All the recent, quite legitimate, concern about death and rape threats sent to prominent women who have been challenging the system has led to a series of blogs, articles etc wondering what leads people to make such threats. I want to take a slightly different view to those who accuse the perpetrators of misogyny.
I want to put two issues into the arena. Firstly that, to the best of my knowledge, all of these threats have been made by social media – I am not aware of any of them being made by old-fashioned means such as telephone call, letter or (perhaps most challenging for the perpetrators should they ever get the chance) face-to-face. My own experience is that I can find it easier to behave differently in these social media than face-to-face and, if the perpetrators truly believe that they are anonymous, when they create some fictional moniker than whatever social filters or editors they have in their brain will be turned down by the appearance of anonymity.
Secondly, and this is the real heart of my question, for this post is genuinely a question rather than a proposition, are these posts truly misogynistic or are they no different to the many other brutal and offensive posts that I see made to male recipients? I submit that maybe the perpetrators of such behaviour are so immature, whatever their physical age, and unthinking that they are not specifically acting misogynistically, rather they are acting more generally in their rage against the world or trolling behaviour.
Now please if you are female do not get me wrong. I am as offended as you by these posts, I just have a slight concern that it is too easy to interpret any male to female offence as specifically misogynistic, when it could ‘simply’ be person-to-person offensive. No more acceptable for that, but not necessarily gender based.
I would love to hear what people have to say about this proposition although I will not publish any comments that I deemed to be offensive, no matter what the gender of the writer.