Last week, I wrote an essay on women on the Internet in which I argued that the real problem is not the sexualized remarks and threats of violence that people tend to focus on. I've now been blogging for more than a dozen years, and for all the threats and the comments, they have never resulted in so much as a light shove or a pushy pass in the real world. No, the real problem, to me, is that women attract an undue amount of nonsexual rage and denigration from people who don't like the opinions they hold. People are ruder, angrier, more condescending and more dismissive with women who make arguments they don't like.
Megan, the fact that I disagree with your conclusion and am about to condescendingly dismiss your opinion has nothing to do with your gender; it has to do with the quality of your thinking, which in this case is particularly weak. You see, people disagree with each other on the internet all the time. They are dismissive of each other's opinions on the internet all the time. Feminists are dismissive of misogynists, or people they imagine to be misogynists, and vice versa, both on and off the internet. Also of politicians, celebrity chefs, mommy bloggers, daddy bloggers, coffeeshop haunters, hollywood actors, reality tv stars...
You get the idea.
Having your opinions dismissed and condescended at on the internet -- or, for that matter, off the internet -- is not a sexist problem. It's a human problem. And it's a human problem only insofar as the dismissal and condescension is not warranted, when frankly, most opinions probably deserve more ridicule and mockery than they actually receive.
So while, yes, there is a problem with sexualized mockery and threats of rape and violence against women online, I can point to multiple cases of similarly sexualized threats directed against men online, by both men and women. The problem is not that sexualized threats of rape and violence are sexist; the problem is the sexualized threats of rape and violence, period.
But if people are being rude, angry, condescending and dismissive of your opinions in a non-sexual fashion, you should consider the possibility that it doesn't have anything to do with the fact that you are a woman. It might well have something to do with the individual and the fact that they don't agree with you. And possibly with your opinions.
This entry was published Thu Jan 16 08:32:58 CST 2014 by TriggerFinger
and last updated 2014-01-16 08:32:58.0.