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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.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 24-Jan-13 13:54:06

Sorry, that was totally off-topic, I was just really surprised.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 13:55:35

I think you are a derailer DadDancer.

I would kindly ask you to answer my previous question. Do you consider the laws against racism to be censorship? If so, do you think that people should have the freedom to be racist and homophobic and to publish such materials that would endorse these views?

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 24-Jan-13 14:48:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 14:52:29

Thanks SGM will read through later. Just off to pick kids up.

Susan2kids Thu 24-Jan-13 15:29:02

I think it important to point out that a threat of rape is ENTIRELY different from the use of language some here consider as misogynistic, connecting the two is a falsehoood and detracts from the value of the argument you are making Basically continually trying to said "twat" you are a 'rape supporter' is pretty much what gets you written off as a lunatic rather than someone with a fairly important point. The point is eventually we reach a stage where every comment is bbanned because someone defines it as hate. We need to stop campaigning for different rights and campaign for equal ones. Discussing misoginy is not discussing gender based insults its DELIBERATELY making it only relate to women... which i as a woman object to.... which by the principles o equality is unfair. If on the other hand posters want these forums to remobve any gender based comment then thats entirely fair.

Mitchy1nge Thu 24-Jan-13 15:34:28

that's an interesting article, thanks sgm

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 24-Jan-13 15:34:33


Run that past me again?

Mitchy1nge Thu 24-Jan-13 15:56:32

As a man pretending to be a woman I object to all this man-hating lunacy in my name, going on about misogyny (I mean of course misoginy or misogony) instead of campaigning for equality.

Charlizee Thu 24-Jan-13 15:58:29

Slightly off topic but in the USA female nudity is a huge taboo. Female nipples are not allowed in newspapers without a black bar to hide them. The whole country was in uproar when Janet Jackson's dress slipped and exposed her nipple on live TV for about half a second. Topless sunbathing is taboo.

Compare to Europe. Topless sunbathing is far more accepted (and even done in full view of children). Sex is more openly discussed. There are brothels and sex shops all over the place.

Japan produces some of the most bizarre and extreme porn in the world and used to even have used-knickers dispensers (although these have now been outlawed).

Guess which of the countries I mentioned has the biggest problem with rape and sex-related crimes?

Mitchy1nge Thu 24-Jan-13 15:59:46

I know this one, Italy?

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 16:03:33

Brilliant, brilliant article you linked to there SGM.

Susan2kids - have we met before on a thread? Your posting name sounds familiar which is unusual for me, I hardly ever remember posting names unless they've been on here for around 5 years by which time I slowly start to recognise a few!

Anyway 1) nobody has suggested censoring twat insults.
2) misogyny DOES target women only. As a woman, that offends me too. By the principles of equality, yes it is unfair.

You see, if someone disagrees with a man they may insult him, they may call him a fat dick, they may insult his intelligence and his looks. But largely they are doing so because they disagree with his OPINION.

Women are not getting that. These insults are not disagreeing with their opinion but with the fact that they have a voice at all.

Men are picking purely upon the gender of women and using that deliberately as fuel for their hate-filled insults.

I recommend you read the article that SGM linked to.

It's a shame that so many women (as well as men) are in denial that this is happening even when examples are paraded around them.

AbigailAdams Thu 24-Jan-13 16:03:57

"Slightly off topic" - no a completely different topic.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 16:06:20

Charlizee yes it is off topic. I note you didn't answer my questions.

Only an ignorant person would compare two very very different cultures, that of America and Japan and claim to know why one has higher sex related crimes than another.

I suggest you read up on Japanese and American culture a little more as you might actually learn something.

AbigailAdams Thu 24-Jan-13 16:21:04

Excellent article SGM. A man recognising, naming and calling men out on their behaviour.

That is how men should be supporting feminism.

jammic Thu 24-Jan-13 16:21:24

Just going a upstream on the thread but I really like Trekkie's idea and am genuinely shocked that gender is not already included.

Charlizee Thu 24-Jan-13 16:21:53

West and Central European countries don't have as much as a problem with sex-related crimes either yet have a far less prudish attitude. They also have less of a drug-alcohol problem then the UK and USA who are more strict.

Strange that.

Sexual assaults may well be under reported in countries where women have a lower status / less equality, I would tread carefully in drawing too many conclusions on whether or not certain countries have a problem with sex-related crime. e.g. what is the prevailling attitude to marital rape.

