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Feminism and the silencing of women

JudithB

Well-Known Member
And there I was about to tuck into a meal for one and tune into the latest RTD drama (it's as good as would be expected. Transhumanism, lols)

Where does one begin with discussing women being silenced? By thanking friendofdorothy for beginning this thread on my behalf. Women need to not only speak up but to also amplify the voices especially those of women who help them.

As we navigate a world that now has so many different means for every person to express and say what they feel, I believe I am right in asserting that women are more than any other group, shut down and silenced.

I have thoughts on why this is, but I am going to take my m41 out of the microwave and ask Alexa to find RTD for me, assured that this thread will be read and women especially will comment on why they think women get shut down.

Are we the granddaughters of the witches they didnt burn?
(if there's a snazzy way of adding a link, do tell, I may not have cast enough spells to know Are witches the ultimate feminists?)
 

S☼I

ifyalikeitthenushouldaputadonkonit
Can you give a bit of context to what you mean by "silenced"? Where? How?
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I want to look too at how it might relate to the abuse that many women who do speak out are subjected to even now, and one of the questions at the back of my mind is the connection between publicly speaking out in support of a female logo on a banknote, Twitter threats of rape and decapitation, and Telemachus’ put-down of Penelope.

My aim here – and I acknowledge the irony of my being given the space to address the subject – is to take a long view, a very long view, on the culturally awkward relationship between the voice of women and the public sphere of speech-making, debate and comment: politics in its widest sense, from office committees to the floor of the House.
I was particularly thinking of the ton of abuse our female mps get all the time on social media. I'm pleased that despite the abusers best efforts that they haven't managed to shut up Diane Abbott, but I wonder how many younger, less confident women have been permanently silenced or put off going into politics in the first place.

Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, has urged Twitter to take action over "highly offensive racist and misogynist" abuse on the platform after a major study found thousands of tweets disproportionately targeting black female politicians and journalists.

The Amnesty International study found that black women were 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive tweets, with one in ten posts mentioning black women containing "abusive or problematic" language.

A separate Amnesty study published in September 2017 showed that Ms Abbott received almost half (45.14%) of all the abusive tweets sent to female MPs in the run-up to that year's general election.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I love Mary Beard. I've heard her talking about the abuse she receives in such calm humourous way
on the TV

To be sure, ‘misogyny’ is one way of describing of what’s going on. (If you go on a television discussion programme and then receive a load of tweets comparing your genitalia to a variety of unpleasantly rotting vegetables, it’s hard to find a more apt word.) But if we want to understand – and do something about – the fact that women, even when they are not silenced, still have to pay a very high price for being heard, we have to recognise that it is a bit more complicated and that there’s a long back-story.
eg
Many different people are the targets, from grieving parents of dead teenagers to ‘celebrities’ of all kinds. What is clear is that many more men than women are the perpetrators of this stuff, and they attack women far more than they attack men (one academic study put the ratio at something like 30 to 1, female to male targets). For what it’s worth (and I haven’t suffered anything like as much as some women), I receive something we might euphemistically call an ‘inappropriately hostile’ response (that’s to say, more than fair criticism or even fair anger) every time I speak on radio or television.
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I find this particularly frightening
To this day, witch trials result in violence against women, including murder, as they have done since time immemorial – from the hangings at Salem and violent 15th-century European witch hunts to the the 500 “witches” killed in Tanzania each year and the continuing persecution of “witch children” in Gambia. “People fear what they can’t control. It reminds me of that quote about equality feeling like oppression to those who have always had the upper hand. The threat of gender parity is a frightening prospect – all those rabid, untamed women on the prowl for bodily autonomy,”
 

CRI

Registered Chooser
And there I was about to tuck into a meal for one and tune into the latest RTD drama (it's as good as would be expected. Transhumanism, lols)

Where does one begin with discussing women being silenced? By thanking friendofdorothy for beginning this thread on my behalf. Women need to not only speak up but to also amplify the voices especially those of women who help them.

As we navigate a world that now has so many different means for every person to express and say what they feel, I believe I am right in asserting that women are more than any other group, shut down and silenced.

I have thoughts on why this is, but I am going to take my m41 out of the microwave and ask Alexa to find RTD for me, assured that this thread will be read and women especially will comment on why they think women get shut down.

Are we the granddaughters of the witches they didnt burn?
(if there's a snazzy way of adding a link, do tell, I may not have cast enough spells to know Are witches the ultimate feminists?)
What do you mean by "RTD?" Google gives me the Regional Transport District for part of Colorado, Resistance Temperature Detector (which is something scientific) and Real Time Data. I can't imagine it's any of those. Not sure what M41 is, other than a postcode in Greater Manchester. I'm old, but at least I do know what an Alexa is (but would never want to have one!)

