Jan 06 2014

Disproportionately lobbed at women

More on the campaign against women on the internet: Amanda Hess on Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.

A woman doesn’t even need to occupy a professional writing perch at a prominent platform to become a target. According to a 2005 report by the Pew Research Center, which has been tracking the online lives of Americans for more than a decade, women and men have been logging on in equal numbers since 2000, but the vilest communications are still disproportionately lobbed at women. We are more likely to report being stalked and harassed on the Internet—of the 3,787 people who reported harassing incidents from 2000 to 2012 to the volunteer organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, 72.5 percent were female. Sometimes, the abuse can get physical: A Pew survey reported that five percent of women who used the Internet said “something happened online” that led them into “physical danger.” And it starts young: Teenage girls are significantly more likely to be cyberbullied than boys. Just appearing as a woman online, it seems, can be enough to inspire abuse. In 2006, researchers from the University of Maryland set up a bunch of fake online accounts and then dispatched them into chat rooms. Accounts with feminine usernames incurred an average of 100 sexually explicit or threatening messages a day. Masculine names received 3.7.

This isn’t good. It isn’t a good arrangement. It’s a barrier where there shouldn’t be a barrier. It’s an obstacle, a deterrent, a disincentive, to half the population. That should not be happening.



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  1. 1
    Pierce R. Butler

    This doesn’t do the other half of the population any good either.

  2. 2
    A Hermit

    Accounts with feminine usernames incurred an average of 100 sexually explicit or threatening messages a day. Masculine names received 3.7.”

    Once again, just when I think I’m starting to understand I find out it’s even worse than I thought…

  3. 3
    Gordon Willis

    Once again, just when I think I’m starting to understand I find out it’s even worse than I thought…

    Picking up on A Hermit’s thought, I think it’s just the way it is. We can moan that Wahabis and Orthodox Jews and the RCC and the Lutherans and the Baptists and the Mormons and the MRAs and half the philosophers we have believed in have it in for women, but the truth is it’s just us men. We hate women being out of the kitchen, the nursery, and especially the bed; we don’t want women expressing opinions, we don’t want our women to expose themselves to “society” and act like individual persons: that would be so threatening to our vulnerable manhood (having demanding penises and wanting women to do what our penises want and finding that the cunts have minds and opinions and ideas and god knows what other god-forsaken cuntish crap). No, we can’t cope with that, so we have to put them in their place: verbally rape children and threaten women with rape and torture and death. They’ve got to be stopped, everyone must see that. They’ve got to be put naked on their backs and fucked stupid and then sent to the kitchen to cook and slave and deal with the brats. It’s what they’re for, obviously. If I were God, that’s what I’d say. And I’m fucking God to those cunts.

    Men believe they own women; they really do, and they hate it when women reject them or show themselves more intelligent.

    Why is it that this behaviour is the same in America, in Saudi, in India, in China…? It’s universal. It’s just men. We have a long long long way to go, and the focus must be on demolishing Man the Ideal and educating children as equal persons. Any contribution that a man as an individual person can make to society must be divorced from the primitive animal assumption that “a man” must be lord of all he surveys. Think of Darwin and Newton and Mandela, brilliant not because they were great men but because they were great thinkers who opened our minds and gave us freedom to think. Personhood must be the goal, not “manhood”.

  4. 4

    None of this is good, but the numbers are surprisingly tiny. Some 3,000 women have reported abuse to this organisation in 12 years? That’s a minuscule proportion of the women using the internet regularly. Of course there is more abuse than this one organisation can track, but the figs are unexpectedly small.

  5. 5

    Well, it’s a volunteer organisation and somewhat obscure too; I can’t recall having come across it ever, myself. It’s not like it can harvest any and all abuse across the entire Internet, only a portion of the parts where it is visible and trusted.

    That may explain part of your mystery, Minow. Hope this helps.

  6. 6

    Gordon: Such opinions can be changed, even if it takes a lifetime (or more) of struggle to accomplish. Pointing out how bad the problem assists in saving the generation from the mistakes of this one, even if most members of this generation have “crusted on” ideas that they refuse to change.

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