"I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me."
September 22, 2014 4:03 AM   Subscribe

Emma Watson, in her position as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, has delivered an excellent speech on feminism to the United Nations. Part 1. Part 2.
posted by Quilford (124 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
 
The He For She campaign Ms. Watson is representing is praiseworthy. Gender equality has been labeled a "women's issue", but everyone wins by involving people of all genders.
posted by third word on a random page at 4:33 AM on September 22, 2014


A similar campaign, It's On Us, targets sexual assault.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:41 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Emma Watson: Gender equality is your issue too: Transcript.
Why is the word [feminism] such an uncomfortable one?

I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:00 AM on September 22, 2014 [23 favorites]


Is there any way to know if she wrote the speech herself? It was very good, I thought, especially toward the beginning.
posted by amtho at 5:15 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Harry Potter kids have grown up so well, haven't they? I mean, all three seem like such charming, intelligent young adults. Child stardom working like it does, those kids should really be much, much more messed up.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:35 AM on September 22, 2014 [12 favorites]


oh, radcliff is pretty messed up. He's just quiet about it. There were several interviews with him posted in the past few years and it's clear that his life is not like the life of a normal citizen. True, he has not flamed out and disgraced himself in public, but really it seems like he's burning just as hot, but silently.
posted by rebent at 5:59 AM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


(wrt DanRad he seems to really despise the cult of celebrity and goes out of his way to make sure people know it, similar to robert pattinson, but idk if I would say that he's gone off the rails or anything, unless i've missed something significant)
posted by poffin boffin at 6:34 AM on September 22, 2014


Is there any way to know if she wrote the speech herself?

Seriously? She's an Ivy League graduate (B.A. Eng Lit from Brown, I know, but that still counts). Can she get the benefit of doubt here?

Anyroad, she's a perfect ambassador for the issue for her generation, a highly intelligent young woman world-famous for her performance in the role of a highly intelligent young woman.

Ten points to Gryffindor!
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:39 AM on September 22, 2014 [38 favorites]


[One comment removed. It's fine to link to and discuss thoughtful criticism of Watson's speech, but just pulling up a quick throwaway comment on a random, apparently unknown blog as an example of "the left" being self destructive is probably not the best choice, and more of a derail.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:41 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


True, he has not flamed out and disgraced himself in public, but really it seems like he's burning just as hot, but silently.

Like pretty much everyone else in the world, then. We're most of us pretty fucked up, as far as I can tell, and the only question is whether we currently happen to be coping.
posted by howfar at 6:51 AM on September 22, 2014 [20 favorites]


I want to like this, but I can't get past the terrible name. "He for she" sounds like a Calvin Klein perfume from 1987.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:59 AM on September 22, 2014 [11 favorites]


Child stardom working like it does, those kids should really be much, much more messed up.

Is there a stereotype of British child stars growing up to become basket cases? Or is this just an American thing?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:05 AM on September 22, 2014


All I can think of offhand is TP-T's nose caving in but that is clearly not the same sort of thing.

it's been like 10 years and i still haven't recovered from seeing those photos
posted by poffin boffin at 7:09 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Actually, if anything it sounds like Radcliffe is on a better track now than he was during the production of the HP series. He's been pretty upfront about being a problem drinker in his late teens/early 20s, and has been a teetotaler since 2010. I never thought he was a mind-blowingly great actor in HP, but I like the fact that he's tried to stretch himself with some difficult roles in plays and period films over the last few years. In general, he seems like he has a pretty good head on his shoulders in spite of being immersed in celebrity from a young age.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:16 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Check out the Nerdist Podcast with Dan Radcliffe. He seems remarkably close to being a typical guy-in-his-20's - a little messed up in the kind of way everyone is when they're inexperienced, but at least has good theories about how life should work.

As for Emma - I heard a rumor that she got pissed off her first year at Brown because everyone in her classes was making "two points for Gryffindor!" jokes whenever she said anything in class lectures. If they're true, I wouldn't blame her in the slightest because come on.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:33 AM on September 22, 2014 [18 favorites]


We're most of us pretty fucked up, as far as I can tell, and the only question is whether we currently happen to be coping.

