Category Archives: sexual harassment
I ran across this remarkable painting, titled “The Irritating Gentleman,” on Sheltered and Safe From Sorrow, a blog devoted to Victorian mourning rituals and other creepiness from that period. The gentleman in question seems to be a Victorian era Pickup Artist in action. He’s even peacocking, Mystery style, with that bow tie and stupid hat and even a non-ironic handlebar moustache. Probably the only thing keeping him from wearing aviator goggles is the fact that airplanes haven’t yet been invented.
What makes it all the worse is that the PUA’s target is clearly in mourning. As the blogger behind rawr I’m a tumblr notes:
She’s wearing all black in 1874. Black gloves, hat, cloak, and dress. In public. The whole nine yards. That’s not a fashion choice or a gothic thing. Back then when people wore all black like that, they were in mourning for someone who died. No one did mourning like the Victorians, that shit was an art form to them.
Someone in her family has died—she could even be a young widow. No one’s accompanying her either. With the carpet bag? She’s traveling alone while still in deep mourning. Look at the closeup. She’s got tears in her eyes. She is upset, devastated in a way that one is only when someone has died. And the guy’s still bothering her, like her problems are flippant bullshit and she needs to just smile or pay attention to him because ladies are supposed to be pleasing for men no matter what shit they’re going through. That’s not a look of “what an ass.” That’s a look of devastation that even in her pain, she’s expected to give people like him focus. She’s not mad. She’s hurt. And to add insult to injury? Everyone would be able to tell. It was a clear sign and still is in ways that someone is mourning, to dress in black crepe like that. He would know why she’s wearing all black, and he’s still demanding her attention.
What an insufferable dick.
The so-called manosphere may be a tiny (if noisy) corner of the internet, but here’s yet another reminder that many of its, er, “values” are shared by people other than angry Spearhead commenters and NWOslave. Some of these people even have access to real power. At the Values Voters conference this week, at which Republican VP contender Paul Ryan gave a talk, a group called Modesty Matters distributed flyers whose text reads as if it had been cribbed from posts on The Thinking Housewife or the CoAlpha Brotherhood forum.
As ThinkProgress.org reports:
Modesty Matters criticized women for dressing “immodestly” at church, and blamed women for causing men to stare lustfully at them.
Women must “embrace MODESTY in dress and behavior,” one of the handouts read. Women dressed immodestly in church are “an insult to a holy God,” another said.
Some other choice bits highlighted by ThinkProgress:
From the “Modesty: It’s nothing to be ashamed of” pamphlet: “Since men are particularly visual, immodesty in church can trigger lustful thoughts.”
“My men’s bible study group talks frequently about controlling our lust, thoughts, and eyes. Yes the problem and responsibility are ours, but is it really reasonable for the women of the church to make it THIS difficult for us?”
From the “True Woman Manifesto”: “All women, whether married of single, are to model femininity in their various relationships, by exhibiting a distinctive modesty, responsiveness, and gentleness of spirit.”
Frankly, I don’t think women are completely responsible for all of this terrible immodesty.
Obviously, James Brown deserves part of the blame as well. Here’s footage of him lobbying congress on the controversial “hot pants” issue:
Paul Elam on “stupid lying whores,” Rebecca Watson, and how he never claims to be a victim even though he totally is one.
In the fast-paced, perpetually busy world of today, we don’t all have time to read every post on A Voice for Men. So here is an edited version of Paul Elam’s latest post, on Rebecca Watson of Skepchick. And whores. And how he personally doesn’t spend all his time claiming to be a victim, even though he totally is one, in case you forgot since the last time he reminded you of that.
Whores … typical whore … Main Street walking, garden variety anybody’s whore … honest whore. … corporate whore … corporate whores … whorish sexual symmetry … stupid whore … stupid whore … whore … lying whore … whore … lying whore … whore … lying whore … corporate whore … a lying whore can also be a corporate whore … whoring for the cause … whore … PZ Myers … stupid, lying whore … not just a lying whore who also happens to be a stupid whore … a different subspecies of whore altogether … stupid, lying whore … whore that rigorously abandons intellect, rationale, evidence, decency and compassion, and also fosters much deserved hostility toward themselves … stupid, lying whore … stupid, lying whore … .
Paul Elam, meet Tom Martin.
Complementarian Loner: “Due to their lame, banal talking, [women] show they are only good for sex.” So online sexual harassment of women is just peachy!
