Sunday, July 8, 2007

WOMEN THREATENED BY BLOGS?

I thought this picture was appropriate for some reason.
I was sent this article and thought it worthy to be shown here and ask for comments. Many blogs have the mixed up letters and numbers to eliminate spam, many require editorial approval from the blog owner and some do not even have a place to make comments.
But is this enough? Do the ladies (bless 'em) have these kind of problems? If yes, how do they (you) deal with it? Our do they adopt Michelle Malkin's attitude? The bloggers I have "met" seem to be the kind of gentle souls who would never even think of doing this kind of thing.
"Negative comments, hurtful words and even threats are the daily routine for those in the blogging community; most writers might say they would rather receive negative feedback than not receive any feedback at all. However, women bloggers have raised their voices in protest of threatening or vulgar comments they receive to their writing and want codes of conduct initiated to protect themselves. "The Washington Times has reported that many women bloggers are intimidated by violently or sexually explicit comments left in response to their writing. Joan Walsh, a female editor-in-chief of the publication Salon, said, 'it's been hard to ignore that the criticisms of women writers are much more brutal and vicious than those about men.' "Many feel the disturbing comments are made simply because their owners can maintain anonymity; even today blogs do not require users to login or register with the site. "One particular author, Kathy Sierra, who once ran a Top 100 blog by Technorati's criteria said, 'I have cancelled all speaking engagements…I am afraid to leave my yard…I will never feel the same…I will never be the same.' "Sierra wrote this in response to comments that indicated certain users wanted to perform sexual acts on her and then kill her in an explicitly violent manner. "As it stands, there are many women in academia and writing that feel intimidated by threatening comments and violent feedback. A group known as BlogHer has offered support for women who are feeling threatened by the malicious internet community. "That being said, allow me to say this: women are not the only people being targeted by violent comments or otherwise, and the problem was never largely addressed before it became a 'female' issue. "If, perhaps, women were the only users being targeted, it might be justified to 'sexify' the issue. However, the media is directly responsible for making this a sex-related issue, when in fact innapropriate comments infest the blogging world for both men and women. "Furthermore, not all women feel that the negative comments need be taken seriously. Michelle Malkin, a culture and politics blogger, says she has received plenty of comments regarding,'torture, rape, murder' of her and her loved ones. She said, 'Keep blogging. Don't cut and run.' "If female writers want to be effective against the onslaught of offensive comments, the number one way to do so isn't to make it a public issue. Have you ever let on to a small child that something they do bothers you? I can guarantee you, they will perform that act all the more because they know it will irritate you. "If women are to be considered equals to men in every regard (as they should), they must not isolate themselves as separate from men in the day to day abuse internet writers receive. Most importantly, they cannot stop blogging simply due to threats they feel they are receiving due to their sex. "This is not to say I don't feel that innapropriate comments and their owners need to be dealt with; they do. However, by sexually isolating women in this issue, the focus is taken away from the larger problem of moderating baseless commentary and is placed on gender issues. If the blogging community as a whole faces the very real problem of threatening or violent commentary, it can be dealt with in an effective manner."
There's more. Click on the header.

12 comments:

alphonsedamoose said...

Maybe I just don't get it. How will somebody find you where you live to do you violence if you don't post personal info. Also, you can always reject comments from people you don't know.I do agree that women should NOT be harassed just because of their views.

Catmoves said...

I had the same problem, moose. But you and I are males. Women are often more sensitive than we. (Should I have said "always"?)
I have seen too much personal info on some blogs. I figure the City and State are enough.
But don't forget that typing someone's name into Google search can turn up more information than a lot of people are willing to divulge. Try it yourself.

alphonsedamoose said...

Cat: I'll give it a try and let you know.

alphonsedamoose said...

Cat: Googled my full name and province---nothing

Babzy said...

Hello, I agree that men and women should absolutely be treated equally but we are not the same and that's where people get confused.

There's no question that most women are more sensitive, resulting in more emotional, than most men. What puzzles me is that many people, both male and female, think these are negative qualities.