I'm completely normal. It's just that the world is really really annoying.

Anyway, I thought the "did she write it" was a little weird. I mean, most public speakers of any prominence have speech writers working for them, but how often does someone watch an Obama speech and say "Huh, I wonder if he wrote that?"
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:36 AM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I mean, most public speakers of any prominence have speech writers working for them, but how often does someone watch an Obama speech and say "Huh, I wonder if he wrote that?"

Well, he's an Ivy League-educated lawyer, and has also written two books. It's easier to assume that he wrote his own speech than it would be for someone to assume a grown-up child actress would have written her own speech.

....Plus, she's a woman.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on September 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


Sorry, didn't mean to be weird. I usually, though, assume that Obama, educated though he is, doesn't write all of his own speeches (same for any president), and that people who address the UN also get a lot of help in writing their addresses. Maybe this is inaccurate, but the fact is I figured it was likely that Ms. Watson did write her own speech, and wanted confirmation of this, so I could enjoy the idea that someone with that kind of platform actually was that smart and probably only getting smarter.
posted by amtho at 7:41 AM on September 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


In reference to the early part of Emma's speech, I'm not a fan of -isms in general, because they imply someone else thinking for me, or speaking for me, or acting on my behalf. Isms scare me, even ones that sound benign like feminism, because inevitably idiots join in, hijack the message, and ruin everything.

...but that's just semantics. I thought Emma's speech was brilliant, moving, and impassioned, and I have signed up for the newsletter. Even though I don't particularly care for the name HeForShe either (grr, grammar*), at least calling it that frames the basic principles of gender equality differently than "feminism" does.

What Emma's been doing lately is pretty neat. That she was in a few films when she was younger, before she could make her own decisions, seems relevant only insofar as she is now recognizable to many and has chosen, as an independent adult, to cash in her fame for something positive.

* As an afterthought, it might be clever, because "she" is not an objective pronoun, so maybe the idea is not to objectify "her."
posted by tempestuoso at 8:00 AM on September 22, 2014


how often does someone watch an Obama speech and say "Huh, I wonder if he wrote that?"

Routinely? Unless I'm told otherwise, I assume that all speeches delivered by famous/busy people who are not (primarily) writers are largely written by someone else. Writing excellent speeches is a proper job. It takes knowledge, experience and skill. Being very good at your own job doesn't mean you can just roll out of bed and do someone else's at the same level they can.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 8:00 AM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sorry, didn't mean to be weird. I usually, though, assume that Obama, educated though he is, doesn't write all of his own speeches (same for any president), and that people who address the UN also get a lot of help in writing their addresses.

not sure what you're apologizing for, actually. But assuming that Obama doesn't write his own speeches would make you the exception rather than the rule; the layman doesn't really think about that kind of stuff.

I mean, the average Mefite and West Wing fan probably is aware of that, but we're smart and stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:04 AM on September 22, 2014


To clarify, GenjiandProust, I realise you know about speech writers already. But if I don't bother saying, "Huh, I wonder if he wrote that?" it's because I'm sure he didn't. If anything, I read that comment asking whether Watson might have written her own speech as a compliment.

On preview, isn't the fact that Obama doesn't write his speeches one of those things utterly uninformed right-wingers know about and sneer at him over, along with his teleprompter use? "Empty suit" and all?
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 8:10 AM on September 22, 2014


I guarantee that when I give my next speech to the United Nations, I'm going to have a few people look at it first.

I'm sure Emma wrote the bulk of her speech and then a bunch of people she trusts gave her helpful criticism, and then she practiced giving it in front of a mirror a gajillion times, and then another gajillion times in front of real people, and after all that -- or perhaps because of all that -- she still sounded genuinely (and charmingly) nervous when she presented.
posted by tempestuoso at 8:27 AM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


Seriously? She's an Ivy League graduate (B.A. Eng Lit from Brown, I know, but that still counts). Can she get the benefit of doubt here?

