- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 418 KB
- Print Length: 45 pages
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (22 Aug. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EO24J3O
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#200,573 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #292 in Kindle Store > Books > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
- #443 in Kindle Store > Books > Nonfiction > Politics & Social Sciences > Freedom & Security
- #704 in Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Gender Studies > Women > Feminist Criticism
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Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet Kindle Edition
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Couldn't put it down from the moment I started reading! Accessible language and short chapters so lovely, super quotable too!
Laurie argues that online sexism is a result of "geek" men seeking out new spaces online where they can escape the normal social hierarchy where "jocks" rule. These reductive and rather American terms presuppose that there is a natural order - a pecking order of sorts - with jocks at the top and geeks at the bottom, and that it is a refusal on the part of the geek men to accept their place in that hierarchy that causes problems, rather than limiting models of acceptable masculinity.
By attributing online sexism to bitter geeks who were unable to form relationships with women in the real world, and now resent finding them online, Laurie not only relies on some pretty ugly generalisations, she also seems to be blaming natural allies and failing to acknowledge that in 2013 everybody is online -geek, jock or otherwise, and that even those perfect examples of the jock stereotype she puts on a pedestal are capable of being sexists, both on and offline.
For example, Simon Baron-Cohen's research. It seems she's only heard of this from Delusions of Gender and hasn't read the numerous papers and books herself. Simon B-Cs work isn't some sexist opinion, it's a body of meticulous research around traits relating to autism, by a Cambridge Don, including exploring why autism is diagnosed more in men. Studies have shown increased 'folk physics' and reduced 'folk psychology' (mentalising) in people with ASCs and their relatives, and population studies show this is an exaggeration of a difference shown between the genders (whether learnt or innate). In my reading of his work he has never once devalued the more 'female' pattern or said the patterns are binary or have a one to one correspondence with gender, but has talked predominantly about the impact of these deficits in ASCs.
I don't believe we have to be identical to be equal. Women are on average a bit shorter, lighter and carry less muscle and more body fat than men. This doesn't make us less good or attractive or valuable. So why does the idea of gender differences in brains cause such fear? Why can't we dismiss erroneous ideas from the past and explore what is determined by social learning and gender expectations whilst being open to new evidence?
Similarly, I don't feel like sexist and aggressive talk online is equivalent to the same things said in person. The net has a culture of exaggeration and shock value humour and whilst it isn't nice or acceptable, particularly when this reaches the threshold of threats and harassment, I very much doubt that most posters of 'give her a slap' or 'get back in the kitchen' comments would actually believe these are appropriate real life gender expectations or are revealing their convert inner hatred of women. The threshold to 'cyber' is not the same threshold at which we'd share bodily fluids, and the threshold to be provocative and offensive online is not the same IRL either.
So overall close but no cigar.
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