Complementarian Loners, a relationship blog of sorts run by two kinky but reactionary Catholics (and which I’ve written about before), describes itself as “primarily a blog of ideas.” The main idea seems to be that women are awful, worthless creatures. Surprisingly, it is CL, the female half of the blogging team, who is often the most vociferous on this point.
In a post unironically titled “Tits or GTFO (a.k.a. How Women Ruin Everything),” CL defends the regular harassment women face when entering – sorry, “invading” – “male spaces” online. As she writes:
Too many women will waltz in and expect to engage everyone, with no sense that perhaps they should just hang back once they’ve had their say if they even have it. They talk and talk and talk, derailing conversations, going off-topic usually to talk about themselves, until all that’s left is a room full of clucking hens and all the smart guys eventually get fed up and leave.
They want to be considered equals yet prove they do not deserve it both by showing that what they really want is to be up on that pedestal and that they are incapable of rational thought.
You can watch a live stream of the show on the Al Jazeera website here.
Do women face more misogyny online than they do in person? Why? Does it reflect real sentiment or opportunistic, anonymous behavior? Have you experienced harassment as a woman online? What can be done about it?
I’m really looking forward to the show. It should be interesting.
If you have any suggestions about issues I should raise or points you think it’s important to make, let me know in the comments below.
We’ve heard before from numerous MRAs and MGTOWers and other backwards dudes that women who dress like “sluts” deserve to be raped. You may remember my post about the patriarchy-loving MGTOWer who calls himself Drealm, who thinks that immodest dress is an assault on men, because it excites them without giving them the opportunity to, well, rape the women who so cruelly give them boners. In Drealm’s mind, almost any form of clothing on a woman that in any way shows her shape is suspect – as does uncovered female hair.
Obviously, I think all of us will agree that certain kinds of clothes are inappropriate in certain settings – no one of any gender should be teaching kindergarteners wearing nothing but a thong – but invariably those who complain the most about women wearing “immodest clothing” have a much broader notion of “immodesty,” which includes things that most of us just consider “clothing” – shorts, short skirts, any top that shows even the tiniest amount of cleavage. (Click on the picture above to see more about Liberty University’s dress code for women.)
Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is not confined to religious fundamentalists and weird dudes lurking in the dark corners of internet. Recently, Laura Wood, the self-identified Thinking Housewife behind the blog of the same name, has declared that “immodest dress is a form of aggression.” The heart of her post is a reposted comment from a reader posting under the name of Arete, arguing that immodest dress is a form of violence towards men similar to and in some ways even worse than actual violence from men towards women.
Immodest dress is analogous to male violence. Men who flaunt their muscles and crush beer can’s with their fists (not that I have seen much of that lately) are telling the weaker world around them, “I could crush you. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.We’ll see. Depends how much you annoy me.” Women are stronger than men in this one way – the sight of their women’s bodies is overpowering to men. Immodest women are saying to men, “You could have sex with me, if I let you. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. It depends how much you annoy me.”
Both behaviors are flaunting the power that one has over another weaker being and both behaviors used to be considered uncouth.
But as the myth goes: only men have ever been violent towards women not the other way around (women have no power over men whatsoever – don’t you know!) and so now that we have entered the great age of woman – when she will get her revenge for all the injustices against her by men through the ages – both real and imagined — she has decided to take her “pound of flesh.” But instead of a swift cut right above the heart like Shylock she wants to get men where it really hurts– tease and taunt with the sight of her own body, forever reminding men of their weakness before female power.
So apparently a woman giving a man a boner by wearing an outfit less modest than a nun’s is worse than a dude literally punching a woman.
Laura’s comments make clear she agrees with this basic assessment, though (in a moment of generosity towards her own gender) she acknowledges that some women may not be conscious of the enormous power they wield over men every time they put on a tank top.
In the comments, Fitgerald expresses his enthusiasm for Arete’s thesis:
This is sooooo true… as a male I can ABSOLUTELY attest to this. …
As a celibate male I must actively work at constraining sexual response to females flaunting their wares.. “You could have sex with me, if I let you. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.”.. yeah right. If I was an alpha male – strong, thin, tall, tanned.. definitely — I’ll also have to be honest and say it does piss me off, but suppressing ordinary human responses is part and parcel of not only being a civilized human being, but a Christian which constrains me further. …
Women are the sexual power brokers. They can and do decide with whom they pair and mate with. Men are essentially powerless save those few well endowed “alphas” (rich, physical specimens, powerful) who are like kryptonite to many women. Any male that is half-aware knows the look: “Yes.. look at me.. I’m sexually desirable. See my power. Feel my power..” Oh, then the look away: “But you aren’t worthy of me.” Happens EVERY day.
