Tag Archives: feminism

My Favourite Slam Poetry

19 Aug

I posted a while back about how much I love spoken word poetry, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite slam poets with you guys. I owe a lot to one particular feminist network on Facebook for introducing me to these — thanks ladies!

Most of these come with a trigger warning, so be aware of that.

Kai Davis is just phenomenal. When I watch this video I still get shivers every time. I just want to hug her and stroke her hair but at the same time I’m really scared of her and how twisted this poem sounds.

Kavindu “Kavi” Ade performing IT. Again, this piece is really moving.

Andrea Gibson performs ‘How It Ends’ in this one and it is just the cutest love poem ever. I mean can you just imagine if someone wrote this for you?

Emilie Zoey Baker’s poem ‘Fannyism’ made me a feminist when I was seventeen. This isn’t a great rendition though. You really have to go to her myspace music player and listen to it old school style, it’s a lot better.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21221916]

Kim Selling performs ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and everyone is blown away forever. Goodbye I am gone.

Kai Davis again and her friend made this little offering which they call ‘Dear Dirty Hipsters’ and it is an open letter to me and maybe you and it’s also really funny and we should stop being so terrible.

Is there something you think I need to see? Link me up in the comments!

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Book Porn: Armpits4August Edition

15 Aug

Day 14: Not a lot to see here.

If you haven’t noticed the trend of underarm follicles blossoming into fruition this month, I wouldn’t blame you. Despite Dove’s marketing campaign to try and sell us the ‘beautiful underarm’ as a thing, we just don’t spend a lot of time looking at each other’s pits! Unless you’re Amanda Palmer or Julia Roberts, the sad fact of life is that nobody will pay very much attention to your underarm tresses if you do grow hair under there, and if you’re bare under there you probably haven’t ever given much thought to why you shave in the first place. But for some women and trans* men with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), the battle against body hair can be a complicated, emotional, and embarrassing experience.

A common symptom of PCOS is hirsutism (excessive hair growth). Inspired by this, Armpits4August began as a month long charity event in which participants grow underarm hair for one month and ask friends and family to sponsor them to raise money for Verity, the charity for people with PCOS. Armpits4August believes the shame a lot of people feel about their body hair is a consequence of living in a society which dictates that female-assigned bodies must conform to incredibly narrow beauty standards, and which upholds a rigid gender binary that deems body hair a ‘masculine’ trait.

These beautiful and bizarre book covers are my own contribution to the movement (as well as my participation in the event, of course). So without further ado, let’s take a look at the lovely limb locks! Continue reading

10 Manic Pixie Dream Girls From Film Adaptations of Novels

5 Jul
This post was inspired in part by Laurie Penny’s amazing article from the New Statesman earlier this week, and the equally thought-provoking response from Hazel of Freaky Trigger.

The MPDG is, by very definition, the girl of your dreams. She first became a trope thanks to Nathan Rabin’s review of Elizabethtown, in which he defined a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” – but she has existed in one form or another long before he ever coined the phrase.

We saw her in the fifties, when she manifested herself as Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. In the sixties she was Jean Seberg in Breathless. As the decades roll on, see also: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger than Fiction, Natalie Portman in Garden State, and every character Zooey Deschenal has ever played – ever. Kate Winslet’s character Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind acknowledges the archetype and kind of rejects the label (“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours“) – but ultimately, she’s MPDG incarnate.

If you want a better definition of what exactly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s role is, this Feminist Frequency video sums it up pretty succinctly:

Continue reading

Should we bank on Jane Austen being the face of our £10 notes?

3 Jul
austen

If the (Fanny) Price is right…

When it was announced that Elizabeth Fry would be disappearing from our £5 notes, feminists (and pretty much everyone who thinks gender equality isn’t such a dumb idea) were up in arms. Without Ms Fry the UK currency would have no female faces. Except the Queen, obviously.

Charles Darwin will soon be leaving our £10 notes and Sir Mervyn King, the until very recently Governor of the Bank of England, announced that the novelist Jane Austen is hotly tipped to be replacing Mr. Darwin. This makes rather a lot of sense as the bicentenary of ‘Pride and Prejudice‘ (her most famous novel) is coming up. In February, the Royal Mail marked this by releasing some Jane Austen related stamps (whether this is a marker of success or not up to you…I once saw some Coldplay themed stamps). Continue reading

Are Book Covers Gendered?

