It Simply Isn’t a Gender Issue!

The reason why I don’t participate in the #mencallmethings campaign that collects nasty names that male readers call female bloggers is that I don’t think this is a gender issue. I’ve been called names, insulted, stalked, harassed, and bullied by readers who are both male and female. I’m a feminist blogger but I honestly can’t say I see any special viciousness that male readers address to female readers. The anonymous commenting format of online communications brings a lot of nastiness out in people. There is no gender difference in how vile, threatening, and annoying online commenters can become.

Of course, when you cull out of discussions comments that men address to women, you end up with a very scary picture. But when you add nasty comments that women aim at women, women aim at men and men aim at other men, you immediately realize that this is not a gender issue.

Here is another example of what is essentially a non-gender issue that has been transformed into a feminist cause. One of the commonplaces of feminist discussions (if people need links, I can look for them but this has been discussed so often that I feel there is no need to make a separate search) is that women are socialized to please men. As a result, even in professional settings, women rarely dare to contradict men and formulate their objections in the form of questions. Often, they leave their sentences unfinished or use interrogatory intonations to avoid displeasing their male peers. This was even discussed at length in gender studies classes I took in college.

I was present at an intellectual discussion among fellow academics recently and I decided to observe people carefully to see if this was true. I’m not very observant by nature and usually just listen to myself speak during discussions, so here I decided to make a special effort to see if the theory about women trying to please men was true. Almost immediately, I noticed that it was. Female scholars of impeccable academic and intellectual credentials did, indeed, seem very eager to please even those of their male peers who didn’t have nearly the same kind of renown as they did. The star of the gathering, a female scholar who was light years ahead of all of us in terms of publications and scholarly recognition, addressed every response she made to male academics, even those who were beginning graduate students, in the form of questions. The men would sometimes say something completely silly, but she would invariably respond, “That’s very interesting. But don’t you think that. . .?” In her communications with female scholars, she was a lot more blunt and never used the question format.

“Hah!” I thought. “I guess all the theory I read on the subject was right. Women (of course, women from cultures other than mine because we have a very different history of gender relations) do try to please men to their own detriment.”

I was planning to write a post about that but never had the time to do so. And then I attended another gathering of academics. Once again, I decided to remain observant and see whether women were especially eager to please men and to avoid antagonizing them by being too argumentative.

The intellectual discussion in question consisted of two very strong, argumentative and aggressive women (yours truly being one of them) and six male academics. I immediately noticed that these male academics (several of them in a much higher standing than the women in question) were very eager to please the women. They worded their objections in the form of questions, allowed their sentences to trail off, and were inordinately pleased when women offered any kind of agreement with their ideas.

And then I had a valuable insight. Some people are more interested in pleasing others, I realized. There are also many people, however, who are not familiar with the concept of pleasing anybody. This is not a gender issue. This is an issue of personal psychology.

There are really crucial issues feminism still has to address. However, by transforming things that have nothing to do with gender into feminist causes, we dilute the power of feminist activism and serve no useful purpose.

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46 comments on “It Simply Isn’t a Gender Issue!

  1. I think the issue needs to be sliced more finely than above. For instance, this phenomenon of women and men acting/behaving/being treated differently is not just an issue of individual character, although it may start out that way.

    There’s another layer — that of social expectation. My experience has taught me well that one can be punished simply for not fulfilling expectations, no matter what the sincerity of one’s motives were, or the quality of one’s work.

    Depending on the social context, deference and high emotional sensitivity is what people expect from women. There are a lot of environments in which I simply cannot work, because these cultural expectations do not match my basic character type.

    It’s not really an issue of my inability to relate to men per se or women per se, either. I can relate to emotional behaviour just as much as I can relate to the absence thereof, so long as both are logical and not intended to be manipulative at a higher level.

    In Western culture (I’m not sure about other cultures) performing gender is a form of manipulation, which I didn’t learn and also don’t have any desire to learn.

    So, anyway, what we are dealing with is the reification of culturally gendered characteristics, so that any departure from them is somehow penalised.

    This is much of what the feminists are railing against. At the same time, many of them may well be falling into a reified or “gender essentialist” point of view themselves, which is where your article has value as criticism.

    • I love it how you always provide such in-depth responses to posts. Thank you for being a reader! It is a great compliment to my blog to have readers like you.

      “Depending on the social context, deference and high emotional sensitivity is what people expect from women.”

