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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

Webchat with Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of Men Who Hate Women, Tuesday 8 September at 12pm
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BojanaMumsnet · 07/09/2020 10:34

Hello

We’re pleased to announce a webchat with Laura Bates who has just published her latest book, Men Who Hate Women, after going undercover to expose misogynist networks and communities, from incels to pickup artists to men’s rights activists. The book includes interviews with former members of these communities, the academics studying this movement and the men fighting back.

Laura is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of Everyday Sexism, The Sunday Times bestseller Girl Up, Misogynation and The Burning. Laura writes regularly for The Guardian and the New York Times amongst others. She also works closely with politicians, businesses, schools, police forces and organisations from the Council of Europe to the United Nations to tackle gender inequality. Laura is a contributor at Women Under Siege, a New York-based project tackling rape in conflict worldwide and she is patron of SARSAS, Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support. She was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to gender equality in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2015.

Laura will be joining us live tomorrow, Tuesday 8 September from 12pm for an hour. If you can’t join us then, please do post your question here in advance.

As always, please remember our webchat guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We may suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks,
MNHQ

Webchat with Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and author of Men Who Hate Women, Tuesday 8 September at 12pm
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PacificState · 07/09/2020 11:42

Hi Laura

This is such an interesting topic.

I've got two teenage sons and I'm also a single mother. I read somewhere ages ago that having a single mother who is also a vocal feminist could be a factor in boys becoming radicalised misogynists so I've always dialled my feminism down when talking to them. Did that factor come up anywhere in your research?

Second but related question: I've observed that from my sons' points of view, they're sort of passive recipients of a lot of broadly feminist messaging (lots of 'girls in STEM', Me Too, feminist student societies etc) but in their day to day lives they're seeing girls who tend to do better than boys academically, often being more articulate and more emotionally aware, often frankly being a lot more grown up. So in their lived experience, girls are successful and quite powerful compared with boys of the same age, and are also spoken about as being discriminated against. Did this slightly confusing perspective come up in your research? My impression is that it can contribute to the disaffection of some young men, and that taking on some of the points made by people like Jordan Peterson, about how very young men need quite a lot of compassion and understanding, might help.

I'm aware I'm beginning to sound like an incel myself Grin I'm not, honest! Full-bore Germaine Greer fan personally. But having teenage boys has been really interesting and has made me question whether seeing everything through a feminist-first perspective is necessarily constructive when you're trying to raise compassionate, thoughtful young men.

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AlwaysTawnyOwl · 07/09/2020 18:08

Hi Laura

Why do some men hate women so much?

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TorchesTorches · 07/09/2020 18:12

Hi Laura, what started you down the gender equality path? Any particular personal experience?

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whataboutbob · 07/09/2020 18:13

Hi Laura, no question, I just wanted to say well done for this necessary work which must be very gruelling at times. I always knew there’s a subculture of men out there who fear and hate women. Back in pre internet days it was often expressed by defacing posters with female models, scribbling out the eyes, drawing an erect penis going into the mouth or a knife into the neck etc. Like the PP I bring my boys up
questioning any misogynistic views they express or repeat. That’s got to be better than keeping quiet.

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nosswith · 07/09/2020 18:21

Hello Laura.

I am a man. Thank you for making me more aware of everyday sexism than I was before you started your project.

Do you think the things you are campaigning for and highlighting are made more difficult in the current climate of a Prime Minister who seems to have the least respect for women of any in living memory?

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ThinEndoftheWedge · 07/09/2020 18:37

Hi Laura, thank you for all your hard work and supporting women’s rights.

You have also stated:

I have always felt strongly that it is paramount to include trans women and other marginalised groups within feminist activism.

I define feminism as being = for females, for all women and girls, everywhere - to fight against marginalisation and oppression - based purely on the fact that we are women and girls.

Could you explain why we should expand this definition to include transwomen?

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TheChristmasPrincess · 07/09/2020 18:48

Hi Laura,

Why do you think the words feminism/feminist have such negative connotations around them and do you think this negativity is increasing or decreasing?

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TBHno · 07/09/2020 18:53

Hi Laura,

Thanks for coming on. Smile

What practical things can we (as feminists, as mothers, as women) do to combat everyday sexism (particularly misogyny). The problem itself is so large that I often feel overwhelmed by the scale and hopelessness of it, so I'm hoping you have some ideas of what simple, easily-implementable, things that we can do.

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WeeBisom · 07/09/2020 18:56

Hi Laura. There's a strong connection between misogyny and terror attacks and violence in general. Do you think there should be any specific legal solutions to target this, like hate crime legislation?

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ArabellaScott · 07/09/2020 20:19

Hi, Laura.

Thanks for your work. The book looks really interesting.

I wanted to ask how you think we can best protect our children from this - I've raised my son to be respectful and aware, but is there a way to help girls identify men like this and avoid them? (I am very aware of the idea that we shouldn't put the focus & responsibility on women and girls' behaviour, but to be honest, I will do what I can to ensure my daughter stays safe.)

Many thanks!

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CatsFantastic · 07/09/2020 21:11

Hi Laura,

Can you explain why feminism should include “other marginalised groups” ?
Women are discriminated against because we are female, so in order to tackle misogyny surely we need to start by centring ourselves ?

