Misogyny Behind the Keyboard, Part 1

On 19th of September, I went to a feminist lecture that was advertized in my university. I couldn’t resist a lecture called “Misogyny Behind the Keyboard”. The topic was very relevant, as the Norwegian newspapers were running several articles on how women are called nasty names online, just for being women and publicly expressing their opinions. Supposedly famous women are more harassed verbally than men. Supposedly men are criticized for their opinions, and women are criticized for superficial stuff like their clothes and romantic life.

I’ll summarize the lecture and comment on it.

The lecture was started by Elin Ørjasæter. She made several interesting points.

One, she said that nasty comments are usually divided in two types. The younger women usually get sexualized comments, while older women are called old hags and are called to be quiet. It possibly reflects the utility women have to these men – young ones are for sex, and old ones should just go away.

Two, she said women are more vulnerable than men when it comes to public appearances. There are three things women are more vulnerable about: physical safety, their appearance, and their role as mothers.

Women have a lower threshold for becoming frightened. She recalled how someone made a ridiculous comment about how she should be hanged or something like that. Her own son found the comment funny, which contrasted with her own reaction. She said many more famous women got nasty and threatening comments thrown their way online, while other people either laughed or totally ignored it. But they don’t realize that a physical threat is more threatening to a woman than it is to a man.

And, of course, women’s looks are more often commented than men’s. She recalls how instead of discussing politician Siv Jensen’s actions and opinions, media outlets instead commented on her dress.

Nice pattern. But I doubt even a privileged male politician would get away with...

Nice pattern. But I doubt even a privileged male politician would get away with it…

As a result of all that negative feedback, many women choose to give up and exit the public sphere. They get tired.

Elin Ørjasæter said we should not care so much about the nasty comments. Most of them are made by older men with nothing to lose, often while drunk, and there is no point in bothering to change them. However, we should take seriously everything that looks like an online threat, while men should be ‘protective’ of women.

On one side, I agree with some of her points. But on the other, I recognize the usual feminist habit of pointing out a real phenomenon and interpreting it in an ideological way.

It is true that the nasty online comments will not be the same for men and women. I can see that as someone who has been “living” in an online community feminists call misogynist. As women are more sensitive about their looks, their looks will be attacked more than men’s looks .  However, if a determined female feminist comes along, she will be mercilessly mocked precisely for opinions, which is just what Norwegian feminists want women to be mocked for.

I also don’t buy the claim that women have it worse online, and that sexualized mockery and sexual threats are reserved for women. Sexual insults, verbal attacks and threatening comments are rarely the same for the sexes, for the reason of the sexes having different sexuality. However, the times when the feminist mob entered the manosphere full of rage over something some blogger said, they didn’t seem to have any qualms about saying violent, threatening things. What’s more, no one took it seriously and no one, to my knowledge, alerted the cops or some anti-violence organization. Here are some tweets Matt Forney inspired with his post “A Case Against Female Self-Esteem”:

MF8 - Copy

MF8

MF7

MF6

MF5

MF4

MF3

MF2

MF1

Eivind Berge has also gotten quite a lot of nasty comments for his views. One was even from some Norwegian dude who insisted the author was submissive and just needed a dominatrix, and posted a bunch of nasty sexual details about it. Others expressed that he should die or be raped for expressing opinions:

EB1

EB2

EB3

EB4

I remember Eivind Berge was used as an example of a man getting sexual threats in this debate before. The proponent of “internet is only nasty to women” view answered that Eivind Berge is almost too extreme, and therefore “doesn’t count”. This reminds me of something Elin Ørjasæter said in her lecture. She noted that no one cares that Siv Jensen, a politician not too happy about immigration, should have a sexually violent story written about her, where she is screwing scary brown foreigners. Why does no one care? Because she is Siv Jensen, the politician with controversial opinions. To her mockers and nasty commenters, she “doesn’t count”. And it’s true – if Eivind Berge doesn’t count, and brought it on himself, so did every strongly opinionated woman.

