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Women And Internet Harassment

Internet aggression toward women. What’s it about? How do we fix it? Plus, a media firestorm around tweeting through cancer.

A woman uses a personal computer. (Ray Smith / Flickr / Creative Commons)

A woman uses a personal computer. (Ray Smith / Flickr / Creative Commons)

Amanda Hess writes for Slate, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, ESPN The Magazine and more.  These days, that means Amanda Hess is online, by name, a lot.  With opinions.  Exposure.  And what’s come back at her online, from angry men, is fairly-well horrifying.  Death threats.  Rape threats.  Sexual taunting.  Threats of dismemberment, beheading.  Horror.  Now Amanda Hess and others are saying “enough.”  What is up with the ugly tide of sexual menace and violent threats toward women on the web?  This hour On Point:  women and sexual menace on the Internet.

– Tom Ashbrook


Amanda Hess, freelance writer. Author of “Why Women Aren’t Welcome On the Internet.” (@AmandaHess)

Anna Holmes,  founding editor of Jezebel.com, the online women’s news and culture magazine. Author of “The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things” and “Hell Hath No Fury: Women’s Letters From The End of the Affair.” Columnist at the New York Times Book Review. (@AnnaHolmes)

Danielle Citron, professor of law the University of Maryland, Balitmore. Author of “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace.” (@DANIELLECITRON)

From Tom’s Reading List

Pacific Standard: Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet — “A woman doesn’t even need to occupy a professional writing perch at a prominent platform to become a target. According to a 2005 report by the Pew Research Center, which has been tracking the online lives of Americans for more than a decade, women and men have been logging on in equal numbers since 2000, but the vilest communications are still disproportionately lobbed at women. We are more likely to report being stalked and harassed on the Internet—of the 3,787 people who reported harassing incidents from 2000 to 2012 to the volunteer organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, 72.5 percent were female. ”

New York Times: The War on Women — “I don’t think either the left or the right quite understands this worldview: feminists tend to see it simply as a species of reaction, social conservatives as the dark fruit of sexual liberation, when it’s really a combination of the two. And because it channels some legitimate male anxieties alongside its chauvinism and resentment, it probably can’t be shamed or driven underground — or not, at least, without making its side effects for women that much more toxic.”

The Wire: Welcome to the Twisted Age of the Twitter Death Threat — “Enter the age of the online death threat. It’s scary, yeah, because it’s a death threat. Humans rarely like being threatened with an end to their basic essence, no matter the delivery method for that announcement. And yet, on Twitter, this becomes such a weird, surreal concept: It’s deeply impersonal (these people don’t even know each other and probably never will; NONE of them know each other, likely), fueled by a false kind of rage spawned by the way the Internet works (one side gets self-righteously mad, another side self-righteously madder, and repeat). Fortunately, in most cases, the threat is also incredibly unlikely to be fulfilled. ”

The Media-Firestorm Around Tweeting Through Cancer

Lisa Belkin, senior columnist for The Huffington Post. Author of “Life’s Work: Confessions of an Unbalanced Mom,” Show Me A Hero,” and “First, Do No Harm:The Dramatic Story of Real Doctors and Patients Making Impossible Choices at a Big-City Hospital.”  (@LisaBelkin)

The Huffington Post: Lisa Bonchek Adams And The Problem With Criticizing A Woman Who Documents Her Cancer Treatment Online  – “True we need a national conversation about ‘how much is too much.’ But the reason the lines are blurred in the first place — i.e. the very reason we need that conversation — is because what is one patient’s torture is another’s reassurance that they have done everything they could. Emma’s father was 79 when he died two years ago, with multiple health problems. Lisa Adams was 37 when she was diagnosed seven years ago, with three young children. Yes, her years of treatment have been agonizing at times, and I would not presume to tell any patient that they must choose that painful, possibly fruitless, path. I also would never dream of telling them that they shouldn’t. What Bill sees as extra years of ‘frantic medical trench warfare,’ Adams sees more simply as extra years.”

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  • keltcrusader

    This is a major reason why many women chose to post under a screen name rather than their real name. Many websites are now changing to require using real names, which I can understand considering the vitriol that is now posted. But when you have to worry about absolute misogynistic men who feel they have the right to berate and debase a poster based on her gender and threaten them with all manner of violence, then it stops being a good idea and becomes another thing to worry about.

    • d clark

      Every man who disagrees with you is a misogynist? And you are shocked there is push-back? (Posted as my name, unlike you).

      • Renee Engine-Bangger

        Disagreement is one thing. Vile, gender specific ad hominem insults are quite another. Are you defending that type of behavior?

        • d clark

          Anything short of specific, personal threat of violence yes, I call it the free-for-all of vehemently held ideas. But you want anything you don’t like to be banned.

          • Don_B1

            I didn’t see anything about banning “anything [they] don’t like.”

            What is wrong with banning ad hominem attacks of a nasty, obscene nature, which are only or predominantly made toward women?

            How does that type of post advance the discussion of an issue for which a broad understanding by the general public would be of benefit to society?

          • d clark

            What I consider “advancing a discussion of an issue” you may disapprove of. So I should be criminalized? I believe that is EXACTLY what you want!

          • Don_B1

            Your tone in your post is pure aggression, declaring that “[you] know what is going on here and [you] will brook no opposition to your judgment of the issue.”

            Where do you show any response/acknowledgment to the other side of the issue?

            So you are now surprised that some responses come back couched in your tone?

            You have just lost your argument in the minds of anyone who did not already agree with you, and you may have turned some of them away from your side.


          • d clark

            This is NPR, tool. I’m already pretty sure there is no agreement from the latte sipping crowd here. That is WHY I commented, so this wouldn’t be one, long, feminist, anti- non betaboy, cheerleading camp. OH, you don’t like aggression. As much I would have guessed. Then further down, you are the one commenting about my wife and the women in my life. Hypocrite much, there beta-boy!

          • jefe68

            Sometime it’s best to quote Marx: “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”

          • d clark

            Couldn’t resist the ad hominem could you. At least say it yourself and leave Marx (Groucho not Karl) to speak for himself.
            You sir, are a gutless wonder.

          • jefe68

            You sound like you have a lot of anger issues. Hope you get some help for that before you become a statistic.

          • d clark

            Ah yes, disagree with you and a person has anger issues. How convienient. I think you have mental illness issues. You may want that looked at before you become a statistic.

          • keltcrusader

            How’s about this, d clark. I used to post under my real name. I figured I wanted to own what I posted. But after receiving a phone message, at my home, from someone I didn’t know, who stated they “found” me by “my name” and “informational clues” I posted that allowed me to be tracked down. This person left a filthy and degrading message that was heard by me and my family that included my young children. That was it for me and, it was then, I chose a screen name.

          • d clark

            I repeat- specific personal threat is out of bounds. But I maintain you really, ultimately want to shut down non-feminist views.

          • keltcrusader

            no, I do not and I never said anything like that. You are reading more into what I posted than what I posted.

          • d clark

            You are false flag womyn. I do not believe you are speaking truthfully. So I suppose that statement should be illegal, according to you.

          • TFRX

            Oh, snap! “Womyn”!

            That showed her!

          • d clark

            Comment or shut up, your little snippet is childish.

          • keltcrusader

            Is he trying to prove a point here or just be a jerk? I vote for…….

          • TFRX

            My take is that certain males think there’s no funnier jibe to a female than bringing up the “no man” term “womyn”.

            That it (“womyn”) is the coup de grace, the laugh line which always brings down the house.

          • d clark

            Not looking for laughs consonant soup. I believe it imminently descriptive.

          • Don_B1

            His wife must have cut him off last night? Or maybe something worse?

            He certainly needs to chill; but now he will certainly take the comments here that he virtually requested as confirmation of his (false) premise.

            I pity any woman that meets him and initially thinks well of him.

          • d clark

            Ah yes, you run out of things to say, beta boy and now the women of the world hate me. Go ahead, I’m not about to correct your ad hominem. This is what you hypocritical quislings like to do.

          • Don_B1

            When someone like you gets “on the high-horse” about something, it seems reasonable to speculate as to what brought on that hyperactivity! Further speculation as to what in your character led to that response might then be ad hominem.

          • d clark

            Many decades of feminist hypocrisy and demand for having the cake and eating it too! I believe you are probably young and sniffing around the girls and that makes for your lap-dog quisling nature. You don’t mind me speculating too, do you beta-boy. Oh, and at least do ad hominem like you mean it, like you’ve done something in your life besides sit behind a keyboard, though I wager you haven’t!

          • jefe68

            Oh, and at least do ad hominem like you mean it, like you’ve done something in your life besides sit behind a keyboard, though I wager you haven’t!

            Very nice self analysis there sparky.

          • d clark

            Ah yes, the quisling speaks looking into his mirror.

          • Don_B1

            What is hypocritical about women wanting respect for themselves, in the home and at work?

            In the home they have been expected to take much more responsibility for raising children and household chores while at work they have been paid less for equal performance.

            Why shouldn’t they object to that? But you seem to want to tell them to shut up and went they object to your wishes, you convert their objection into a wish that you shut up, which they are not asking.

            What they might like to know is what basis you make your claims on, in a real discussion, instead of you just dictating the discussion.

          • jefe68


          • TFRX

            He called you “Beta Boy”.

            Speaking of failed laugh lines, at least he didn’t call you “Pajama Boy (sic)”.

          • d clark

            Man up consonant soup. Quit with your failed laugh lines. At least ATTACK me!

          • FrankensteinDragon

            lights out little boy. tommorrow is a big day. was that fun for ya?

          • d clark

            Every one who disagrees with you is a child. How convienient for you. says the 10 year old with frankeinstein dragon for a name. Hilarious!

          • Don_B1

            It appears that most people perceive your comments as being childish. You can change that, but only by entering the discussion in a more mature way, where you are not so pedantic and then use ad hominem attacks when people disagree.

            But it seems that you have a compulsive need to get the last word, as if that will solve anything.

            But all it will show is that you are the cranky child who feels that is “getting its way.”

          • jefe68

            This guy sounds on the verge of really losing it. Of course he could be just winding everyone up, trying to get a rise out people. There is something troll like about him.

          • d clark

            It is called passion, gelding. Maybe you should try it sometime! (Notice, even uses exclamation marks for passion).

          • d clark

            Oh wait, is it now the great egalitarian keltcrusader resorting to ad hominem? The sweet smell of hypocrisy

          • jefe68

            The chap is a wanker of the first order.
            I bet he’s the “life” of many a party.

          • d clark

            But name calling for you is permitted. HYPOCRITE!

          • jefe68

            Grow up.

          • d clark

            Again, disagreement with your ideology is OBVIOUSLY childish, yes?. You are the one who needs so desparately to grow up and realize there are many other viewpoints other than yours and the holding of them doesn’t make someone a sub-human.

          • Don_B1

            Then explain your viewpoint instead of demanding that everyone accept your point that basically says that all women (and others who disagree with you) are hypocrites or worse.

            That is not the way to win support for your ideas, or even to get people to understand what your ideas are.

          • d clark

            My answer to you was deleted (on NPR imagine). Say something real or be quiet. Your comment is childish.

          • keltcrusader

            I am keeping myself safe from people who don’t understand boundaries and/or civility. My gender shouldn’t be the basis of your attacks on me.

          • d clark

            As I just said. You just now said “your” attacks. By that you mean me. I state I think you have a hidden agenda/ideology and now I have “attacked” you. This is the chilling I am talking about. It is about YOU having the authority to determine what constitutes an attack and then shutting me up because of it. As I responded to you the first time, anything YOU don’t LIKE is misogynistic!. Don’t expect us to sit quietly while that goes down!

          • keltcrusader

            Of course I mean you! You are the only one here putting “words” in my mouth and attributing things to me that I have never stated. You are accusing me of lying. Exactly what point here are you trying to prove?

          • d clark

            Feminist duplicity, complicity, subterfuge and mis-direction. And you prove the point far better than I.

          • keltcrusader

            I think, perhaps, the only one who is proving to show the type of person they are here is you.

          • d clark

            Oh wow, the ” I know you are but what am I” argument. That is priceless.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            why are your engaging him. do you enjoy it? do you think he might say, oh yeah, you’re right, im wrong, always have been i see the light now. dont waste your time.

          • d clark

            I have re-read keltcrusader and my responses and all of your. You are all right all of you. I give up. Now since i was once an nra guy i have a gun and im going to use it on myself. no need for this kind of world anaymorw

          • FrankensteinDragon

            i know what duplicity means. what is feminist duplicity?

          • jefe68

            I hate to break it to you buster, but I’m an impartial observer and your getting pretty close to crossing the line of being a jerk to being abusive. Sorry you’re looking for a fight and that’s clear from your first post to Renee.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            im sorry but i dont think he is…he is simply stating his views, though we might disagree with them. i think you are dangerously close to slipping down that slope.

          • jefe68

            How so? The chap is losing his temper and (the all caps) seems to me to be looking for an altercation. Not a debate.

          • Don_B1

            Actually, d clark really didn’t state his views on the subject beyond a rant against feminism, with no justification for why he feels that way.

            That is not the level of discussion desired by most (though definitely not all — think of the trolls) readers of this blog.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            what is feminism? Sex in the city claims to be feminism by some “feminists”

            there are many kinds of feminism. it doesnt matter if his argument was poor. he is being attacked for disagreeing. i think both parties are outrageous. but you all play right into his hands. let it go.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            while i sympathize with what your saying–i dont think thats whats happening here with her. and the only thing that will shut people down is full disclosure of identity. the internet will shrivel–it will anyways now that net neutrality is “unconstitutional”–corporations now have the right to speed up corporate site and slow don all dissenting sites. this issue is just another tool for totalitarian control.

          • jefe68

            I hope you made police report, they most likely wont do anything, however it is an official record.