Is it a TV programme? Or is this just a thread that's only for people "in the know," and since I'm not, I should buzz off.

And also curious why you asked someone else to start a thread for you?
 

S☼I

ifyalikeitthenushouldaputadonkonit
What do you mean by "RTD?" Google gives me the Regional Transport District for part of Colorado, Resistance Temperature Detector (which is something scientific) and Real Time Data. I can't imagine it's any of those. Not sure what M41 is, other than a postcode in Greater Manchester. I'm old, but at least I do know what an Alexa is (but would never want to have one!)

Is it a TV programme? Or is this just a thread that's only for people "in the know," and since I'm not, I should buzz off.

And also curious why you asked someone else to start a thread for you?
RTD = Russell T Davies, TV writer
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I thought it worth quoting this here too
A woman in Canada has done an interesting experiment - in a local council meeting where women and men were pretty evenly represented, she knitted one colour while men spoke and another while women spoke. Fairly predictable results : Knitting shows 'men talk too much'
She knitted in red when men talked and green when women talked. the colour of the knitting says it all.

Women may not be entirely silenced (at least in western culture) but men do keep trying their best to out talk /overtalk us

NAMNAW of course
 

CRI

Registered Chooser
I thought it worth quoting this here too She knitted in red when men talked and green when women talked. the colour of the knitting says it all.

Women may not be entirely silenced (at least in western culture) but men do keep trying their best to out talk /overtalk us

NAMNAW of course
Ah, I saw that. Often knit in meetings myself, but this was a clever use of the needles. I'm so old, it made me think of studies of Cline and Spender from the early 80's, and research from Kramarae (who was my college roommate's mother, interestingly enough.)
 

friendofdorothy

Solidarity against neoliberalism!
I'm so old, it made me think of studies of Cline and Spender from the early 80's, and research from Kramarae
You're probably no older than me - if I ever read those I've forgotten - so please tell us why /quote a bit.

From personal experience I'd say while we hear more female voices on tv/ news etc, I dont think it's 50/50 yet. I would say that not that has changed since early 80s, in so many ways.
 

CRI

Registered Chooser
You're probably no older than me - if I ever read those I've forgotten - so please tell us why /quote a bit.

From personal experience I'd say while we hear more female voices on tv/ news etc, I dont think it's 50/50 yet. I would say that not that has changed since early 80s, in so many ways.
Okay, I'll put down my coat for a minute :)

This is from memory - Cline and Spender's "Reflecting Men At Twice Their Natural Size" (no doubt long out of print - was from early/mid 80's I think) is a collection of essays. One that I remember talked about the proportion of verbal space in conversations between women and men - something like 30/70 in most of the studies. When women tried to achieve 50/50, the men they were talking to became irritable, said they weren't listening to them, etc., but in none of the cases did they ever achieve more than 40% of the verbal space. (Figures are a bit shonky but the book is packed away!)

In terms of representation on TV, I don't know that I can comment properly as I haven't had a telly for I think 12 years and didn't watch it much for a few years before that. In terms of news though, what I have seen is more representation of women, and diversity generally (e.g. age, ethnicity, etc.) in front of the camera, but plenty of reports show that isn't always so behind the camera / elsewhere in production. Same for filmmaking - few exceptions like Ava DuVernay who seriously takes representation to heart in production of all her work.
 

Manter

Lunch Mob
I thought it worth quoting this here too She knitted in red when men talked and green when women talked. the colour of the knitting says it all.

Women may not be entirely silenced (at least in western culture) but men do keep trying their best to out talk /overtalk us

NAMNAW of course
That is exactly what I was about to post. There have been a couple of similar things recently and when you listen to it, it’s stark. I was listening to the red box politics podcast the other day and the number of times men spoke over the women- really tooth-grindingly annoying
 

ViolentPanda

Hardly getting over it.
That is exactly what I was about to post. There have been a couple of similar things recently and when you listen to it, it’s stark. I was listening to the red box politics podcast the other day and the number of times men spoke over the women- really tooth-grindingly annoying
And yet gets mentioned in inverse proportion to mentions of women speaking over men (which rarely happens), especially in the media. It's a dire situation.
 

Poot

Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk
On the subject of women receiving abuse on social media far more than men, I thought this was an interesting blog, which I read yesterday (posted on Facebook by a friend angry at how she is spoken to at work)

Stop asking me ‘what about men?’
That's a really interesting article and one that should be read by everyone shouting about men every time women's issues are raised. From someone who has experience of both sides.
 

