Tag Archives: communication

Online Misogyny; A Speech For Feminism in London

10 Dec

By Sister Outrider

“On the 25th of October 2015, I spoke at the conference Feminism in London. The subject was online misogyny, and I was honoured to share the panel with Connie St. Louis, Dr. Emily Grossman, and Alison Boydell. The following is a transcript of my speech.”


“Though she is now controversial, I’m going to paraphrase Germaine Greer here. Germaine Greer is of the opinion that women don’t realise just how much men hate us. I would suggest that the Twitter feed of any known feminist or prominent woman provides a clear demonstration. The men who sent rape and death threats to Caroline Criado-Perez, the men that intimidated Sue Perkins into deactivating her Twitter account, they exist and operate offline, presumably interacting with women outside of the digital world. How does it translate?

There seems to be a distinction between conduct offline and on, lines which the perpetrators of online misogyny consider it acceptable to cross from behind a screen, but not in the flesh. I think that a cultural shift is essential if we are going to live in a society where women are not abused or threatened for speaking out, online and off. But, until we get to that point, how do we as women cope with online misogyny? How do we go on living our digital lives in such a potentially hostile environment?

Firstly, and most importantly, I suggest solidarity. This applies offline as well as on, though in some ways it’s easier to connect face-to-face. I know that things can get a bit fraught when we’re trying to make a complex and detailed point in 140 characters, especially when the conversation relates to our experiences and our identities. But other women aren’t behind the misogyny we experience, nor are they responsible for upholding a system in which it flourishes. Audre Lorde described it as horizontal hostility – wasting our time and energy on people also disadvantaged by a racist, classist patriarchy, instead of challenging vertical power structures.”

You may read the rest at Sister Outrider’s blog here.


But What About the Cat?

16 Feb

They said you’d write again. They said not to answer.

You wrote about a cat you’d found. Did I want another cat?

If I wanted another cat I’d have another cat. I certainly wouldn’t be sitting around waiting for someone I’m not talking to, to offer me one.

You said you were thinking about taking the cat to the shelter.

I would, overall, have preferred to ignore this missive, but for one problem.

The shelter hardly has any cats. They’re down to eight. Kitten season could start soon.

If this is a nice cat, he could easily be adopted now. But it won’t last for long.

He could go to the shelter, and they’d scan him for a microchip, in case he somehow got lost, and if he’s just abandoned, they can neuter him if needed, give him shots, and likely find him a home.

But only if you act quickly. Because kitten season is hard on older shelter cats. 

So I had to answer, because this is a professional matter, what with my being a shelter volunteer and all. 

And because of the cat. It’s not the cat’s fault, all this toxic history.

There is something they say in rescue, “You can’t save all of them, but for every one you do save, that animal’s life is changed forever.”

So I wrote you and explained all of this. Even though I’m not talking to you.

So do something about it. Don’t just stall out and put it off. Save the damn cat, okay?

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