15 Jun

The answer is… probably. YA author Maureen Johnson set her Twitter followers the challenge of the ‘Coverflip‘ — taking a book that is marketed for one gender and then imagining it in reverse. She explains:

the simple fact of the matter is, if you are a female author, you are much more likely to get the package that suggests the book is of a lower perceived quality. Because it’s “girly,” which is somehow inherently different and easier on the palate. A man and a woman can write books about the same subject matter, at the same level of quality, and that woman is simple more likely to get the soft-sell cover with the warm glow […] This idea that there are “girl books” and “boy books” and “chick lit” and “whatever is the guy equivalent of chick lit” gives credit to absolutely no one, especially not the boys who will happily read stories by women […] I would love a world in which books are freed from some of these constraints.

It turns out that the results of Coverflip are a bit like the male pinup project Men-ups!, meaning that they’re a sad and absurd insight into how gender is represented, commodified and exploited… but they are also undoubtedly hilarious. Here are a few of my faves from Johnson’s Twitter followers (the original cover will appear first):

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The ‘Lord of the Flies‘ one just kills me.

Johnson (whose book appears in the slideshow above) notices that “lots of times the ‘perceived good’ stuff goes to male authors, with the female authors falling in that ‘let’s sell it as romance, which is soft and silly’ pile, when in fact romance is fascinating. And not all women write it.”

Jodi Picoult weighed in over Twitter:

Why is it ‘domestic fiction’ if a woman writes about family/relationships, but if a man does that, it’s Pulitzer-worthy? … what would happen if a woman submitted a book under male pseudonym to a publisher? Would it be treated differently?

And Amanda Hocking blogged:

more women read books than men, more women write books than men, but only a small fraction of books that win literary awards are written by women. Women are the publishing industry’s bread and butter, we are the backbone of the damn entertainment industry, but we are constantly demoted to ‘fluffy’ to ‘light’ to ‘meaningless’.

So, question time! Is the publishing industry inherently sexist when it comes to women’s fiction? If so, do we only think this because we think that “girlie things” are considered inferior by default? Do you judge a book by its cover? And what would a nongendered book cover look like? Does such a thing exist? Will this argument become moot when the Kindle takes over the world and the last book has been used as kindling? Is that why they named it that? Let me know in the comments!

New Fiction Review: ‘The Academy: Game On’ by Monica Seles

12 Jun

gameon

Author Monica Seles is a retired tennis champion. She won the French open at sixteen and went on to become the number one ranked woman in tennis, winning a total of nine Grand Slam titles before retiring from the game in 2004. I know this only because I read her biography in the back of ‘The Academy: Game On’, which I won through a Goodreads First Read competition. ‘Game On’ also has another author in very small print on the title page, so I’m guessing it was ghost written – not that it really matters.

It turns out that ‘Game On’ is your typical rags to riches plot, set against the backdrop of a very exclusive sports academy. You know, “17-year-old tennis superstar in the making gets the scholarship of her dreams… and more than she bargained for”. It’s sort of like Mean Girls meets Bend it Like Beckham, with a touch of The OC (‘cause they’re all so super rich).

The girls were fairly interesting, and this novel definitely passes the Bechdel Test with flying colours. There’s the protagonist, Maya, who is fairly likeable, punk Cleo, rising star of the ultra conservative golf scene, Renee, a girl rich enough to buy her way in to the Academy, and Glamazon Nicole, Maya’s heroine – and competition.

‘Game On’ is filled with all the hot guys and frenemies you’d expect. I haven’t read a lot of teen romance, but I imagine the romantic interests are fairly typical of that genre as well (bad boy vs. shallow stud). There are so many twists and changes of heart that my eyes were flicking back and forth across the page like I was witnessing a tennis match. Some of them were predictable, some of them I didn’t see coming and they struck me with the force of a tennis ball hurtled from a malfunctioning ball machine. (Are these tennis metaphors going a bit too far?)

This novel had a slow start but picked up the pace very quickly. It was genuinely funny at times, and although I never found myself laughing aloud I did find myself smiling a lot. The author does have a tendency to spoonfeed the reader a bit with her descriptions and there are a lot of instances of wishing she’d show instead of tell. This sentence on page two we probably could have gleaned for ourselves: “Finally, she had done it. This sixteen-year-old have-not from central New York with absolutely no connections whatsoever had somehow made it into the most exclusive club.”