      -When you say “people”, so you mean both women and men?

      I think everybody who has been reading my blog has realized that I’m incapable of either deference and high emotional sensitivity. I’m brash, aggressive, intransigent, and prone to fits of rage. I come from 3 generations of very powerful angry women, so that’s not surprising. But I have found that in North America this is a huge asset and not just for me but for my sister, too.

      “So, anyway, what we are dealing with is the reification of culturally gendered characteristics, so that any departure from them is somehow penalised.”

      -I’m a Soviet woman, which is as far away from the gendered characteristics of Western cultures as possible. And I constantly feel like I’m being rewarded for that in the culture where I am currently. I’m not saying this just to be cute. I honestly feel like I’ve been practically worshiped (especially by North American men) for being this very aggressive, domineering, harsh Soviet woman.

      ” At the same time, many of them may well be falling into a reified or “gender essentialist” point of view themselves”

      -Oh yes. Do you remember how I said I was branded as a schizoid for my research into identity? A huge part of it was that I refused to rely on the essentialist feminist criticism. :-(

  2. I thought about starting up a spin-off/remix tag of it, Neurotypicals call me things, or #ntscallmethings, to point out disablism and ignoring autistic writers/bloggers who conveniently forget about us in conversations about feminism, social justice, and other topics, but I’ve got finals coming up and I don’t feel like dealing with people being sore at me for it.

    • Finals are harsh! This is why used to cancel the finals in my courses. My belief was that students should be rewarded for active work they do during the semester, not for one huge effort they make at the end of the course. I was prevented from cancelling the finals by the authorities, though.

      Still, I never assign anything but a small part of the grade for them.

      Good luck on the finals!!!

      • Thanks. :) Fortunately, one of them is very creative and fun, it involves writing a letter to Yasunari Kawabata and telling him why he was wrong about Manchuria, and my professor promised me he would take the letter with him to Japan and put it on Kawabata’s grave.
        That makes slugging through the other two worth it.

  3. Sorry Clarissa,

    I’m using my iPad to access your site since I can’t see the comments on my regular pc. This means I can’t cut and paste to reply.

    To answer your questions, I think women are harsher on other women, compared to men.

    Anyway, it is good if your brash attitudes are rewarded. I do think this has much to do withculturalcontext. My family on my fathers side is distinctly matriarchal, so I have a dominance characteristic, which seems to unsuitable me to fields in which the nurturing mother archetype is required.

    I would also say that the discrimination against me as a white African has prevented me from relaxing into this culture very much. Rather hyper vigilance has been in order, so I have no idea — maybe it would have been possible to adapt to contemporary expectations, and indeed to go beyond that and overcome them, had my own psychology been less fraught.

    But, with my father’s craziness, and the thorough nature of loss, I needed cushioning and not the perpetual attacks on my identity that I’ve experienced.

    So–I’m not the average person. Perhaps one who is more normal, more regular, could have benefited by greater aggression and what have you.

    I’m pretty aggressive myself, but this seems not to work in quite a number of situations.

    • “I would also say that the discrimination against me as a white African has prevented me from relaxing into this culture very much. Rather hyper vigilance has been in order, so I have no idea ”

      – Yes, I can see how that must have been a huge issue.

  4. bloggerclarissa :
    “I would also say that the discrimination against me as a white African has prevented me from relaxing into this culture very much. Rather hyper vigilance has been in order, so I have no idea ”
    – Yes, I can see how that must have been a huge issue.

    Not just for me. Other left leaning white africans report the same thing. The ones who conformed for to the rightist identities attributed to them seem to have made a somewhat smoother transition in many instances

  5. bloggerclarissa :
    “Not just for me. Other left leaning white africans report the same thing.”
    -Very true. Have you heard of “whiteness studies” and what is your opinion?

    I think that whiteness studies could very well be an abomination. There is nothing like overcertainty about identity, apart from fetishising of “identity” itself, to turn otherwise ordinary people into supreme asses.

  6. Z :
    Actually, it’s about deconstructing ideas like “whiteness.” Here’s someone with good work in this area: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/waters/ – her first two books are about how the idea of whiteness was created, what you had to do and give up to join whiteness, etc.

    Oh, I’m sure it’s quite analytical. Nonetheless, I would prefer to see people go back to the basics, rather than being analytical about identities.