Sadly, these days, no. You can get the Ivy League degree by cribbing from other people and people frequently. Appeals to diploma are a poor gauge of honesty.

That said, people can ask, and if it stands up to scrutiny, great continue with the topic at hand, but it is not a personal affront when people ask hard questions of everybody...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 8:41 AM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


isn't the fact that Obama doesn't write his speeches one of those things utterly uninformed right-wingers know about and sneer at him over, along with his teleprompter use?

No, it's mainly (or entirely) because he's a blah person.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:59 AM on September 22, 2014


It's somehow appropriate this thread is spending most of its time pondering whether a woman wrote her own speech instead of talking about its content.

But please, let's continue talking about the male president's speeches some more.
posted by Celsius1414 at 9:01 AM on September 22, 2014 [65 favorites]


It's somehow appropriate this thread is spending most of its time pondering whether a woman wrote her own speech instead of talking about its content.


Actually, we would all be a lot better off if people did spend time pondering whether a person wrote his or her own speech before talking about its contents because how one came across those words tells far more than the words itself.

And I do not know why people go into a sanctimonious tizzy every time people ask the appropriate questions before going into some debate or analysis. People have the right to know a speech's provenance before they wade into the actual guts of it. A forgery is a forgery and it will not stand up to the precursory examination. If it is genuine -- then it will stand up and then people can jump into the debate with more confidence.

We live in an age where grifters get posh degrees from posh institutions and then spew their toxic sophistry -- and then progress gets stifled because people blindly appeal to authority as they honestly believe they are independent thinkers.

So someone here asked a smart question -- good on them for that...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:27 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


"a forgery" ?
posted by KathrynT at 9:41 AM on September 22, 2014 [16 favorites]


Appeals to diploma are a poor gauge of honesty.

In the absence of other evidence, university diplomas alone are a poor gauge of anything other than an ability to pay a lot of money for a wall-mountable piece of paper with your name on it. Fortunately, that is not the case here.

It seems reasonable to assume that one is unlikely to be chosen as an ambassador of anything to or for the United Nations, or to address any fraction of the U.N., without some degree of prior vetting. Clearly she is intelligent, passionate, and eloquent. Here is an unscripted q/a segment after she gave a brief speech at the parliament of Uruguay a few days ago.

grifters … posh institutions … toxic sophistry … blindly appeal to authority …

So you disagree with the major themes of the speech, then?

… do you perchance have a Death Eater tattoo somewhere on your body?
posted by tempestuoso at 9:42 AM on September 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


Someone who writes their own speeches is not automatically more genuine than someone who doesn't. It's just not that simple a line.

I don't know if she wrote her own speech, here. She may have roughed it out and then had it smoothed by a UN person, so that particular kinds of phrasing that might be offensive or distracting would be avoided, or to ensure that a formal relationship between entities is not implied if it doesn't exist, and so on. I think we all agree that Watson is not an idiot; she's also not a protocol expert, and as a not-idiot, she would probably avail herself of whatever assistance was available to avoid causing unintentional offense or confusion. That would not mean she is not sincere, nor does it mean she "forged" this speech.
posted by rtha at 9:46 AM on September 22, 2014 [15 favorites]


She may have roughed it out and then had it smoothed by a UN person

I figure it's a fair assumption that if she wrote it, she certainly had it edited and vetted by appropriate people. This isn't forgery, any more than books which get edited by appropriate people are forged. (Though it's also not forgery if she just gave a speech which someone else wrote, a typical thing one does when giving a speech.)
posted by jeather at 9:52 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


"grifters" aka intelligent successful young women? "toxic sophistry" aka feminism and gender equality?

yikes
posted by poffin boffin at 9:54 AM on September 22, 2014 [27 favorites]


Alexandra Kitty is Draco Malfoy and I claim my five Galleons
posted by Kitteh at 10:06 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Is there any way to know if she wrote the speech herself? It was very good, I thought, especially toward the beginning.

