Friday, April 13, 2007

Markos Steps In To It Again

This is meta, so forgive me. There is an apparently unending phenomena in leftopia of male activists, writers, and blog owners who don't seem to understand what it's like to be a woman in our modern world.

A female blogger named Kathy Sierra, has had her phone number and SS number released and crude rape fantasies posted about her in an effort at intimidation. Markos over at Daily Kos basically told her to "get over it".

I am reminded of a book on the 60's whose name escapes me about how the lack of sensitivity to women's issues by the activists of the left was the direct cause of the women's movement being formed in the 70's. Bright women with degrees, brains, and drive were being asked to fetch coffee, and put aside their leadership, their issues, and to make coffee and mimeographs for the fellas doing important work for the cause.

This lack of sensitivity still exists today. Jessica at Feministing, Echidne, and Ntodd among others takes Markos to task for his wrong headed thoughts. Let me repeat what Echidne said.
Ah! But women get those idiotic emails even if they don't blog. Even if they just comment on blogs. Even if they are silent, as in the recent study of Web harassment which showed that just having a female user name increased the number of malicious messages by a multiplier between six and twenty-five.

If your name is Jessica or Jane and you put yourself out on the internet talking about quilting, you are likely to get crude threatening e-mail. You don't just have to get over it. We have to recognize as a society that we have a long way to come. There may be no crying in baseball, but you still aren't allowed to bean somebody in the head.

My wife sometimes annoys me late at night. We are in bed, and she freaks out that the doors may not all be locked, so we (well usually I) have to get out of bed and make sure that everything is shut, and the house is secured. As a man, that fear of being attacked in the middle of the night by a rapist breaking through the doors just really isn't that pervasive. I get up and lock the house, because to my wife, the fear is real. She, like most women know women who have been assaulted. They don't need to get over it. We men need to get over ourselves and not pretend that our experiences are universal.

Update:Please look at the comments. The quilting example was not hyperbole in the least bit. As a man, I apologize for all the asshole guys out there. We really can be a net negative on humanity, the planet, and the universe at times.