    Today, the reflex upon meeting new people, especially among educated people, is to try to relate to them on the basis of what one thinks one knows about their identity. Instead of this, I’d like to see people meeting a new person for the first time ask questions about the other person’s actual experiences and perceptions. More than often, these are in direct contradiction to whatever we have learned about their identity.

    • “Today, the reflex upon meeting new people, especially among educated people, is to try to relate to them on the basis of what one thinks one knows about their identity.”

      -So true! I can’t tell you how many times new people I meet immediately rattle off to me everything they heard about Ukraine: “Borscht, beets, Kiev, Odessa, Shevchenko, and a very nice Ukrainian lady who lived next door to my sister’s boyfriend.” I never know how to respond to it.

      • It’s better than having someone new practice their single Ukrainian phrase, invariably something rude. Rule: if a person knows one and only one phrase in a foreign language, that phrase is an obscene bit of slang.

      • “Rule: if a person knows one and only one phrase in a foreign language, that phrase is an obscene bit of slang.”

        -So true! I have actually discovered some inventive bits of obscenity in my language from foreigners who proudly shared this single bit of wisdom they knew in it with me.

  7. bloggerclarissa :
    “Today, the reflex upon meeting new people, especially among educated people, is to try to relate to them on the basis of what one thinks one knows about their identity.”
    -So true! I can’t tell you how many times new people I meet immediately rattle off to me everything they heard about Ukraine: “Borscht, beets, Kiev, Odessa, Shevchenko, and a very nice Ukrainian lady who lived next door to my sister’s boyfriend.” I never know how to respond to it.

    It’s supposed to show sophistication. In fact it indicates that social skills have been phased out of the culture. I have a good friend who I met on Facebook who grew up in South Africa. His father was German and very hostile, but believed in giving black workers in his day what Australians call a “fair go”. He permitted them to use tools to work on machinery, whereas only whites were considered civilised enough to use tools. I’m not sure of the exact details of the situation, but the family eventually fled South Africa for political reasons. This friend of mine eventually came to Australia, where white Australians tried to reform him because they presumed he was racist. People are such raving fools, much of the time — above all, when they believe they’re being sophisticated.

  8. A.L. :

    (summary here : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091112151434.htm
    (ohmy, i really *want-to-be-the-change)

    Benevolent sexism is still a gender issue. After all, it is sexism. I prefer an environment where there is no game playing based on gender, but people do in fact use gender as a means to ascend the hierarchy. For instance, women do it by pointing out that others do not play the game of femininity. Hence those who do not play it well are popped off, leaving room for those who have a higher level of feminine shrewdness to claw their way a bit further up the ladder.

    I put a lot of this stupid game playing down to an overcrowded world. People don’t care too much about complexity, but about competing in the narrowest terms possible, very often.

    • Furthermore, hierarchy is not the source of the problem. Getting rid of hierarchy in fact exacerbates this problem of sexism, since people don’t respect formal qualifications or social protocols so much once hierarchy is gone. Instead, they revert to much more primitive ideologies. Ideologies based on gender differentiation are the most basic of these.

      I maintain that those who oppose hierarchy on the basis of feminism are taking society in entirely the wrong direction and making it much worse.

    • @Jennifer Frances Armstrong – indeed, i used this study to look at both forms of soc. sexism and that indeed it is women AND men who maintain this soc. status-quo.
      (and for me “being the change” means i do not wish to blame/shame etc. neither women nor men, although/esp. since i see it happening in various forms daily. since i have difficulty finding words *others can understand, this study e.g. simply help me to find words)
      and no, i am also/not interested in “this stupid game playing” as you say it.

    • The article is very biased. Most bloggers are women, which is why more women get cyberstalked.

      To be honest, I find this article itself to be a for of harassment because it is desperate to promote the idea that women shouldn’t be online at all. It’s like one of those pieces telling women not to wear short skirts if they don’t want to be raped.

      • Uh no, women are a majority of bloggers, but only 50.9% to 49.1% according to this: http://www.sysomos.com/reports/bloggers/

        I should point out that everywhere else I looked, most blogging demographics would claim that it’s actually closer to 60% males that are blogging, but I’m inclined to disregard that information on the grounds that most of those are surveys.

        Also from the article linked above: “A widely cited 2006 University of Maryland survey shows that web users with “female” names are 25 times more likely to be harassed than users with “male” or ambiguous names.”

        I’m not sure how you believe that this is an article that is trying to keep women off the web. I’ve reread it several times and can’t see how you would draw that conclusion.