I also agree that it does seem like women are more easily frightened and take anything that looks like a threat more seriously. Men are more likely to take on dangerous jobs, engage in dangerous risky activities, and reap the consequences of those tendencies. They are victims of violence more often, yet all the focus is always on safety of the women.

However, such treatment is glaringly unequal, and asking for more protection is glaringly unequal in a country where everyone is attempting to achieve a 50-50 division of everything between the sexes. Most professors, top politicians and top bosses are still male, and it’s a darn shame. It’s partially because women naturally can’t handle the nasty comments, but help them anyway. Work against your interests, help your own equal competitor for absolutely nothing in return; engage in inequality, for the sake of equality.

Sexism and discrimination is ok as long as women are the beneficiaries.

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16 Responses to Misogyny Behind the Keyboard, Part 1

  1. anonymous coward says:

    Is always a pleasure to read your musing about things like these.
    Often the most violent persons are those who speak “against violence”.
    If someone wants to read the most horrific fantasies about threatened acts of violence against a human being, then forums, blogs and facebook groups “against violence” are the better place to find it. In particular, members of groups “against violence” on women or on children or on animals can displays true sadistic fantasies against their “enemies”.
    Things like this can make me despair about the goodness of human beings.

    sorry for my bad english… I’m writing from a foreign country… greetings from South Europe 🙂 anche keep going your good work on this blog. 🙂

    • emmatheemo says:

      Welcome 🙂
      You are onto something. If you want death threats and violent fantasies about you, hurt a cat. Even if slightly. Post it on youtube.
      It’s probably the only thing you can do that will gather more threats and violent fantasies than hurting a child or a woman (or saying something nasty about them).
      Violence is bad, but most of the time these people demand WAY more punishment than warranted. They seem to have no sense of proportion.

      • anonymous coward says:

        Sometimes I wonder if this is something like homophobia.
        Often homophobic people are repressed homosexuals who direct their anger and frustration against liberated homosexuals.
        Maybe people who make this kind of sadistic threats are repressing all time long serious violent urges and are just waiting for a social acceptable justification (i.e. against bad people who hurt animals or children) to unleash it.

  2. RS says:

    Regarding the fear thing– I kind of get it. When I was younger I bought into all the “rape culture” nonsense that is consistently spouted by feminist women and interpreted many harmless advances as being more malicious than they were. As I got older I got more fearful and took martial arts lessons to keep the fear at bay- but I know now that a lot of the fear was in my head. The internet is another heightened reality that can make overblown rhetoric seem like a real threat. I think men are better at putting things like that in perspective and laughing it off than women.

    I find it funny that the author of the lecture thinks older women are disregarded. I don’t feel that way at all. As I get older I feel that my opinions carry more weight than they used to. But I don’t approach life, or people, in a hostile manner and I think that’s why I don’t receive a lot of indifference in return.

    • M3 says:

      Hermann Göring – Wikiquote
      en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Hermann_Göring‎
      All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism.

      Rape Culture

  3. M3 says:

    Let’s not forget other things beyond ‘threats’ that are in a feminist/female bag of tricks to attack male opinions.

    Attack on self esteem – “You must have a small dick”
    Attack on socio status – “I bet you’re just a creepy loser in your moms basement who cant get laid”
    Attack against maculinity/protectorship – “You must be a rapist, only a rapist would think the way you do”

  4. Liz says:

    Imagine if a (straight) guy posted a bunch of ‘love my selfie’ snapshots of himself. Not as a gag, but photoshopped, and posed….exactly like women do.
    Then captioned them with obtuse phrases like, “I’m so ugly” “morning candid…tired guy!” “reading in bed” and so forth.
    If women really felt fear, they wouldn’t throw their images out onto the world wide web of weirdos in an attention-whoring fashion hoping for random compliments from complete strangers.

  5. Patriarch says:

    Females use this tactic to silence other females, It is a manipulation tactic that only works if you give its source credibility. Laugh at their accusations, dismissal and their fear of irrelevance is the their Achilles Heel.

  6. Pingback: Misogyny Behind the Keyboard, Part 2. | Emma the Emo's Emo Musings

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