Misogyny or immaturity?

toughhijabiAll 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.

One response to “Misogyny or immaturity?

  1. Hi Geoff, I had to respond to this one. As you probably know I don’t watch the news nor do I read the papers, in any format, which fortunately for me means I am oblivious to most of what is going on in the world. However, just a few days ago I came across a website which offers support to victims of DV and raises awareness on the subject. I read one of the blog posts which was praising a certain female, who I think you may be referring to. It sounded like she’d had a pretty tough time with threats via social media but I didn’t know who she was so I googled her. I found myself at another blog belonging to another lady who advocates and speaks publicly on tv and radio and who writes for newspapers and magazines. Her latest blog post was directed at the lady I’d googled, outing her for bullying her via twitter under a pseudonym back in 2012.

    I fel frustrated at what I was reading so gave up there and then.

    Now your post has got me thinking about how I felt about my little bit of investigative work.

    In terms of the threats I felt shocked that people would go to these lengths to get at someone they don’t even know. Then I remembered reading an article about the women’s tennis match at Wimbledon and the horrific tweets that men AND WOMEN were posting about one of the players. It was disgusting and immature.

    Then I thought about the woman who I think you refer to, and couldn’t help but wonder if this is karma playing out due to the accusation of partaking in online bullying herself.

    I have no idea whether mysogyny plays its part but certainly, whether it does or not, immaturity does. If someone hates women simply because they are women surely there is at least some level of immaturity there. And if they don’t hate women then surely their actions are down to them not having the maturity to deal with their anger/frustration/jealousy or whatever it is in a more helpful manner.

    Also, if someone is a misogynist, I can’t help but wonder, does that person also hate their mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, etc simply because they are women?

    And finally, if the threats are coming from made up anonymous accounts, how do we know if the perpetrator is male or female anyway?

    One thing that my browsing confirmed for me the other day is that I much prefer to live in my bubble where the world is a wonderful place and where I don’t have to look up words like mysogyny to see what they mean.

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