        The purpose of the linked article seems to me to be making the case that women are treated poorly on the web, and they provide some evidence.

      • “Also from the article linked above: “A widely cited 2006 University of Maryland survey shows that web users with “female” names are 25 times more likely to be harassed than users with “male” or ambiguous names.””

        -That might be true. Or, as usual, men might underreport harassment for fear of not appearing manly enough. As a female blogger, I’ve been harassed and cyberstalked far more viciously by female readers than male readers. So it’s also important to define who engages in this harassment.

      • bloggerclarissa :
        “Also from the article linked above: “A widely cited 2006 University of Maryland survey shows that web users with “female” names are 25 times more likely to be harassed than users with “male” or ambiguous names.””
        -That might be true. Or, as usual, men might underreport harassment for fear of not appearing manly enough. As a female blogger, I’ve been harassed and cyberstalked far more viciously by female readers than male readers. So it’s also important to define who engages in this harassment.

        While men might not be willing to report harassment (which, on your part, is purely speculation. If you’re not willing to believe in multiple studies that have replicated findings then what exactly does it take for you to change your mind?), the idea that you can simply argue that female harassment online isn’t gendered just blows my mind. Even if men weren’t as likely to report harassment, that wouldn’t explain a 25 to 1 gap.

        The TYPE of harassment that women face is absolutely gendered. Male bloggers aren’t going to be threatened with rape, or called “cunts.” They might be feminized (calling someone a “fag” etc.) but this would still be gendered, because they’re applying ‘docile’ female qualities to a man. And FYI, just because harassment happens to everyone, doesn’t mean that the way harassment is enacted gender-neutral. People will be attacked in different ways based, in part, on their gender. Perhaps you should read this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/05/women-bloggers-hateful-trolling

      • Based on what you say, I can only draw the conclusion that I’m not a woman. It’s really funny how in conversations with women (be they super patriarchal or passionately feminist), I always arrive at the same place of being told that my female experience is somehow not really female. And that I’m somehow not a real woman. I find that a lot more hurtful than any “you are fat and ugly” male trolls have ever addressed to me.

        Also, what do I need to do for people to stop quoting trashy tabloids on my blog as legitimate sources of information?

  9. A. L. :
    @Jennifer Frances Armstrong – indeed, i used this study to look at both forms of soc. sexism and that indeed it is women AND men who maintain this soc. status-quo.
    (and for me “being the change” means i do not wish to blame/shame etc. neither women nor men, although/esp. since i see it happening in various forms daily. since i have difficulty finding words *others can understand, this study e.g. simply help me to find words)
    and no, i am also/not interested in “this stupid game playing” as you say it.

    Oh, personally I’m not beyond blaming / shaming anybody at all. I’m really getting into it these days. For example, check out what this ZANU-PF thug says about his right to kill white farmers and my reply:

    Vincent Gumbo:
    Repatriation is a must give 2 ceausar wat belongs 2 ceausar.this is not land grabe ,its just taking wat was stolen n taken 4m us.land must be given 2 da right owners the black peasant.whites must go where they belong in england.dat land is 4 da offsprings of nehanda n kaguvi.

    Jennifer Frances Armstrong Vincent, your portrait is on a strange angle. I sure hope you are okay. You seem sick.

  10. Clarissa, you are an Arts and Humanities professor. For many years now, the arts and humanities have not been considered the province of an exclusively male or even male-predominant teacher population or student population. Furthermore, the teachers and (many) students want to project a cultured persona, and when hostile will use snobbish put-downs rather than crude four-letter words. I daresay your blog is not frequented by non-academics.

    Many STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) discipline subcultures can be hostile to women, most notably the commercially oriented software coding, high level computer gaming, and hacking cultures. A disproportionate number of coder-gamer-hacker types are men with, shall we say, stunted social skills. In other words, they want a boys-only playground, and resent women who aren’t interested in giving them BJs, literal or figurative.

    The women who report significant abuse (often including threats and stalking) fall into a few categories:
    1. women who are employed experts in coding, gaming, computer security (these are hacker types).
    2. women who run liberal political blogs
    3. women who run reproductive rights blogs – the word “abortion” brings in trolls like no other word
    4. women who write about domestic violence, child custody, or anything else that brings the “men’s rights” folks in.

