Our straight talking Lancashire lass takes a sideways look at the daily news.
Feminism isn’t a dirty word. ‘Hooters’ is.
Let me ask you a question. Is ‘feminism’ a dirty word? It’s a question I’ve put on Daily Bite quite a few times, but today an article in the Guardian left me reeling, and I wanted to write about this in solidarity with the article author.
The article was written by Sian Norris, the head of Bristol Feminist Network and it describes the online threats made against her and her colleagues after a local ‘Breastaurant’ Hooters went bust, so to speak.
The Bristol Feminist Network ran a campaign in 2010 opposing this restaurant because it sexualised and degraded women. Rightly so. But she also explains that the restaurant went under after only one year because few people chose to go and spend their money there. They went bankrupt. Simple economics.
But Norris was subsequently targeted and threatened online by men who blamed her personally for the closure of their favourite eatery.
One particularly vile man posted the following on Facebook:
“Sian Norris, of the Bristol Feminist Netowkr is a c*nt. I hate her. I’m posting the details of this on 4Chan. I’m going to find her address and everything. SHE MUST PAY.” Details of her blog, her Twitter and Facebook accounts were circulated, and she received threats, including one that offered to kick her ‘in the vagina’. And who said chivalry was dead?
If these men so desperately want women in bikinis with their fried chicken, why not get a KFC takeout and enjoy a Bay Watch marathon?
No, it’s the hate-fuelled violent rhetoric. It’s the evil bile that these misogynistic Orcs vomit each time someone objects to women being objectified.
The counter argument is often that we’re over-reacting because it’s said in jest. “It’s alright cause it’s a laugh! I wouldn’t really kick a woman in the vagina!” So don’t say it then you freak.
Feminist bloggers have long been dealing with online intimidation from men who believe that a woman’s place is in the home. Or on her back thinking of England whilst they hump around like fat arrhythmic blobs with microscopic yet floppy genitalia. With their baggy Y-Fronts jiggling round their cankles. Crying after orgasm because they feel so empty inside. How’s that for a bit of sexual objectification?
But the fact is that this online intimidation belies the backwards attitude that many men (and some women) have - that women who step out of line should be punished. They should be beaten and raped into submission and should be taught a lesson.
It’s sickening. But what is more sickening is how seemingly acceptable this is in society.
If you replace the word ‘woman’ with ‘black’, ‘disabled’ or ‘gay’ then all of a sudden this becomes a shocking hate crime. But women don’t count until it gets really bad, as Norris and her colleagues discovered.
I read about incidents like this and it makes me really angry. Women have enough to deal with in terms of achieving equality in general, without having to put up with anonymous abuse posted online by cowards.
Cowards who like to play Big Man whilst hiding behind their computer monitors. Cowards who probably have deeply unsatisfying relationships, and who probably still live at home with their parents.
One final thing… guys who treat women with respect are considered ‘Real Men’. Maybe the twunts who go around threatening women just because they are standing up for their rights should bear that in mind.