Some of the description made me wince a little bit, like calling Cleo “an Asian girl with a towel wrapped around her head” the first time we see her, and

“You will be able to pick a Russian from a Belarusian from a Czech at a hundred yards in three seconds flat. Facial features, skin color, clothing, hairstyles […]”

feels borderline racist and wasn’t really necessary to the story or plot at all. ‘Game On’ also has a very “feel sorry for the poor beautiful rich kids” feel. For example, this quote:

“The only things Maya had ever heard about the way she looked were how freakishly tall she was, how creepily blue her eyes were, how plain blonde her hair was.”

Like, you can’t really just add an unflattering adjective to a word and make it so it seems like she doesn’t fit society’s idea of the perfect woman. Come on, Seles!

Also, after a dad says something offhand to his son:

“Jak and Maya found each other’s eyes. The pain was almost physical. Certainly worse than anything the kid he injured was feeling.”

I kind of disagree, considering that the character in question had just broken a fellow football player’s arm so hard that he’d let out a scream which sounded “primal, like a wounded animal”!

The whole novel offers an interesting commentary on class divides. I know it’s never going to happen in a million years, but a spinoff series about Cleo and her life as a Chinese immigrant who is also a lesbian would be A-MA-ZING. I really liked Cleo and it was super inclusive of them to put a lesbian in BFF role, but they really skimmed over her romance with Svetlana. Like we didn’t even meet the girl. I’m hoping to see more of baby dyke Cleo and her radical undercut in the sequel – although, speaking as a queer girl with an undercut, Cleo is pretty misogynistic for a queer girl with an undercut.

I have to admit that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. And what I mean by that is that when the sequel comes out, I’m prepared to spent actual, real money on it. Nice serve, Seles.

All Dolled Up: the Aesthetics of Lolita Feminism

1 Sep

Image via daily-lolita.

Yesterday evening I was fortunate enough to attend Loli-POP! at the Victoria & Albert Museum – a celebration of Lolita fashion and frolics. The event was free and curated by Rupert Faulkner of the V&A’s Asian Department, to whom I extend my thanks for hosting such a wonderful evening. If you’re interested in reading more about the night, rabucon has an excellent post with lots of pretty pictures!

I was first introduced to Lolita style by the baby-goths of Brisbane’s King George Square, but it wasn’t until years later, on my first trip to Harajuku, that I was able to witness it on a mass scale. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of lace, frills and bows on display, as well as saddened by the fact that I would simply never be brave enough to pull it off. Because that’s the thing. Despite its sweetness, it takes incredible balls to becoming a fully-fledged Loli.

I’d never thought of Lolita as a feminist response until last night’s Q&A panel on Japanese Fashion Subcultures, when one of the panel spoke quite articulately about the movement and its relation to the subculture. I can’t remember if it was author of Tokyo Look Book Philomena Keet, or Harriet Hall, who wrote her thesis on ‘Nostalgia, Innocence and Subversion: Kawaii and the Lolita Fashion Subculture in Japan’, but they were both very clever during the whole panel discussion and made a lot more sense than I’m about to.

Image via jeriandjapan.

Basically, I see Lolita fashion as hyper-femme. It takes the concept of femininity to the extreme – almost to the obscene. Bear with me here. There is something quite subversive about Lolita. It takes these traditional symbols of femininity – bows, ruffles etc. – and exaggerates their existence. Rather than being feminine in a passive way, Lolita fashion is extremely visible and in-your-face. The whole package is all so obviously artificial, so unattainable, that I think it can be read as a political statement. A statement against a society that teaches girls to be princesses, women to be beautiful, to be submissive, to be feminine. Out society ultimately measures a woman’s worth by her appearance. These dresses and wigs and false eyelashes and knee-high socks are a rebellious act. They seem to ask, “Is this what you meant? Is this what you wanted?”

If you have ever seen a group of Loli girls, you will know that this kind of aesthetic is confrontational, and can be unsettling.

Image from feministlolita.

Lolita is also a threat to traditionally patriarchal values because it exists to the exclusion of men. These girls/women aren’t dressing this way to ‘get a husband’. These costumes are not created to please others, dressing Lolita is an almost entirely self-indulgent practice. This can be quite a novelty for those individuals who assume that “every single action in a woman’s life is entirely based around how she feels about the men in her life.” You know,

If she wants to be pretty, it’s because she wants men to look at her as an object. If she is a feminist or a lesbian, she just hates men. If she wants to be a stay-at-home mom, it’s because she feels she’s subservient to men. To society, absolutely nothing she ever does is based upon her own feelings, but to bow to or rebel against the men in her life.