  11. Not in the way that a lot of people like to think it is. (I’m saying that in response to the title of your post.)

    As a guy I can tell you that in your example of the two women and six men I’ve been in the shoes of one of those six men.

    When it comes to gender its not a one way street (as in one gender gets the pleasure and the other gets the pain) and people would do well to remember that (rather than trying to spin everything one way, like some people would look at both examples you give and in both cases would say that the men are being sexist against those women in some shape or form).

  12. bloggerclarissa :
    “Also from the article linked above: “A widely cited 2006 University of Maryland survey shows that web users with “female” names are 25 times more likely to be harassed than users with “male” or ambiguous names.””
    -That might be true. Or, as usual, men might underreport harassment for fear of not appearing manly enough. As a female blogger, I’ve been harassed and cyberstalked far more viciously by female readers than male readers. So it’s also important to define who engages in this harassment.

    So uh, wait, are you conceding everything else I said as being true? Do you have evidence to support your claim that under reporting of harassment accounts for the substantial difference in men and women being stalked? I’m finding your claims lacking credibility.

    • I’m having a feeling I’m in for yet another round of the endless discussion of how this is a blog, not a doctoral dissertation. What claims do you find “lacking in credibility”? That I’ve been persecuted far more viciously online by female trolls than by male trolls?

      • Well, I’m finding your attempts to dismiss the evidence I provide lacking any sort of credibility. I point out that one study found a 25:1 gap in the harassment of users with female names versus male or ambiguous names, and you simply have not provided any counter evidence. Other then to say, that men under report harassment but, that does not account for the huge gap in gender differences on harassment that occurs online.

        Your claim that men under report harassment, simply does not account for the number of attacks that women experience online, nor the quality of those attacks.

      • These “studies” can be so easily manipulated to say whatever the person conducting them wants them to say that I see no reason to discuss them seriously.

        “Your claim that men under report harassment, simply does not account for the number of attacks that women experience online, nor the quality of those attacks.”

        -Your name sounds male. Which makes me feel very surprised that you are trying to educate me, a woman, about the kind of experiences I have online.

      • bloggerclarissa :
        I’m having a feeling I’m in for yet another round of the endless discussion of how this is a blog, not a doctoral dissertation. What claims do you find “lacking in credibility”? That I’ve been persecuted far more viciously online by female trolls than by male trolls?

        Look, no one is arguing that women can’t be jerks. Of course they can. My issue with you is that you’re saying this isn’t a gender problem because it happens to everyone. You are, in this instance, conflating gender analysis with “women’s issues.” Women’s issues are considered to be issues that effect women, primarily. But gender analysis is an analytical framework that can be applied to any issue. It is a philosophical framework, similar to Marxism, liberalism, conservatism etc. etc. To say something is gender neutral means that you don’t believe gender impacts the way something is happening, when the reality is that gender analysis works on issues relating to men, women, children etc.

        So when men attack women for their femaleness “you’re a pussy etc. etc.” that is a gendered attack. They’re attacking a woman for BEING a woman (as most women have vaginas, and associating vaginas with inferior qualities is a form of hatred towards women.) That means that this issue, where men are calling female bloggers to be raped and calling them bitches, is very gendered. When women call other women “bitches” that is also gendered. It means we live in a society where traits associated with femininity (like being passive etc.) are considered wrong, and that’s why calling a man a pussy is gendered–because he’s being associated with femininity, traits that are denigrated in patriarchal societies. That’s why women who accuse each other of being bitches harm all women, because they solidify and buy into structures of oppression that believe it’s wrong for a woman to be aggressive. Gender impacts everything, and to say that this issue isn’t a gender issue seriously overlooks how these attacks are constructed.

      • “But gender analysis is an analytical framework that can be applied to any issue. It is a philosophical framework, similar to Marxism, liberalism, conservatism etc. etc.”

        -Please look at your calendar. We are living in postmodern times and the grand narratives that purport to explain everything in the universe have been discredited a long time ago.

        ‘When women call other women “bitches” that is also gendered. It means we live in a society where traits associated with femininity (like being passive etc.) are considered wrong, and that’s why calling a man a pussy is gendered–because he’s being associated with femininity, traits that are denigrated in patriarchal societies. That’s why women who accuse each other of being bitches harm all women, because they solidify and buy into structures of oppression that believe it’s wrong for a woman to be aggressive.”