The cartoonish overreaction to this statement somehow exceeded all expectations.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:33 AM on September 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


In an attempt to lighten the mood:

A lighting-designer friend of mine tweeted about this speech, although he did have one complaint: the lighting was piss-poor.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:46 AM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


That it could possibly matter in the first place is completely expected.
posted by maxwelton at 10:46 AM on September 22, 2014


Celsius1414, if you have anything at all to contribute regarding the aspect of a post you find most relevant, why not go ahead and talk about that, instead of barely even stopping by to complain about a handful of comments focusing on elements you don't consider important?

I also think that

a) reducing the subjects of a conversation to their gender identities,
b) basing the greater part of your analysis of the situation on those designations, and
c) presuming to correct others for doing any different

is lazy feminism and lazier conversation. A comment that doesn't do anything but attempt to catch other members out for asking on-topic questions about a woman's work or mentioning a man in a thread about a woman is just a nothing comment, in my opinion.

It would be different, I think, if the woman were a writer or an accomplished speaker. It would also be different if she were enduring some Sarkeesian-esque crisis. But this is a famous, generally well-liked woman getting good publicity for some very palatable remarks she made in a role that she isn't yet known for. Asking whether she's had some very standard outside assistance to help her succeed in this new role is neither casting aspersions on her main abilities nor contributing to her public destruction. It should not be such a problem, it should not be considered a derail, and it does not justify derailing behaviour in response.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 11:21 AM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


[This is the point at which the metadiscussion needs to go to MetaTalk if it needs to continue. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:49 AM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Emma had me on this issue back in the beginning of August with this. And she has created a wonderful platform for herself. Many young boys learned to respect her through the books and movies at 8 and 9 years old, just as their minds were beginning to broaden. Kudos to her!
posted by Emor at 11:52 AM on September 22, 2014


I think the 'palatable' nature of the remarks is one of the strengths. Saying that feminism is not man hating doesn't place blame and will hopefully encourage people of all genders and persuasions to rethink their attitudes about feminism.
posted by ryanfou at 12:53 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]




Oh for heaven's sake...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:13 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


Christ, what assholes.
posted by rtha at 1:15 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Gets Threatened By 4Chan Creeps

Of course it's 4Chan.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:16 PM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, I guess worst case: we will finally know once and for all if she really is a female human
posted by Emor at 1:54 PM on September 22, 2014


It would also be different if she were enduring some Sarkeesian-esque crisis.

Wait for it...

...

...

Emma Watson Gives Speech On Feminism To UN, Gets Threatened By 4Chan Creeps

Okay, is it different now?
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:56 PM on September 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


I remember that Watson was the subject of a lot of upskirt creepshots, and wasn't there a countdown timer for her to turn eighteen? She hasn't been subject to a Sarkeesian-like sustained attack, but she's had plenty of the usual bullshit young actresses and singers have to put up with.
posted by immlass at 2:07 PM on September 22, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think at this point the only way I could adore Emma Watson more than I already do is if she used her extended platform to nuke 4Chan from orbit.

Asking a lot, I know, but...Emma Watson.

I want to believe
posted by Phire at 2:23 PM on September 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm glad she made this speech and even gladder that she delivered it so well. Yes, similar speeches have been delivered before and similar ones will continue to have to be delivered again and again, but as history proves again and again, change won't happen unless injustices and inequalities keep getting pushed into the limelight again and again.

Regardless of who wrote the speech, it wouldn't have gotten the level of attention its received if it hadn't been delivered by a well known, articulate person. If it gets just a few young people who'd not put much thought into issues of female/male inequality to think about the issue and maybe even eventually do something about it, then Watson has done a great thing.

In our contemporary digital world where drawing attention to how women are systematically oppressed is dismissed, subject to ad hoc harrassment, and retaliated against, the action of putting one's face and person on the firing line is an act of courage (whether you're a celebrity or not).