          • keltcrusader

            Tried to. I talked to our local police dept and they told me there wasn’t much they could do since I didn’t have a name or number (number unavailable on the caller id). We started locking the house like Fort Knox and I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder to the point I changed my route to & from work every day and varied my schedule for about 6 months. It was pretty scary and I still think about it sometimes.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            and the nSA, FBI and other dark units are doing exactly what your harrasser is doing–under the cover of cowardly blankets. The fascist oligarch establishment wants full disclosure–they want to look in your underwear–ni pun intended. But they dont want you to be ale to track, monitor, or regulate them.

            be careful what you wish for–the more people start crying for persecution–and they will have their pretense for total eye in the sky domination–which they have, but why make it easier for them.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            you want anonymity banned. you dont need to know who i am. its really none of your business. My ideas are what is important-take em or leave em.

      • AliceOtter33

        Keltcrusader’s comment didn’t mention anything about men disagreeing with women in online discussion.

        I wonder if “misogynist” is just too triggering a term for some men to read or hear in discussions about equality and women’s safety.

        • d clark

          Slippery slope and you feminists have a hidden agenda. This so you can shut me up.

          • AliceOtter33

            This is a misconception. The “beta lap dogs” are often the yippiest and thus, the most difficult to silence. They are often too busy bouncing around in territorial alarm at their own slippery slope conclusions, for anyone to get a word in. The beta dogs need to be reassured that they are not in danger of losing anything by coming to the aid of the most vulnerable in our society.

          • d clark

            Defining terms: I see beta boys as sychophant latte sippers who are trying to be whatever the Alpha girl wants on the slim hope of some day maybe getting a brief passing conjugal gift of the holy female. They keep their mouths shut so they can maybe, one day, if they are good, and ideologically pure enough, just possibly reach the holy grail of the mount of venus. This is not a misconception. They keep their mouths SHUT!

          • AliceOtter33


        • Archy

          “I wonder if “misogynist” is just too triggering a term for some men to
          read or hear in discussions about equality and women’s safety.”

          Depends how it’s used. I’ve been called a misogynist before for saying both men n women deserve to be free from violence. Absolutely no sexism in my post yet I get the label because I guess this person didn’t like a male commenting on gender issues. The dumbest thing was the site was for male issues, so it wasn’t derailing!

          Plenty of legit usages of the term I do think make some defensive though.

      • keltcrusader

        Please point out where I said “every” in my post. I don’t post under my name for the exact reason I stated and “d clark” isn’t very descriptive. Would you mind giving me your 1st name and where you live so I can look you up?

        • d clark

          Slippery slope. I HAVE seen disagreement with feminism screeched at as misogynists. You ABSOLUTELY want to shut up men you don’t agree with.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        whats your point. bleat bleat blaet

      • FrankensteinDragon

        what’s D stand for –come on! out with it. out with now! coward

  • Duras

    The internet is like the society’s unconscious. Much in the same way dreams reveal motives and desires, the internet reveals anger, violence, and despair behind the veneer of our physical appearances.

  • AC

    perhaps the ‘anti-bullying’ campaigns on todays kids will pay off and this will end someday, though i doubt it….that sounds cynical, but i really do doubt it…..

  • Citizen James

    Can I suggest something different? Trolls and other bullies look around the room for the weakest character. They are cowards unable to stand up to another with a strong presence. I personally -on this very ‘on point’ forum- have been harassed by a troll, a woman no less, who was literally taunting me. Of course women are going to be the subject of bullying more often. Of course men are going to be the bullies, but some times -even here- the reverse is true. My response: stay on topic, call out the troll for being a coward, and always keep the reply going.

  • Coastghost

    And the most recent reliable statistics concerning female dissemination of (perceived) anti-female/misogynist internet abuse gives us what kinds of figures in terms of whole population (the total number of women harassing other women) and percentages (of all instances of [perceived] internet abuse, how much content was contributed by women)?
    These questions will be among the first addressed, surely, once the show commences properly.

  • Yar

    No, you should not ignore any threat. Treat it like a custom’s agent. Pass the threat on to the authorities.

  • Jeff

    Try having a moderate or conservative opinion on a liberal forum…watch the attacks flood in!

    • TFRX

      Wow. You call yourself moderate?

      • jefe68

        I guess in his circle he might be.
        That’s something to ponder.

      • Jeff

        Yes, I recently voted against an anti-gay marriage amendment within my own state.

    • J__o__h__n

      Yes, the conservatives are the true victim of everything.

      • jefe68

        It’s all Obama’s fault. And Benghazi IRS….

    • Leonard Bast

      First, this is meaningless, since a liberal posting on a conservative site also faces the same sort of attacks. Second, it is off topic, since the show today is specifically about people who attack women.

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      File under: right wing victimology.

    • jefe68

      Have you seen what happens to people on right wing forums who don’t agree with agenda? It’s not pretty.

      Also this has nothing to do with today’s show.

      • Jeff

        Sure it does…it shows that attacks are prevalent across the internet and are done by all sorts of different groups (including the so called “open minded”). Some people turn it into a major issue where must create laws and limit free speech…BTW, if there is actual, physical, direct harassment that’s already illegal and go to the police (we already have laws to address stalking and harassment). Meanwhile, many other people realize that childish name calling and juvenile jokes/harassment are part of the deal of having debates on the internet.

        • jefe68

          The laws are not working very well.
          The level of violence towards women has gone up, not down.

          If I call your comment inane is that something you consider an attack?

          • Jeff

            It’s just name calling without data to back up your viewpoint.

  • TFRX

    Along the lines of Hess’ experience, there is this.

    Man creates fake female profile on dating site, gives up after two hours.

  • tbphkm33

    For better or for worse, the Web tends to project a person’s real character. Individuals have few inhibitions when interacting online, especially under an anonymous screen name.

    This discussion board itself shows a leaning of many toward anti-intellectualism. Well thought out comments are either ignored or quickly attacked by triviality, misconceptions and outright misinformation.

    Women tend to be less controversial and more nurturing. Many “female” characteristics can be magnets to bullies.

    Also, reality is that the U.S. has an unhealthy relationship toward gender roles and sexuality. Women have been objectified for nearly a century. Hollywood and the ad industry is based on selling the myth of sex and have become an unhealthy influence upon society.

    • Yar

      Magnet to bullies, sounds a lot like blaming the victim.

      • tbphkm33

        Not at all, the psychology of bullies is to attack what they perceive as being weakness.

        • Yar

          It isn’t so much what bullies do as how the rest of us react. Reporting violent or degrading speech is important for each of us to change the environment. Additude is contagious.

      • TFRX

        I don’t think it was intended that way. After all, on the internet, we’re dealing with “female characteristic” as “having a female’s name”.

        (All the usual caveats about pixels not conveying vocal tone, etc, apply here.)

    • Leonard Bast

      Well said.

  • Mari McAvenia

    I’ve done a little non-scientific experiment about this. On Disqus I use my real name. I get viciously trolled a lot here. On another network (which I shall not name) I use a gender ambiguous alias.
    When I make a popular point, there, many people think I’m a man and they support the idea. When I make the same point, here, I get instant thumbs down and occasional violent threats.

    • DeJay79

      sarcastic thumbs dumb, i swear!

      • Mari McAvenia

        It made me laugh. Thanks!

  • http://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com/ thalassa

    I think that part of this problem is the nature of anonyminty. Platforms with large audiences lack the ability to police themselves effectively and run the risk of having more trollish behavior. I moderate a small, niche forum and run a small, niche blog. This is not a problem that I have (in a decade of doing so) that I have ever had, simple because our member know each other and respect one another as people…because we have rules and guidelines and members that engaged in this behavior would not last long.
    Additionally, if you read the comments sections, men are harassed too…and, while they are harassed in differently, they are still harassed in a way that is often also sexist, in a way that attemps to “de-man” them. Considering that women are the larger portion of social media users, I’m not sure that the notion of women (or men)being threatened in this way should come as a surprise. It is a regrettable consequence of largely anonymous and repercussion-free free speech, that isn’t going to change until we, as a whole, hold these people accountable (and that includes the folks that run these sorts of large sites).

    • Don_B1

      There are platforms (e.g., The New York Times) that run full-time moderators, so that each post is actually read before “going live” on the comments section. [Note that The New York Times also allows those that give their full names and have demonstrated no violation of their comments-section rules to be posted live immediately.]

      But the delay that comes with moderation would be a negative to the conversation that blogs like this wish to engender.

      • TFRX

        Somewhere in the middle, I guess.

        Remember Topix?

        It was a popular mechanism (that’s all it was) for many newspapers to add comment sections online when that was a new thing. Ill-moderated, if at all, it resulted in many people–myself included–abandoning any number of newspaper sites.

        The bilgewater drove out many folks whp didn’t want to hold their breath and plunge in.

  • TFRX

    Somewhere I read that, in person, a man’s chief concern from a random unknown woman was “being made fun of” and that a woman’s chief concern from a random unknown man was physical assault.

    (Currently looking for the cite.)

    • Frank411

      Perhaps Jed Diamond’s piece on Men have Shame, Women have Fear?

    • Archy

      Be careful not to dismiss emotional pain though. I’ve been punched quite hard before, and had people verbally abuse n make fun of me and for me personally the verbal stuff hurt a lot more. The punches just pissed me off. A lot of men also don’t realize how vulnerable they can be to a females physical attacks too so there is a level of ignorance that gives them a buffer against stress from threats from women.

    • StillLearning


      Here’s another viewpoint from Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-men-the-more-belligerent-sex

      [quote]…studies show that women are at least as prone to feeling anger as men and that they fight plenty. Instead of expressing their angry emotions with their fists, women tend to use what in 1995 psychologist Nicki Crick, then at the University of Illinois, termed “relational aggression,” a less overt form characterized by social manipulation, especially of same-sex peers. Popularized by such books as Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls, by Rachel Simmons (Harcourt, 2002), relational aggression includes spreading rumors, gossiping, glaring, eye rolling, giving others the “silent treatment,” sending nasty notes or text messages behind rivals’ backs, excluding others from social gatherings, poking fun at the appearance of competitors, and assorted other stealth attacks. The so-called gentler sex may opt for such tactics because they are socialized to not show hostility openly and also because their relative lack of physical strength makes violence seem a less promising strategy.[/quote]

  • Bill98

    Trolls will be trolls. If they don’t harass you for being a woman, they’ll mock you for being a man, or for your religion, race, sexual orientation, or the shoes that you wear. In fact, there is a strong likelihood that, by the end of this discussion, you’ll see many nasty comments aimed at others, both men and women, right here on this site.

    The simple fact is that most comment sections, all over the internet, have abusive and insulting comments contained within them. This problem is not unique to women, and the solutions should not be, either.

    If more boards had active moderators, who took seriously the standards for comments of their sites, a lot of these issues could be solved. But, you will never solve all of them. So, if you find that some boards allow such comments, my advice is to avoid those sites. It simply isn’t worth the aggrevation.

  • Guest

    I think that the internet’s anonymity allows people to act much worse than they would otherwise. Years ago, an ex-boyfriend posted “I hope you die in a fire” with a gif of a car fire on my Facebook wall. On another occasion, he wrote a long rambling post in which he ended with “I will never be happy until you stop breathing.” These were quite scary, mostly because I knew the guy well and he knew me well. I worried a lot about seeing him when I was home from college, but it’s hard to take posts like this too seriously because they are passive. Years later I did finally see him and he was too sheepish and shy to even approach me.

    • J__o__h__n

      That isn’t an example of an anonymous post.

      • spages

        this is a hilarious response.

      • Leonard Bast

        But it IS an example of a woman being harassed via the Internet and is thus relevant to today’s program.

        • J__o__h__n

          I didn’t say it wasn’t. People are claiming that a main source of the problem is that the internet is often anonymous and this example claimed that and then offered an example that was not anonymous. I didn’t say it was an irrelevant example or not evidence of a harassing post.

  • DeJay79

    To Amanda Hess, how much worse has it been since write this book? I can only imagine that you might be putting yourself out there as these awful peoples new favorite target.

    I applaud what you are doing and cuorage to tackle this subject. I truly hope nothing ill comes of it.

  • Coastghost

    And how much of this vitriol-hurling is being conducted by women themselves? Haven’t heard the assuring statistic cited yet . . . . .

  • Coastghost

    “People” threaten women, per Ms. Hess. That does mean: “men and women” threaten women, verdad? Requisite specificity, oui?

  • Jeff

    So what are some solutions to this problem? I’m not sure what can be done with anonymity so prevalent on the internet along with free speech rights in our society. I’m constantly being attacked and called names for my viewpoints…I’m guessing it happens to most people that have a differing viewpoint (from those on a particular internet platform). With women the conversation may devolve into sexual harassment because those who disagree know that it might hurt more. But in the end, what can really be done…I realize there are going to be ignorant people that will make comments on the internet and I try to reason with them or if they can’t be reasoned with I ignore them. I’m just not sure why other people can’t use those same tactics…?

    • tbphkm33

      I do not think anything can actually be done about the issue, what will happen is probably differentiation. A two tiered structure of internet “safe” areas that actively protects individuals and the underbelly of the internet where trolls and other such creatures roam.

    • Mari McAvenia

      Serious internet forums once had moderators who kept things civil. The freewheeling, wild west world of Twitter and its spinoffs is no place to go unarmored. I won’t use it anymore.

      • Jeff

        I’m fine with that but the moderators should not be politically driven like many seem to be on newspaper websites. I’m a libertarian and I have both conservative views and liberal views on certain topics…I’ve NEVER had my comment blocked (on that newspaper site) with a liberal opinion while a conservative comment has a 25-33% chance of being blocked.

      • twenty_niner

        “I won’t use it anymore.”

        Prepare for your productivity to increase three fold.

        • Mari McAvenia

          My “productivity” does not depend upon millions of room-temp IQs with Twitter addictions reviewing my most mundane Tweets, er, thoughts.

  • AliceOtter33

    I agree with Amanda Hess that it is not a realistic, nor it is a just strategy for victims to simply block, ignore online commenters who threaten or harass them with sexual or bodily harm.

    It is dangerously dismissive to call such commenters mere “bullies” or “trolls”. Those terms suggest bad behavior or provocative behavior.

    This is not just bad behavior that we are discussing here. This is illegal behavior. In real life, it’s called stalking and sexual harassment.

    It will take a long time to change the culture that has paved the way for excusing this illegal behavior.

    Meanwhile, victims and potential victims need protection by law ASAP.

