A Tale of Three Hashtags #silentnomore #INeedMasculismBecause #tellafeministThankYou

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Blogging, Feminism, Freedom of Speech, internet, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Twitter-Hashtags_0

Hashtags are used for all sorts of things on twitter. From the tweetalong telly tags such as #splash, #bbcqt  and #masterchef, to marking cultural phenomena  such as #metrosexual, to the personal esoteric ones like my #blueonblue and #FoucaultsDaughter. But it is in gender politics – where else? – where a hashtag war has broken out.

Funnily enough, this particular game of tag began with the twitter classic #bbcqt. The historian (and tweeter) Mary  Beard appeared on the programme last month. That night and the next day she got a lot of shit on twitter from what are known in the business as ‘haterz’. From what I can see, and from my own modest status as @Notorious_QRG, I think once you have a certain number of followers on twitter, you start to get some random crap thrown at you. But Ms Beard is also a feminist, and what do feminists tend to do when they get stick? That’s right, she wrote an article about the ‘misogyny’ and ‘abuse’ she was suffering, in the Guardian.

This brave stand against her ‘abusers’ by the lowly professor and TV personality led to an expression of sisterly solidarity: the #silentnomore hashtag. Feminist women began to break their silence and tell twitter about all the misogyny and abuse they too suffer. I made some criticisms of this hashtag, and was told by one feminist to get out of their ‘space’ and stop ‘abusing’ them!

Then another hashtag popped up called #INeedMasculismBecause. Some men, including Mens Rights Activists used this hashtag to start discussing some inequalities men and boys face. But the feminists swooped down and started attacking the MRAs and men in general. Jezebel suddenly developed a hitherto non-existent sense of humour, and rubbed its hands in glee, laughing at how the feminists had ‘hijacked’ the hashtag.  I couldn’t help but notice the hypocrisy of how feminists had claimed criticisms of the #silentnomore hash were ‘abusive’ and yet they were laughing in the aisles at their own take over of an opposing hashtag.

But it didn’t end there. Melissa McEwan another self-effacing, timid feminist blogger and tweeter, set up the rather obsequious tag #tellafeministThankYou. And guess what, some men and non-feminist women piled in with some ironic ‘thank yous’ to feminism for some of the wrongs it has committed against, oh, sex workers, boys, men, non-feminists, etc. And of course McEwan and her friends cried ‘abuse’ again, conveniently forgetting the Lulz value of hijacking hashtags pointed out by Jezebel only days before.

One of my comments on the #INeedMasculismbecause tag was that I needed ‘masculism’ or whatever you want to call what challenges feminism, because feminists dominate discussions of gender. I want to hear some other voices in the mix. But the whole affair has only proved my point. With feminists having the platform of the national press and high profile online publications to claim their ‘victimhood’, the views and perspectives of those of us who disagree with them get drowned out.

But I will be #silentnomore ! I think the feminists dealt with this hashtag war badly and cynically. I think they know they are the dominant force in gender politics, and any kind of democratic opening out of debate just makes them go into attack mode and try to ‘silence’ their critics.

#FeminismIsAwful !

Comments
  1. John says:

    Bravo Quiet Riot Girl. I see much damage and division with feminism. I see double standards, hypocrisy, ignorance, hate, and damage to society in general. When I read things like this, it can really restore my faith in women. I find slight irony in that. That women like you, in my opinion, do more for women than the feminists. Go figure. All the best to you.

    • Thanks very much John I appreciate your comments! and I agree there is plenty of misogyny coming from feminists – towards sex workers, single mums, women who have plastic surgery, non-feminist women etc

  2. redpesto says:

    Describing it as ‘hashtag wars’ (or is that #hashtagwars?) is a neat summary. I suspect that thanking the ‘wrong’ feminists for the ‘wrong’ reasons would also result in being told to STFU. As for ‘Feminist women began to break their silence’ – there’s been a continued series of hashtags, articles, campaigns and entire blogs and short-lived tumblrs devoted to this topic, if only because (a) some idiots keep resorting to abuse instead of argument (b) it’s used as a rallying call/recruitment strategy. It’s all a lot of handwaving to your mates and self-congratulatory guff (aka ‘raising awareness’). Gaming the system to get a hashtag ‘trending’ (especially if then you can get an article/blogpost out of how it’s ‘trending’) is a further angle.

    To summarise: #pissingcontest.

  3. thefreeorg says:

    hi there ‘Quiet’, liked your post as I know zero about Twitter, but finally I wondered if Feminism has anything to do with what a few people put on hashtags. The fact is that 100´s of millions of women are being held in semi slavery as sex objects with few or no basic rights all over the world. Today (19 Feb) for example I read that President Karzai (created and sustained by the US) has declared it the right and duty of Afghans and all Muslims to beat their wives. Criticize individual feminists by all means, but dont generalise that to give excuses to rapists and murderers!

