Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Check This Baby Out!

I happened to catch this On Point radio program on the question of cyber-harassment. Listening to the program is truly an ear-opening experience. (If you don't have time to do that, read the comments at the end of the above link to find out what it was like).

Four men and one woman discuss cyber-harassment which is presented as something that happens to women much more often than to men. The woman is a professor of law, the men the host, a journalist who has written on the Auto-Admit case, a man who was sued in the case and his lawyer. In theory the host and the journalist were supposed to be sorta neutral which would give us two people arguing that the case was bad and one person (the female law professor) arguing that cyber-harassment is a real problem for women. But in practice she was really all alone on that side of the issue.

One of the men suggests that the Auto-Admit case consisted mostly of teenage boys (who happened to be in law school) having a locker-room talk with each other. Innocent stuff! Except that some of it was about stalking, threats of rape and such. I guess locker-room talk is like that? And all innocent, because the misogyny is not really intended or something similar?

Talking about cyber-harassment without talking about the misogyny (and homophobia and racism) that seems to lie at the bottom of much of it just doesn't work.
I wrote about the site earlier.