  • Bill98

    I think that women receive “gendered threats”, as the guest calls them, because they provoke a reaction from the person who is threatened. Perhaps even a greater reaction than to a gender-neutral threat. Basically, they do this because women react strongly to the comments, which is what these people want.

    If the harassment seems real, by all means women, or men, should take it seriously. Otherwise, the best thing you can do is report the comment to the site and ignore that person. If they don’t get a reaction, they will go away.

    • Mayuki

      A lot of people seem to think this. But the research says otherwise. Robots and men using female pseudonyms and voices online receive disproportionate (misogynistic) harassment because the harassers believe they are women. Period.

      It has nothing to do with women “provoking” the harassment. This is the “you’re wearing too short a skirt” argument of the internet.

      • Bill98

        Mayuki, I think that you misunderstood my point. In no way did I state that women were “provoking” the harassment. However, I believe that trolls are encouraged to engage in these tactics, if they find them to be effective. This is true of all of their attacks, not just the type that they like to use against women. So, I have found that the best way to deal with them, especially on anonymous boards, is to report them, and then to ignore them.

        • Mayuki

          My apologies, Bill98. I did misread the first part of your comment.
          You’re saying the harassers are able to provoke strong reactions, not
          that women provoke gendered harassment.

          No doubt you are right
          that trollers get satisfaction from this. Though I suspect there is also
          a significant number of these harassers with a desire to “get rid” of
          women in their circles and silence them, rather than provoke an

          Heated reactions can be extracted from any demographic,
          after all. So why this disproportionately huge assault on women and the
          LGBT community?

          This enters the realm of speculation, of course. More reseach should be done.

          • Archy

            In my experience, it’s mostly females that make a big effort to highlight the issue and seem to be more offended. Males tend to brush it off from what I’ve seen. If a troll wants to hurt or scare someone, women truly are an easier target because they’re quite often quite aware of rape in real life and I find fear gets slammed down their throat from very young, far more than what males are brought up with.

            From reading online comments I get that more men think online threats are 99.99% empty threats, it seems women take them more seriously. I haven’t often seen a man write an article about abuse he has gotten but seen plenty from women. I didn’t write any articles myself because I felt the threats against me were empty.

            If this is true (I’m only commenting on what I’ve seen which could be wrong) then women would be a far more reactionary target. It’s like how bullies pick on kids that react. I saw in chatrooms that people who just ignored the bullies were quickly left alone since they weren’t giving a rise, the bully went onto another target.

            If women are disproportionately targetted then women need to look at how men react to trolls, maybe take some tips from them. My best guess is simply women react far more often to the trolling, and it’s much easier to scare them or get them to show they are scared. Men may be scared but stoicism often hides it, women tend to be more open in expressing their fear from what I’ve seen. It’s not the victims fault either, just commenting on how women’s behaviour may be “prey” type behaviour for these trolls.

          • Col_Conran

            I take it you didn’t read all the links on this issue. The University of Maryland’s did a study on this by making up user accounts with male & female names, then went into various chat rooms on the internet.
            What they found was the female account names received an average of 100 sexual & threatening messages a day compared to 3.7 for male accounts. There are just this group of sick individuals who will target females no matter what they post.
            It’s very easy to say men handle it better when in fact men aren’t receiving anywhere near the same abuse.

          • Archy

            You can’t compare sexual and threatening messages. I’ve sent oodles of sexual messages and had oodles sent to me even. What’s the breakdown of threatening ones alone? I’m sure sexual messages to women are much higher due to society’s idea that men have to ask women out and pursue.

            And you don’t actually debunk the idea of men handling it better. I dunno if I made it clear, but if men handle it better then the bullies won’t bug them as much since it doesn’t get anywhere. WHY do they target women is what I’m getting at, I think partly because they react more to it.

          • Col_Conran

            I think you missed my point. Men don’t get the same amount because these trolls are quite happy for men to be the majority on the internet. Another man will not target a male with sexual threats as it’s pointless. Females will not target men in general with sexual threats again it’s pointless.
            Men handle it better because they don’t have to handle as much & there is the big difference.
            I find it sad that when people try to bring the issues to light there will always be a male generally that will say, hey it doesn’t happen to me so lets just dismiss it everyone as women can’t handle a bit of criticism.
            I’m not sure where you’d find the actual results of the Maryland’s Uni study as the link only stated the results.
            I feel everyone should be alarmed that the female names were targeted when the male names weren’t.
            Everyone is entitled to express their opinion whether they be male or female & women shouldn’t have to just deal with crap online that men are spared.
            If you are getting bombarded non stop it does make it hard to ignore, myself I just make a joke out of any threats & I’ve had a few.
            Everyone’s different in how they handle these things

          • Archy

            I had heapppppsssssss of threats, a few per day in some games. I dimissed those because I hope they aren’t here basically, and they only had an ID which I don’t use with my real name so I’d be impressed and creeped out if they found me.

            Reason I wanted to know the separated numbers is because a lot of people will hit on the other (usually men hitting on women and women play the more passive role waiting in current society) and so I would guess there’d be a lot of sexual messages going one way for initial conversations. I’ve had heaps of sexual convos with women online and it started with me having to hit on them first, but I didn’t do it straight away and it just happened over the time with friendship.

            I’ve done the female name test on a chatroom, all of the messages were just basic hitting on, some were quite upfront n sexual, but some were basically hi, how are you. I used a pink font, hearts, and said 21.f.ny and instantly quite a few would message.

            Threatening comments though are a diff story, which should be listed differently. My experience in WoW for instance…I have a female toon, I acted feminine and she has a female name and I didn’t get any hate but had heappppsss of help and a few guys hitting on me. On my male toon I ran into more hate, especially if you respond to it. The general chat however was just a non-stop hate fest against everyone, every race, every gender, mostly insults about fat men and basement dweller virgins since I guess they think most online were male.

            I’m not at all suggesting to dismiss it, it’s a serious problem and I know it happens as others have found. What I am saying is that these trolls probably think women react far more to it, and I do think in many cases that appears to be true and it further reinforces women being a good target for these trolls. I’m sure part of it is wanting men to be majority as well but I’ve seen plenty who do target men but noticed men brush it off more and the troll seems to give up. I had plenty of trolls, and I brushed it off because I knew feeding the trolls would keep them going.

            Nearly every single article on the top is about female victims, the trolls read them and it feeds them even more. People do need to be made aware of this problem but you gotta keep in mind that the trolls have already won for what they wanted to do, they have intimidated, pissed off, made afraid various women online and get articles which would be like trophies to them. Many trolls I’ve seen will keep going if you give them any attention, good or bad. 4chan is well known for stirring the pot, many get a good laugh at the articles written over an issue. It’s just the sad situation.

            I do find it alarming to see the female names harassed more but there is a glaring possibility that they’re conflating numbers and it may prop the numbers up. Sexual comments can be completely non-threatening, and many times probably aren’t. I think it needs to be separated.

            If a troll wanted to shit-stir even more, they’d go after women even more now because it’s getting a major effect and getting to them. There need to be measures to stop it but until there are, this issue will get worse I think. If men reacted as badly and didn’t shrug it off, I guarantee they’d get harassed far more. Moderation is sorely needed across a wide variety of sites online which should help too.

            I’ve had sexual threats from both genders online, did you mean in general they both don’t target men?

          • Col_Conran

            I think gaming is a completely different issue.
            I place sexual threats in the same basket as physical treats, both are not needed in debating & a female should be treated as a human & her comment judged the same as a males comment.

            Reading the above on female journalist who obviously use their own name, they’re getting down right death threats & the male journalist seem amazed at how different their female co workers are treated.

            When I used my own name in threads years ago, I kept laughing at this troll & in the end he sent me a private message saying he was coming to get me & that all women need to know their place in this world.
            I sent him back a reply saying if he thinks he can handle me I’m waiting & I never heard from him again, but it was enough to start commenting under a fake name. I feel for the female journalists as it’s easy for loons to track them down.

            Moderation is need so everyone can have a say whether male or female & the female voice should not be driven out as you need both sexes to debate what’s best for everyone on every topic. Trolls don’t want debate they want to derail debate. Anyway I still feel this topic needs further discussion even if trolls feel they’re winning basically nothing.

          • StillLearning

            I don’t know what to think. Being a man and knowing men all my life, I’ve never seen this type of act from any man. I’ve never once heard a woman complain about anything like this. I would think that I would have met at least one man who openly degraded women, but I haven’t.

            I also find it hard to believe that all the men in that study acted this way. This means that if it took place, it was the act of one or a few men, which brings up another point. If the average rate of assault was 100 per woman, that means that this one man or these few men were really busy, almost too busy.

            Being that this was a a test, I would think that they could have traced all senders and receivers. If they did, what are those results?

            So, the question I have is, who did all these threats come. What percentage of the men acted in this manner? I want names…

            Until I see more defined results, I don’t believe this is as widespread as the article suggests. I will keep my mind open and will except that I am wrong if there is more evidence to support these claims.

            To put this into context, a small percentage of men are very violent and they don’t represent the average man, but some people are quick to claim that all men are violent. This is what I think is going on, judging all men for the actions of a few.

            The world has changed since I was young and we didn’t have the Internet.

            Still, I assume there is some truth to this. I just don’t think this test is very scientific and the implied results are questionable. This wouldn’t be the first time that an experiment resulted in incorrect data.

          • Col_Conran

            If you do a bit of a search on the net there are heaps of articles about this harassment towards women.
            Most articles say men can’t believe it happens as they haven’t seen it or will dismiss sexual replies as a non threat that some men post as a reply to a female comment.
            I think it is a given that it’s not all men that do this !
            I have had my share when posting under my real name & believe me it isn’t pleasant. I would just make a joke out of it. I’d say things like “she points her finger at you & laughs at your stupidity”
            I found this the best response as no man seems to want to be seen as a joke or laughed at.
            Main point is it shouldn’t just be dismissed because you personally haven’t seen it, as no one should have to put up with this.
            Female journalist’s cop it the worst. This is very easy to see for yourself when you read the comment sections for a female journalist compared to a male. Some men will try their hardest to discredit her quickly.
            As for the Maryland’s Uni study, I’m sure if you search you could find the actual results. From what I can gather they just made up names & wanted to see how different people will reply depending on the sex of the person commenting.
            You yourself are very quick to talk about any study on an issue you find of interest when you want to prove a point, these also could be just dismissed as flawed.

          • Col_Conran

            I think you missed my point. Men don’t get the same amount because these trolls are quite happy for men to be the majority on the internet.
            Another man will not target a male with sexual threats as it’s pointless. Females will not target men in general with sexual threats again it’s pointless.
            Men handle it better because they don’t have to handle as much & there is the big difference.
            I find it sad that when people try to bring the issues to light there will always be a male generally that will say, hey it doesn’t happen to me so lets just dismiss it everyone as women can’t handle a bit of criticism.
            I’m not sure where you’d find the actual results of the Maryland’s Uni study as the link only stated the results.
            I feel everyone should be alarmed that the female names were targeted when the male names weren’t.
            Everyone is entitled to express their opinion whether they be male or female & women shouldn’t have to just deal with crap online that men are spared.
            If you are getting bombarded non stop it does make it hard to ignore, myself I just make a joke out of any threats & I’ve had quite a few.
            I believe laughing at them tends to deflate their intent.
            Everyone’s different in how they handle these things

          • Archy

            I can’t find the actual study, just the line you wrote. Conflating sexual and threatening messages is just poor form and dodgy use of statistics. Not all sexual messages are threatening, is there a link to the actual study and a breakdown of threatening messages? I don’t doubt that there are a lot of threatening messages but you can’t report it in the same number as the sexual ones, one is always negative and the other is sometimes negative.

          • StillLearning

            That’s a good point! I was a target for bullies in my younger days but I finally had enough so I ended it by standing up to them. Once they knew I would not tolerate it any more, it ended.

            Online, I rarely respond, mostly ignore these people because their only purpose is to get others to react emotionally. I see these people as weak minded individuals that don’t have the intelligence to verbally express their point in a cognitive manner.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        how do you know what they believe? i suggest you stop going to dark corners on the internet where such morons are harassing people–such as very conservative sites.

        this is not about skirts–its an emotional appeal to find pretense to control the internet and who is on it–to control dissent of our dear leaders–by eliminating anonymity.

  • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

    Tom, thank you for hosting this program! This is an incredibly important topic to be aired.
    I don’t see any specific ‘solution’ to this right now. Yes, some of this is legally assault (without battery) and the law has to take action where possible.
    But beyond that, we are ultimately asking ourselves to change our entire culture when it comes to gender. And I think that’s something that we need to do, are already doing, and need to keep doing.

    • Mayuki


    • FrankensteinDragon

      its not about women–its about eliminating online anonymity. Just what the NSA ordered…

    • FrankensteinDragon

      dissent will be illegal. Don not criticize your dear leaders…

      • anewleaf

        Please put away your tiny violin.

  • AC

    i’m sorry if this was discussed, but was there anything stated as far as tracking which ‘countries’ the majority of threats came from? is there a way of knowing? & also, the ‘address breakdown’; for instance, are multiple threats coming from diff accounts with the same computer id? how do they track this?

    • AC

      perfect timing; i’m wondering how law enforecement deals with it…

      • FrankensteinDragon

        yeah because we need more law enforcement in our lives–lets just give everyone a barcode in thier neck and force people to register with a license before using the now un-neutral internet. twitter can moderate themselves.

        • anewleaf

          You have no right to use someone else’s service for illegal activity. Disqus, Facebook and other services are businesses and they are under no obligation to host threats and harassment, nor do you have a right to block users from demanding accountability or abuse controls from the services they patronize.

  • Coastghost

    Not one of these three women can tell us plainly the approximate rate of incidence of female-on-female internet abuse? The number is a known number, yes or no? (Or: is our common American practice now to regard the word “perpetrator” purely as a gender-neutral term?)