I believe the highly sensitive ability to detect danger, sickness, instability, uncertainty, tension, threats, in all forms, is a necessary biological trait and needs to be valued and protected.

A woman will generally feel protected by a man or threatened by a man. When threatened, a woman will lash out to protect herself or will group together.

Men and women have complicated differences but also share some common experiences. Catmove, you point out that it's not just women who are threatened by vulgar, disturbing, abusive comments. Men probably don't outright complain about it because they don't want to appear overly sensitive.

I think men and women should work together on solving this. It is not just a woman's issue. Abuse takes the fun out of blogging as well as takes away from the blogger's intended message and right to free thought.

Personally, I've not been blogging very long but I am very disturbed by some of the stuff I see on blogs - both posts and comments.

People can write whatever they want on their own blog. But if someone made a threatening or abusive comment on my blog, I would immediately delete it without answering. I don't take anonymous comments so I can then go to that person's blog and tell them to stay away. I only had to do this once and it worked nicely.

Now I forget what the question was but hopefully I've given you some insight into the minds of most women.

just me said...

I appreciate your visit to my blog to day, and you asked me to drop and comment on this issue so here I am.

The comment from Dan quite surprised me. And it hurt me, and I see no reason why I should hide that hurt. But, Dan was not threatening, he was not vulgar, he is just very unmoveable in the way he views the world. That is his choice. It is also his choice that I no longer visit his blog, which is hard to read sometimes anyway, as his posts have become more and more feuled by anger.

As for legislation to protect women from comments, I really don't think we want the government to control what happens in our blogs. You can delete the comment, block the commenter, use comment moderation, as you are doing yourself.

As you can see, my regular readers are staying away from this one, if they are even reading it. Which is sad. You kind of like to know someone has your back, once in while, at least. Thank God for Babzy.

Catmoves said...

I was just shocked to read Dan's comment. Momma raised me to try and be polite whenever possible.
I agree with you about any government stepping in to "help" the internet.
A rule I am thinking of subscribing to is: Absolutely NO governmental control where it thinks it can help. And no, I don't think they can stop the porn sites, either. But that's another blog. :)

Catmoves said...

Hi Babzy. Re your puzzlement about sensitivity being looked at as a negative quality, I find that many of the boldest bloggers show their sensitivity in what they write. They may not be sensitive to certain things, where they are sensitive in other things. Very confusing.
"Abuse takes the fun out of blogging as well as takes away from the blogger's intended message and right to free thought." I agree wholeheartedly. What I have to say may offend you and what you have to say may offend me. (It doesn't by the way.) But it is with my finger that I vote whether or not to read anything else you may have written.
And BTW, Blonde moments of forgetfulness are the curse of my existence.
Welcome to my world.

just me said...

Did you know I have always wanted to live in New Mexico? Isn't it odd somehow that you read my little post, and now I get to come here and read all about New Mexico? I think that is , well, just cool...

Catmoves said...

Just Me, you'll certainly be welcome here. Come for a visit and get caught by The Land Of Entrapment.
Glad you enjoy reading my blog.

Cuckoo said...

Yes, you are very much right. I am a woman and I know I can face similar problems.
Why do you think I am not posting a picture of mine in my profile, display my email-id or give exact details of where I stay ?

Though I have written about many personal things on my blog, people in this world still want to know every detail of me.. where I schooled, which year, which organization I am working for.

At times, it's sickening and I try to laugh it out.
But yes, they do stalk me .. there are many readers of my blog who read EACH & EVERY COMMENT just to know more of me. It's scary !!

Catmoves said...

cuckoo it's possible that the vast majority of people just like knowing a little about the person whose blog they are reading. I know I do. And I think your "About Me" is just fine.
I read the comments (most of them anyway) on the current articles in all the blogs I visit. I like hearing new and, hopefully different, ideas. I also find new blogs if I like the commenters writing.
I don't consider this stalking. Hope you don't either.
On the other hand, we all know there are indeed kooks out there.
BTW, I don't have a pic either.