Gender Relations in Modernity--or How Feminism Makes One a Target Online--SEMI NSFW

Not so long ago (about three weeks ago), I uploaded my video On Being a Feminine Feminist. I shared it with a few people, including the Reddit Feminism group. Reddit is often where I share many of my blog posts (for better or worse), but sharing this particular post on Reddit turned out to be a huge mistake.

Evidently, the Feminism Reddit is a target for even further harassment by men who are clearly threatened by feminism. I got three comments there before I deleted my post: one about how unattractive and "unbangable" I am and one about how I have saggy breasts. The third commenter revealed himself in an email, in which he sent me not just a picture of a penis, but one particularly mutilated. I believe this was in an effort to get me to play along with their game and get upset. Of course, the subject line was false in an attempt to get me to open the link. 

But why? Because I dared post a video with feminist ideals? This concept is hardly new. So why are there people so threatened by it? And why is it something people are so scared of that they must respond with virtual harassment? 
 
People say Feminism isn't necessary, that the concept is purely outdated. Men are equal to women, they say, it isn't necessary to make a big fuss out of it anymore. But really? Can it be true when the very notion of equality freaks someone out so much that they then rush to try and shut up the women who try and discuss it? 
 
This harassment continued onto the YouTube video itself and I got some comment gems...particularly highlighting exactly why feminism is necessary and the concept is very much one that needs to be addressed. I debated on whether or not to upload the comments on my blog, but decided in the end not to, as they were incredibly graphic. However, one such comment basically said he wanted to have sex with me so I would understand that he has full power over me, which to be reads like a thinly veiled rape threat. Like, honestly, I'm getting a rape threat by a random stranger because he is that scared of anything to do with the word feminism?
 
One thing I also found interesting was the following video, promoting the idea of bystander intervention during street harassment, particularly by other women.

This video is fantastic, but the responses it got caused me serious anguish:
 


Do these men think they are helping their case that feminism is stupid? Do they think I, or any other woman, am going to back down because of these threats? And over something so incredibly stupid like a woman voicing her opinion. So are they not just validating her point over and over? Is this how people are responding to dialogue in the 21st century, by feeling so threatened by the idea of feminism that they must threaten those who are feminists? 
 
The odd thing was that in my video, I'm not necessarily even talking about men, but discussing the idea of femininity in the feminist culture--yet even that is clearly far too much for people to handle. Having a conversation about street harassment is too much for people to handle. Wanting people to all be equal to one another is too much for people to handle. And that makes me incredibly sad for humanity.
 
Feminism is not the hatred of men, but the idea that men and women are equal. Nothing less, nothing more. Of course, there are issues raised depending on a variety of socioeconomic factors within the feminist movement in general, but the underlying belief is simple equality. Why is that so difficult for some? And why must they try to wield their power (and dole out abuse) over those who are doing nothing but trying to work for the common good of all humans? Feminism even benefits men, but I think that would blow these responders minds far too much to even attempt to express the notion.



 



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16 comments

  1. Those comments are completely disgusting. It's a sad and unfortunate fact that men and women are still not equal, and as a female I feel I need to stand up for those in an unequal position. I think people often feel threatened as it's been the norm for so long.

    The video really resonates with me (as I'm sure it does with many other women). Even since primary school I used to get followed in cars, with men trying to approach me. It has always had a negative effect on my confidence, and made me anxious to even leave the house. I think it's difficult to portray the feeling of unequal to people who have never been in that position on a daily basis x

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    1. It is bad, isn't it? Worst of all, I'm getting messages with people DEFENDING their actions because they are just sharing their opinion.

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    2. Since I shared my opinion with the whole world, I should understand that others are going to as well...really?

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  2. Isn't sharing your opinion based on reasoning and the other party, while they may not agree with you, at least knows why you feel the way you do? The comments you shared are not an opinion/response to your video. (I'm guessing) that they don't agree with you; rather than state their case, they verbally attack instead with crude language.
    It seems to me that this happens when someone doesn't know why they think something or how to express it. It is certainly easier to just spew hate talk.

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    1. Yeah, that's what I thought (about opinions). Really sad that people feel this is the way to communicate.

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  3. I can't believe you got comments like that. Well...actually I can. But I'm so sorry that you did. The Internet seems to bring out the extreme crazy in a lot of people, but I just really don't understand how people can think like that. Like honestly - threatening to rape a woman so she'll understand that you don't believe in equality? Fantastic, I'll go ahead and report that and see how the police feel about your opinions.

    It's just really sad and utterly ridiculous that sharing your opinion (on equality, of all things) induces reactions like this. It just goes to show how absolutely necessary feminism is.

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    1. Exactly. Any time people--especially women-- discuss equality, they're immediately shot down by people who are threatened by it. So incredibly unfair.

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  4. I've noticed that most of the anti-feminist comment are really illogical. Like they say women aren't harassed or threatened and then they harass women in the same comment. It doesn't make sense at all, but in a way it makes it less upsetting (I guess. That's what I tell myself.) Like the people who make those comments are really the most stupid people around.

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    1. I know...it makes so little sense, doesn't it?

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    2. I know. It truly makes no sense, does it? It is like they are just making the case for feminism over and over.

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  5. Ugh, I'm sorry you got those comments. I'm not surprised that you got them, but I am sorry that it's even a thing that happens. I get them sometimes too, usually whenever my stuff surfaces on Reddit's r/feminist subreddit, and mostly my response is exactly like yours: "It is like they are just making the case for feminism over and over."

    And now, as a fellow feminine feminist, I am off to watch the video!

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    1. Unfortunately, I am totally not surprised either, but it totally sucks, doesn't it? People are such idiots!

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  6. So I saw this a while ago (and the original video) but didn't comment because my Internet was being slow and then I forgot! But I just wanted to add that I loved how you were talking about being a feminine feminist. I mean, we all know about the unreasonable standards of beauty etc. women deal with and how that can have a huge impact on our self-esteem and actions. But the flipside of that is feeling "superficial" when you just happen to like stereotypically "girly" things. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. All that harassment just from sharing your opinion. . .that's awful. And the fact that they couldn't even make coherent arguments instead of bullying you makes it even more awful.

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    1. Thank you so much for responding. It is really awful, isn't it? Especially since their replies are just more blanket harassment. It frustrates me to no end.

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  7. Wow, that is scary that even today, women can receive such hate for wanting nothing more than respect and equality. I'm only fifteen, and I have been whistled at or "wooed" at several times by men in passing cars when walking home from school, in completely unprovocative clothing! It's despicable that even in clear daylight in the 21st century, women of any age, even teens, can still be brought down and objectified this way. What's worse is that those men will probably never know at what point that harassment bothered me, and they will continue.
    I think it's amazing that you're openly taking a stand online. Keep it up!

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  8. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with Reddit. The Wedding Planning subreddit was AMAZING while planning my wedding, and while a few regulars could be a bit harsh in their opinions, I never saw any trolls. I also enjoy answering questions in the Relationships subreddit, especially ones that don't have tons of comments already.

    While I frequent various feminist subreddits, I mostly stick to commenting, not posting. And the few times I posted, it was only with links to other people's work. The trolling in AskFeminists can get especially bad, but the moderators are really on top of things there.

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