  • John Locke

    The guests article, while correct, has created a false premise with regards to internet harassment. The problem is not so much that women, and women especially, are harassed by trolls on the internet, but that any socailly vulnerable individual is in risk of harassment. Trolls spend their time finding the most hurtful, distressing concept with which to harass their victims and then berate that individual until they are fed with anger and attention.
    Racism, homophobia, and sexism are all fare game for trolls. While women are more likely to be harassed than men it is simply because they are more culturally vulnerable than men. Though it is a truism, it is rather difficult to truly distrub and harass a white, straight, man, as they are in a position of social power, and thus they are not targeted by trolls. Trolls get a thrill out of disturbing and angering individuals on-line and the more likely the individual will respond impulsively the more likely they will be harassed. Trolls simply will not stop until they are ignored: thus the line “dont feed the troll”. While it certainly conveys a level of misogyny, what it speaks to more is the social vulnerabilty of women and social minorities in general.

    • DeJay79

      “don’t feed the troll” is something I try to live by, although I will knowing do it from time to time just to ‘Troll’ the trolls.

      this made me think that maybe a part of the female personality and its desire to be taken serious and be recognized as right, leads to a lot of unwittingly feeding.

      (based mostly on what I have witnessed of my wife’s behavior while online. She fights to no end with people and always has to have the last word, at which point she claims she won and I just laugh)

      • Mayuki

        The “female personality”?

        Women are just people. Each has her own personality. I sincerely hope you don’t really think otherwise.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          yes people have unique personalities but there are some differences between most men and women–we are conditioned from birth to be so. Do you wear dresses? I dont. If i did, i would be harassed–and i dont want to. But i dont want to because i was taught directly and indirectly thru relations and society that a man wearing a dress is wrong. right? right. our psyche is often very different. Often because of chauvinism and misogyny. but ther are things about women that men like and things about men that women like when you are heterosexual. A heterosexual woman doesn’t look for effeminate qualities in a man.

          • Mayuki

            It is true that gender roles are largely a product of socialization, which is pervasive and insidious. On top of that, there are bio-chemical differences between the brains and men and women.

            But that is broad-brush stuff, my friend. There is far too much individual and cultural variation throughout the gender groupings to use this in support of an argument stating that all women have some sort of “personlity” attribute that encourages online harassment. So saying would be a good old fashioned stereotype.

            It also fails to place blame where it belongs–squarely on the perp.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            I didn’t say that “my friend”–sb else did. I was merely pointing out that your are extreme. nd yes–when we talk about anything–ANYTHING–it must be in generalities. less we each write a 500page book. I think you are looking for a fight. And thats no way to have a civil conversation. The gentleman above was just sharing his insight–from his “personal experience”–which is somehow less valid than yours–according to you.. All experience is anecdotal.

            I don not deny that people have been harassed online–i just think we need to put it in perspective and not jerk knees and eradicate all personal freedoms–a little like those nutters calling for the elimination of the bill rights after 911–bombing every country in the world– and saying they dont care because they have nothing to hide–its an emotional response to a rational problem. I say again, I have never experienced or witnessed sexual harassment or abuse online. Perhaps the websites I use are more refined. Birds of a feather stick together.

            now, if you have experienced very lewd comments or harrassment-i suggest you contact the site manager and ask that the comment be removed and the commenter moderated. it is not rational to call for the abolition of online anonymity.

  • Guest

    ok, i’m going to fess up about what a horrible person i am. i can’t stand the ‘i fought cancer’, ‘i’m a survivor’, ‘positive thinking saw me through’ people. what does that say to the friends and family of people don’t make it? i know there’s a lot to be said about positive thinking, but as someone with chronic illness and no control over it, it bothers me…if this lady is being realistic, thank god. you get lucky if you survive, that’s all,,,,

    • J__o__h__n

      You should read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.

  • http://www.openeyesvideo.com/ Glenn C. Koenig

    Why do men (and some other women) do this? There is on single answer to this. It’s like a stew. Start with people under stress from economic, rapid worldwide change, and other factors. So, people are searching for an outlet for all this stress, number one. Add to this, a culture that does not teach people how to get help (or help themselves) with this stress in a healthy way. Instead, those under stress seek familiar outlets of attacking someone or something else to vent. Those outlets are sexism, racism, homophobia, and other ‘stronger ones attack weaker ones’ by whatever measure.
    Make no mistake about it, the attackers in this story are often (not always) ‘marginalized’ people as well, and I believe they are striking out in a primitive, hurtful way, because they are simply reacting to the pain of that.
    So, I don’t see this as a ‘good guys’ against the ‘bad guys’ thing. We’re ultimately all in this together. Our job is to seek to express love to as many people as possible, Research into schoolyard bullies shows that those doing the bullying report themselves as victims, typically elsewhere, such as at home. I don’t think this is subterfuge in most cases; I think it’s a genuine self perception of their circumstances.
    Please, everyone, can we put an end to the blame game and start looking at everyone as human, and figure out how to reach out to them? Yes, I know there are the sociopaths and narcissists out there, and they are perhaps the hardest to reach. But there are many more that we can reach, if we try.

  • J__o__h__n

    There is a value to anonymous comments. I don’t post anything that I wouldn’t say in person, but I don’t want everything I have posted to be linked to me forever. Sensible people won’t post anything other than very boring opinions if they think that a potential employer twenty years in the future could read it. Ban posters who threaten or post actually harassing comments. If violence is threatened, call the police. People need to have a thick skin and be able to defend themselves too.

  • Frank411

    There are a good many nasty comments directed toward men (or, as Ms. Holmes and her writers prefer to dismissively refer to us, “teh menz” on the Jezebel site)

    Tom, a question for you. WBUR broadcast a Diane Rehm Show with the head of an Institute at Wellesley College in which she called for “castration without representation” for men, generally. Diane Rehm still has her job. No apologies. WBUR still runs her program.. Is that fair?

  • TFRX

    Gavin De Becker.

    (Thanks for making my post elsewhere redundant.)

  • TFRX

    Yeah, that guy did have the “Student Prince” option of stopping when it got too much.

  • keltcrusader

    “but the VERY first post was a woman saying these are all misogynist men.”

    Excuse me, but I didn’t say that or even anything resembling that. If YOU took it that way, the problem is with YOU, not me.

    And by the way, you ARE the epitome of this problem. A person with an axe to grind and a chip on his shoulder, to boot, throwing his weight around this board today and who most definitely has problems dealing with others, and, most especially, WOMEN. You are showing your true colors to everyone on this board and, trust me bub, it ain’t pretty.

    I don’t care if you don’t like it or me because you do not matter to me. You aren’t going to shut me down and make me go away with your inane posts and antics. I’ll keep posting if only to spite you. If you get blocked or banned from posting, it is your own fault. Own it!

    • FrankensteinDragon

      i agree with things both of you are saying. But i do not think he has said anything that merits censorship. I think it is far more offensive for people to say ‘take your meds’ or ask one to calm down when they simply disagree with establishment views. Dark might be a woman-hater or simply dislike them some of the time or he might not–i dont see any evidence that he has –he might be a jerk, i dont know the guy. But his use of the word ‘woman’ is hardly anything to get riled up about–dont respond to him if you feel ‘attacked’.

      His attitude might be unpopular but If what they say is true about these rogue posts on twitter, this is hardly an offense. Dont use twitter. its stupid anyways.

  • Frank411

    Mr. Cogswell, It was the woman from Wellesley College who, in response to that remark (which I must tell you I heard the caller to apply to men generally and not to the Taliban alone), said, loudly and enthusiastically, “I Agree!” Please re-read my original comment and I think that should be clear enough.

    That does not take Ms. Rehm or her producers and engineers (all of whom were women the last time I looked at her website) off the hook.

    The offensive proposal for “castration without representation,” and the quick and enthusiastic agreement by the guest from Wellesley College, were allowed to go out on air, and not deleted before broadcast, as is customary with talk shows, by use of tape/digital delay.

    Moreover, Ms. Rehm did absolutely nothing to distance herself from the remark or the enthusiastic agreement by her guest from Wellesley College.

    Do you believe that any male guest on an NPR program who enthusiastically agreed with a caller that women should be sexually maimed would continue to keep his job at a major American college? Do you believe that any male NPR radio show host who did not immediately call the guest out on the guest’s agreement with sexually maiming women would keep his job at NPR?

    It is unfortunate that you cannot perceive the obvious double standard on the part of Wellesley College, Diane Rehm and her crew, WAMU, NPR and WBUR, which goes straight to the heart of the issue.

    But then, I am also troubled that you believe it is possible to speak “facetiously” about the sexual mutilation of any human being, male or female.

  • jefe68

    Well, well. Losing your temper I see.
    Spare me your indignant memes.
    You were crossing the line and I’m impartial, or should I say I was until now.
    Also, I never said a damn thing about your sex life. I mean really, methinks the lady doth protest to much.

    What’s being rejected here is your belligerence and intolerance.
    And the evidence of that is there for all to see, buster…

    • d clark

      Go all the way back on the thread. I didn’t start this. Keltcrusader made her insinuation of disagreement being misogyny. I am not going to sit quietly by while that occurs. And, yes, I’m passionate about it. Again, check the thread. DonB1 was the first with name calling and invective. I responded. But it is as I suspected all along. Liberalism is very welcoming and agreeable-unless you don’t agree. Then it is cat fight. But be warmed and be filled. None of you little hypocrites will change your way of thinking either, so you are correct. What is the point in going on? THERE IS NONE-GOODBYE!

      • Don_B1

        Keltcrusader DID NOT, repeat, did not say that disagreement with her was misogyny.

        The statement was:

        “But when you have to worry about absolute misogynistic men who feel they have the right to berate and debase a poster based on her gender and threaten them with all manner of violence, then it stops being a good idea and becomes another thing to worry about.”

        That statement says that a woman voicing opinions has to worry about receiving blowback from a subset of men (no matter how small) who use unacceptable intimidating language in an attempt to keep them silent.

        Actually not so different in objective from your posts here, though you came close to crossing the final line the misogynists cross, many here evidently find you did cross an intimidation line by not providing a better explanation (than just a reference to “a history of …”) and just demanding that readers accept that feminism is bad.

  • Mayuki

    To those tempted to say “this happens to men too,” or otherwise suggest that the particularly vicious and sexist targeting of women is all in the victims’ heads, I would draw your attention to some figures from this very interview–for example, that robots using female names drew 100 threatening comments per day versus the 3.7 drawn by masculine names.

    No one is suggesting men aren’t also harassed. Of course they are, and that is not okay. But that “argument” is a distraction from the great evidence that women are singularly targeted with gendered harassment and threats. It is a large-scale problem with real-world consequences.

    For another study with similar results, check out this one done of pre-recorded male and female voices used in an massive multi-player online game, and the reactions received, regardless of the skill level (or actual gender) of the players:

    If you are unhappy with vitriol and harassment targeting women, men, or any other group in between, then don’t tolerate it any more. “Don’t feed the troll” isn’t good enough in these cases. We need to get rid of it.

    • Col_Conran

      Great link, I agree, ignoring these pathetic fools isn’t working. More needs to be done.

  • Bill98

    John, how ironic that you should use such inflammatory language when commenting on this topic! You may disagree with Frank, but there is no need to be so disagreeable.

  • Mari McAvenia

    Good for you! An infantile fool like that ought to be “taillights” in your past. Never look back.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    is it illegal to insult people in the real world. Should we be criminalized for verbally attacking sb in public? it may inappropriate, it may may be justified, but in the real world we deal with it personally or walk away. So why should it be any different online–because certain powers want to control dissent. Everyone will have to self-censor just like in a dictatorship or risk persecution. Do NOT question your dear leaders! You have been forewarned. there is a slippery slope here.

    funny that sites like twitter cant be expected to moderate comments but polluting industries are expected to and use this excuse all the time–we cant regulate industry but we can regulate free speech. hmmm. did you say pollution is bad–knock knock FBI come out with your hands up!!

    • Mayuki

      Actually… Threatening somebody with murder and/or rape IS illegal. So is stalking. So is sexual harassment.

      This isn’t about “insults”–or even “dissent.” Unless counting the dissidence of the men and women who will no longer stand for this status quo–which, in the words of Dr. Horrible, “isn’t ‘quo’ at all.”

      • FrankensteinDragon

        first of all –I DID NOT SAY rape or murder. I said insult. INSULT. INSULT. are you telling me i dont have the right to tell sb i dont like them because they are a loud mouth ignorant fool. Oh yes i do. this is america. Dont be so extreme. get a grip. i am not advocating bullying online. i am saying you are extreme. And this is a pretense to forcing us to reveal our real names and addresses and what not. And if i want to slander sb–that is my right, regardless of how you interpret the first amendment. iWe are not 3 year olds. i hope you have thicker skin than that.

        I have never seen the trash this forum is talking about because i dont visit trashy sites online–like twitter. consider the function of this network–its useless. begging trashtalk. its time to wake up–the world is full of ugly people who say things we dont always like. you cant force your views on everyone. i wont live in Stepford ville in plastic houses with plastic lawns.

        My suggestion: avoid trashy people online and trashy forums.

        • beenwiser

          If slander is your legal right, then how can it also be grounds for a lawsuit? Also you are changing the subject- the article describes threats and harassment

          • FrankensteinDragon

            Law is interpreted. Who determines what is slander? I think that is what we are debating.

            How did I get off point. I was responding to the commenter above who put outlandish words in my mouth. So consider the context of our conversation. And consider it was a A and B conversation–C YOUR WAY OUT OF IT! Oh no did i hurt your iddy biddy feelings–was that slander?
            I said, I have never seen–NEVER–any threats or harrasment, thats all I said. And somehow the commentor above saw fit to say i was advocating rape and murder. And you see fit to focus on delusions. Everyone is hallucinating. The problem is when you try to make your hallucination my hallucination. please dont.

            If I accurately describe most government “elected” officials in Washington as liars and thugs–some might call me slanderous–but defining the facts cannot be slander. My opinion cannot be slander. Even if I am one of the few sane people left in a nation of the insane. If I describe most wall street crooks as criminals degrading society–is that slander? Laws are made by those in power. those in power often crooks and liars–thugs and criminals. truth. All law is subjective. Thus we cant regulate criminal polluting industries, but they can piss in our water and force us to drink it–they have the law and powerful criminal lawyers behind them. So, what is slander?