        -These are very interesting observations. Now let’s consider the following. I come from a culture where women are socialized to be aggressive and are rewarded for that from early childhood. Men are socialized to be passive and are rewarded for that. In the English-speaking blogosphere, I – a woman who, for better or for worse, was socialized into being aggressive and manifesting rage very easily – do not get the kind of treatment you describe.

        Now, if you could do me a kindness and look at my most recent post, I’m sure you will be able to figure out why I believe that attacks that attempt to make me look passive and castigate me for aggression do not happen to me. A hint: I don’t see aggression and dominance in women as negative. Hence, I’m as likely to be negatively impacted by such statements as I am by anybody saying that I have blue eyes.

  13. bloggerclarissa :
    These “studies” can be so easily manipulated to say whatever the person conducting them wants them to say that I see no reason to discuss them seriously.

    Seriously? That’s what you are saying? How can you make any empirical claims, anywhere then? Are there any studies that you take seriously?

      • You’re assuming that that these are mass media studies. And sure, some sociological studies are rubbish. But when a study has findings that are replicated by several different studies with different authors, then that means they are likely to be accurate.

        And while I’m sure your friends in the Humanities joke about sociologists, my friends in the Social Sciences joke about what academics in the Humanities do.

        My reaction to them, as it is to you, is can we please stop this cross-disciplinary bickering?

      • “But when a study has findings that are replicated by several different studies with different authors, then that means they are likely to be accurate.”

        -Yes, like all those thousands of studies proving how women were subhuman, stupid, incapable of rational thought, and had traveling uteri that made them hysterical. I highly recommend the list of readings suggested here on how studies get transformed in order to be offered to the general public: http://clarissasblog.com/2009/04/01/our-brain-and-the-mystique-of-hard-wiring/

        The readers of Guardian will consume what they are prepared to consume and only process what they want to hear. Often, actual studies get reported in the media as the exact opposite of what they find in reality.

  14. bloggerclarissa :
    “But gender analysis is an analytical framework that can be applied to any issue. It is a philosophical framework, similar to Marxism, liberalism, conservatism etc. etc.”
    -Please look at your calendar. We are living in postmodern times and the grand narratives that purport to explain everything in the universe have been discredited a long time ago.

    Speaking as a graduate student, I can assure you they haven’t been discredited. What happens now is that issues are analyzed using a multi-disciplinary perspective–and gender is one way to analyze issues. And no one is saying this is a grand “narrative.” It means that gender impacts our lives and influences our behaviour. THAT has never been discredited and is only gaining more prominence in the academy.

    ‘When women call other women “bitches” that is also gendered. It means we live in a society where traits associated with femininity (like being passive etc.) are considered wrong, and that’s why calling a man a pussy is gendered–because he’s being associated with femininity, traits that are denigrated in patriarchal societies. That’s why women who accuse each other of being bitches harm all women, because they solidify and buy into structures of oppression that believe it’s wrong for a woman to be aggressive.”
    -These are very interesting observations. Now let’s consider the following. I come from a culture where women are socialized to be aggressive and are rewarded for that from early childhood. Men are socialized to be passive and are rewarded for that. In the English-speaking blogosphere, I – a woman who, for better or for worse, was socialized into being aggressive and manifesting rage very easily – do not get the kind of treatment you describe.

    Yes, that’s because gender manifests itself differently in different cultures.That doesn’t mean gender doesn’t exist. It just means it manifests itself differently within different communities and is dependent on things like race, religion, class etc. However, the article I linked you to was talking about English speaking women, as in Western women, and in Western culture, this is how gender manifests itself.

    If your personal experience means that you don’t get personally attacked, then that’s great, you’re very lucky. But you can’t create universal assumptions based on your own personal experiences. Some women and men are telling you that they have experienced gendered attacks, and you are saying that can’t be because men and women are equally jerks. I am responding by saying the gender influences that TYPES of attacks men and women receive.

    Now, if you could do me a kindness and look at my most recent post, I’m sure you will be able to figure out why I believe that attacks that attempt to make me look passive and castigate me for aggression do not happen to me. A hint: I don’t see aggression and dominance in women as negative. Hence, I’m as likely to be negatively impacted by such statements as I am by anybody saying that I have blue eyes.

    I don’t think that aggression in women is wrong either. But you mentioned in your most recent post that people have TRIED to make you feel bad. Sure, sometimes we can let people not influence us, but that doesn’t mean that trolls who try and attack women/men/children are innocent. They have to be kept accountable.

