A few quick links that show that being a woman on the internet is inherently dangerous to your sanity and your sense of security. So many needed voices have been drummed out of public view by misogynistic trolling that said trolling has become a tried and proven silencing technique. I am tired of seeing articles or videos authored by women getting ignored, with real debate getting supplanted by rape threats and objectification. Thankfully, we’re finally starting to see a pushback not only in the skeptic-atheist blogosphere, but by women who try to make their voices heard in other venues. I only hope enough momentum has built that we might see the end of the slut-shamers and cunt-criers once and for all.
Sady Doyle started a Twitter hashtag that has taken on a life of its own where women relate the various bullying episodes they’ve endured.
Marieke Hardy learned the name of one long-term misogynist troll and outed him (link busted hopefully temporarily), defanging him, which provides an object lesson on what might happen (assuming no psychotic break on his part) if we tell people who Franc Hoggle actually is.
Alissa Rosenberg of ThinkProgress has instituted a recurring feature “Threat of the Day” to highlight the misogyny she faces daily for daring to be a public figure while owning a vagina.
Melissa McEwen of Shakesville pointed out her contributions to the #mencallmethings Twitter hash tag, and a discussion on why anonymity is necessary on the internet broke out. Interestingly, despite my not seeing any good reason to keep Franc Hoggle’s identity a secret, I consider most of the points on anonymity to be absolutely correct. Anonymity protects people from abuse and should be protected for that reason. Anonymity should not be protected, in my view, in the case of abuse, harassment, or other psychological warfare.
Michelle Griffin of Stuff.co.nz picked up the viral nature of the anti-misogynist pushback, marking the first (albeit minor) general news site to pick the story up.
And more generally, here’s an excellent resource on cyber bullying, which is what you get when you take an otherwise drive-by troll and give him some longevity. And by longevity, I mean obsessive fixations on specific members of society.
If you haven’t already, read the tweets on the #mencallmethings Twitter hashtag for an idea of what kinds of bullying women experience just for being women. Objectification, being reduced to their genitals, rape threats, you name it. Hell, even those of you who really love hurting women could get something out of this thread by finding new and novel ways to call women names — admit it, you must be getting tired of just calling them “twats” and “cunts” all the time. It must be getting old even for you. Crowdsource a little novelty back into your trolling with this handy resource!
Meanwhile, the rest of humanity, those of us with some shred of empathy, will read that stream and weep.