    • Ginkgo says:

      “The fact is that 100´s of millions of women are being held in semi slavery as sex objects with few or no basic rights all over the world.”

      and:

      “Today (19 Feb) for example I read that President Karzai (created and sustained by the US) has declared it the right and duty of Afghans and all Muslims to beat their wives. ”

      And I thought only right-wingers sat around in tinfoil hats

    • cheestybeest says:

      To the extent that such is true, aren’t you concerned for those women, as a feminist, given that they receive utterly zero protection OR attention from feminists in the West, whose only concern is to claim that white western middle class and rich women don’t have enough executive power?

      Seems like a feminist who used the horror of woman’s life in the third world as a badge of legitimacy, might actually want to fight for something other than privileges and fun for the established class.
      But I suppose ending the objectification on page 3 by the ‘male gaze’ is really the best way to solve all the bigger problems.

      • Ginkgo says:

        “…. might actually want to fight for something other than privileges and fun for the established class.”

        Oh heavens no! That kind of thing is for all those useless beastly, warlike men to do in her place, so then she can turn around and call them violent and colonialistic.

        • cheestybeest says:

          But the feminists don’t call men colonialist anymore, in the battles that men actually do wage (air bombing dark skinned civilians). They call them “colonizers of female identity” and violent towards women (body and soul). And when it’s their own ‘feminist’ politicians who commit international violence (men or women), they either ignore it or say it doesn’t matter, because “XYZ conservatives” are ‘pro-rape’, ‘pro porn’, ‘pro objectification’. When it’s conservatives who are even more porn-censoring and rape-jailing than their feminist allies, the liberals.

  4. emmacbeckett says:

    I do identify as a feminist, but this whole hashtag war really peeved me for many of the reasons mentioned above. What really struck me was the extraordinarily binary attitude of the whole thing – very “us and them”, which my own personal feminism tries to avoid… I thought “feminism” as a whole wanted to avoid this too, maybe I was wrong.

    • cheestybeest says:

      I think a lot of “personal feminisms” want to avoid this and are probably more pragmatic. But I’ve found nothing but evidence, that the feminism in academia and in the media, remains man=bad, sex=man=bad, woman=man’svictim, man=power, (woman + power – man)=(man – bad). Very armaggeddon, if we don’t do it to them, they’ll do it to us. And they keep credibility, just every time a reactionary politician comes out with “women belong in the kitchen sucking my dick and giving birth to my rape babies” and his party has no criticism of him. If it weren’t for the neanderthals in our world, we could have nice things. But the presence of neanderthals legitimates just the worst kind of feminist.
      Actually, they’d probably still complain, since when they’re surrounded by nice boys, they accuse them of misogyny, too. (you’re looking at me, you’re talking to me, you’re near me, bad man is bad). And if NObody is talking/looking at them, then they busy themselves reminding everyone around that “the world” behaves this way.

    • cheestybeest says:

      (sorry for double post earlier, just typo’ed my email)

      Can I ask you, Beckett, how your non-binary feminism works in a feminist discourse that is so widely accepted that men say it (in their best sexist white knight impersonation), that we should be worried about women’s working conditions (paid sick leave, dangerous conditions). Since that then subtracts ‘mens’ selfish concern and weakens the polity that would even think to demand better conditions, by half.
      So men are left to dopily say some other group should have decent work, not them. Which means they’ll never bother to fight for it. “yes, dear, you should have long sick leave….uh, I have to go to work now and not question anything…because I’m a privileged man”.

  5. cheestybeest says:

    I think a lot of “personal feminisms” want to avoid this and are probably more pragmatic. But I’ve found nothing but evidence, that the feminism in academia and in the media, remains man=bad, sex=man=bad, woman=man’svictim, man=power, (woman + power – man)=(man – bad). Very armaggeddon, if we don’t do it to them, they’ll do it to us. And they keep credibility, just every time a reactionary politician comes out with “women belong in the kitchen sucking my dick and giving birth to my rape babies” and his party has no criticism of him. If it weren’t for the neanderthals in our world, we could have nice things. But the presence of neanderthals legitimates just the worst kind of feminist.
    Actually, they’d probably still complain, since when they’re surrounded by nice boys, they accuse them of misogyny, too. (you’re looking at me, you’re talking to me, you’re near me, bad man is bad). And if NObody is talking/looking at them, then they busy themselves reminding everyone around that “the world” behaves this way.

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