    • “I don’t think that aggression in women is wrong either. But you mentioned in your most recent post that people have TRIED to make you feel bad. ”

      -Make me feel bad? I’ve had trolls who threatened my family members. I had to threaten them with court proceedings to make them desist from their truly vicious stalking. Would you care to guess the gender of these two trolls?

      I have also had people ban me from their blogs for posting a single, extremely respectful comment disagreeing with them. Would you care to guess the gender of those 3 bloggers? And what they adduced about my gender as a reason for banning me?

      I’ve also had two other trolls conduct an investigation to find out my real name and place of employment and try to hurt my professional career. Would you like to take a guess about their gender?

      Of course, at the same time, I had several male trolls who called me fat.

  15. bloggerclarissa :
    These “studies” can be so easily manipulated to say whatever the person conducting them wants them to say that I see no reason to discuss them seriously.
    “Your claim that men under report harassment, simply does not account for the number of attacks that women experience online, nor the quality of those attacks.”
    -Your name sounds male. Which makes me feel very surprised that you are trying to educate me, a woman, about the kind of experiences I have online.

    That is a ridiculously low blow. So men aren’t allowed to talk about gender and they can’t be pro-feminist? What you’re doing is silencing people by saying that men can’t be pro-feminist. This is a personal attack. You’re not trying to dissect his arguments, you’re trying to argue that what he says doesn’t have merit because he has a penis. And frankly, that’s not a very good argument. He hasn’t been patronizing. He hasn’t even been discrediting your own personal experiences. No one has mentioned or denied that you’ve been attacked online by women. That’s not the point of this discussion.

    What he’s doing, like what I’m doing, is attacking your claims that women don’t receive gendered attacks on the internet. And I know that’s wrong, because I personally HAVE received gendered attacks online. So not only are you trying to silence him, you’re trying to silence me and you’re trying to universalize your own personal experiences and apply it to all women. And you’re saying that multiple studies that come to similar conclusions, that is, have replicated findings (and studies with replicated findings are always considered stronger in all academic circles) are bogus because…because…their findings can be manipulated? So findings, across study after study, have all been manipulated? All of them? All these studies are lying, because…because…? I suppose that means we’re just supposed to trust what you say and reject all in-depth research? Even when different studies constantly prove you wrong, we’re just supposed to take your word for it?

    You’re beginning to sound desperate. I wanted to have a serious discussion with you, but after this comment, I have lost respect for your methods. Accusations like the one you’ve left above do not invite serious intellectual discussions.

    • “That is a ridiculously low blow.”

      -Noticing that somebody is male is low? Sorry, I don’t get that. What’s so offensive about being male?

      ” What you’re doing is silencing people by saying that men can’t be pro-feminist. ”

      – I adore it when people impute their weird fantasies to me and then get appalled by them. I never said anything of the kind. You are the only person who said this on this thread.

      “What he’s doing, like what I’m doing, is attacking your claims that women don’t receive gendered attacks on the internet. ”

      -Please show where I made such a claim. Please argue with the ideas I expressed and not with what you assume I’m saying.

      “I personally HAVE received gendered attacks online”

      -So have I.

      “Accusations like the one you’ve left above do not invite serious intellectual discussions.”

      -Which accusations? That a certain name sounds male? This is too weird.

  16. bloggerclarissa :
    Based on what you say, I can only draw the conclusion that I’m not a woman. It’s really funny how in conversations with women (be they super patriarchal or passionately feminist), I always arrive at the same place of being told that my female experience is somehow not really female. And that I’m somehow not a real woman. I find that a lot more hurtful than any “you are fat and ugly” male trolls have ever addressed to me.
    Also, what do I need to do for people to stop quoting trashy tabloids on my blog as legitimate sources of information?

    Excuse me, WHAT? How exactly can you infer that from what I’m saying. When did I say that your experience isn’t female? In fact, when did I even talk about YOUR experiences? You made a universal argument, based on your personal experiences. I’m arguing against the universality of your claims.

    Let me get this straight. You think THE GUARDIAN is a trashy tabloid? So what newspaper do you read exactly (seeing as The Guardian is one of the most prestigious English newspapers around)? And you don’t seem to believe in replicated academic studies either. So where exactly do you find your information?

  17. Pingback: False Feminist Issues Versus Genuinely Feminist Issues, Part II « Clarissa's Blog

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