Good for Watson. I hope her speech has maximum positive impact for humanity and minimum negative repercussions from the usual MRA/4Chan/Reddit suspects.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:46 PM on September 22, 2014 [5 favorites]


This is a really embarrassing thread guys.

Haven't even ground through the actual content yet, but yea, this is just sad.
posted by emptythought at 2:49 PM on September 22, 2014 [4 favorites]


Okay, is it different now?

I'm so not about to get into some back and forth about my personal opinion on the point at which women's oppression Really Matters or whatever.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 3:05 PM on September 22, 2014


Hey, at least the 4Chan guys believed she really wrote her speech.
posted by neroli at 3:18 PM on September 22, 2014 [13 favorites]


two or three cars, sorry if I had my snark setting turned up a little high back there. Rereading your comments in context, I see we're both on the same side of the issues at hand. I needed to do a better job of parsing the conversation, and let my initial emotional reading hamstring my judgment on where to chime in.

I guess I'm at a point where I'm just pissed off by the maddeningly predictable, rapidly-shortening cycle of "woman speaks up for gender equality, is physically threatened by jerkass internet guys", and anger makes me kind of dumb. FWIW, I don't think the issue of who specifically wrote the speech is terribly important, since it's pretty clear that this is a larger organization than just Emma Watson. After the events of the past couple of months, I've just been doing what I can to be a better male ally for women's rights, and I'm genuinely curious to see what this campaign comes up with.

So I'm just going to apologize, and hang back for the rest of the thread.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:45 PM on September 22, 2014 [3 favorites]


She's not an orator, but she delivered the speech very well, I thought. Of course she was nervous. I wouldn't be surprised if she knew very well beforehand that saying all that would make her a target for the many, many assholes out there who go into attack-humiliate-terrorize mode every time a woman stands up in public and says something about women deserving equality.

My main quibble was with the blanket invitation to men to join the gender equality conversation. I wish she had inserted a few lines like, "I and the feminists I know welcome men to this conversation. You will find it helpful to learn from women before jumping into conversations about women's experiences, because you may find it surprisingly complicated and subtle. Talking with boys and other men about feeling pressured to "be a man" or feeling vulnerable etc, though, do please jump right in!"

Patriarchy already makes too many men assume that (without bothering to read up about or listen to people who know their shit regarding or even just observe and think deeply about gender inequality for as short a time as, say, one year*) they're entitled to broadcast "Why don't you just..." fix-it opinions all over women's voices talking about women's experiences. My kind of feminism doesn't need more of that kind of participation from men. There's too much of it already.

*I've been at it for over four decades, now. A few years ago I helped a friend puzzle through an argument about...something feminist, I can't remember what exactly... with her husband. Her husband had said, "When you point stuff out and at first I disagree but then I think about it and I realize you're right, I feel really stupid. It bothers me to think of myself as stupid."

"Huh," said I, "Mine said the same thing, a few years ago. Of course, they're not stupid. No reason for them to think of themselves as stupid. It's just that you and I, we've been thinking about these things for decades. They just started thinking about these things when they married us -- much less than a decade. We've put PhD levels of time and thought in, because we HAD to, to process how the world treated us. They didn't have to, so now, they're starting from scratch. Your guy's not stupid, he's just discovered he's in the kindergarten class of gender inequality."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:19 PM on September 22, 2014 [23 favorites]


Hey, at least the 4Chan guys believed she really wrote her speech.

I think they're just not focusing on that because they think the speech is stupid.