Online, one Lolita shares a conversation with her friends’ father:

I was showing off ‘Sugary Carnival’, which is a print by Angelic Pretty with marshmallow-twist lines that end in carousel horses around the hem.
“So what,” he asked, “is the idea that men want to eat it off you?”
“Er, no,” I told him, “lolita isn’t intended as sexual. I guess people can find it that, but to be honest, finding it sexual I find more than a little creepy.”
“Well,” he told me, eyebrows raised, “what do you think men are thinking?”
“I think nobody cares what men are thinking.”

And there we have it. I suppose to outsiders like me, it can be difficult to understand how empowering pastels and frills can be. But I’m not about dictating what people should and shouldn’t wear – you know, “Let’s ban the burka!” or “these skirts need to be more feminist!

But this post is already way longer than I intended and I am by no means an expert, so I’ma throw it over to you guys. Any thoughts?

Hey You. Eat This Red Velvet Twat Cake

24 Aug

Everyone is always saying to me, “Baking is so hard. You have to be so precise. Your hair is amazing.” But I disagree. Putting the confused politics of cupcake-feminism aside, baking is a fucking piece of cake.

Cake is like sex. Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. You shouldn’t be afraid to mess up, you’re just basically mixing some eggs and flour together until they resemble something remotely delicious.

This recipe for red velvet cake is testament to the idea that you can tamper with the rules however you like. The original called for buttermilk and baking soda and a bunch of other crap I didn’t want to walk to the store to buy, so I tweaked it and it still came out like a beautiful red cheeseburger. Just look at it.

Ingredients.

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp red food dye
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vinegar

Method.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Grease two cake tins.
  2. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt in one bowl. In another bowl, mix the butter (you might need to leave it out to soften first), sugar and vanilla until they are combined. Add the eggs one at a time, then mix in the food colouring.
  3. Add part flour, part milk bit by bit and mix until it’s all used up. Add the vinegar (I don’t know what this is for either).
  4. Put the mixture into your two cake tins. Bake for twenty-five minutes. Cool.
  5. Ice however you like. Mine looked like this:
Let them eat twat.

Your Musicology Is My Mythology Featuring: Tori Amos

26 Jul

Until I read this Bitch Magazine article in defence of the Tori Amos fan, I had no idea that she wasn’t cool. Apparently, liking her music remains a “forbidden and dorky love”, comparable only to playing D&D or voluntarily watching The Craft.

What the fuck? was my initial thought. Tori is amazing. The girl taught herself how to play the piano by age four. When she started out, she did show tunes in gay bars and survived on the contents of her tip jar. She sings about masturbation, mermaids and MILFs. She is ginger and friends with Neil Gaiman. What the fuck more do you fucking people need in a fucking rock star? Fuck!

But then I read on. And apparently, the real problem with liking Tori Amos is that her lyrics are too ‘pretty,’ whilst simultaneously causing discomfort by addressing taboo topics and being laced with something too assertive to be stereotypically feminine. “In rock music, there tends to be two types of women granted the stage: tough girls and nice girls.” And Bitch Magazine journalist Sady Doyle explains it more thoroughly in her personal blog:

Over here, we have Taylor Swift. She is fulfilling one of the fucked-up Acceptable Woman archetypes: Permanent girl-child, weirdly virginal no matter how many famous dudes she dates and writes songs about dating, white-dress-clad, sort of a permanent bride waiting for her lifelong heterosexual marriage which is the only thing you can really envision for her, Has A Lot Of Feelings but saves the really venomous ones for (a) girls whose boyfriends she wants to steal, (b) girls who steal her boyfriends, and (c) occasionally boyfriends. Depoliticized, only ever speaks about private concerns, anti-feminist or a-feminist, a giant child, strangely impossible to sexualize (even when she’s talking about “things that [another girl] does on the mattress,” she sounds like a sixth-grader who’s not quite clear on what Mattress Things consist of, but knows they’re DIRTY and girls who do them are GROSS). Acceptable, culturally, for these reasons.