CRI

Registered Chooser
There is so much I hate about social media. I lurk rather than post, but it's absolutely ripe for bigotry and abuse. I much preferred the anonymous message boards of the "old days" when you could choose what if anything to disclose about yourself in discussions. There was flaming and trolling, but it seemed less personal - easier to dismiss and ignore. Pretty sure I joined here after a message board/site I was on closed and this was one of the few left and within a few years, most online discussion seemed to move over to Twitter and Facebook. :(

Interesting observation about Urban though. I'd never stated whether I was a man or a woman. But, I noticed a huge difference in the way some people (mostly men, or members I figured out from context were men) engaged with me depending on if they thought I was a man or a woman. Really, really striking.
 

ElizabethofYork

Witchsmeller Pursuivant
Interesting observation about Urban though. I'd never stated whether I was a man or a woman. But, I noticed a huge difference in the way some people (mostly men, or members I figured out from context were men) engaged with me depending on if they thought I was a man or a woman. Really, really striking.
Could you expand on that a little?
 

CRI

Registered Chooser
Could you expand on that a little?
It was something I noticed in discussions on the American political threads mostly. There were members who clearly disagreed with me, but the tone of the disagreement changed considerably when they decided (no idea how they did) that I was "she" and not "he." Definitely became more personalised and dismissive when I was perceived to be a woman and not a man.

(No, not going to trawl back for examples and no, can't remember names as have had most of them on ignore for a few years now.)
 

Cloo

Surfeit of lampreys
If we were having this discussion on Twitter or something you just know plenty of guys would be along to inform us that no, 'It's white men that are being silenced, I tell you!' :rolleyes:

No mate, we're just suggesting you become a proportionate part of the discourse for once
 

campanula

diminished responsibilty
Yes. I have to agree there. I am fairly sure women are hounded off the male dominated P&P boards (Bimble comes to mind immediately - the scathing hatefulness almost sent me packing in sympathy) and for sure Cri, while I may not always agree with you, I have been amazed at your fortitude in staying the course. Being cowardly, I always preface any of my statements with a 'I am a bit naive but'...and then feel enraged with myself. And if I do post something a bit 'out there', I find myself unwilling to reopen the posts because I just don't want to deal with shit. How to deal with this? While I take responsibility for my own fearfulness, I don't really feel as though this is an expression of my authentic sense...but who would be so foolish as to leave yourself even more exposed. Academics in the media, while they may be more viisble, also have a fund of power which is not available for the likes of me and other, largely silent, often older women...but it seems that to stay 'safe' we actually have to rescind any power we may try to claim...and sneak around in a froth of diplomacy and ameliorating statements. Gah, it is so enraging that I take the easy option to retire from visibility...and yet, it was not always so. While I have better things to do than lie around reading dense political texts (written largely by men), I do have a full lifetime of engagement and activism...and yet, I just recoil at the vitriolic 'cunting off' that goes on. Unless you have the stomach for confrontation and hostility, there are definitely no-go areas.

I would never put anyone on ignore though...as, horrible though it might be, to see their dispiriting guff in black and white, it is always better to stay informed.


eta: when it comes down to taking up verbal and physical space, I am not going to add the NAM disclaimer either...since this is something I see daily, even in my own tiny sphere with men I love. It actually IS ALL MEN.
 
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Cloo

Surfeit of lampreys
It is infuriating when you come across a man in online discourse who is not right about something. But you know he's just so much surer than you are that he's right about it and has all the facts, and it just feels not worth the fucking effort, plus what if he does bring out a killer 'What about [thing you know nothing about] eh? Huh?! Huh?!' argument somehow.
 

baldrick

ooooh timewarp
It is infuriating when you come across a man in online discourse who is not right about something. But you know he's just so much surer than you are that he's right about it and has all the facts, and it just feels not worth the fucking effort, plus what if he does bring out a killer 'What about [thing you know nothing about] eh? Huh?! Huh?!' argument somehow.
I get this at work a fair amount. I'm sure most if not all women do. I was in a meeting with four men, all senior to me tbf, but it was my specialist subject. And I was trying to get them to understand the solution they wanted, wasn't actually a solution at all, it would cost money and not actually solve the problem.

And they just said 'well the company says it can do X'. There's no bloody way it can do X unless they've somehow invented a portal into the future (and if they had, it would cost a lot more than this system does). Did they listen? Did they fuck.
 

trabuquera

Modesty Bag
If we were having this discussion on Twitter or something you just know plenty of guys would be along to inform us that no, 'It's white men that are being silenced, I tell you!' :rolleyes:

No mate, we're just suggesting you become a proportionate part of the discourse for once
"You're silencing me!"
"No, I'm just asking you to PIPE DOWN FOR A VERY SHORT WHILE and let someone else talk for one minute uninterrrupted..."
This is reality.
:mad: :mad: :mad:
 
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