I couldn’t have kept up with everything that’s been going on in the femosphere (that really does work) these last seven days even if I had had the time. It’s been stomach-churning, bewildering, and at times terrifying. Most of what I’ve been seeing has been concerned with the #twitterabuse that’s been going on for, oh, a fortnight now, give or take. I linked to a lot of it last week. I’m in two minds about the twitter report button (what an academic I am). Mostly, I think it’s just impractical and unworkable. And, besides, reporting, blocking, suspending etc. itself would do little to tackle underlying issues around misogyny; they would just be displaced to a new, meaner, more determined account. (There's a whole host of criminological theories about that very thing.) Anyway, this week’s roundup.
- Who are the trolls? (newstatesman)
- Why does it always come back to rape? (newstatesman) “As the threats on Twitter to the likes of Caroline Criado-Perez, Stella Creasy, Mary Beard and others has proved, rape is the popular choice when women become more visible than they apparently should be.”
- Concern trolling the left and feminists (liberalconspiracy). Dear God, is this yet another new thing for which I need to be vigilant? I can barely cope with the speed of the Internet generation as it is.
- The backlash against feminism aims to preserve the 'manosphere' (guardian).
- Caroline Criado-Perez: 'Twitter has enabled people to behave in a way they wouldn't face to face' (guardian)
- The Trouble With Trolls (bitch). “While the fact that England is taking Twitter harassment seriously enough to arrest someone is good, fighting online harassment by pressing charges against an abuser here and there is a game of Whack-a-Troll. [...] The need to block abusers and report abusers is a symptom of a deep misogynistic streak in our society that pops up when people are given any level of anonymity.”
- Trolls are not the most depressing part of this week's twitter storm (thefword). “The real wonder in this Twitter-storm is the amount of time and effort Stella Creasy is having to spend painstakingly explaining to apparently well-educated and respected commentators that it's not ok for a group of men to repeatedly threaten to rape her to death at a specific time and place.”
- SEXIST TWITTER ABUSE: Will Trolls Finally Be Held Accountable? (feminspire)
On the porn ban (also here): First they came for the porn stars: the problem with an online filter (newstatesman)
On covering up lads’ mags:
- 'Modesty bags' on lads' mags would be a fig leaf. Just like the twitter report abuse button, this does little to address underlying problems.
- Tesco forces lads' mags to make covers 'more modest' (guardian).
- Reports of Feminism’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (msmagazine). “If the word ‘feminist’ has negative connotations, running away from the word won’t fix that. Whatever new word you come up with will eventually take on the same negative connotations. Because the problem isn’t with feminists; it’s with those who demonize feminism.” - Rebecca Cohen, cartoonist
- On alternet: 14-Year-Old Girl With Pro-Choice Sign Under Attack: "Please Stop Calling Me a "Whore" (her own perspective). Best way to try to silence a women/ girl: call her a whore.
- Also on alternet: I Love Porn -- And So Do Lots of Other Women. I don’t but, like all academics, I’m all about the two sides of the argument.
- And again from alternet: Do Colleges Care More About Rapists Than About Rape Victims?
- Last one from alternet: A Freudian Analysis of Sexting. Freud was unbearable but the implications of his work for fantasy vs. reality might interest some.
- What’s the Best Thing to Have On Your Resume? A Penis (bust).
- On motherjones: Comics About Feminism's Big "Buts". As in, “I’m not a feminist, BUT...” and “I am a feminist, BUT...”.
- Everyone Should Be Horrified That California Prisons Sterilized Dozens of Female Inmates (bitch). That’s nearly 250 women since the late 1990s, by the way.
- Finally, I like this: The Writing on the Wall: How Facebook is destroying our capacity for political debate. Memes have dumbed us down, folks. I, for one, hate them.