            If some people in this forum would calm down a moment and think rationally–rather than lashing out like children–they might see I am on their side, not agaist them. I simply dont want this issue to be used as a pretense to the abolition of online anonymity. Which seems to coincede with the the death of net nuetrality and NSA human rights vioaltios. Not to mention corporate personhood and the patriot act–we live in a totalilitarian state. and just by saying this, the twitchy plebs get all riled up and defend their overseers. the massa in the big house. Dont you talk bad bout my massa. he a good white man. he need to whip me, cuz i so bad.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        “no longer stand for the status quo:–huh? i must stand for the status quo? wow. bleat bleat. your D right i dont stand for the status quo. i think for myself and the status quo is a farce. your status quo is a delusion–programed for you thru mainstream corporate media and billionaire lairs and thieves. you comment is ridiculous. it makes no sense.

    • beenwiser

      If someone calls your house and threatens you, thats a crime. Telling the victim to disconnect their phone is not an appropriate response. Why should we draw such a huge distinction if the threat is conveyed via the internet?

  • homebuilding

    Somehow, I believe it’s germane to discuss how the socialization of our young seems to be slipping.

    Yes, the majority of our youth will become solid future citizens. However, the fringe element seems to be increasingly moorless, as it relates to the incorporation of basic morals, etiquitte, and civility.

    Generally, when the younger elephants get too randy, it’s useful to have the senior elephant staff come in and set them straight.

    • OrangeGina

      naw, it’s the same old, same old. It springs from that same urge that men in packs have to wolf-whistle and “hey Baby” women. Think construction workers ogling women walking down the street.

      Now there is a new venue, if you will, for this type of behavior: the Internet.

      • Col_Conran

        Except unlike the “men in packs” on the construction site. These cowards can’t be identified, so they get real brave. But make no mistake here, these men are hoping women will run away & stop trying to achieve anything in life.

        • OrangeGina


      • beenwiser

        Thats a false analogy.

        When internet misogynists swarm on an intelligent woman, they are trying to silence her opinion. Their stupid opinions can only flourish when better ones are hidden from view.

        The whistling men on the construction site WANT attractive women to look at. They’re just too dumb to realize they’re shooting themselves in the foot making women feel the need to cover up and hide away

        • OrangeGina

          er, maybe. But consider that the hardhats on the corner could LOOK all they want and not SAY anything.

          • beenwiser

            Thats exactly what I was implying, yes. My whole point is that these creepy internet misogynists are way more organized and goal-oriented than any man or group of men whistling and ogling a woman.

            These guys aren’t just individuals that get mad and say bad stuff. They target women who express their opinions publicly, point out specific targets to eachother, and then threaten/harass/stalk these women in order to silence them. Apparently I can’t say this enough. This entire comments section is full of people deflecting from the actual topic of the article and discussing other less harmful, less criminal, less disturbing behavior.

          • StillLearning

            I have to disagree that they are organized. Most likely they are just individuals that lack social skills and apparently, verbal skills.

            As for other posts getting away from the subject matter, How many times can a person say…

            Yep, it’s happening…
            I don’t like it…
            Something has to be done…

            I think broadening our perspective is conducive to a more intellectual discussion.

            No offense intended.

          • StillLearning

            I thought I’d give you an example of a bad law so you can see the unintended consequences.

            In Illinois, if you are caught at an underage drinking party, whether you are drinking, or not, you loose your driving license until you turn 21.

            The story goes…

            A young girl found herself at one such party. She called a friend to pick her up because she didn’t want to be in that situation. Her friend drove over there, the cops arrived just after her. Both girls got arrested, both girls lost their license.

            Do you see the problem?

          • beenwiser

            I will now perform some google-fu to demonstrate for you that these people ARE coordinating their efforts….

            This is a site promoting the ideology-

            This a believer who uses twitter to rally the troops-

          • StillLearning

            I see, just remember that it is going both ways.

            That first site was pure bull (crazy people, don’t you know).

            The second is much better, but still a waste of energy. Here are two quotes from the second…

            Elizabeth Cady Stanton: “We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men”

            Sally Miller Gearhart: “The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the hu

            Do you think words like these don’t instigate?

          • beenwiser

            Yes, alot of extreme & ridiculous things have been said in the name of feminism. But why quote this stuff- things said in jest, things intended only to be provocative, fringe rantings from mentally ill survivors of trauma- and pretend it represents the mainstream of Feminism? Every feminist I’ve ever spoken with believes in gender equality, not violent female domination, and some stupid MRA website can’t erase my lived experience.

            “Men’s Rights Activists” provide these quotes to create false outrage, claiming to reveal the “true intentions” of all feminists. They harness this false outrage, encouraging followers to stalk/threaten/harass people who dare to speak about feminist issues like rape, domestic assault, equal pay, etc. You will never convince me its acceptable or justified for these MRAs to harass stalk and threaten women for expressing their opinions. They aren’t just participating in a dialogue, they are using lies and coercion to muzzle their opponents

  • anewleaf

    That’s a wonderful luxury that you have to not believe in women’s experiences or scientific evidence. You’ll forgive me then if I take a similar luxury and give your completely ignorant opinion absolutely no weight, completely ignore your “concerns” about free speech, and continue to demand that services I patronize use robust systems to curb harassment and discourage hate-speech. Frankly, there’s more of me and we also have a voice. Now take your own advice and suck it up.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      what are you talking about? When did I deny scientific evidence and of what? Are you denying MY expereince? Wow–you are special. I have NOT expereinced this or witnessed it, but I do not use mainstream netwroks like Twitter. Thas all. suck what up?

      • anewleaf

        You were using your lack of personal experience (by your own admission a result of not actually using the services where abuse happens most) to discount and dismiss the experience not only of a wide swath of the population, but also hard evidence that merely having a female name on the internet resulted in 97% more sexually abusive interactions.

        And now *shakes head* you are demanding the courtesy that YOUR experience NOT be discounted. Failing completely at comprehending the irony of that reaction.

        I hope I have used small enough words this time.

  • lynnbarzini

    Tom that discussion on Egypt with those experts who really understand the language the region was excellent.please have
    more guests who actually know that part of the world.

  • ranndino

    Love the show, but this particular episode had a completely idiotic premise. Everyone gets verbally abused online, not just women. People tend to be complete jerks on the Internet and lash out at anyone who even slightly disagrees with them in the most vile way. What else is new?

    And no, there really isn’t anything we can really do about it although many sites have switched to using real names for comments hoping that it would prevent people from being completely uncivilized.

    So far, from what I’ve seen, the people who are stupid and angry enough to post terrible comments continue to do so under their real names. They just aren’t smart or self aware enough to understand how it makes them look and what consequences it can have on their careers. Or they don’t have careers.

  • Jane Massey

    I was listening to this show yesterday while driving around getting some errands completed I’d put off due to Christmas and two different political elections in my area – I was all over town and had time to hear a lot of the show.

    The only thing good about what I heard regarding what women deal with is that it’s NOT JUST my area. I have
    received all kinds of nasty comments while standing up for women’s rights and marriage equality. I don’t get personal and use crass, demeaning language about people – I speak to their politics and political positions but never their character – because I don’t know people personally who I’m interacting with online. But, men who disagree vehemently with something a woman says will very often zap back a
    putting-down of the most personal kind. Just a couple weeks while arguing about personhood bill attempts in my state’s General Assembly, a fellow replied this to me: ‘why do you spend so much on these two issues [abortion and birth control] when your uterus hasn’t seen a viable egg in a very, very long time?’ I guess he assumes I wouldn’t be interested in issues that could one day effect my granddaughters and
    those of my friends.

    I neither responded nor flagged the comment as offensive and it was gone in a couple hours. My point in mentioning
    this latest comment is that the same person wouldn’t have dreamed of saying something about a man’s lack of sperm count, age or other personal factor when disagreeing with him.

    Anything seems to go when they reply to something a woman has said. I think we ignore the replies that point to women being ‘too emotional’, or other female clichéd terms; but, it gets old and continues to be offensive. There also seems to be no let-up in sight and no lessening of the ugliness directed toward women posters.

    • Col_Conran

      The reply you received from that man is very common. Immature & an inability to see you as anything else except a female that needs to shut up. I love the fact that I see more & more women that are just calling these men out on their immaturity, instead of ignoring their crap.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      I think that is terrible. But…do you live in conservative areas or frequent conservative websites? If so, and you are conservative, maybe it is time to revaluate your view on the world. In my expereince, conservatives int he south tend to have these backwards views. You would be more welcome in progressive forums.

      • beenwiser

        right…. only talk to people you agree with, because disagreements can get ugly. Lather rinse repeat and you have two wholly-distinct, completely polarized and segregated Americas that demonize eachother instead of seeking consensus. We don’t have to imagine that in the hypothetical, because we can simply observe it in reality. When people try to bully you into silence, speak up twice as loud. People fall prey to bad ideas because they weren’t introduced to good ideas early and often. Do not let the shock troops crowd you out

  • Jane Massey

    I don’t know, Mary. I don’t like to think so. I tend to normally feel that people are capable of digesting the things they see and understanding the difference between what’s real and what’s not. I tend to not think we need but so much censorship. Yet, the hatefulness and lack of civility is coming from somewhere. Everyday I’m boggled by what passes as reasonable discussion and acceptable words that are used. Everyone seems to think everyone else is a ‘cheat’, a ‘liar’, a ‘you-name-it’. It does get old.

  • Sy2502

    What the wonderful world of Internet has shown us is how thin the veneer of civilization really is. A little anonymity is quite enough to peel it off and reveal human beings for what they really are. Also never underestimate the amount of resentment certain groups can develop when they see their power encroached by other groups.

    • Col_Conran

      Agree, it just defies logic that some people need to threaten another because they themselves feel threatened. Some men in particular feel very brave when they feel no one can identify them personally for the threats they make.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        i dont think that is completely true–i think there are plenty of men and women who say nasty things to people in their face in the real world. Women can be pretty mean too.

        I dont think people are hiding on the internet. rather, many people were living in a stepford bubble and the internet shattered that–you are exposed to voices and views you might never have been exposed to before. And it shocks you to see what the real world is. The upper middle class can be so plastic.

        • Col_Conran

          I believe the main point of the above article was that women are receiving way more than men 72 per cent more as of the 2005 studying & it’s gotten way worse since 2005. It’s not people giving a different opinion here that’s the problem. Women are receiving violent threats as comments. These people are trying to stop women from expressing their opinion by threatening violence.

          Violent threats aren’t an expression of freedom of speech, it’s loons who only want to see their opinion expressed & kill any other view. Women receive way more because there is a pack of disturbed males trying to shut women up. It’s not all males, but a mainly male problem directed at women. Just because you haven’t ever had this happen to you is no reason to dismiss it as different opinions & views. Women can get nasty yes, but have you ever had a women threaten to rape & hurt you physically because you have a different opinion??

    • FrankensteinDragon

      i dont think that is the case. i am willing to bet these people are the same in reality. There have always been people willing to speak their mind. I hope there always will be. A dangerous society it is where people feel they cant say whats on their mind. A jerk is a jerk. BUt its all point of view. I d rather sb tell me they hate me to my face then smile at me and stab me in the back,

      We dont ask people to disclose how they vote (unless in office) and we dont have the right to make people identify themselves online. What makes the internet such a wealth of information is that it is a free honest forum as a town hall meeting should be without all the fear of hierarchy and bullying neighbors.

      Now that net equality (neutrality) has been determined unequal by the billionaires buying federal courts–the internet is a farce and i hope people will log off–like being forced to buy private health insurance i will not be forced to use corporate web sites.

      • Sy2502

        I am sure they feel that way in real life too, but luckily society has means in place to keep them in their place. For example, if they ever tried to use that language with their female colleagues in a professional environment, they’d probably be kicked out, as they should. So they have enough smarts to keep their mouth shut. Not because they understand that attitude is wrong but because they want to keep their job.

        Also you seem to confuse hatred, bigotry, racism, sexism and other destructive attitudes with honesty and speaking one’s mind. They are very different.

      • StillLearning

        The fact is that many people are different than what we notice on the surface. For instance, a meek person can become very aggressive when behind the wheel of a car. In the same sense, people posting on the Internet tend to express their inner self. All to often, what gets written is a reflection of their emotional state and belief system rather than a cognizant point of view.

        As for threats, that is a reflection of frustration more than anything else. They know they are not getting their point across, right or wrong, and so they resort to emotional displays in an attempt to punish the other person. It never works but for some reason the person doing it feels better. It doesn’t make any sense.

        • beenwiser

          Harassment is more than just someone losing their temper in an argument. The point of this online harassment isn’t to convince someone they’re wrong, its to silence their views so you can spread yours without opposition. These people are shock troops not debaters. When people stop speaking up because they’re tired of being harassed, then the harassers got what they wanted..

  • truegangsteroflove

    Missed the show, out doing errands. One thing ignored in discussions of mistreatment of women is that people who do this are not ordinary, well-adjusted members of the community otherwise, and just have this quirk of misogyny. I have known a lot of twisted people, mostly in the workplace, and mostly men. Contempt for and fear of women are traits related to their general unhappiness in life, and these insecurities manifest in abusive and predatory behavior.

    We err when we view women-hating men as having a belief system or philosophy that can be defeated by argument. It is a psychological condition. Attempting to trace roots of this condition will tend to be futile, as just about anyone can conclude by trying to establish causation in someone they know well.

    There are as many reasons as there are people afflicted – relationship with the mother, relationship with the father, birth order, birth legitimacy, adoption, childhood abuse, number of parents when growing up, lack or presence of female siblings, physical attractiveness, and on and on and on.

    A better approach is to look at the phenomenon in terms of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Men exhibiting convoluted rage against women can be seen as having unfulfilled power needs in what Maslow termed the range of deficiency needs. Having a lack of skill in fulfilling these needs in normal ways, they resort to antisocial methods, one of the easiest being verbal attacks on the Internet.

    What to do about it? It will take a comprehensive approach, creating a mutually supportive, interdependent society that builds respect in a holistic fashion. The place to start is with greater economic equality.

    Or, we can just wring our hands and say ain’t it awful. It’s one of the games Eric Berne described in “Games People Play.”

    • Col_Conran

      agree, you’ve covered the problem well here & these men aren’t normal, but they think they are. I don’t believe ignoring them helps either.