AND OVER HERE, on the OTHER END of the spectrum, we have Ke$ha. Who, yes, looks exactly like Taylor Swift in the process of incurring the world’s worst hangover. Permanently offensive, permanently blitzed, always as loud and rude and inappropriate as she can possibly be at all times, frankly and hugely and inappropriately sexual, confrontational, vulgar, mean, covered in glitter and puke and possibly her own urine, out for attention and doesn’t care who knows it: Ke$ha occupies the whore/bad girl end of the Girl Spectrum, on which Taylor Swift is of course the virgin/good girl at the opposite end. You would think the whore/bad girl would be less acceptable, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s not true: She’s still depoliticized and anti-feminist or a-feminist, she still reserves her hostilities for other girls and the disappointing boys she’s dated, so we have room for her. If only because we need someone to publicly vilify and disassociate ourselves from.

It’s a false dichotomy that many of us are familiar with. ‘Bad’ girls get a reluctant kind of respect because they display traits we honour in men, like strength. And ‘nice’ girls are admired for the traits we associate with femininity, like sweetness. But where does poor Tori fit? Tori, who is a Nice Girl but also a Strong Girl, openly defiant but vulnerable. Tori, who might sing about fucking, but she’s singing about fucking butterflies. A woman who’s shaved everywhere you’ve been, boy, but also thinks it’s a sorta fairytale. She is a fiery, soft round peg that doesn’t seem to occupy the square holes of the Madonna/Whore complex.

Well, according to Doyle, the media opinion of Amos formed years ago, forces her into a shadowy third category: the hysterical female.

As a society, we encourage girls and women to be emotionally accessible, and in touch with their feelings; we say that it’s an innately feminine trait. We say it, that is, until they have feelings that make us uncomfortable, at which point we recast them as melodramatic harpies, shrieking banshees, and basket cases.

But Tori Amos’ music is neither melodramatic nor lunatic – at least, I don’t see it that way.

Take Playboy Mummy for example. It’s a song written in response to her miscarriage. “And then the baby came before I found the magic how to keep her happy.” God, I can’t even begin to imagine how much guts it must have taken to write and record that song, to sing to the daughter she lost, to lay herself bare when she performs it live.

Perhaps Tori Amos’ music has never had the potential of widespread appeal because it speaks almost exclusively to women. And that’s one more thing I wanna talk about.

Amos estimates that “one in three women who comes to my shows [has been] raped or sexually abused.” And formal studies support these numbers; Deborah Finding surveyed 2,000 Tori Amos fans for her 2009 thesis, and found that the rate of sexual assault in the fanbase “was enough to support the statistic that one in four women has suffered sexual violence.” Tori Amos is an outspoken victim of sexual violence herself; after releasing Me And a Gun, the chilling a cappella recount of her own rape, she decided to co-found RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network), the first national support network of its kind in the States, due to the letters she received from other victims of sexual violence.

These letters were from people who had felt completely alone until hearing her music in solidarity with their own experiences. One of these people was Shannon, who founded Pandora’s Project, an online organisation which provides support and resources of survivors of rape and sexual abuse, and Pandora’s Aquarium, an online community named after a song by Tori Amos of the same title.

When I was 19 years old and starting to come to grips with my own rape, it was the music of Tori Amos that brought me comfort. If I felt painfully alone, I would listen to her Little Earthquakes album on repeat; there was nothing more comforting than feeling like someone understood.

Tori Amos is among the most powerful, inspiring and effecting voices of our time. She has an extremely devoted fanbase – a point I suppose I’ve only gone and underlined. Now I’m sure that the majority of these fans don’t buy her music because of some perceived life-changing nature of her songs. They don’t raise her to cult status because they are feminists, or queer, or socially ostracised or even because they have been abused. It is because she is talented, and her music is brilliant. But seriously – who can honestly say that Katy Perry’s Ur So Gay changed their life? Shouldn’t that MATTER?

We named my childhood dog after Tori Amos. And I hope you realise that’s more flattering than it sounds.

The Misogynistic Hashtag

19 Jul

Call me Ishmael, but my problems don't just end with the fail whale

Twitter, I love you. You had @me at #hello. You link me to brilliant news and amazing like-minded people, helped me follow the student protests and today’s Hackgate, and you are one of my all time favourite expressions of narcissism. (Remember that time I was on your front page? That was fun for everyone.)

But Twitter, you can be really, really sexist.

