Misogynist haters

fightagainstrapecultureAfter the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Title IX coordinator released confidential documents related to my Title IX complaint to the student newspaper, “someone” leaked them to the local newspaper and two national news outlets. The result was a barrage of anonymous and non-anonymous blog comments, tweets, and emails. One of the emails was copied to my department. Nearly all of the comments were extremely negative, and are the usual stuff that misogynists say to discredit feminist activists: she’s ugly; she’s a lesbian; she’s fat; she can’t get a man; she’s a feminazi; she’s crazy; she smells bad; she’s not even female. These sexist pronouncements are emotionally powerful because they stab at the heart of what it means to be female in contemporary American society.

Amanda Hess writes that women bloggers are disproportionately targeted for online hate. Critical power conflict theorists, which is the sociological paradigm in which I find the most value, would analyze the haters who post sexist and heterosexist comments online as doing the dirty work of patriarchy. Similarly, poor and working class people do the dirty work of militarism and nationalism by fighting America’s wars.

Several courageous women who have been trolled online have posted the comments they received. As an antidote to the online hate, and as a way to contribute to the data about online misogyny, below are some of the choice comments that were posted about me in November and December, 2013. But first, an acknowledgement and a big thank you to the people behind the Fight Rape Culture blog who published the photograph above. http://endrapeculture.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/fightagainstrapeculture.jpg

Blog comments:

“There sure isn’t any shortage of batshit liberal pukes. Look at this moonbat’s picture. If she didn’t stink like a tuna sandwich in the sun no one would ever figure out that she’s a woman.”

“She’s so ugly I wouldn’t rape her with a dead man’s penis.”

“She would never, even if she was the only woman on an island with thousands of men, have to worry about being raped.”

“if THAT is a picture of her, i think she “doth protest to much” as a reaction to her inner desire to partake in the sex she doesn’t stand a chance of ever getting.”

“What that femiNazi needs to do is go in search of a sense of humor. That is not sexual harassment; true sexual harassment is something she need never worry about, judging from her mouth and her photo.”

“Dear Feminists, Please get a Life . Perhaps get laid, get over yourselves we are tired of hearing from your twisted little selves”

“We have been giving these idiots “enough rope” for long enough…now the knot is growing ever tighter on their foolishness. Let these morons keep talking, fewer and fewer people are listening, and every stupid word that comes out of their mouths is rushing the end of any type of credibility they might have once had.”

“Feminism is full of hypocrites, left wing whack jobs, man-haters and transphobes. Not to mention how laughable it is that feminists will scream about ‘rape culture’ in the 1st world but almost totally ignore how much more rampant rape is in the 3rd world. And then there’s all the mental gymnastics the so called pro choicers will get into over abortion. Especially when it involves people getting them when they realize their baby is a girl.”

“First off…I want proof that thing is even human let alone female.”

“Most Feminists are angry because they can’t get laid ….seems a lot of them turn Lesbian”

“rape culture? I don’t think she needs to worry about a stiff penis being near her ever.”

 

About sineanahita

Alaska's fiddling sociologist
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9 Responses to Misogynist haters

  1. kelly moore says:

    You are brave to fight the rape culture and brave to show it vomiting its bile in the form of these disgusting comments. I pray on a daily basis that there is a God who will hold these moral pygmies accountable.

  2. Rob Jordan says:

    Hate speech is so very shocking to see in any form. It saddens me that the hateful mysognistic thoughts of so many are hidden behind the thinly held guise of politeness. Thank you for being brave and confronting me with this evidence of hate speech and violence toward women. It renews my commitment to the cause of women’s rights.

    Yours in the struggle for equality,

    Rob Jordan

  3. Soange Mayer says:

    Please do not listen to any of this! Although I think it is always important to bring bullying to light, remember it is not you personally they are attacking. These people do not know you, they do not know your good work, they do not know your place. Nor do they care to. They bully and harrass for the feeling of power it gives them. Their agenda is one of convenience, not from critical thinking.

  4. sineanahita says:

    Soange, thanks for your reply. I posted some of the hater comments online to provide data for researchers (such as yourself) and activists to analyze. I think you are wrong when you say that the haters are not attacking me personally. I think the attacks ARE personal, and that the personal attacks are part of a strategy to shore up patriarchy by tearing down its critics. I think you are correct when you say that “they bully and harass for the feeling of power it gives them.” But let’s identify and label that power, so that we can resist it.

