Women and the social medias


I don’t even…

Seriously LMN8R, you need to calm down and come off it a little. Shoot. Trying to broaden the conversation into something that is inclusive of all people is somehow me inserting my gender, being reductive, ignoring evidence and distract the conversation? What is wrong with you?

I’m sorry, I completely missed the part where I did any of that stuff or somehow claimed women didn’t get harassed on the internet, or denied attacks of gender don’t exist.

[edit] Also, see Lemon’s post I guess. lol. [/edit]


In 2007, 61 percent of the individuals reporting online abuse to WHOA were female while 21 percent were male. 2006 followed a similar pattern: 70 percent of those reporting online harassment identified themselves as women. Overall, in the years covering 2000 to 2007, 72.5 percent of the 2,285 individuals reporting cyber harassment were female and 22 percent were male. 70 percent of the victims were between the ages of 18 and 40 and half of them reported having no relationship with their attackers.

chatroom participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames

Why is it that men never seem to care about online harassment until women start complaining about it? Yes, it’s a distraction, not “trying to make it more inclusive”. Even if you didn’t mean for it to be, that’s what it is. It’s a common tactic for men to insert themselves into a conversation in which they’re not the subject being discussed. Women face a very different type of harassment online than men do, and it requires a very different conversation.

Ah, so your study trumps the other study.

Considering the study IL linked was only about twitter, yeah I’d say it does. I work in a 95% male industry (and the small company I work for has zero female employees), and even though most people are well educated and quite liberal some of the conversations that go on would curl your hair. What I have seen in my time gaming online has not been very encouraging either. Certainly nothing I have ever experienced compares to what I have witnessed flung at female gamers.

It is although you probably didn’t think about it that way. The conversation here is about women and their unique experience, so pretty much by definition if you broaden the conversation to include all people regardless of gender we are distracted from the core issue that this thread is about. Do men have to put up with rape, threats of rape, and pervasive sexual harrassment? Generally no. As men we generally cannot share the experience of being female, but we can at least strive to understand and empathize.

I think the studies study different problems. The twitter studies finds abuse in tweets, while the WHOA study points to harassment reporting. Since abuse and harassment is subjective, I have doubts on whether the first study is appropriately taking into account context. Also harassment implies consistency and repetition of the abuse, as opposed to one-of abusive tweets.

Also, IncendiaryLemon reply carefully ignored the main issue brought forward by LMN8R. That is, that abuse towards women tends to be gendered, while abuse towards men not so much. That itself points to different causes for the abuse, and to a mysoginistic undercurrent. There’s a difference between calling somebody stupid or dumb, and calling somebody a bitch or worse. This gendered abuse is mostly what we are talking here.

And yes, bringing abuse towards men into the conversation does indeed distract the conversation. One thing is abuse in social media as a whole. Please somebody start a thread about that. But this thread was about the specific abuse towards women, the shape it takes and the causes of it. Let’s keep it on topic.

Another aspect is that often abuse towards men is hurled using a female gendered attack. Think about it, and I apologize for the language, but terms like ‘pussy’ ‘bitch’ ‘girly’ are used to imply that someone is lesser by associating them with female centric terms. IL and company are missing how there is a difference between an attack, and an attack using gender as a vector.

But yeah, carlton I don’t know what your intent was, but it certainly came off as trying to derail the topic. I don’t know if that was or was not your intent, but while LMN8R came on strong, that’s why.

What about “dick” or “motherfucker”? I stay awake at night hoping a brave internet soldier will convincingly explain to the world how pensises are really just engorged clitori and so calling someone a dick is actually just as misogynistic as calling them a pussy.

Oh sure there are male gendered insults. They also have different implications. Usually they substitute for aggressiveness and dominance. Different contexts, and different usage. My point wasn’t that there aren’t male centric insults, but that female centric ones usually denote inferiority and weakness.

Would you ever call a woman a dick? No. But you would call a man a pussy, with the connotation that he is weak or cowardly.

Also women tend to get called “bitch” rather than “asshole” or “jerk” even though those terms should be generic. The gendered insult tends to be the default when it comes to women.

Sorry if I came on “strong”, but reading the “why not include everyone” trope about online harassment minutes after Anita Sarkeesian got yet another round of threats that literally amount to terrorism was possibly the worst timing you could have used for that argument. It demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the types of problems women regularly face on the Internet that the vast majority of men couldn’t even begin to understand.

Like Anita said in her incredible and enlightening speech on harassment earlier this year, "One of the most radical things you can do, is to actually believe women when they tell you about their experiences”.

Listening is key. Not try to make it about men, not try to say “but <x> get it to”. Not try to rationalize, or excuse, or justify, or distract the conversation in any way. Just SHUT. UP. for a few moments and listen.

Hey, it might help you in your real life and personal interactions with other people too.

And if you really, truly want to “expand the conversation”, then the Internet is quite open for you. You’re more than welcome to do so in its own context, rather than always only conveniently bringing it up when women start the conversation.

I do it all the time? Is it really that unusual? e.g. “Stop being a dick”.

Uh, I would call a woman a dick.

So since this is a P&R off a gaming forum, I’ll put this in that context. I just saw this:

It says that D&D was the one that first brought in females in measurable numbers into war gaming, miniature gaming. It quotes Gygax as saying “at least 10%” of players were female. I was in that 10%. I DMed it even. I played Chainmail and Traveller before it. I GMed and made my own campaigns in I.C.E. ruleset and D&D ruleset. This was “pre-internet”. Late I was on GEnie then and played games. I was no one important. Just a gamer, who happened to be female. When I game, I am a gamer first, and a female second.