    • truegangsteroflove

      I forgot to mention that another approach to reducing gender rage is greater democracy. A less elite-dominated society will necessarily have a power distribution that is more equal and equitable.

      Still, when I think back to places I have lived and people I have been around, I realize how lucky we are that this society holds together at all. For all the people who are in prison for violent crimes of various degrees of creepiness there are likely ten times as many who are on the violent fringe, restrained by fear of retribution.

  • Col_Conran

    wow, is that how you think the fools who do these threats online think ? Do some men actually think the internet is just for them ? I started to laugh as I was reading your points, then just got sad to think this is how misogynist think. I see no hope whatsoever for individuals who think this way….

  • geralldus

    I feel the internet is an excellent source of factual and technical information. As for opinion, from any sector, there is so much that is poor, inconsidered or plainly offensive that I rely on the radio, good newspapers and books for access to the ideas of others. People often feel a need to find their voice, but often this says more about their vanity than about what they have to say…..and no doubt for me as well!

  • Daria Disqus

    you can take out the word and replace it a**l if that is what’s hanging you up about allowing my post.

  • Daria Disqus

    Ah that was it..so, I was saying that I decided that I couldn’t go to any expat meetups in a foreign country because one guy wrote on their forum about wanting to a..l.y r.p. me and another guy told me multiple times that I should just die or die. Said guy was known irl to many in the wider community, had a wife who was also a forum member, and a baby girl. So, a “normal” guy was doing this. The website editor knew what was up but I was the one made persona non grata.

    • Daria Disqus

      My harassment was tolerated, as the new dad was a popular member and I had become fodder for abuse. Also, the “die” notes were in personal IMs. I*do* think that other women didn’t mind they were not targets and were “in with the cool kids.” As one woman wrote, she didn’t particularly care if I were on the site or not. It wasn’t their battle, they were perfectly satisfied. Others who aren’t satisfied with the harassment just quit.

      Fine, maybe, but there are times when an expat would really love to reach out for advice, even if socializing was out for me, given that I was made aware that people I could meet in real life had previously threatened me online, and with no social approbation.

  • geralldus

    Isn’t joining a forum or group often a way of seeking confirmation of your particular point of view. When in fact the best way to do this, if you must, is face to face with other people when you can see the full range of their emotion reactions, thus giving you a feedback on your comment. Then internet is more like a empty barrel with lots of people shouting into it and the result is chaotic!
    But worst of all it doesn’t change anything, engaging in political action at whatever level does produce change.

    • Daria Disqus

      – Reply put in wrong spot.

    • StillLearning

      You hit the nail on the head as far as the Internet is concerned. I spent years on a political site and now on several other sites, but nothing ever seems to get accomplished. It’s the same in real life. I do have to admit that I learned a few things, but usually what I learn supports my initial beliefs. Realizing that my opposition believes as strongly as I do, I have to try and understand why. That’s the biggest and hardest lesson to be learned.

      On women’s issue sites, anything written that supports women, true or not, or anything that says that women are being mistreated, like this article says, is accepted as fact and supported by many of the readers.

      When I first read this article, my first thought was that this issue is being blown completely out of proportion. I still think that because up till now, I’ve never heard of it. I do believe that it happened, just like the article stated, but I also think it’s rare. What I think is that a few people are doing this and it’s not an issue of men harassing women, rather just a few weak minded people doing it and I don’t know if these people are men or women or both.

      Unless some information presents itself that actually proves that this is wide spread, I have to assume it’s a personal issue that happens to only a few people. Another question I have is, is this happening to men too?

      Don’t get me wrong, if this is a wide spread problem, like the article claims, it has to be stopped, If this is rare, like I think it is, then the author is blowing smoke.

      • geralldus

        Very well stated and I share your view about the authenticity of this problem! In my working life I have known many highly motivated and high achieving women and they just “get on with it” and get the job done. But perhaps the group referred to are women who are not educated, talented or particularly motivated, men in the same dis-enfranchised state suffer just as badly but they tend not to complain about it.

        On a slightly different point, a consumer society has to generate tension and activity
        to stimulate consumption. A good way of ensuring this happens is to present a polarized view of sexual roles and create sexual tension which marketing and advertising do very very well. This must also contribute to the problem of sexism and the associated problems that accompany it.

        The internet just seems to illuminate the widespread problem of helplessness and impotence that people of both genders often seem to feel these days.

      • Col_Conran

        Sorry to disagree here Still learning, but I believe you’re making light of what is a big problem.
        Did you read all the links?
        It’s not just this authors opinion. A study by the University of Marylands set up a bunch of fake online accounts into online chat rooms. Accounts with feminine names received 100 sexually explcit or threatening messages a day compared to 3 a day for masculine names. Each account expressed the same views but the female accounts received the abuse.
        Before you make light of a female issue you really need to do a bit more research & see it from a whole human perspective.

        • geralldus

          Not withstanding your comment which are valid. Why not just stay out of areas that expose you to abuse, you don’t walk down dark streets at night in unsafe areas, apply the same thinking to the internet.

          • Col_Conran

            Agree no one has to stay on a thread where they’re receiving unwanted threats. But you shouldn’t be driven away either. I think everyone agrees Trolls are brain dead fools & most people can pick them out in any thread. Better monitoring will eventually come in as the trolls kill good debates between sensible humans & that’s what most writers want, sensible humans commenting on their work.

          • beenwiser

            The problem is that angry misogynist creeps are trying to bully women into silence. When harassed women decide to go silent, that really isn’t a solution in the long run. It rewards and emboldens the creeps to target more people for more abuse. Don’t cede one more inch of the internet to trolls. Crowd them out

          • Col_Conran

            I agree with you.
            The trouble is, the only way I believe that will end trolling for good, is everyone has to use their real names & all their comments connected the them personally.

        • StillLearning

          I’m not making light of this, it just doesn’t jive with my experiences, hence my reluctance to accept this at face value. I need more information to make a determination.

          It’s like all the hoopla about secondhand tobacco smoke being worse than primary smoke. That doesn’t make any sense, but it seems to be the rage.

          For example: “A report from the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2005 concluded that the evidence regarding SHS and breast cancer is “consistent with a causal association” in younger women. This means SHS acts as if it could be a cause of breast cancer in these women. The 2006 US Surgeon General’s report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, sums it up by saying that there is “suggestive but not sufficient” evidence of a link..”

          You need to remember that we live in a carcinogenic environment. Many things we are exposed to in everyday life produce carcinogens such as plastics and automobile exhausts. It would be remiss for people to assume that one carcinogen from all is this is the sole contributor to these health risks.

          Just like people want to believe the claims of SHS, people also will believe anything that suits their proclivity.

          • Col_Conran

            Here are just a few of the articles on the harassment of women online. Now these are just the tip of the ice burg. You may not know any men who do this, but then again they probably won’t tell you even if they did harass women online. Now, no one says it’s all men, but it is a problem that some very strange men have.

            Now, you can read the info or delete it, it’s up to you, but I gathered from your name ‘still learning” that you like to keep informed on all issues ??

            The comment section on some articles is quite good as well. The last link is to a guy who lasted only 2 hours pretending to be a woman on a dating site, he received just too much sexist crap to last any longer.









          • StillLearning

            Col_Conran, I know you’re trying to help, but I glanced over all of the links and read most of them, but I have to be honest, it isn’t enough to sway my mind. I believe that this happens, but none of these articles actually define the scope of this issue except to say that it’s widespread. However, I believe It’s worth further investigation. I’ll keep my eyes open. I haven’t read the comment sections yet, but I will because you suggested it.

            I too have been harassed online until I left the site, at least for a while. I’ve been ganged up on and called every name in the book because I had a different viewpoint. I do agree that there are quite a few nut jobs out there who’s only purpose is to be contrary.

            There’s a great deal of misinformation out there. A long time ago, the government was pushing the idea that pot smokers would become insane after a few hits. They even classified it as a class one drug, which had no intrinsic medical value and was strongly addictive. Both of these claims were untrue. It’s only because of recent financial problems, their failure to win the drug war, and public opinion that they decided that it’s not so bad after all. Still, that didn’t stop generations of people from believing what the government said.

            The point is that many people (and governments) make claims that aren’t true. Many of these people truly believe what they’re saying is true. Because of all of this, I’ve learned to question everything.

            When it comes to people and society, it becomes very complex because we are not only dealing with facts, we are also dealing with emotions,attitudes, and beliefs.

            I’ve had my life threatened a couple of times, but it was more of an attempt to mess with my head than it was an actual threat. It didn’t work.

            As for people getting threats online, I believe that it’s the same thing. These treats are simply a mind game. Many people get death threats and it’s extremely rare, if ever, that the aggressor follows through. As unpleasant as it can be, these people are simply playing mind games.

            As for sexual threats,I don’t think there is any intent on carrying through with them, but I suppose people do it because they think that is what will cause the greatest amount of distress. All I can say is consider the source. These people may think they accomplished something, but the majority of us see them as creeps. It’s a reflection only on them.

          • StillLearning

            One more thing… Do you remember the McCarthy era? Because of his imagined fears, he launched this entire nation on a search for communists. It was so bad that government officials were pointing fingers at each other. People were blackballed, lost their jobs, and had their lives destroyed because of this one mans imagined beliefs. This is an example of why it’s important to question everything. At the time, many people believed this to be a real threat. It wasn’t.

            The point… Just because many people believe something to be true, doesn’t mean it is.

          • Col_Conran

            Funny you mention pot smoking.
            If you met my brother in law who has smoked pot for the last 40 years, you would agree with the government, because it has fried his brain.
            He has real trouble deciphering fact from fiction as he gets high so much. He’ll argue about something he thinks has happened & it will always be he was high at the time. On the plus side he has been a good example for my children on how drugs can negatively affect your life.

            I have found that for cancer patience’s, smoking pot is a real help with pain management, so there is a plus there.

            Women get targeted with sexual threats as some men feel that’s the best way to make women feel inferior & try to make her feel her opinion doesn’t count. It’s a male problem some men have when he needs to feel powerful because he lacks self esteem.

            Of all the links I gave the best one to describe this male behavioral problem is


            The explanation why some men need to do this is well explained & I have encountered this type of immature male behavior everywhere, most days of my life. As I’m older now I can stand back & view this behavior & pity the males that need to do this. I’ve told my daughter to pity them & even laugh at them as they have zero power over her as a woman.

            The ones who stalk female Journalists & women in general are the worry & it’s on the increase for men as well. Interesting that men are just as likely to be stalked by another male as a female. While it’s men who overwhelmingly stalk females, not other women.


            Stalkers are invading private email accounts & the lives of especially female journalist’s that they want to silence.


            I believe there has always been sicko’s out there in the world. The trouble is now these sicko’s are meeting up with others just as sick on the internet making them think their behavior is normal.

          • StillLearning

            I’ll read these later (I’ve already started…, but in the meantime, I have “another little story. Hopefully you’ll glean something out of it.

            I was speaking to my sister about women and men living together and I told her that women are controllers, they rule the home and the man in their lives. The reason I said that was because of my experiences and because of what I see happening in almost every home I’ve been in.

            My sister said that it was the men who were the controllers. My mom felt that way too, mostly because the last man she married “was” a controller. So, it seems it goes both ways.

            I’ve heard many men complain about women controlling there lives and I’ve heard many women talk about how they control their men. The strangest thing I’ve heard were black women bragging about how controlling they were. They perceived themselves as being strong women and that men don’t like strong women. The men had another name for it. There is one cravat. A person who is controlling thinks that any opposition to that control is controlling.

            When I walk into the home of a married couple, I don’t see any masculine decor, I see a woman’s home, sometimes frilly, sometimes not, but never does it reflect how a man would decorate. This isn’t important,but it is indicative of who rules the roost. I mentioned this to many women and they “all” agree that they “rule the roost”. I’ve asked the men the same question and they all say, the wife does. From what I’ve seen, I have to agree with them.

            So what’s to be learned from this?

            I realize that this is off topic, but it seems that our perceptions are different and that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

          • Col_Conran

            Agree most women I know control the families finances, I know I do & my husband loves the fact he doesn’t have to worry about it.
            When I was growing up my dad controlled all the money. Mum wasn’t allowed to work as Dad felt that if he couldn’t support his family his friends would look down on him.
            He gave Mum half his wage to feed clothe & pay any bills. The other half was for him & him alone. He went to the local bar every night after work to bond with his mates after a hard day at work. He considered Mum to be someone who sat around all day (all housework & looking after us kids was done by the fairies apparently).
            Now I don’t mean to bag out my Dad here as he wasn’t the only man who thought or acted this way back then, it was how it was.
            I guess I look back & feel very sorry for my Mum, she had so many dreams she would tell us kids about, she died in her mid fifties not having achieved anything she hoped to in life.
            I guess my childhood experience made me a great believer in women having a choice in life to achieve what they want without being held back by stupid beliefs like my Dad had.
            One more thing she did get to decorate the house how she wanted because Dad didn’t care as long as his meal was on the table when he got home from the pub.

          • StillLearning

            That’s a sad story and I feel sorry for your mom.

            When I first got married, I loved to ride motorcycles and loved it. My wife would also ride the bike (by herself). At this time in history, women didn’t do this, but I encouraged it because it was a joy that deserved being shared.

            My girlfriend told me a story about her grandparents that I found interesting. When her grandfather would go to town (they lived on a farm) he would take the wife with him. While there, he would go into a tavern and drink while his wife had to sit outside on the wagon (they still had horses back then). Women weren’t allowed inside. The only time she got to go in was when it was really cold and then they would only let her into the back room.

            I can really see how women would consider this unfair.

            With her mom and dad, it was a different story. He started a business and they both worked side by side to make it succeed.