I can understand the allure of being able to post nearly whatever you want without bothering with politeness, but I really wish they would also post about critical thinking, and self-awareness. Sadly, it seems that the site is just an escape for people who want to talk without thinking. And there's also the massive disconnect between what certain internet sites take for granted and real life. I posted a comment on Imgur on the post about this, and got responses claiming that extremists have taken over the movement. It's not something you can argue over the internet in under 140 characters.
posted by halifix at 4:48 PM on September 22, 2014


I am so, *so* disappointed in 4chan right now.
posted by uosuaq at 5:05 PM on September 22, 2014


Strange Interlude, oh god, no. I'm sorry. On reflection, I've been getting irrationally irritated from the start because of my own bizarre emotions about professional speech writing (swelling admiration at the idea; outrage at the notion that there's anything wrong with not writing your own speeches) and my absolute resistance to the idea that there's anything Obama doesn't get unjustly criticised for. I should not have taken all that with me through the thread. I'm with you and everyone else on the "stop harassing women for saying basic yet important things" train, as well as in admiring Watson for taking on the massive responsibility of being a public face for feminism. Sorry for getting combative, there was really no need.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:06 PM on September 22, 2014 [8 favorites]


I am so, *so* disappointed in 4chan right now.

Expect the worst and you'll rarely be disappointed.
posted by MikeMc at 5:26 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


INORITE this is so out of character for them! who ever could have guessed they would do such a thing
posted by poffin boffin at 5:34 PM on September 22, 2014 [9 favorites]


No seriously, I might even visit their site just so I can stop visiting. That should show them.
posted by uosuaq at 5:40 PM on September 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think when you are introducing a new platform based on moving away from feminism perceived as "man hating" towards expicitly inviting an all inclusive discussion, it helps to speak in short easy sentences...cast a wide general net, see what kind of constructive responses (ignore the boneheads) you receive and hone your objectives over time based on the most receptive (...and constructive) audiences.
posted by Emor at 5:41 PM on September 22, 2014


I think they're just not focusing on that because they think the speech is stupid.

Well, she does misidentify Edmund Burke as an "English statesman" where "Anglo-Irish" or "British" would be more accurate. (Brown graduates, amirite?)
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:27 PM on September 22, 2014


RE: the substance of the speech
Feminism is about freedom for males and females.

I found it to be a solid, accessible, and inclusive speech that also does a good job of neutralizing many common concerns and complaints about "feminism."

She starts with a simple and positive definition of feminism after dismissing the "man-hating" label. Her examples of gender-based double-standards remind listeners that sexism impacts young girls, not just adult women. And there is a simple, reasonable illustration of the goal: equal pay, physical autonomy, more women in government, and equal respect as men.

Also, a large portion of the speech cannily focuses on the negative impact of sexism on males. This not only appeals to male self-interest but also helps to reframe the issue as a common cause for both genders: equality and freedom.
We don’t often talk about men being imprisoned by gender stereotypes but I can see that that they are and that when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence.

If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted women won’t feel compelled to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled.

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

If we stop defining each other by 'what we are not' and start defining ourselves by 'what we are' — we can all be freer, and this is what 'He For She' is about. It’s about freedom.

[...]

If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists I spoke of earlier.
Concise, inclusive, and effective. Well done.
posted by Davenhill at 6:37 PM on September 22, 2014 [11 favorites]


Snarking on 4chan aside, I thought this was a brilliant speech. Totally UN-worthy.
posted by uosuaq at 7:09 PM on September 22, 2014


I remember that Watson was the subject of a lot of upskirt creepshots

In related news: Court Ruling Makes Taking Pictures Up Women's Skirts Legal in Texas
posted by homunculus at 8:23 PM on September 22, 2014


in related news: court of me makes stabbing underskirt photo creepers in the face legal worldwide
posted by poffin boffin at 9:02 PM on September 22, 2014 [9 favorites]




I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.

She should just move to the U.S., then. I don't know how the gendered wage gap is in the U.K., but in the U.S., it's largely a myth. Abortion is legal here, and while it's incredibly difficult to access in some parts of the country, that's not the case in any place I suspect she'd prefer to live anyway. Women hold office at all levels except the presidency, and I suspect that will change in 2017. I'll admit I'm not entirely sure how to operationalize being afforded the same amount of respect as men, as there are a lot of different kinds of respect and ways in which it could apply.

