This is just what happens to women online

Laura Bates takes a look at online sexism. (Cue a rumble of outraged outrage in response.)

The internet is a fertile breeding ground for misogyny – you only have to look at the murky bottom waters of Reddit and 4Chan to see the true extent to which it allows violent attitudes towards women to proliferate. But, crucially, it also provides a conduit that enables many who hold those views to attack and abuse women and girls, from what they rightly perceive to be an incredibly secure position. Meanwhile, the police seem near-powerless to take action, social media sites shrug their shoulders, and women are left between a rock and a hard place – simply put up with the abuse as a part of online life, or get off the internet altogether. [Read more...]

Such men are dangerous

More on David Gilmour.

Gilmour seems to think enough of himself to believe that he’s somehow unique in his approach to teaching literature. The only female writer whose work he teaches is Virginia Woolf, and then only a single short story. So he’s proud of teaching a curriculum that’s limited to his own narrow viewpoint, which is apparently going unrepresented “down the hall,” in a class that is clearly beneath him.

It’s obvious to me, having read the full transcript, that Gilmour is an appalling misogynist. Not only does the transcript show him interrupting the female reporter several times, he also addresses her as “love” and describes a female author’s book as “sweet.” [Read more...]

Just being bros

What’s all this feminism nonsense? Didn’t we figure out a long time ago that that’s just politically correct bullshit? Janet Kornblum is there.

So when I heard about this whole bro-haha this weekend over some presentations at TechCrunch that a bunch of people thought were sexist, I was like, why the heck does everyone have their panties in a bunch?

What was behind all this hullabaloo? “Titstare” was, for one—that is, bros taking pictures of themselves staring at tits. Also “CircleShake,” an app that measures how hard someone can shake a phone and like, required dudes to stand up and simulate as if they were, well, you know.

And then Business Insider fires its Chief Technology Officer for a few measly “offensive” tweets, such as, “feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. my finger is getting tired.”

Really, so what, ladies? These dudes are just being bros, having a little fun. I’m like totally sick of girls getting on their high horses about stuff like this. Seriously. Bros wanna have a little fun and make money. BFD, right? You gotta laugh with them. [Read more...]

When Anil met Pax

You remember how that went, right? Anil Dash tweeted

Wow, didn’t realize @businessinsider had hired such an asshole in @paxdickinson. Getting memcache to build made him an expert on misogyny!

Pax responded with the inevitable “you gonna say that to my face?” so Anil said sure, so they met. Anil tells us about it.

People who know me know that my offer was sincere, because while I was not trying to get Pax fired (though I certainly am not sorry that he was, and everyone including Pax agrees it was the right decision), I was definitely trying to find some way to understand if a constructive form of accountability could be attached to this incredibly shitty circumstance. I would still like to see Business Insider’s management explain how they’re structurally addressing their failures that allow a toxic culture to thrive for years with no accountability. [Read more...]

A string of subtle but demeaning comments

The journalist Olivia Messer was pleased to return to her home state of Texas to write about the legislature. She quickly realized there was a down side.

Within weeks, I’d already heard a few horrifying stories. Like the time a former Observer staffer, on her first day in the Capitol, was invited by a state senator back to his office for personal “tutoring.” Or, last session, when Rep. Mike “Tuffy” Hamilton interrupted Marisa Marquez during a House floor debate to ask if her breasts were real or fake. [Read more...]

A professional glass blower might remark

Let’s go back in time a couple of months, to early June, to June 4th to be precise, when the story about Colin McGinn broke. What story, and who? The story that McGinn is leaving the University of Miami because of allegedly sexually harassing emails; McGinn is a fairly prominent (for a philosopher) philosopher.

I saw a lot of mentions at the time but didn’t follow them up, I forget why…But I should have, because the story and the meta-story and the meta-meta are all highly relevant. (Relevant to what? To issues I’ve been talking about 1) as long as I’ve been talking at all, and as long as I’ve been blogging 2) more than before over the past couple of years.)

The story broke in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and was behind a paywall but then people shared it. The philosopher Sally Haslanger has the whole thing on her website. [Read more...]

A deafening silence from Twitter

The Independent reports that Twitter is facing a major backlash for not responding to abuse. I am pleased to hear that – Twitter has been crappy about dealing with one kind of abuse I get there, and it’s so crappy about offering ways to deal with other kinds that I didn’t even try.

A host of MPs and other leading public figures have threatened a boycott after a feminist campaigner highlighted numerous threats of rape and other violent acts being sent to her on Twitter. Caroline Criado-Perez, who finally won her fight to have prominent women represented on Britain’s bank notes this week, claimed that her complaints to the site have been ignored. [Read more...]

She gives a king

Unnnnnnnnnnnhhhhhhhhhhhhh

That’s a long exasperated sigh of disgust and irritation. At what? At a prominent journalist, a woman, squeeing and jumping up and down because Kate Futurequeen had a boy.

I’m not making it up.

I’m having a moment of feminist horror over Tina Brown’s smug approval of Kate Middleton for having “once again” done “the perfect thing” by giving birth to a boy. “She does the traditional thing, and she gives us a prince. She gives a king,” Brown, Daily Beast and Newsweek editor, said on Morning Joe on Tuesday, echoing what CNN commentator Victoria Arbiter said Monday. [Read more...]