          • Col_Conran

            I have a funny story of a girlfriend years ago who demanded to go into the men’s bar of a hotel where women weren’t allowed.
            They told her no & she walked in anyway. Men abused her for being there & she didn’t care, even got herself a seat at the bar ( we watched from the doorway laughing).
            They refused to serve her & we got her a drink from the lounge are, she grabbed it, went back & sat at the bar.
            The men called her everything & she just looked at them & said “you’ll have to physically remove me”.15mins later the owner did remove her, he carried her seat & all out into the women’s lounge, it was the funniest sight.
            I was only young at the time (under age & shouldn’t have even been in the women’s lounge) she was 5 yrs older than me & said she’d had enough of being a second class customer.
            By the time I was of legal age there was no such thing as the men’s bar.
            My point here is if you complain enough about unfair ridicules rules, they will get changed.
            All my life I’ve complained about double standard behavior from men & my Dad would say that’s just how it is. I never accepted this & I believe this is how feminism got started, women just refused to accept double standards.
            I have noticed a lot of changes for the better for women over the years & also noticed Men have benefited as well.
            It’s funny my husband prefers female conversation when we’re out socially as he feels women talk about a wide range of topics. He finds men mainly talk about sport or work & while he’s fine with this for a while, he gets rather bored.
            If we go to a BBQ at a friends house, he hates it if the men put on the TV to watch sport as it kills all conversation.
            Main point here he loves the fact women aren’t out in the women’s lounge anymore.

          • StillLearning

            I’m not a sports fan myself. I really don’t understand what people find interesting about it. I like talking with women too, but I loose interest fast if they talk about people,kids, clothes or jewelry.

            When it comes to politics, I think the whole system is corrupt and there is little reason to take sides except in cases like G.W. Bush and his entourage who caused the deaths of thousands of Americans based on false beliefs. I believe they knew the truth.

            In the beginning of this nation, very few people had the right to vote, only the rich who owned land. The idea of equality was not practiced, as we know very well. It took many years of people complaining for the government to adhere to the ideals of the founders. I hear far to often that it was men who stood in the way of equality, but realistically, it was the government and social pressures. The women were as complicit as the men in perpetrating this inequality. Similar to the men, they were victims of their social upbringings.

            A number of years back, if a man stayed at home and the wife worked, he would have been scorned, by both men and women, a double standard for sure. Every time the government went to war, it was the men who were forced into service and many lost their lives. The women had no obligations to participate in this insanity. Again, another double standard. If there were a physical altercation between a man and a woman, it was normal for the man to be arrested, regardless of who initiated the confrontation. Another double standard. There’s much more, but you get the idea. BTW, I’m only describing the male side of the issue. These double standards still exist today, but they seem to be changing.

            As for our rights. there are very few as outlined in the constitution, but the government is doing all they can to circumvent these rights. As people, we consider that any communications we engage in as private. The government feels that anything that leaves our homes electronically is fair game. They monitor our interactions with private companies and these companies are being forced to comply. Not only that, the most private thing in our lives are our bodies and they violate that privacy by allowing drug testing.

            One could argue that what they are doing is necessary for our protection, but at what cost? Another little story about good motives resulting in a miscarriage of justice.

            The government is on a big push to stop child abuse, which I think is a good cause, and they go into the schools to find children who suffer this abuse. Now the story…

            A gentleman that I knew had children in school. I didn’t know his wife. One day, “they” came in and discussed child abuse with the children and afterwards they asked if anything like this happened to them (the children). This gentleman’s little girl said that, when she was little, her father would make fun of her when she would put her underwear on backwards. The next thing that happened was that they took the little girl into protective custody and filed charges against the parents. It took three months of legal battles to get their little girl back.

            From this story, I hope you can see how ludicrous some of these government people can be and the damage they are causing.

            If you read the writings of the founders, you will realize that much of what they wrote paints a beautiful picture of their goals. They talk about freedom, democracy, and equality, but what they practice is much different.

            BTW, if anyone reading these posts think that they are not pertinent to the discussion, you have to understand that in order to solve a problem, you have to understand the problem and what better way to do it than reading about others life’s experiences and viewpoints.

          • Col_Conran

            I believe after what happened in 9/11& the terrorist attacks, everyone became a suspect, hence all the monitoring of peoples private lives. The enemy can by right under your nose or even the next door neighbor.

            As I’m not from America I find it hard to relate to what happens there & we don’t tend to talk about politics as much as you do there. Actually for us the biggest way to end a friendship is to talk about politics. People here don’t tend to even tell others who they will vote for, it’s kept private really.

            Our elections don’t go on as long as they do in the USA. The government can call an election & have everyone at the polls in a month.

            As I have experienced harassment myself I can relate to the above. I have found over my life as a woman if you give an option & some men don’t like it, they can get personal & rather nasty. But it has never stopped me from expressing how I feel.

            There is a big difference in disagreeing with someone & harassment to get them to shut up & this is what they’re talking about here.

            I’m all for posting under your proper name & the only reason I stopped was a guy privately messaged me & said he was coming to get me as women need to know their place in this world.

            That guy never would have said that if he was posting under his real name. For some people posting under a fake name tends to bring out the coward in them & they’ll threaten when they believe they’ll never get caught.

            If you look at most threads it is the ones who post under their proper identity that seem to keep civil & talk the most sense
            Proper identity will also stop the men who post under a female name & give a false female view, this seems to happen a lot & very easy to pick.

            Anyway I think we have covered everything & nice to have a chat & yes get a different view point on different topics.

          • StillLearning

            Sexual harassment is not what it always seems. Here is another story (I like stories).

            My brother would give everyone a birthday card on their birthday, where he worked. One day, he gave one to a female coworker and she complained to management that he was sexually harassing her. He got into a little trouble, but it passed. Management agreed with him that it wasn’t sexual harassment.

            His act was not sexual harassment, but her’s was. If another girl had given her the card, all would have been well, but since he was a male (and she didn’t like him), … well, just look at the results.

            Accusing someone of sexual harassment in the work place is a serious situation and when the claims are false, the person making the claims needs to be spoken to or fired. To me, what she did was far worse than an inappropriate sexual comment.

            The same applies to women who falsely accuse men of rape. Many men have be released from prison because DNA evidence proved that they did not rape the accuser. The accuser should suffer the same fate as the man who spent years of his life behind bars.

            I’m just saying…

          • Col_Conran

            I agree people can take advantage of laws, but again I also believe they are the minority.
            Yes there can be false rape claims, but the numbers are minor. I’m always concerned that sporting hero’s seem to have a very high acquittal rate compared to the general population.
            I also have a few stories, one of a girlfriend who accepted a lift home from a male friend we all knew & he raped her on the way home, she was left bleeding. She told us girls about it, not knowing what to do as he was very well liked among the males in our group. Being younger at the time I told her just to avoid him from now on. Looking back he should have been charged & I regret the advice I gave. Us girls just spread the word to other girls that he was to be avoided.
            This guy did this to a few other girls & has never been able to keep a girlfriend his whole life, he’s middle aged now, lonely & blames women for all his problems, he is the one with the problem.
            When you look into rape, most victims know the perpetrators & this can be one of the reasons why so many rapes go unreported & when she does report it she’s put on trial, not him.
            So yes there can be false rape claims, but there are also way more men out there who do commit rape & never get charged.

          • StillLearning

            It took time, but I eventually learned how to read women (to a degree). I learned how to tell if a woman was interested or just being friendly. I also learned how to approach women without being forward. Does it work? Yes, As an example, I’ve had women tell me, on first meeting, that they felt like they’ve known me all their life. That tells me that they are comfortable being around me.

            Young men don’t know how to relate to women. Their hormones forces them to pursue them, but most everything they do to attract a mate is simply wrong.

            Perhaps a better way to understand the male sex drive is that it is like a strong drug to an addict. Someone addicted to a powerful drug will do just about anything when the effects begin to wear out, even do things against their moral nature.

            Another little story…

            This girl was addicted to coke. She was a nice person in every way I can think of, but she had this problem. She borrowed a friends car and with the keys went into that friends house (they weren’t home) and stole a nice coat, sold it and bought more drugs. After which, she brought the keys back to her friend who was at work, and told her what she had done.

            Back to the subject matter…

            We can see the effect of this “sexual” drug (hormones), i.e. men’s sexual aggressiveness. Understanding it for what it is is necessary if we want to find a solution.

            It’s not fun to have to live with this urge all your life. While sex can be the most intense form of pleasure, it is also like a curse. Of course, women feel this too, but apparently not as intense as men.

            Anthropologically speaking, I have to assume that this drive to mate is the reason for humanity’s survival. It’s part of all species. This new world we live in dictates that we ignore what nature demands of us. That’s not an easy task.

            I have no answers towards a solution except that parental guidance can help young people make the right choices.

            A funny thing is that I’m just as messed up as anyone else in this world (in one way or another), but my age and experiences have taught me a few lessons that should have been taught when I was young.

          • Col_Conran

            You are correct in young men don’t know how to relate to women.

            I have told my twin boys it’s easy to know the right way to treat & relate to girls, they’re humans like yourself.

            A moral code is if you wouldn’t want your sister harassed, then don’t harass other girls.

            When younger I detested street harassment, hated being yell out to from men. I refused to even look in their direction, I never found it a compliment.

            You are correct in the approach you learned with women.

            I had to laugh when my daughter & her friends(all 26) were talking & one of the biggest turn offs for them was the so called Alpha male types ( super confident approach). I laughed because there are sites on the net dedicated to helping boys be the Alpha male. Boys so often find the wrong information.

            They all said they like a guy who is capable of normal conversation without all the “hey baby crap”& the worst are the ones who will abuse a girl if she’s not interested. It would be tough for men to approach women & find they aren’t interested, but abusing them isn’t going to do you any good.

          • StillLearning

            I guess one way to look at this is that men and women are initially attracted to each other sexually. This can lead to a very intense relationship, but it’s not enough to hold it together for a life time.

            From a male perspective, a man likes sex, first and foremost, but they also want that person to like them and to share the same interests, in essence, a good friend.

            What happens far to often is that we get caught up in the sex before we get to know the other person. because It’s fun and it’s intense. We mistake this as getting along and love. The problem is that, after time, the intensity always dies down and if we haven’t developed a friendship or a few commonalities, we drift apart. I believe this is one of the reasons for so many divorces.

            I’ve said enough. Believe it or not, I delete much of what I write because it gets too long.

            I just want you to realize that I just don’t talk at you. I do read your posts and I find them very interesting. More importantly, I think about what you have said, days later, and it helps understanding the big picture. I also do this for the other posters too, although I don’t always reply to them.

          • StillLearning

            About the pot…

            Anything can be abused. Smoking pot every day will eventually dull the mind. However, once the smoker stops, their mind clears up. I don’t know about 40 years of constant indulgence though?

            Another little story…

            We had these college interns working with us and we got onto the subject of pot. This one fellow said that he always believed that it was wrong and dangerous to smoke pot, but when he got into college, he met many people who did. With confusion in his eyes, he said that the odd thing was that these pot smokers were getting better grades than him.

          • Col_Conran

            Well, pot smoking didn’t help my brother in law’s brain. It seems to be one of the reasons he can’t keep a job. My sister also uses occasionally but never on the same scale as him. Myself I’ve never been interested ever.
            He has been a very useful example to use for my children when they asked about drugs, I’ve said ” have you ever noticed anything funny about your Uncle” & they say “yes” & I’ll say ” well that’s what happens with drugs” & one son said “is that what’s wrong with him, he talks rubbish Mum”. It was funny he had already noticed this himself. The poor fellow is kind hearted enough, but talks crap because he doesn’t seem to know what’s fact & what’s fiction.

          • StillLearning

            Perhaps this lesson will make a difference in your children’s lives. We can only hope.

            In my life, I’ve learned that moderation is the key. Over indulgence can be life threatening or changing, in some cases.

            It seems to be human nature for many people to want to get “high”. Almost All over the world alcohol is accepted as being okay. In fact, most people don’t see alcohol as a drug, which it surely is. However, most people don’t over indulge.

            A couple of years ago I knew a guy that died from alcohol. His liver gave out. He wasn’t a misfit. He held a job and was a decent person, but the highlight of his day was to sit down at the local bar (after work) and drink till closing. He was maybe 40 when he died.

            I have no answers for whether drugs are right or wrong, even in moderation, but I’ve known a great many people who’s lives were minimally affected by it’s use. I’ve also known people who’s lives were ruined because of drugs.

          • StillLearning

            Here is my first opinion on: http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/svaw/harassment/explore/3causes.htm

            Sine this is about the workplace… Another little story… BTW, I use stories quite a bit because they are direct experiences rather than echoing someone else’s viewpoint. I wish everyone else would recant their experiences. I find them far more valuable than some article.

            Back in the early to mid 70′s, where I worked, men and women worked in separate departments within the business. The difference was that the men worked in areas that were physically harder to do. If someone got laid off, which happened periodically every year, they could move to another department and “bump” someone with lower seniority. Up to this time, the men and women stayed within their work areas, but finally a woman decided to bump a guy from his department. What do you think was the guys opinion of this? Well, surprisingly, all that was said was that if the women couldn’t do their job, they were not going to do it for them. Well, this started a trend and finally a man “bumped” a woman out of her department. What do you think the women said? They told the guy that he should cut off his privates and wear a dress. Eventually people got used to this situation and the harassment stopped.

            In this situation it appears that the women were the ones using sexual harassment. Since this is a true story (all my stories are true), it shows that sexual harassment is not a male only phenomena.

            The other thing is that it doesn’t coincide with what’s written in the article. If I took this article for it’s word, I would believe that what I saw on the job was false or a fluke.

            I did hear about one guy (at the same place) that used his position to gain sexual favors. He was fired. This was 40 years ago. The article mentions that these types of things happen, so I concede that. To put this in perspective, that was one guy out of a workforce of 700.

            I can’t condone the tone of this article. I don’t think it reflects what I’ve seen. I’m not saying that what the article claims doesn’t happen, only that it’s a snap shot of a worse case scenario.

            As for violence, there was one guy there that killed another (who didn’t work there) because of an altercation that happened some time before. Then there was a woman employee that hired a hit man to kill her boyfriends wife. Fortunately, the guy she hired was a cop.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            we are not saying we dont know any “MEn” who do this–we are saying we have never seen it online. And that is the evidence–its not there, at least not where I/we frequent. So it must be conservative red state rubbish

          • FrankensteinDragon

            according to your links–mainstream rubbish–commercial jokes and lies. I doubt anyone with a measure of intelligence uses these papers. Only the indoctrinated. Thus–why i never see such harassment. it is to be expected among such conditioned plebs.