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Gladysthesphinx · 07/09/2020 22:01

Hi Laura
Do you think discrimination against women, and misogyny, has its historical roots in women's biology - particularly in terms of our considerable physical weakness in comparison to to males, and our role in reproduction, ie conception, pregnancy, lactating, and menstruation?

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LangClegsInSpace · 07/09/2020 22:39

Hi Laura, your book is called 'Men Who Hate Women' - how do you define those two groups?

Also, when you talk about 'sexism' - do you see this as related to physical sex?

Thanks.

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Thesuzle · 08/09/2020 01:16

Hello Laura
There are tribes/societies around the world where women are in charge, of the home, business, money etc (not many admittedly). Have you found that these societies also have men who hate women, or hopefully there is mutual respect born out of the way the men are treated by the women
I live in hope that a world ruled by women would be so much better than the mess the men are making of it.

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SpaceOP · 08/09/2020 08:03

Based on what I read on Mumsnet, this seems to often play out in men who financially and/or emotionally and/or physically abuse their partners. I've seen thread after thread after thread on here where a woman's male partner doesn't;t seem to think it's a problem that she's struggling financially while he's golfing every weekend, who expects her to do all the domestic work and childcare but sees no financial benefit in that, who threatens and controls her etc etc etc ad nauseam. I assume this is all a symptom of men hating women? I just struggle with how wide spread it seems to be.

Even in my own life, I see many men who seem to be lovely people but scratch down a little and you can see the ways in which they simply don't think their female partners' are as important or worthwhile as them?

It's everywhere. Is there any solution to this?

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glomerulus · 08/09/2020 09:17

Hi Laura, thanks for the great work you do. Everyday Sexism really opened my eyes a few years back (and DH found it useful/sobering reading too).

My question is what do you think about the use of the term "Karen"? I feel that it's one of those terms that might have been a useful talking point early on about white privilege within feminism, but quickly became used to justify widespread harassment and abuse of women by, primarily, men. Is this something you've looked into or does it strike any parallels with your research?

Thanks in advance.

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Macbooksdontwork · 08/09/2020 09:18

Hi Laura,

I'm really looking forward to reading your replies. I wanted to ask if you've spoken to any social media companies about men who hate women and what their response was? Also, do you have any ideas about what could be done in terms of moderation to tackle this on platforms? Thank you!

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 08/09/2020 09:30

Hi Laura. Congratulations on all your work in bringing some of these issues into the mainstream and making men in particular think twice about them.

Author JK Rowling was recently quoted as saying "we're living through the most misogynistic period I've experienced". Do you think that's true and what do you think we can do about it?

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Annasgirl · 08/09/2020 09:33

HI Laura,

Has your research led to any information to the increase in misogyny coinciding with the increase in internet usage and the dominance of men in the internet and tech industries?

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Winniefred · 08/09/2020 10:24

Hi Laura,

You suggest that Women should include more marginalised groups. Given that Human Females include all females including Transmen, who are these other "marginalised groups"? Why should Women take on the burden of shielding & care for yet more men in society?

When are Women going to be allowed to centre female needs & Equity globally? Transwomen experience life from their male perception of "Female", they have no lived experience of "female", yes they experience misogyny but they also issue misogyny at quite a remarkable level, many do so online when they feel they are not getting exactly what they demand from Women.

Women are really not the worlds "Care in the Community" Chapter, yet it seems on the one hand we are expected to be just that to males who find masculinity difficult. Why are we not asking these males to take on male behaviour and demand they address the male violence they suffer and hold males accountable for it ... without demanding females moveover to manage their mental health.

The mental health of Girls is now reaching heartbreaking levels and more young girls are turning from liberal pro porn feminism. I am constantly being asked by young girls about my feminism and what books they can read because they feel liberal feminism makes them feel they are no more nor less sexually objectified. These young 14-18yr olds are not hearing a message from modern feminism that helps them navigate this pornified commodification culture that leaves girls exposed to quite alarming rates of everyday misogyny in school, at work and In the media.

At what point are females allowed to say No!

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BrollyKnickers · 08/09/2020 10:28

Hi Laura. My question is a really easy yes or no.

Do you agree that my eleven year old daughter should have the right to not see a penis in any changing room that she might find herself in?

(I almost feel daft having to ask this - but these days...you know.)

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BrollyKnickers · 08/09/2020 10:29

...and if you do agree, how could we go about ensuring that doesn't happen?

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RoyalCorgi · 08/09/2020 10:44

One of the most distressing stories I've read recently was about Henriett Szucs and Mihrican Mustafa, two young women who were murdered by Zahid Younis. (Explained in detail here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53920575) Sadly, their stories are far from unique. It is now very clear that predators target vulnerable women and girls both because they are easy to exploit and because they know that these women and girls won't be believed by the authorities. Time and time again we hear of vulnerable women being let down by social workers, police and the CPS, with terrible consequences.

What measures can we put in place both to protect women and girls from such predators and to ensure that the authorities take the accounts of abused women and girls seriously?

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RevIMJolly · 08/09/2020 10:44

Hello Laura

Thank you for all your work. You are an inspiration.

What are your views on single sex education?

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RowanMumsnet · 08/09/2020 10:46

Hello - loads of interesting questions here for Laura but that's enough questions about the interactions between sex and gender/trans identities now - thanks.

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