    I responded to your email offline. Email me again if you don’t receive my response.

  5. Philip Rose says:

    Online misogyny is outrageous, and hard to understand, unless maybe in simpler terms. In the UK, we have the case of Mary Beard and others, all crazily attacked online. However, one shouldn’t underestimate online hatred as a whole – again in the UK we had the recent case of one of our Winter Olympic competitors having to close down her twitter account, but we also had a rather dumb case of Stan Collymore, attacked for football comments.
    You write ‘strategy to shore up patriarchy by tearing down its critics’. That’s crediting the morons with too much, I think. The Internet, now that it’s available to every Tom, Dick or Harry, simply allows all the – for want of a better word – loonies to make themselves known, and there are people who get – again for want of a better phrase – their kicks from spewing abuse at anyone.
    In my opinion, you are taking the comments as personal, and that’s wrong. It is the fault of so many teens and others to believe that stupid comments from bored assholes ARE meant personally – they are not. They are just words. Empty words from empty vessels.
    And, to a certain extent, you may be misconstruing their aims. Trolls and commenters do it for attention and not much more. The first rule of the Internet? Don’t feed the trolls. By responding, you GIVE them power. By getting angry, agitated, outraged or whatever, they, in effect, have achieved what they set out to do. By quoting any of the things they say gives them a sense of achievement. You have, in effect, fallen into their trap, especially if you admit it is being taken personally. It’s not a ‘power over women’ thing – it’s just a puerile and vindictive way of annoying someone – not dissimilar from the old-fashioned knocking on someone’s door and running away.
    In balance. Please note that women – especially young girls – are not beyond this type of activity. One only has to witness a Bieber v One Direction discussion, or the death threats poured out to anyone who suggest that Justin may not be a good singer. And, as a male, I have been quite shocked by some of the attitudes displayed by certain people on feminist websites who seem to want to almost maintain the male-female conflict.
    You may also want to note that in a different area – that of female teens getting attacked online – the vast majority of the online person-destroying is being done by girls to girls, which I find extraordinary. Basically, this kind of hatred goes on everywhere.
    Just don’t feed the trolls!!!!!

    • sineanahita says:

      Phillip, thanks for your thoughtful response.

      Patriarchy and other systems of oppression only function when there is sufficient participation. You are absolutely correct when you say that girls (and women) “are not beyond this type of activity.” Girls and women have also been socialized into the system of sexism, and of course they participate. In my discipline of sociology, we have a very useful concept about how people are socialized to believe in the norms and values of their society: the agents of socialization. These are the social institutions that teach us how to act in our society and include the family, peers, the media, government, religion, and the workplace. In contemporary society, misogyny is reproduced through this socialization process. So girls, just like boys, are taught that women are sexual objects and their worth is to be judged by their fuckability, which includes compliance with patriarchal ideologies. As long as girls and women continue to participate, the system will be perpetuated. But woe to patriarchy if and when a sizeable proportion of our population decides not to participate any longer! May that day come soon, eh?

      As a sociologist, I don’t find much explanatory power in interpreting online hate as just individual loonies or morons spewing abuse towards random people. Online misogyny fits a classic social pattern, and is not a result of individual crazy people. But that’s just my sociological opinion.

      Thanks again for writing.

      • Philip Rose says:

        Thanks for taking the time to reply.
        I will try to get round to reading some of your other posts, but for now I’ll just mention the other aspect that sort of befuddles my brain – the Miley Cyrus, Katie Price types who talk of it all being ’empowering’. Oh good grief! Traitors? I dunno.
        Also – have you been introduced to Julie Burchill?
        http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9141292/dont-you-dare-tell-me-to-check-my-privilege/
        ‘Julie Burchill is a columnist, author, and self-proclaimed ‘militant feminist’. I guess she’s like Marmite (a UK phrase that may be meaningless in your area). Basically, you either love her or you hate her. I expect you’ll guess my feelings!
        Take care, and thanks again for replying.

      • sineanahita says:

        Philip, you have definitely asked some good questions! Re: Miley Cyrus et al., I’m reminded of the Marxist ideas about “false consciousness.” I loved the Burchill piece. Thanks for the introduction.

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