For those of you that may not be familiar with what a trending topic is, it is a way to group certain terms on Twitter, often preceeded by a hash (#) to make them more easily searchable. If enough people are discussing something, these hashtags will become ‘trending topics.’ It can be a pretty cool feature — Doctor Who commentary usually trends, and it sometimes alerts you as to which celebrities are about to appear on talk shows (or which ones have just died…). But the cool thing about these hashtags is also the problem: they are the most popular conversations on the social networking site. And as one blogger points out, “Sometimes when you try to peer into a hive mind, you end up stung by hundreds of misogynist bees.”

Offensive trending topics of the past have included #stopthatthatsgay and #rulesforgirls.

By far the worst I’ve ever seen was last year’s #ItAintRape, which I won’t even dignify with a link. At the time of writing, one of the top hashtags is #youknowuasideline, which looks a little like this:

It’s true that Twitter forces you condense information into 140 characters, but it’s somewhat difficult to defend these with the ‘oh-but-there’s-a-lack-of-contextualisation’ excuse. According to Bad Reputation, “if you ever share a train carriage with a stag party you may well overhear some of the same sentiments.”

The flagrant misogyny of most of these trending topic hashtag tweets makes me furiously angry. But I don’t find them shocking. I think Germaine Greer is wrong on lots of things but right on this one: “Women have very little idea of how much men hate them.” Well, now we have a handy index in our Twitter sidebar

Now, I don’t think that Twitter’s trending topics are reflective of a universal and perpetual ‘hatred’ towards women, but rather an effect of society’s tired old belief that the two binary genders are separate, unequal and cannot be reconciled. However, trying to promote understanding through dialogue usually ends in a #ragequit (for me at least), as people are inherently defensive of what they have been conditioned to believe. It is also close to impossible to have any kind of productive debate in 140-characters or less.

Bad Rep has a pretty decent theory that explains why Twitter’s sexist (-racist-homophobic-ableist-ageist-etc.-etc.) trending topics feel out of place next to your Twitter stream.

Sorry everyone, I know you don’t want to hear this, but Twitter is people with misogynist views, at least if the trending topics are anything to go by. I would hazard that Twitter might feel like a feminist space that has been invaded by these ‘orrible ‘ashtags because you follow feminists. But we’re in the minority, just like in Real Life.

It’s much easier to craft your own media bubble online than offline, but it’s basically the same thing. If you read the Guardian, and hang out with other people who read the Guardian, then Guardian-y sort of opinions are going to appear to be the norm. Whereas the norm, in circulation figures at least, is actually the Sun. And then the Daily Mail.

Also, they have an excellent answer to why Twitter is the way it is: Because the web encourages people to be shitheads. Have you ever been to text-based chat site Omegle? You’d think that, given this amazing tool, which could use anonymity to free users of prejudices like class, race, gender and age, people would finally be able to make some kind of profound, tangible connection to another human being, as equals. Well, no, it seems like they can’t. Because humanity is a dick.

It’s easier to be an asshole to words than to people.” Just look at Facebook’s reaction to Japan winning the women’s World Cup against the US, or take a look at Openbook. That people are bigoted or misogynistic when they have the safety of their monitor to hide behind is no ground-breaking story.

In regards to Twitter, use of the hashtag itself may also encourage cheap shots at minorities. As Bad Rep asserts, “It’s a joke, and there’s an age-old link between cheap gags and crude gender stereotypes.” Through comedy, people often voice more controversial opinions than they might otherwise. When I was featured on the front page of Twitter, it was not for my left-leaning tweets, or my keen observations of the books in or near my house – it was for a joke about hipsters, and one which in some lights belittled the experience of the Chilean miners. (A miner faux pas, you might say… Sorry.)

I actually think that feminists have a strong enough presence on Twitter to dominate conversations like #menmarrywomenwho. But it’s also important to remember that people are no more ignorant on Twitter than they are on any other social media platform, or high street, or train carriage. Flaming everyone who posts a derogatory tweet is a waste of time.

It’s a symptom. You’re treating a symptom, and the disease rages on, consumes the human race. The fish rots from the head, as they say. So my thinking is, why not cut off the head?

Of the human race?

It’s not a perfect metaphor.

…And maybe Doctor Horrible isn’t the perfect mouthpiece to illustrate my point.

Basically, misogyny wasn’t invented by Twitter. It may be perpetuated in that forum, but the real problem is much bigger than that. Sexism is a global problem, not just confined to the Twittersphere. As well as undermining women, it reflects unfairly on men, it divides us, and sadly it’s not going to go away soon.

Just remember folks: you are what you tweet.