Other countries would probably meet her criteria as well. I don't know about a wage gap in Germany, but Germany would certainly meet all of the other criteria, including having a female head of state.

Mischief managed.
posted by jingzuo at 10:25 PM on September 22, 2014


I don't know how the gendered wage gap is in the U.K., but in the U.S., it's largely a myth.

Oh good. Problem solved everyone!
posted by modernnomad at 10:51 PM on September 22, 2014 [19 favorites]




It's Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth
posted by jingzuo at 11:11 PM on September 22, 2014


She should just move to the U.S., then.

ahahaaahaaaaahhaaaaaaaaaa

America, where unpaid maternal leave isn't guaranteed and paternal leave even rarer? America, where women hold 18.5% of seats in Congress, and have never held the office of VP or President? America, where women seeking abortions (or just birth control!) at many clinics are terrorized, their doctors shot and harassed, and their access continuously restricted? America, which has a rising maternal mortality rate (we're number 50 for maternal health!) and where healthcare costs preclude many people of all genders from getting access to the care they need? America, where, I'm guessing, the vast majority of American commentators who are female on this site have been harassed, sent unsolicited dick pics, and/or raped? This is not what respect looks like. Emma Watson has lived in America. I don't think she would agree with you either.
posted by jetlagaddict at 12:00 AM on September 23, 2014 [42 favorites]


jingzuo, the "myth" in the article you linked to refers to their theories as to the causes for the gap in equal pay - not the fact that the gap exists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 AM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth

From an interview with economist Betsy Stevenson:
[Irin Carmon:]Every time the president comes out and says, women should have equal pay for equal work, you have folks, including economists, come out and say, that’s a misleading number, that’s not for the same job, that’s year-round full-time wages, and a big part of it is women’s choices. What’s your response to that, and what’s a good way to understand these numbers?

[Stevenson:]When people come out and say that’s not a fair number, well, what really is a fair number? You brought up “women’s choices.” Well, some women’s choices come about because they’re being discriminated against. Some of women’s choices come because they experience sexism. Some of women’s choices come because they are disproportionately balancing the needs of work and family. Which of these choices should we consider legitimate choices, and which of them should we consider things that we have a societal obligation to try to mitigate, to alleviate some of these constraints so that they can make different choices? A lot of people will say things like, let’s control for occupational choices. But the research is showing us that women are choosing occupations which penalize them the least for taking time out of work.

If there was less discrimination, if there was more flexibility in work, you wouldn’t see women necessarily choosing the same occupations. So why should I take the wage gap holding occupation constant? If we change society, we reduce discrimination, we’re not going to hold occupational choice constant – women are going to choose different occupations.
and Kathleen Geier: The gender wage gap: not only is it real, it seriously underestimates gender-based economic inequality suffered by women
I will add a few more things to Stevenson’s comments. Women of color suffer from an even bigger wage gap than white women do. White women working full-time, year-round make 78 percent of what their white male counterparts make. But African-American women take home only 64 percent of the pay of white men, and Latinas make only 53 percent as much. Also, because of gender disparities in care responsibilities, many more women than men work part-time. That means they earn much less than men, even though the disparity isn’t accounted for in the official statistic.

The statistic is misleading in another way as well, since it looks at median earnings. But when you look at the average difference between what male and female workers who work full-time, year-round make, the gap is even wider. Moreover, the CPS topcodes the highest wages. Since women are grossly underrepresented at the top, comparisons between men’s and women’s average wages understate the actual pay gap.

Finally, as Stevenson says, not all of the pay disparity is due to the type of discrimination that might be actionable in a court of law — paying a woman who has exactly the same qualifications as a man less for doing exactly the same work. But female-dominated professions tend to pay less, even the ones that require education and professional training. That’s sexism too, even if it’s not discrimination, per se. (For a detailed discussion of the economics of the gender gap, check out this excellent series of posts on the subject by blogger Echidne of the Snakes, aka economist Jana Goodrich).

