In the darkness the trees are full of starlight (henwy) wrote,
In the darkness the trees are full of starlight

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Get out of the blogosphere and bake me a pie

There's been a lot of focus lately on female bloggers and whether or not they receive more threats of violence than male counterparts. The Washington Post had a story about a recent study that claimed that women received "25 times as many sexually explicit and malicious messages as males". Predictably, the response to this has broken down pretty closely along gender lines with women lighting bras on fire in sympathy and men telling them to grow a pair.

I spent some time thinking about it, wondering if women do receive more negative responses and in my experience, I don't think it's panned out in general. I've been on some pretty rough and tumble internet sites where you wouldn't believe some of the vitriolic exchanges and there dosen't seem to be tilt toward women when it comes to negatively. If anything, the more brutal and bloody exchanges are often between men. I do have little doubt that women almost certainly receive more sexually explicit attacks, at least from men, than men do from other men. For one, it's always an easy target for a salvo. What you find is that your goal in these 'net flame wars is to try to draw blood and you reach for whatever weapons you have at hand based on the info you have at hand. This leads, almost certainly, to people who are open about their race receiving more racist comments, people who are open about their religion receiving more bigoted anti-religious comments, fat people receiving more fatty fatty fat fat comments, etc. In order to draw blood, it has to relevant to the target.

I'm not exactly sure how this all plays out with more extreme death threats and the like. As I was reading Slate's commentary on the issue, I thought to myself that maybe my view was too skewed since for all the years I had been online and often tossing around verbal moltov's, I had never received one. It took me a few minutes to realize I was wrong. I think I've actually had at least half a dozen people I can specifically recall threaten me and probably dozens more besides. The difference is, I simply dismissed it out of hand and it barely even registered. It seems ridiculous to actually spend time worrying about what some anonymous nutjob says online. Besides, if you buy a gun, if and when they show up you can just shoot them in the face.

On a sidenote, if there were one blogger that I could hit in the face with a brick in a sock, it would be abyss2hope. It would just be out of general principle I think. She claims to be female, so maybe there's something to this after all.
Tags: abyss2hope, blogging, gender, news

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