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A CALL TO ACTION - misogynistic trolls targeting women. Ideas and opinions needed please for action group.

(103 Posts)
THERhubarb Wed 23-Jan-13 14:14:33

Ok so following on from the thread about Mary Beard. For those who don't know Mary Beard was the target of hateful trolls who made some very vile and personal comments and attacks of her based purely around her gender.

This is not new. The Guardian reported on this in 2011.

Nothing has changed.

I want things to change. I proposed a petition demanding change. A petition needs 100,000 signatures before it is then debated in the House of Commons.

We could also organise demonstrations. We could blog about this, shout about this and demand action.

My thoughts are that I would like to see misogynistic abuse taken as seriously as racism and for these hatefull trolls to be tracked down and charged as racist trolls have been and still are.

I would like internet providers to get tough on hateful websites and for all internet devices to be sold with parental controls unless otherwise asked for.

I am aware others will have their own opinions on this and I am aware that other campaigns might already exist which we would do well to join.

So I'm really just asked for ideas and opinions. I am happy to set up a petition if one doesn't already exist but need an outline of what it is we are asking for.

Really this is just a soundboard for ideas.

ShephardsDelight Wed 23-Jan-13 19:04:51

The thing is you can put someone straight without being rude,
I wasn't actually aiming my comment at you personally, but others are snipey and rude when there's no need to be.

LRDtheFeministDragon Wed 23-Jan-13 19:06:26

If you're trying to apologize for being rude, I accept. smile

No hard feelings. We all get upset sometimes.

Charlizee Wed 23-Jan-13 19:32:58

Yes it's bad but what do you actually want done? What law do you want to see being passed that we don't already have?

Trekkie Wed 23-Jan-13 21:15:33

I have done a quick google and this is what I come up with:

"Hate speech laws in the United Kingdom are found in several statutes. Expressions of hatred toward someone on account of that person's colour, race, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation is forbidden.[1][2][3] Any communication which is threatening, abusive or insulting, and is intended to harass, alarm, or distress someone is forbidden.[4] The penalties for hate speech include fines, imprisonment, or both.[5]"

Expressions of hatred on the basis of someone's sex are notably absent. However I got this from Wiki and so if anyone can find better links to the law that would be great!

As it stands if that ^ is correct then SEX is a notable absence from the list. I think that if there are petitions to get laws change then making expressions of hatred towards someone on the grounds of their sex illegal would be a decent aim, and surely not a long shot given the fact it is a peculiar omission from the laws in the first place.

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 23-Jan-13 21:25:30

Trekkie - great suggestion.

edithjones Wed 23-Jan-13 22:56:48

THERhubarb - I have been wanting to do something for a while regarding the access and prevelance of pornogrophy in our society. I have the report from Clare Perry's office (regarding the online pornoraphy opt in issues) which unfortunately fell flat at the end of last year as parliament decided it is up to individuals to opt out. How we get teenagers to do this is beyond me.

I am very concerned for my three boys and what they will be exposed to at such a young age. I was recently told by a friend (3 ds/1 dd) that the oldest DS (14) has told his father that his friends discuss 'bases' to get to with girls. Apparently there are 6 bases, getting to number 3 is full took me a long time to work it out, for some reason I think I would rather be in the dark than know what base 4, 5 and 6 is....

My concern is that our children are able to view things that promote and endorse this misonygnist culture. It is unhealthy in so many ways for both boys and girls to view porn at a young and impressionable age and yet it appears prevelant and is becoming normalised. The images in the media thrown around for children to see already plant the ideas of sexual behaviour. Music videos have to be the worst kind of blatant objectification of women, i really do not understand how these artists buy into selling themselves in a such a way (sorry, I do, adoration? money? fame?)

So what do we do? Well i will be talking to my boys frequently, openly and honestly (with a red face and mumbling words,no eye contact?) I have to be realistic that they will view things (that I probably don't understand) when they are teenagers. All I can do is guide them, teach them the importance of respect and how to build and maintin healthy and loving relationships.

Any other ideas? Unfortuantely I do not see the 'men' in charge doing anything to change this culture in our society. Is this because they are not motivated to - they are not offended? they benefit from it - emotionally, financially or otherwise? they do not see it the same way as we do?

I could go on, and on, and on...

Darkesteyes Wed 23-Jan-13 23:39:20

I saw Mary on QT last week. She is entitled to her opinion without having tom put up with any of this mysogynistic crap.
Ive had to fight this for a long time and im so tired. I grew up with a mother who taught me that looks and weight are more important than anything. I dont believe that though and never have.
I posted on a discussion thread last year and got badly trolled which i dont believe would have happened if i was a man
I DONT want to derail this thread so i will find it and link it in here so if anyone wants to take a look they can.
I think its time that more needs to be done and maybe when im feeling stronger i intend to start a blog (if i can work out how) about my situation and explore why society thinks women and their looks and sexuality should be owned and at the whim and bequest of men.
Whether its men trying to force women to do things they dont want to do sexually or forcing celibacy on women when they decide they dont want them anymore.

Greythorne Wed 23-Jan-13 23:54:36

Does anyone here wish we could hellban some recurrent posters on the Feminism threads?


Darkesteyes Wed 23-Jan-13 23:54:38

Here it is. I posted as newb on here and got a bit of a hard time from a poster called nuisverage. I dont really know whether its mysogyny or just bullying but at the time i felt that he wouldnt have spoken like that if i was a man talking about his wife.
The posts by the user snowcat are fab. Her support on there hasnt been forgotten.

