelingFanjo Mon 05-Aug-13 14:08:33

I agree that Cat calls are on the same continuum. My point was that there are people out there who believe that women should just shut up and accept that they are either being complimented or that the threats are not serious and if they can't just shut up and accept that then they should stop going out/dressing a certain way/using social media and so on.

People shouting uninvited stuff at me in the streets is something I find threatening. People touching me up on public transport is something I feel like I want to confront as it is happening but in reality I know that I would actually feel frightened if I attempted to draw attention to acts like this. Frightened because if I grabbed their hand and held it in the air and shouted 'who does this hand belong to? I just found it on my arse. Would any filthy disgusting pervert like to claim it" then I couldn't be sure of their reactions and I couldn't be sure of the actions of those around me.

These kinds of things start happening to women from a very early age, while still in school. Most women I know (if not all) could give examples of this kind of attention being paid to them from an early age. Some of those women may shrug it off but that is most probably because, like stated earlier, they have been socialized into a fear of making a fuss and just accepting that it's better not to make a fuss.

The Twitter rape threats are the same as these cat calls and street groping. They make women feel scared and invaded. Why is it OK to invade my space with unwanted negative attention and comments like this?

BitBewildered Mon 05-Aug-13 14:46:25

MB1 I said you, like some of the charmers on twitter, are spouting pro-rapey-bastard guff. You are using the same (lame) arguments about how men get abuse too, and how clearly misogynist behaviour has nothing to do with the clearly misogynist society we live in. You seem to me to be quite keen on defending the pro-rapey-bastards. Perhaps if many other people have said this to you, we have a point?

This is a thread about rape threats and why such things exist. Do you have ANYTHING AT ALL to say on that subject? You have said nothing pertinent to that discussion so far.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 08:35:01

So, give me an example of this "pro-Rapey bastard guff"?

You appear to be laboring here Bewildered.

Actually, you know what? If you can't provide evidence to support your histrionic insults don't make them. It's counterproductive and generally only regurgitated by people who have no other valid contributions to make.

If you want to spew forth caustic bile, i believe the cesspit, that is the youtube comments section would be a wonderful outlet for you.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 08:53:13

Btw, highlighting discrimination against men is not synonymous with pro-rape mentality and to be frank, I'm deeply troubled that I need to even explain this to you.

Most intelligent feminists these days don't indiscriminately espouse the trite, hackneyed insults. No, pejorative shite, tends to generally emanate from women who are novices to feminism.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 06-Aug-13 09:12:32

Would your DD not feel threatened by a man shouting "I'd like to get you in the back of my van" at her, MB?

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 09:29:44

"highlighting discrimination against men" Where? Where is there discrimination against men???

You still haven't explained why you think rape threats don't come from the same "machismo" root. Also your explanation of machismo is weak to say the least. Yes there is a hierarchy of men which they are trying to get to the top of but by cat-calling/threatening women they are immediately putting themselves (i.e. men) above women.

Why aren't men shouting at other men in the street, because they are men? Or threatening other men on twitter, because they are men. That is what is happening here to women. It is purely because they are women they get cat-called and rape threats. That just doesn't happen to men.

Misogyny, male domination over women and a sense of entitlement. It all comes back to that (and that is what machismo is <sigh>).

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 10:03:08

Difficult to ascertain Doctrine. They're still young and I haven't delved into the topic of rape with them. But to summarize, I see no automatic continuum between cat calling and threats of a violent/sexual nature. Cat calling is often little more than crude, gratuitous sexual observations said to enhance the macho credentials of the individual in question. Threats of a sexual/violent nature often run contrary to this because they're motivated by the need to intimidate, manipulate, break the will of another or are simply espoused by inadequates desperate for attention (even negative attention)

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 10:21:16

Scallops why do you immediately equate cat calling with intimidation. I find that completely nonsensical.

why aren't men shouting at other men in the street....

If you've ever roamed the streets at night, tapped into current affairs, read a newspaper, it becomes acingly apparent that young males are the group most associated with violent street crime.. Gbh, murder etc. Ironically men usually constitute both victim and perpetrator. So your assertion that it doesn't "happen to men" is utter nonsense.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 10:22:25

Think gang culture..

BitBewildered Tue 06-Aug-13 10:32:13

Perhaps you should start your own thread. Your comments have fuck all to do with this one. I stand by my post above. And I've not insulted you. Perhaps learn to read.

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 11:02:33

"Scallops why do you immediately equate cat calling with intimidation" Because it is intimidating. However in my post of 09:29 which you were responding to I wasn't actually doing that. But hey ho.

They aren't shouting at men because they are men. Why are you making straw man arguments? We aren't talking about GBH, murder, violent street crime. This thread is about making rape threats to women because they are women.

Why don't you answer the questions asked MB?

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:29:50

They aren't shouting at men because they are men. Why are you making straw man arguments? We aren't talking about GBH, murder, violent street crime. This thread is about making rape threats to women because they are women.

I've highlighted (ooooh many times now) why sexual/violent threats are espoused. You've not elaborated at all, other than to counter that "it's "because they are women" or that its borne out of misogyny which is over simplistic in the extreme. And much street violence is preceded by verbal abuse borne out of machismo much like cat calling.

Rape threats (unlike cat calls) aren't rooted in machismo because of the difference in motivation. As I said above - "Cat calling is often little more than crude, gratuitous sexual observations said to enhance the macho credentials of the individual in question. Threats of a sexual/violent nature often run contrary to this because they're motivated by the need to intimidate, manipulate, break the will of another or are simply espoused by inadequates desperate for attention (even negative attention)"

Perhaps misogyny does play a part occassionally but to argue its always the driving factor is both oversimplistic and decidedly erroneous.

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:37:27

Many, many men are driven by machismo but very very few would even contemplate directing sexual threats at a woman..

Moistenedbint1 Tue 06-Aug-13 11:44:42

In fact, men (and I use that term loosely) who make sexual threats are usually regarded with absolute disdain by their peers.. And rightly so.

scallopsrgreat Tue 06-Aug-13 11:59:20

"I've highlighted (ooooh many times now) why sexual/violent threats are espoused. You've not elaborated at all..." No you have given your opinion as to why they are espoused i.e. machismo. I have elaborated. See my post of Sun 04-Aug-13 12:17:22. I have also defined machismo.

The fact that you don't think cat calling is intimidating or based in intimidation speaks volumes. However, no-one has suggested that men who cat call will necessarily escalate to threaten women with rape. They are saying it is on a scale with cat calling towards the bottom (although of course it depends on the cat call!) and rape threats towards the top. They may do though. There is another thread currently in FWR where a woman was cat called and retorted back and was subject to abuse. Men who demonstrate this type of behaviour can and do escalate it if their m"machismo" is threatened by a woman.

This is what women experience. It is intimidating. And you are denying that which is gaslighting.

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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