A female player was unusual online in the early days, so I rarely let people know I was female. It was not relevant, and it would be a distraction. However, back in the days of text MUDs, this is what would happen if someone found out and told others. There would be a flurry of tells to me as news spread that an actual female was online. Someone might say something in a local chat but be told to take it to tells by people that were roleplaying. They would. Mostly they just wanted to know I WAS female and then why I played. I would answer politely and then say I wanted to go back to playing. There was always one or two guys that seemed particularly socially inept that would continue tells past that to “see if I was single/interested”, and by then I was married so … nope! And then that was that, 15-20 minutes of “OMG a female???”, and many seemed quite happy there was one around. Sometimes friends got jealous compliments that there was an actual female in his social group.

Now? HA! It jumps straight to the insults, or GTFO or tits or GTFO (yes I know where that is from). And if it isn’t insults it goes to an explicit and often rather gross/pervy list of them detailing exactly what they want to do to me sexually. If any males object they also get attacked as soon as they tell anyone to cool it. One guy even stopped speaking to my brother on-line and IRL when he backed me up in a game. So even family, if they stand up for me against abuse lose real life friends. Well he decided he probably wasn’t such a good friend to have after that anyway. Actually that guy reminded me a lot of Elliot Rodger. Let me be clear, in this one case we were not anonymous. So I do not think anonymity can explain it all, thought it doesn’t help.

For those that may say, yeah well, I’ve been called a bitch or a pussy too. Of course you have! So have I, usually in PvP, often, and yes I can tell whether its the pissy I sniped them (heh!), generally trying to trash talk, or they really know I’m a female. If they do know I’m female it is extremely explicit. It is EXACTLY the same stuff I found on my answering machine in grad school from this one stranger. Back waaaaaay before social media and more than BBS/Fidonet. I contacted police, and they knew of him and wanted him. They were sure he would be dangerous if they couldn’t get him. They used me as bait for several months while he continued calling and ramping up threats. He tried to break in multiple times, and the reason the police used me as bait was my guard dog. She kept him out. Then he killed the dog. The police called it off, and I moved in a hurry under protection. My family lived local to the university. So I heard they finally got him, but only after after he killed the next woman.

The stuff he would leave on my answering machine, that’s what I read online when people know I’m female. When they don’t, I just get called a bitch and a pussy. I’m used to working in all male fields, that’s eye-rolling but not threatening. It’s not all bad. After helping one person in tells through a particularly confusing quest, I did get a “Thanks homie”. I was amused. It was nice though!

The facet I find interesting is the intimidation of anyone that stands up for a female if they seem them come in for this crap. I think this really is an internet/social media thing. Louder voices and all that.

Well maybe it’s a thing you kids are doing these days but I certainly have never heard it as an insult applied to women. I am very skeptical. Very.

I’m pretty sure I have been! And the first time predating social media. Just “trash talk”, and only after guys understand I am comfortable giving as good as I get there. Trash talking is one thing, whether it’s over some street ball or PvP. But, this is another red herring. The rather disturbing change in tone I see now isn’t trash talk. It’s something much worse and the sort of thing you used to see but mostly at LGBT.

That’s an insane story Hechicera. Thanks for sharing. Everyone should pay attention when a woman says the language being used today is same language as a serial killing, women murdering psychopath whom she had first hand experience with would say.

I’m absolutely not. Men are taught from an early age that they should strive to be manly, they should embrace what are considered manly virtues. As a consequence many traditionally male insults are feminine terms, for what could be less than manly than being a women? If teenager calls someone a pussy for a refusing a dare, let’s say jumping off a ledge into a quarry, it’s not a slight against women. Indeed, the teenager wouldn’t expect or judge a woman for refusing the same dare. That sort of physical daredevil behavior isn’t particularly valued among women.

As I noted before, male epithets often deny the target their masculinity. Epithets towards women are admittedly often based around qualities men (and women) consider unfavorable, hence the term bitchy, or the word slut. Of course while they may be rooted in that, they’re rarely used that way. Women often use the word slut to reinforce class boundaries.

Is an IRC chatroom circa 2006 representative of the broader internet in 2014? And that’s a serious question.

The big issue with that study and the reason it’s largely ignored today is the methodology. It relied entirely on self reporting.

Men chronically undereport things like harassment or physical abuse. Even if asked point blank they tend to downplay it. This is a question of social norms and to a point biology as well. Men are expected to deal with threats and rivals on their own. If they can’t, then they’re expected to simply put up with it. We put a value on enduring adversity. Women on the other hand are trained to appeal to authority for help, and to do so from an early age. We also have very different threat perceptions. This again leads to men downplaying the level of abuse they might receive. They don’t even see it as such.

That’s why the twitter study is useful. It used a massive data set and it relied on fairly strict standards. It allowed the researchers to step around the issue of underreporting, and it allowed them to explore how each gender interacted with the other.

Sorry if I came on “strong”, but reading the “why not include everyone” trope about online harassment minutes after Anita Sarkeesian got yet another round of threats that literally amount to terrorism was possibly the worst timing you could have used for that argument. It demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the types of problems women regularly face on the Internet that the vast majority of men couldn’t even begin to understand.

All I ask for is credible data to support these assertions. Experience has taught me to be skeptical.

When someone enters a thread that’s explicitly about harassment that women get, the burden of proof for “credible data” is on those who try to make it about something else. That includes the trope of “why not include everyone”.

Otherwise, it’s an baseless false equivalence to present the premise that everyone gets the same type of harassment, from the same people, at the same rate, and therefore has the same potential solutions and discussions to help improve it.

Soooo, you know that just ignoring the content of IL’s excellent post as “baseless false equivalence” is conceding the point to him, right?

No, not really? It’s still trying to change the conversation to suit what he wants to talk about, instead of what the OP posted, which always seems to happen every single time women talk about harassment they receive online.