          • Col_Conran

            I believe my post was for Still learning, I don’t recall directing it to you at all !! & frankly I don’t care what you believe, I’m sure the articles were written just to piss you off !! Yes all made up ! Ha

          • StillLearning

            I just read the link. Amazing! I think some of the people had good points, but such language! I get the impression that many of the posters are very young. I also found some/many of the posts offensive.

            As for the girl who wrote the article and made the videos, I think she has gone way over the top. For instance, I watched part of the LEGO movie and she strongly criticized LEGO for making a toy that reflects what I think most women think is important in life, such as home and grooming. That was enough, I had to stop watching.

            I’m not going to get into it except to say that this girl seems to have a very vivid imagination and can see sexism where there is none.

            I wouldn’t be surprised is she said that all tall building were phallic symbols.

            Story… (You knew it was coming)
            I once was accused by a black guy for being a racist because I didn’t have any black music. ( I was in the army and had only a few records). Actually, I did have some music made by black performers, but it wasn’t the typical jazz or soul music.

            The point is that he saw racism where none existed. I think the same of this girl.

            Frankly, I only watched a little, but I found her ideology contrived and sexist.

            Sorry about that. I was expecting more from her.

          • Col_Conran

            Whether you agree with her or not, it’s never a reason for the harassment she received.
            Home making & grooming are important for women, but they are far from the only things women are interested in today & hence her criticism for the industry constantly portraying women in a standard way, which reinforces standard views of women.
            I believe what she had to say at the end summed it up how over the top it was & the extra lengths some men went to try & get her to shut up & go away.
            I’ll quote her

            “In addition to the torrent of misogyny and hate left on my YouTube video the intimidation effort has also included repeated vandalizing of the Wikipedia page about me, organized efforts to flag my YouTube videos as “terrorism”, as well as many threatening messages sent through Twitter, Facebook, Kickstarter, email and my own website. These messages and comments have included everything from the typical sandwich and kitchen “jokes” to threats of violence, death, sexual assault and rape. All that plus an organized attempt to report this project to Kickstarter and get it banned or defunded. Thankfully, Kickstarter has been very supportive in helping me deal with the harassment on their service. All my backers have also been amazingly encouraging over on the project page too!”

            So in the end the harassers lost. And I find the harassers will always loose. If anything they gave her extra support.

            You can disagree with her opinions or projects, but these men are loons. This is why you will see more of the harassment women receive compared to men in the news & something will get done about it.

          • StillLearning

            I agree, those men (and/or women) are over the top.

            As for her, she’s just another Mccarthy, who sees things that don’t exist.

            Hmmmm, it occurs to me that since she was unhappy about the girls version of LEGO, what’s wrong with the boys version? If the boys version was not good enough for her, I suspect it’s not good enough for the boys either. Since we’re speaking of equality here should there be any difference? Why do girls need a different toy?

            I imagine that some girls would love the LEGO, If she doesn’t, why doesn’t she just buy a different toy? Why does she feel that she has the right to dictate her likes and dislikes to everyone else on the planet?

            I hope you can see where I am coming from.

            Well, I gotta go. I’ll see you around some time. It’s a small world, don’t you know.

            It’s been interesting getting to know you.

            The end!

          • Col_Conran

            I don’t believe you watched the entire link. her words –

            ” Harassed for daring to criticize sexism in video games. Keep in mind that all this is in response to my Kickstarter project for a video series called Tropes vs. Women in Video”

            She was harassed because she wanted to produce a female friendly video game.

            Most video games are made to appeal to boys(girls are there to be rescued by a male & of course she is very busty with a nice ass) a token female.

            But since she also liked to play video games why not make one that portrays women in a nicer theme. You know may be she’s just a normal looking girl who isn’t waiting around to be rescued, she’s out achieving something herself.

            There is nothing McCarthey about her wanting women to be portrayed how other girls can feel proud of, rather than looking at the token female as a dumb twit who keeps needing a male to save her.

          • FrankensteinDragon

            i agreed with you until th esmoke thing. If you live in a houselhold of smoker but you are a nonsmoker your health will be effected badly–probably very badly. Just as it is in a polluted city. If you must dine in smoky restaurants or frequent smoky bars–it will effect your health negatively.

            I was with you until you used this analogy and I dont see how it is related to online harassment. People who smoke are harassing me. They have NO right to breathe smoke in my personal space. If i am paying for an experience in a restaurant or bar–i have every right to enjoy it without smoke in my face.

            However, I do believe the harassment is happening, tho like you said rare and anecdotal–but more frequent, possibly normal–on conservative websites or among teenie boppers who have no sense of privacy or human rights or almost anything else in this electronic age.

          • StillLearning

            Hi Frankenstein,

            The analogy was used to show how people will believe anything without proof. I worked in the chemical industry most of my life and I’m fully aware of chemical exposure limits. I’ve yet to know any chemical that gets worse the less of it you breath, hence my comment that it doesn’t make any sense. Also, I’ve never seen any tests to back this up, only a few statements that it does.

            I see this second hand smoke idea as a tool to get nonsmokers to get smokers to quit. I do realize that smoke can be irritating and that people with breathing problems find it unacceptable. In cities with lots of traffic, I find automobile exhaust irritating too and it causes my eyes to burn.

            As for harassment, anything can be harassing, such as peoples children. My hearing is fragile in the sense that loud noises such as young children screaming in a restaurant actually causes me partial hearing loss for a day or two. It’s my age causing it. I don’t go to restaurants as often as I have in the past because of this, and I never go to theaters because it always results in a temporary hearing loss. So I do understand your viewpoint.

            As for these women groups, or many groups for that matter, their very existence is in itself the very definition of bigotry. What I mean by this is that they serve the needs of one sex, but not the other, or one race and not the others, and so on. It just seems counterproductive to use bigotry to fight bigotry.

            I will say this, this whole sexist business will eventual burn itself out and things will equalize across the board. It’s only a matter of years.

            As for privacy, our privacy is all but gone. We do most of our communication electronically and for some reason, the government feels that intercepting these communications is not an invasion of our privacy. Snowden has shown to what lengths our government will go to spy on us. It won’t get better.

            Quite frankly, this whole women’s lib thing is not that important in the greater scheme of things. During my life time women had all the rights I’ve had. I remember that the biggest complaint that women had was that they felt they were being kept out of the higher echelon of business. These women are the ones pushing the hardest and have the most to gain.

            If you listen to some of the things that are said, and you believe them, you would think that men had the world by the tail and that our lives were pure joy. That is total fiction. I’ve tried to say this many times, but no one seems to listen.

            I’ve read how hard it is for a single mother to work and support her family, but isn’t that what men have been doing since the beginning of time?

            Well, I’m pretty much off subject now, so I’ll end this.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          what sites? i have never seen this stuff int he sites i visit–an I am all over the place. I still contend these are conservative/teaparty/red state sites. and that is to be expected of that mentality. Thus a progressive mentality that rejects all things red state.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        well said. and rational. how bout that?!

    • beenwiser

      No point shouting into the chaos, eh? Yet here you are, on the internet, trying to convince people to take a particular course of action. I choose to do as you do, not as you say :)

      • FrankensteinDragon

        everything in moderation.

        you seem to ignore context a lot. This suggest your reasoning skills are slow or immature.

        • beenwiser

          Is there a salient point hiding somewhere in that steaming pile of ad hominem? The internet (including email, forums, comment sections, twitter, all of it) clearly provides a platform for the exchange of ideas. Awareness is necessary for positive political action. Plus lots of people successfully use the internet to invite people to physically occupy real spaces together.

  • beenwiser

    Misogynist harassers online are a crude imitation of Rush and Hannity and the lot. They aren’t learning to talk like that by watching Law & Order SVU

  • beenwiser

    Sexists use harassment to chase away better ideas. Its the only way their bad ideas can really take root. We should not reward these harassers with the silence they so obviously seek from us

    • Archy

      I’d say keep your opinions n ideas, speak as normal and write your comments/articles as normal as if the trolls do not exist. If they leave a comment, delete it if you can or ignore it and downvote it. The lack of attention will probably have them give up. It’s worked for me in the past and may help others.

  • geralldus

    Why not make a construct or interesting comment rather than just whine!

  • StillLearning

    I’m pretty much done here, but I thought that I’d leave with this.

    Last night I was watching Take Part Live on TV and the subject was Internet Harassment. One of the people there was a DR. Judy Ho, a Professor and Psychologists at Pepperdine University. She said that the women are targeted more than men and also the perpetrators are also mostly women.

    Be sure to read that last line closely.


    I don’t know how long that link will be good for so use it or loose it.

    • Col_Conran

      Sorry StilLearning but that’s just her opinion & one opinion never makes it correct. That’s like quoting what one prominent feminist says & then trying to portray it as what all feminists think.

      Research says different. The ones who have harassed female journalists have turned up at their homes & believe me they’re male when they arrive on the door step.

      Studies have shown men overwhelming are the main stalkers & harassers of women. It’s not all men, but a problem some men have.

      Men are just as likely to be harassed by another male as a female the ratio is nearly 50/50. But women are overwhelming harassed by men than other women 80/20.




      • StillLearning

        Perhaps you’re right, (I don’t know), I don’t think anyone has a handle on this situation.

        This is similar to Domestic violence. If you look at police records, you would think that it was predominately men who are physically violent, but in reality, it’s a reflection of who lost the fight. It doesn’t reflect who struck first. On top of that is the fact that men rarely report DV when struck by a woman, whereas many women will call the police at the drop of a hat.
        BTW, I’ve read reports that claimed that about 50% of DV claims were false. It’s women using the system to get back at the man. Of the remaining cases, I don’t know if it was an unprovoked assault or the result of a mutual confrontation. I would really like to know the truth, whatever it is.

        The point is that if the men don’t report it and the women do, it’s going to look like men are doing all of it.

        So, if mostly women report online abuse, the same situation occurs. You and I both know that men and women get harassed online, but have you noticed that it’s pretty much all women that are complaining? That should make you wonder.

        Why would DR. Ho say what she did? There is little probability that she just made this up and what does she know that made her come to the conclusion she did?

        I would have thought that this would open peoples minds to the possibility that we are not seeing the big picture. Don’t you think it’s strange that if you read something about men harassing women it gets excepted as fact, even without proof, whereas when opinions are offered that say the opposite, it’s regarded as false.

        I looked at the links and there is no evidence given. It’s just a bunch of people talking about it and making assumptions.

        The last thing is that since professionals are on both sides of this issue, wouldn’t that make you want to hold off on any opinions until this has been hashed out?

        I’m really sorry that I can’t agree with you. I know these things happen, but knowing that men get harassed too, where are their complaints?

        So for now, I’ll sit on the fence and wait for the proof.

        It’s a funny thing, I have experienced many of the things you have. I’ve been groped, had women whistle at me, make cat calls, and make unwanted sexual advances. I doubt that it can compare to your experiences in terms of frequency, but still it does happen. I’ve also suffered from Internet harassment, bullying, threats, and physical violence (by women and men), and more. But you know what, none of it was worth mentioning. What’s odd about this is that I’ve spent my life minding my own business and avoiding confrontation, but still, it came to me. I think most people can relate to this.

        I though we were done?

  • Regular_Listener

    Is there an orchestrated campaign taking place to present American women as being under attack from some shadowy male force? I recently got an email to this effect from the Democratic Party, and it offered me the opportunity to purchase a bumper sticker saying “End the War on Women!” or something to that effect.

    I don’t support abusive and threatening comments and behavior, but I think there are free speech questions involved here, and questions about just how much we want law enforcement sticking its nose into our lives. I do know of more than one woman who made false claims of being harassed and/or abused, and it is understandable why someone would do that. In today’s American society, victimhood confers many benefits – attention, money, and attacks on one’s enemies.

    I submit to you all that while abusive comments towards women are a problem, there is a more serious problem unfolding: the deteriorating economic and social situation of American men. Today women make up the majority of students in colleges, medical schools, and law schools. Women now earn as much as men do, and actually make more money in major metropolitan areas. Men for the most part have been steadily slipping backwards for a long time now. This is a far more serious problem than a handful of trolls making hostile comments online, and it is one that our current leaders don’t e want to acknowledge, much less do anything about.

    • StillLearning

      Hmmm, What you said made sense. It did give me one new thought concerning the war on women. Because of everything that is happening I believe that many men see this as a war on them. Actually, it’s not hard to see it that way. That could explain some of this hostility, both ways.

      As for the men slipping backwards, that might be because our economy changed from production to service or it might be because girls have been encouraged from a very young age to seek success. I have noticed a great many programs that target helping girls and women. I have notice none for the men.

      My sister told me that back in the 70′s, her teachers would try to talk the girls out of traditional classes like Home economics and such and into classes leading to college. Nothing like this was mentioned to the boys.

      If all women teachers were doing this in all the schools, the outcome would be what we see today. It makes sense.

      What worries me some is that the boys are not doing so well in school. It wasn’t that way before when I went to school, nor was the seemingly epidemic of ADD. Whats’ going on in these schools?

      If the boys can’t sit still it’s because they’re bored or have too much pent up energy. It’s really that simple.

      As for focusing on the real problem, I agree.

      I had to reply to this post, it was a good one.

      • Regular_Listener

        Thanks for the compliment. You’re right about the problems of schoolboys, I’ve seen it too – the ADD, the lower grades, the discipline problems. It could be that the boys need to get some different things in school than the girls.

Sep 1, 2014
This Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 photo shows a mural in in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago dedicated to the history of the Pullman railcar company and the significance for its place in revolutionizing the railroad industry and its contributions to the African-American labor movement. (AP)

On Labor Day, we’ll check in on the American labor force, with labor activist Van Jones, and more.

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Beyoncé performs at the 2014 MTV Music Video Awards on Sunday, August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Getty)

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Ukrainian forces guard a checkpoint in the town of Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko called an emergency meeting of the nation's security council and canceled a foreign trip Thursday, declaring that "Russian forces have entered Ukraine," as concerns grew about the opening of a new front in the conflict.  (AP)

War moves over Syria, Ukraine. Burger King moves to Canada. Nine-year-olds and Uzis. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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