THERhubarb Thu 24-Jan-13 16:39:07

It must be nice to have such a simple view Charlizee but unfortunately the world is much more complex.

This generation of young people who are growing up with free, easily accessible online porn have not yet fully matured so we don't yet know what effect this will have on our society, on our women and on our relationships.

I do wish you would read the thread as it would save me repeating myself but once again I will refer to a Newsbeat study which found that many young men they questioned admitted that they had seen hard core pornography and it had changed the way they viewed sex and relationships.

Child prostitution is common in Japan and curiously enough almost half of all marriages in Japan are sexless.

The UK has a greater population than many western and central European countries.

I'm afraid you cannot just take a group of countries, declare that one has a higher incidence of sex crimes and then use that to make some sort of vague point about porn. You are missing many other factors which really need a thread of their own to do them justice.

If you would like to start a thread about pornography in the West then please feel free. This one is not about porn.

I have engaged with you enough on this topic now. I would ask you politely to stop trying to de-rail the thread. It is quite obvious what you are doing.

Charlizee Thu 24-Jan-13 19:53:46

"The UK has a greater population than many western and central European countries."

I'm well aware of that. My info takes population differences into consideration.

DadDancer Thu 24-Jan-13 20:07:19

LRD yes as your link provides there are plenty of campaigns to encourage people to become vegetarian/vegan, but campaigns for outright bans seem pretty rare. Unless you include Morrissey with his 'Meat is Murder' rantings. The fliers I have been given in shopping centres are always about animal testing or cruelty. Can't say i have ever been given one to specifically ban meat altogether.

Anyway i was only using it as an analogy to demonstrate that some issues are more prominent than others, and why there are people who challenge certain subjects more, like when there is a greater threat of something getting banned.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 24-Jan-13 20:10:59

You didn't read the link, did you? hmm

Go and read it, and then you will be able to choose your analogies so that they make sense.

DadDancer Fri 25-Jan-13 01:05:28


I would kindly ask you to answer my previous question. Do you consider the laws against racism to be censorship?

Bit of both really. Some of the laws regarding equality, equal pay, rights etc are not censorship, but others like not allowing criticism of someones culture, beliefs etc are censorship.

If so, do you think that people should have the freedom to be racist and homophobic and to publish such materials that would endorse these views?

There are already many such publications, like the bible for example.

If you take away free speech, then how would you ever challenge these issues?
Do you think that if you suppress someones voice that they would magically alter their views?

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 25-Jan-13 09:26:21

We don't have laws that disallow criticism of someone's culture and beliefs, though? confused

THERhubarb Fri 25-Jan-13 10:12:55

DadDancer. This is where the UK law currently stands: "In the United Kingdom, several statutes criminalize hate speech against several categories of persons. The statutes forbid communication which is hateful, threatening, abusive, or insulting and which targets a person on account of skin colour, race, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation."

So hate speech which targets people of a different skin colour, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability is illegal. Yet hate speech which targets people of a different gender is not.

You could therefore argue that what we are asking for is in fact equality. Why should it be acceptable to threaten and abuse a women purely based on her gender yet it is not acceptable to do the same for someone who is black or gay?

I do not wish to see censorship and at the moment I do not think that the UK is anywhere near a censorship state. Stating that the inclusion of the word "gender" in the UK legislation regarding hate speech would somehow tip us into a censorship state is profoudly ignorant I'm afraid.

Also with regards to challenging these views, I think you will find that once discrimination and hate speech towards homosexuals became illegal that did actually set off changes to people's attitudes. Back in the 1970s and even 1980s racism and homophobia were pretty much rife and people used racist terms quite casually, ignorant of the offence they were causing. We are much more educated now and should anyone tweet a racist remark they are rounded upon quite rightly and threatened with the full force of the law. I do believe the same can happen with misogyny. By making misogyny unacceptable we can actually change attitudes. It has worked before and there is no reason to think it will not work now.

Yes there are still pockets of underlying racism around as well as homophobia but it's nowhere near as prevalent as it was and most people now understand that it is unacceptable and wrong. Not so with misogyny. Some men actually think we deserve the abuse and they would be more than happy to see us relegated to second class citizens. Unless the law changes, you face an uphill battle to persuade the public that these views are wrong, because if it was wrong it would be illegal - right?

PretzelTime Fri 25-Jan-13 10:44:31

Good initiative OP. I don't have any ideas but would sign a petition if it was made.

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