Just you wait

Katha Pollitt has a roundup of the year in feminism. Again, 12 and 13 are among my favorites.

11. After Savita Halappanavar was killed by sepsis in 2012, because her doctors refused to complete her miscarriage while the doomed fetus showed signs of life, Ireland passed a law permitting abortion to save a woman’s life. Well, it’s a start. In other Irish news, the McAleese report linked the government to the infamous church-run Magdalene laundries, where “fallen women” were imprisoned until 1996.

12. Women in Britain discovered their inner rebel. The website and hashtag Everyday Sexism laid bare the daily reality of misogyny for ordinary women. Massive grassroots efforts succeeded in putting Jane Austen on the ten-pound note, despite threats of rape and death against campaign leaders Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.

13. Last year’s horrible rapes from Delhi to Steubenville sparked an ongoing wave of news coverage and feminist activism. Real change will have to wait till next year, though. This year, Jameis Winston, who evaded rape charges as many athletes do, won the Heisman Trophy.

A prediction: real change will always have to wait till next year.



  1. rnilsson says

    Arrgh! And this one has only just begun!
    (grumbles some more and falls off chair asleep)

  2. arthur says

    Number 13 talks about the disgusting threats and abuse thrown at Caroline Criado-Perez during her campaign to have the new English bank notes feature a woman.

    As most of us are aware, the abuse Criado-Perez suffered was featured on Newsnight, as part of a wider discussion about online misogyny.


    The same piece also featured Rebecca Watson and focused on the Twitter “Blockbot”, with an interview with its creator, who posts here sometimes. According to Newsnight, the Blockbot creates a list of “offenders” and blocks their accounts for subscribers. The Blockbot website states: “The Block Bot is a Twitter application to automatically block the nastiest of these people.”

    This week, Caroline Criado-Perez’s name was added to the blockbot. Level 3. Ccriadoperez.


    I don’t know why Caroline was added to the list of “offenders”. Anyone have any ideas?

  3. says

    The Everyday Sexism Project should be compulsory viewing for all men

    It is the best example one can imagine of how to actually document all the misogyny out there

    I support it one hundred per cent and its founder Laura Bates deserves all the praise she gets

    But it is of no use at all unless all men [ including the liberal ones like myself ] actually read it

    For none of us can honestly say we cannot improve no matter how small that may actually be

    In a perfect world it would not exist of course but it is better it is out in the open than not at all

  4. says

    arthur – no. I have nothing to do with the block bot (though I interact with many or maybe all the people who do have anything to do with it). I don’t use it and I don’t admin it.

  5. medivh says

    Arthur: without knowing anything about twitter beyond that hashtags exist and twitter indexes them, I found the reason in five minutes of searching.

    Use the twitter search function with the following string: #level3 Ccriadoperez

    It will give you Who and Why. From the Block Bot’s page:

    Note for those coming here when blocked, nowhere does the bot say you are anything, abusive, an MRA, whatever. Look at the tweet that added you and ask the blocker that blocked you. The levels are from annoying to abusive bigot. Level1 people might have something to complain about in terms of being labelled “abusive, stalker, doxxer or faker”, few have however as it’s a pretty clear cut accusation. Level2 and Level3 are more subjective, are you really that damaged by some people thinking you are an asshole or annoying?

    Go read http://weekwoman.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/intersectionality-womans-hour-and-a-very-long-winded-apology/ and then talk to @MAMelby, rather than asking irrelevant questions of an unrelated person. Next time, perhaps you should use your brain to follow these simple steps with other people you think have been added for no good reason. Or, if you are what I suspect, go crawl back to the mildew and never come back.

  6. arthur says

    Medivh, I was genuinely unable to find out why Caroline had appeared on that list. I discovered the fact by inadvertently stumbling into Phil Mason’s (Thunderf00t) twitter timeline and reading it there. Like you, I’m no expert in Twitter.

    I don’t think i am what you “suspect”. I’ve been following and supporting this blog for years, an occasional commentator from long before it moved to Freethoughtblogs.

    As a supporter of Caroline’s banknote campaign, and an observer of this blockbot business since last Summer, I was dismayed to discover that she had been added to the list – particularly given her high profile status in relation to the list provided by the Newsnight show.

    Medivh, you have provided links explaining why Caroline was added to this list. I don’t believe I asked an irrelevant question of an unrelated person. My aim was to ask a question about someone mentioned in this very blog post, Caroline Criado-Perez, with the hope that another reader would provide some background. I was aware that administrators of the Blockbot sometimes post here, and could provide answers.

  7. says

    That’s a good illustration of one reason I don’t use the Block Bot and don’t monitor it or defend it or really do anything about it – I prefer to do my own blocking for my own reasons.

    On the other hand for lots of people the ability to avoid the whole mess is worth the risk of ignoring some people they might not intend to ignore.

  8. medivh says

    Arthur: you’ve asked about the Atheism+ Block Bot. Ophelia has nothing to do with the block bot, or A+. Point one for bad faith.

    I found your information in less than five minutes with the obvious hashtag #level2, used mainly if not only by block bot moderators, and the obvious search term of the username in question. If you are as you say, and you have years of experience using the Internet, this obvious “let me google that for you” step wouldn’t have escaped you. Either you’re lying about your experience, or you’re lying about being here in good faith, unless I’m mistaken. Point two. Point three comes with that you’ve been here at B&W for years, yet missed Ophelia saying that she likes some parts of A+ but isn’t willing to join.

    Your message pattern-matches with slimy trolls. Specifically, you request information about A+, in a way that would make Ophelia denounce the movement or defend it, were she to care enough to do either about a movement she isn’t a part of. The question pattern-matches the JAQ-off style as well. Point four.

    I can’t say I’m convinced by your protestations. What I can say is that you’ve been rude in dragging the comment thread off topic, especially when there are better places to ask this question on FTB. What I can also say is that I’ve been rude by allowing you to drag me off topic with you. And for that, I apologise. To Ophelia.

    Sorry, Ophelia; I’ve been in a bad mood and I took it out on someone in your blog. I’ll try to be better about that in the future.

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