Yep, another misogynist furious that women get to choose who they have sex with. Dude, SO DO GUYS. If two people are having sex, both of them have to agree to it. Otherwise it is rape. Everyone is their own “sexual gatekeeper.”
Robin offers a mild dissent, noting that some of the “immodest” dressers may be victims of sexual abuse. But they still deserve “righteous judgement,” at least when this judgement is ostensibly tempered by “love.”
I was once one of these women: a female friend was loving enough to take me bra shopping as a thirty-three year old adult and teach me about covering my body so as not to invite further abuse. Other people waited patiently and said nothing; this was a disservice to me as I could have transformed more quickly if people would have had the confidence to open their mouths and teach me the truth. Others condemned me without knowing my story, and I withdrew in offense.
While it is true that immodest dress is a form of aggression in feminist women, I want to bring to light that sexual abuse of young girls has become so prevalent that many women we see walking around today dressed as prostitutes may still be ensnared and imprisoned by their victim mentality brought about through no fault of their own due to horrendous acts of abuse against their bodies as children. I believe it is important that these women do not experience condemnation, but rather righteous judgment in love so as to bring about repentance from this behavior so that they may be healed and be examples to others.
Laura feels the need to reiterate that some women and girls really have no excuse for being slutty sluts:
I know teenage girls who are sweet and innocent, and have never been abused, who dress like tarts. It’s everywhere. They see it and they imitate it.
I’m interested how Laura knows that these girls haven’t been abused. Does she know the intimate details of all of these girls’ lives? Or does she just have powerful Abuse-dar?
Mary, meanwhile, argues that the real villains here aren’t women – but evil feministy feminists.
I have too many female friends who have had their hopes dashed/hearts broken/been humiliated at the hands of average-looking, low status guys to buy that women have all the power. These average young women were doing what they thought they were supposed to do, what they were told everyone was doing – having premarital sex, that is. They were told by feminists that it was as fun for them as it was for the men if only they would get into the spirit of it, that it would lead to ultimate happiness, that it would benefit them. Many girls of average attractiveness are giving themselves away, sometimes over and over again, to unworthy men and to their own heartbreak, while the strains of “Your Body is a Wonderland” play in the background. I don’t call that sexual power. That men are more vulnerable to visual cues doesn’t make all men innocent, just as some women’s extreme immodesty doesn’t make all women sexual power brokers. …
That’s what’s so diabolical about today’s extreme immodesty: many of these women are just trying to be relevant.
Apparently the readers of The Thinking Housewife, like many MRAs and other manosphere dudes, seem to have forgotten almost entirely the old stereotype of the hairy-legged, man-hating feminist; these days, they seem to assume that any woman who wears skirts above the knee and doesn’t hate sex is a feminist.
Setting aside the ridiculousness of the “sexy clothes are an assault on men” argument generally, I can’t help but wonder how many men out there – beyond Drealm and Franklin and assorted religious fundamentalists – actually, honestly feel “assaulted” when they see a woman they find attractive wearing something that shows off her figure. Somehow I suspect that most straight guys who are interested in sex – including most of those railing endlessly about evil sluts online — actually find this sort of thing … pleasant. Most of those guys complaining about immodest dress would, I think, feel rather disappointed if women actually decided to cover up – and not just because it would rob them of yet another excuse to demonize the ladies.
So someone on Reddit did a little experiment that confirmed what we already know: that Reddit is overflowing with misogynist douchebags. Here’s the experimenter explaining her somewhat casual experimental protocol:
I noticed after two months as my female username I was constantly having to defend my opinions. I mean constantly. I would post something lighthearted, and have people commenting taking my comment literally and telling me I was dumb or I didn’t understand xyz. People were so eager to talk incredibly rudely and condescendingly to me. People were downright hateful and it made me consider leaving.
Then I decided to experiment with usernames and came up with an obviously male name. While people still disagreed with me which is to be expected, I had more people come to my defense when I had a different opinion and absolutely no hateful or condescending comments. I am completely shocked at how different I am treated since having a male username. I am not saying Reddit is sexist, well kind of yes, but I think it’s really interesting and thought that some other girls on here would want to get male usernames and see the difference for themselves.
She posted this in TwoXChromosomes, a subreddit devoted to women and women’s issues that is regularly overrun with angry MRA dudes and an assortment of FemRAs. This time the MRA squad didn’t take over the discussion, and numerous 2XCers reported experiences similar to that of the OP.
