There are also global standards

At least someone gets it: why if person X – let’s call him Merelyatruck – is a sexist shit at blog Y – let’s call it ARF – a woman Z – let’s call her OB – wouldn’t want him commenting on her blog (let’s call it B&W) no matter how fake-civil he pretended to be while there.

Said eigenperson:

#87 Justicar:

I think it’s very clear what Ophelia is saying there. She’s saying that if you are good in Location 1 and bad in Location 2, then you may act well sometimes, but you are not a good person, because a good person tries not to act badly anywhere.

I would agree with that. While it is entirely appropriate to adapt one’s behavior to the local community standards, there are also global standards by which one ought to govern oneself everywhere, or at least anywhere public. What those standards are is, of course, debatable.

For example, I know of one prominent scientist (now deceased) who was an absolutely raging sexist while he was at work. He did a lot of harm with his sexism in that context. But, in other contexts, he was not a sexist at all; in fact, he was very respectful to women in every location except his own office at the university, where he would recommend rejecting their applications (if they were grad students) or denying them tenure (if they were professors), or if they showed up in person, verbally abusing them until they went away.

I am not willing to say that he was a good person, even though in so many contexts he acted according to standards I would be okay with. Because there was one context in which he consistently did not, even after it was explained to him that his behavior in that context was very harmful. This wasn’t just a case of “Oh, gee, I didn’t realize I had that bias!” No, it was very deliberate.

If Ophelia thinks that the way you act on ERV is willful and harmful, it’s entirely rational for her to say that you are not a good person, even though you behave like one on her blog.

Why yes, that’s it exactly. Thank you, eigenperson.

So get off Twitter. We see you are still on Twitter.

A guy who talked shit to Tory MP Louise Mensch and threatened her children via email was given a suspended 26-week sentence earlier this month.

Zimmerman targeted Mensch after last summer’s riots when the Corby MP suggested that sites such as Twitter ought to be closed down if the police thought it necessary. Mensch was also in the public eye as a member of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, which questioned Rupert and James Murdoch over phone hacking.

Oh well in that case – obviously she deserved anything he chose to deal out.

Addressing her as the “slut of Twitter”, Zimmerman said: “We are Anonymous and we do not like rude cunts like you and your nouveau riche husband Peter Mensch. We are inside your computer, all your phones everywhere and inside your homes.

“So get off Twitter. We see you are still on Twitter. We have sent a camera crew to photograph you and your kids and we will post it over the net including Twitter, cuntface. You now have Sophie’s Choice: which kid is to go. One will. Count on it cunt. Have a nice day.”

Well if she doesn’t like that kind of thing she should just stay home and shut up.

Why women can’t have nice things

The gaming article linked to Helen Lewis in The New Statesman: Dear The Internet, This Is Why You Can’t Have Anything Nice.

A Californian blogger, Anita Sarkeesian, launched a Kickstarter project to make a web video series about “tropes vs women in videogames”. Following on from her similar series on films, it aimed to look at women as background decoration, Damsels in Distress, the Sexy Sidekick and so on.

What a good subject. Women in the media – it’s such a mess these days, there can’t be enough work done on this. Hooray for Anita Sarkeesian. [Read more…]

Enough to drive some of my friends from the game

It’s not just the atheists and skeptics. It’s not just the US. It’s not just bloggers. It’s everywhere. It’s (notoriously) in gaming; it’s in Australia (gee, really?!).

I’d talk to fellow players who’d moved servers, convinced that Thaurissan (an Oceanic server, with a high volume of Australian players) was suffering from the same rot as Australian society in general. Alas, as it turned out, there was sexism in pretty much every server and realm, enough to drive some of my friends from the game.

Thus making it even more sexist, thus driving even more women from the game; repeat. Cf recent events. Women murmur about sexism; man rebukes women for murmuring about sexism; explosion of sexism takes place; women go elsewhere. [Read more…]

Throws like a girl, too

Same old same old same old same old. Woman says things that people disagree with; people call her a slut a whore a bitch a cunt.

Louise Mensch is currently making news because she’s been the target of misogyny. After she journeyed to every TV studio in London to voice her ill-advised support for Rupert Murdoch, some unpleasant individuals took to Twitter to brand her a slut, a whore, a bitch and other unedifying terms. In response, Mensch meticulously documented all those inveighing against her, and took to Twitter (where else?) to denounce them using the hashtag #feminism.

She’s a Tory. I’m not a Tory, just as I’m not a Republican. I somehow manage to get along however without calling Michelle Bachmann a slut or a whore or a bitch or a cunt. [Read more…]

You gonna believe Mona Eltahawy or the grand mufti?

Nahed Eltantawy responds to Mona Eltahawy’s article on woman-hating in the Middle East. She hates it.

I felt deeply offended and insulted by Mona Eltahawy’s latest article in Foreign Policy, titled Why Do They Hate Us?   I follow Eltahawy’s columns quite regularly and I accept many of her arguments, even if I do not agree with her views on Islam and veiling. But for her to claim that “they” hate Arab women is in my view complete nonsense…Everything, from virginity tests, to sexual deprivation, female genital mutilation, sexual harassment and child marriage, is included in this article to produce a column that will surely be welcomed by many Western feminists and anti-Islamists, who for years have been telling us that Muslim women are weak, oppressed victims of misogyny and rigid Islamic rules that force them to hide behind their veils.

Meaning what? We shouldn’t worry about women stoned to death, girls taken out of school and forced into marriage, girls who are held down while their genitals are sliced off, women whipped for not wearing a burqa? We should just say “that’s their culture, it’s none of our business” and go on our way rejoicing? We should be insular and selfish and indifferent?

But for many Arab women (I say many based on the negative reaction Eltahawy’s column has already stirred), this column is offensive and is nothing but a combination of old cultural practices and undemocratic government actions that are described in a way to represent women as the Oriental Other, weak, helpless and submissive, oppressed by Islam and the Muslim male, this ugly, barbaric monster.

Ah yes, naughty Orientalist Mona Eltahawy, representing Arab women as the Other. How does that work, exactly?

…some of the evidence Eltahawy relies on, such as virginity tests, criminal codes, etc are problems of undemocratic governing and have nothing to do with hate of women. These are problems that also impact men. There are numerous accounts of police brutality in Egypt, where men have been beaten, sexually abused or beaten to death. Have we forgotten about Khaled Said, the young Alexandrian, whose brutal death sparked the Jan25 Revolution? Or how about Essam Atta, the young man who was tortured to death in prison? Why do we always have to focus on violence against women?

“Virginity tests” in which cops shove fingers up women have nothing to do with hate of women? Really? As for that final question – words fail me.

I find Eltahawy’s discussion of sexual harassment also problematic. Eltahawy, very candidly and on more than one occasion, has described in detail her ordeal with Egyptian riot police back in November 2011. She explained how she was groped everywhere by a number of police officers while in Cairo. Yet in this Foreign Policy column, she adds a new detail; she informs her audience that she was groped earlier that day by a fellow protester in Tahrir Square! But while Eltahawy details her groping ordeal, she fails to mention the heroic Egyptian women and men who are fighting this epidemic. There is no denial that sexual harassment is a disgusting and sick problem in Egypt that needs to be eradicated. Yet, there’s also no denial that there are gutsy women who are already engaged in a battle against this epidemic.