Darkesteyes Wed 23-Jan-13 23:57:16

Sorry if i have derailed it Greythorne.

Greythorne Thu 24-Jan-13 00:04:37


My comment was not aimed at you smile

It just seems that whenever a feminism thread starts, a few people who do not support feminism pile in and make very derailing comments.

It is so time consuming, apart from anything else, to read their posts and then the thoughtful, well-reasoned responses which get, sadly, nowhere.

Can someone tell me whether the Chicken Shed threads are regularly invaded by vegans? Or the Style and Beauty threads invaded by No Logo style crusaders?

Maybe we can instigate our own hellbanning. When a disruptive poster invades feminism, can we just post HB and then ignore them?

Darkesteyes Thu 24-Jan-13 00:10:43

Sorry Greythorne. Bit tired and not thinking straight. smile You make some good points.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 10:34:38

This thread will not be derailed. If a poster starts making general comments about how hissy women are all and about how feminists are all nasty then we have a choice. We can either respond and allow that derailment to happen or we can ignore.

I think Trekkie's point is a very good one and it's a great place to start. I could certainly start an online petition calling for the current Hate Speech laws to include gender.

What do others think? Is this a good idea? I know online petitions have their downsides but the point is that if we get 100,000 signatures then this topic HAS to be discussed in the House of Commons.

It's also a way to garter some publicity and get people talking. It's all very well debating this on Mumsnet but we need this discussion to run mainstream. An online petition might arouse interest, certainly if we get some big names on board?

Opinions please?

AbigailAdams Thu 24-Jan-13 11:43:56

SGM has come up with a good suggestion on the other thread Rhubarb, and MmeLindor has also tried to clarify the arguments.

Greythorne Thu 24-Jan-13 11:45:27

Yes, TheRhubarb, I got derailed myself. Sorry.

I am with you 100%. Because I am a sentient adult living in a world of sexism, casual and explicit, institutionalised and random, unconscious and and conscious.

The petition is a good starting point.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 24-Jan-13 11:53:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 12:40:57

SGM agreed however if we raise enough publicity, perhaps by getting big names to sign it, this would make it difficult for them NOT to debate it.

Seen the other idea about targeting The Guardian's Comment is Free and I'm all for it. Again, if misogynistic comments were put on a par with racist comments then we would have no need to do this as they would automatically be deleted or at least face a huge backlash.

But it's a good place to start.

Xenia Thu 24-Jan-13 13:04:37

I would like us to petition against censorship, sorry; not the other way round.

Charlizee Thu 24-Jan-13 13:23:02

Agree with Xenia. I am against censorship.

I don't want free speech to be censored, I don't want newspapers to be censored and I don't want the internet to be censored.

It is interesting how countries with very liberal attitudes towards porn and female nudity in general (eg Germany, Japan) have very low rape and low teenage pregnancies compared with the UK (and especially USA) who have more prudish hush-hush attitudes towards porn/sex/nudity.

Charlizee Thu 24-Jan-13 13:24:57

Will drawing black bars over female nipples reduce rape or sexual harrassment? I doubt it. Making the female body a taboo topic could possibly do more harm than good.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 24-Jan-13 13:40:12

We already have 'censorship' - are you campaigning for hate speech to be decriminalized?

I don't see how any of this relates to 'making the female body a taboo topic', either.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 13:43:44

Let me pose this question then:
Is it ok to allow racist comments to stand? For personal vitrolic attacks that threaten women with rape to stand for all to see?

I think you will find that Germany has its own problems with racism.

We are now seeing a generation of children grow up with this kind of technology. This generation are being exposed to high levels of hard core porn that was once only accessible via the backroom of a seedy shop.
This generation are being exposed to vile hatefilled websites. To sexual comments, personal attacks and examples everywhere of women submitting to men, women being degraded, women being abused, women being scorned, women being humiliated.

Who knows what the effects will be when this generation grow up? Newsbeat did their own survey and discovered that young men were admitting that porn was affecting the way they viewed relationships and sex.

But this thread isn't about the availability of porn. This is about the humiliating abuse women are subjected to. People who think it's ok to tell women that they know where they live and would like to rape them. People who think it's ok to threaten their children, to go into detail about the sexual abuse they would inflict upon them.

You think that this kind of abuse should be legal and allowed to stand for all to read?

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 13:46:39

If you are against censorship of any kind then just what you consider to be a criminal offence? Because as I'm sure you are aware, one could argue that paedophilia and racism should also come under freedom of speech.

I am interested to know what you would consider to be extreme enough to be censored. Are you saying that the law is adequate or that all kinds of speech should be legal?

DadDancer Thu 24-Jan-13 13:50:56

Too right Xenia and Charlizee this smacks as blatant censorship to me

and Greythorne you have just demonstrated this perfectly with you hellbaning idea.

Can someone tell me whether the Chicken Shed threads are regularly invaded by vegans? Or the Style and Beauty threads invaded by No Logo style crusaders?

The thing is i don't recall Vegans for example starting campaigns to ban people from eating meat, or requesting magazines which depict graphic pictures of meat eating to be consigned to the top shelf or for there to be a 'nil cap' on kebab houses. Do you?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 24-Jan-13 13:53:47

DD - you've honestly never seen a vegan campaign to ban people from eating meat? confused

Do you live under a rock?

First result on google. I can't be arsed to go looking for more. But there's shedloads. Walk down a busy shopping street and you'll eventually get a flier about it pushed into your hand.

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