I had a feminine user name years ago. Fuck that. It was like having a target on my back.
cantstopthe tried to duplicate the experiment on a smaller scale:
Just wanted to say that I made an alt yesterday with a female name, and continue to post the kind of things I normally post under this account. And today I was told I should be raped.
That has NEVER happened in all my 4 years of being on this site with various neutral names.
misscastaway also tried posting with a clearly female name:
I just tried posting on an discussion from this account. Immediately an insult including the word cunt and remarks on how I’m making a fool out of myself.
Might be a coincidence but when posting from my regular account (which is very gender neutral) that I use for discussions related to science, fitness, books etc I have never received this kind of behaviour. Not even when it turned out someone knew more about the subject and I was wrong/short in my knowledge. Then I was given another point of view, with a source – that was it.
I guess I’ll keep using those accounts in parallel now just to see if this was just by chance or if it really makes such a difference.
fatchick400 reported on the results of a similar experiment:
I created this account a few days ago to comment on some fat-hate, and have actually found it really interesting to see reddit from a different point of view.
The biggest surprise for me is the difference in how fat women are treated vs fat men. There is so much more hatred towards the fat women. A lot of people even refer to these women as “it”, completely negating their gender all together.
Meanwhile in the posts about fat men there are a few hateful comments, but they’re mostly full of light hearted jokes. In a few posts where the guys were obviously morbidly obese, barely anyone commented on the guys’ weight at all. Yet in posts with woman who are maybe 200lbs , mocking her weight always seems to be the main focus of conversation.
twofish added her experience to the pile of anecdotal evidence:
Most people on reddit assume I am male until I make it a point to say otherwise. More often than not, once it’s discovered that I own a vagina I’m no longer taken seriously, my opinions are belittled, and a slough of sexist and misogynist jokes/accusations get thrown my way.
I love Reddit for many reasons but it is one of THE most hostile places on the internet to be a woman.
Just seems like someone who set out to “prove” her own biases. She was biased to begin with, she ran the “experiment” in a biased way, interpreted the results in a biased way and then presented them to support her initial assumptions.
It’s the usual princess feminism which says men have it easy and women have it hard even while the exact opposite is happening. Why wouldn’t she say which usernames she used in her “test” so others can look at her methodology? Of course it’s not serious but then that’s the point.
Others explained that they weren’t really sexist because they’re such earnest fanboys of GirlWritesWhat, a woman who is able to bypass the usual MRA misogyny by pandering to the misogynists’ fantasy of male martyrdom.
The woman who posted about the experiment in the first place has now popped in to the r/menrights thread, and has (very politely) suggested to Mr. Byron that he try the experiment himself. I guess we’ll see what happens.
Gamer asshole: “Sexual harassment is part of the culture. If you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community.”
Capcom and IGN recently put on a little online gaming “reality” show called Capcom’s Cross Assault, based on the game Street Fighter x Tekken. The show, like the game, pits a team of Street Fighter players against a Tekken team.
During a live stream of the ongoing battle on day five of the tournament, Twitch.tv community manager Jared Rea made a few remarks criticizing the assholish, and often misogynistic, comments of some of the fighters.
Here’s how the Penny Arcade Report summarized what followed. (I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting several particularly egregious comments in bold.)
“This is Aris,” a voice said on the feed. “If you don’t like onions, you get your sandwich without onions on it, man. This is the fighting game community.” He then stated that sexual harassment and the fighting game community are “one and the same thing.”
The voice belonged to Aris Bakhtanians, the coach of the Tekken team.
“The sexual harassment is part of the culture. If you remove that from the fighting game community, it’s not the fighting game community… it doesn’t make sense to have that attitude. These things have been established for years,” Aris stated. He then noted that making sexual jokes at StarCraft players would be inappropriate, so it’s unfair for anyone to tell fighting game fans they can’t viciously mock women. …
“That’s what you’re trying to do to the fighting game community and it’s not right,” Aris continued. “It’s ethically wrong.” This may be the first time in the history of video games that someone had said that removing sexual harassment is ethically unjust.
Later in the, er, discussion, after someone brought up the harassment of a guy playing a female character (“someone yelling the world “bitch” over and over … and then scream[ing] for her rape when she lost”) Aris responded with this:
“What is unacceptable about that?” Aris asked. “There is nothing unacceptable about that. We’re in America! This isn’t North Korea! We can say what we want.”
You can listen to the whole discussion on this video; it starts, with Rea’s comments, at about one hour forty-five minutes in. (Aris starts commenting about two minutes later.)
Many more appalling details in the PA report post.
Oh, gaming community! Get it the fuck together.