The other issue is that discussions of the gender pay gap tend to focus on wage inequality at the expense of the broader context of the even greater gender-based economic disparities that disadvantage women in our society. The wage gap may be the most visible economic injustice women suffer from, but it’s hardly the only one. Even when women stop earning wages, they suffer from significant gender-related economic inequities: retirement inequality is a huge issue for women. Elderly women are more than twice as likely as elderly men to live in poverty, and their Social Security benefits are lower, even though they receive significantly less retirement income from other sources.

In addition, as Mariko Lin Chang’s recent book, Shortchanged documents, the gender wealth inequality gap is even more significant than the wage inequality gap. She points out that for every dollar of wealth owned by single men, single women own only 36 cents, and that since 1998, the gender wealth gap has been on the rise.
Other countries would probably meet her criteria as well. I don't know about a wage gap in Germany, but Germany would certainly meet all of the other criteria, including having a female head of state.

Danielle Kurtzleben: How does the US wage gap compare to other countries?
The US has a bigger gender wage gap than most other nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an organization of developed countries. Among 28 nations for which the OECD has data, the US as of 2010 had the fifth largest wage gap, tied with four other countries.
Germany is actually 3rd, with a wage gap of 21%.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:41 AM on September 23, 2014 [27 favorites]


"Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation (PDF) explores the earnings difference between male and female college graduates working full time, one year after graduation using the latest nationally representative data available."
But in 2009—the most recent year for which data are available—women one year out of college who were working full time earned, on average, just 82 percent of what their male peers earned. After we control for hours, occupation, college major, employment sector, and other factors associated with pay, the pay gap shrinks but does not disappear.
...

But college major is not the full story. One year after graduation, a pay gap exists between women and men who majored in the same field. Among business majors, for example, women earned just over $38,000, while men earned just over $45,000. Gender differences in college major only partially explain the pay gap.
Sure. Move to the US, where we got this sexism thing totally solved.
posted by rtha at 5:39 AM on September 23, 2014 [14 favorites]


She should just move to the U.S., then. I don't know how the gendered wage gap is in the U.K., but in the U.S., it's largely a myth. Abortion is legal here, and while it's incredibly difficult to access in some parts of the country, that's not the case in any place I suspect she'd prefer to live anyway. Women hold office at all levels except the presidency, and I suspect that will change in 2017. I'll admit I'm not entirely sure how to operationalize being afforded the same amount of respect as men, as there are a lot of different kinds of respect and ways in which it could apply.

I almost took this as satire. False first statement, England is where Irish go for abortions, Thatcher, more varied (age) representation in media. I'm pretty sure I've read all points there discussed on FPPs in the last 5 months.
posted by halifix at 8:28 AM on September 23, 2014 [4 favorites]


Amanda Taub: The sexual threats against Emma Watson are an attack on every woman
Watson is not the only one being told to "get back" by misogynists who wield sexual terror as a weapon. She is in the company of many other women, all over the world, who have made the decision to participate in public life and suffered the consequences. Writers on feminist issues, deluged with rape threats: get back. Activists from Syria, to Sudan, to the Congo, raped in prison: get back. South African lesbians, raped to "correct" their sexuality: get back.

Those threats and attacks are especially powerful, because they are aided by the pervasive, deeply-held idea that women have a responsibility to alter their behavior in order to avoid sexual violence. When CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was assaulted in Tahrir Square, a barrage of comments and tweets asserted that she should have known better than report from Egypt, which surely wasn't safe for a woman. (Get back.) When online pundits heard that rapes of college women are horrifyingly pervasive, they warned female students to stop drinking. (Get back.) When a series of rapes were reported in Haryana, India, local politicians urged that the solution was for girls to be married off as young teens. (Get back.) Even when the impulse is protective, the demand that women be the ones to change is, essentially, a demand that we shape our lives around the whims of sexual predators, not our own needs or ambitions, or the contributions we can make to the world.

And it gets even worse. How often have we seen a woman's sexual history used not only to shame and discredit her, but as a justification for not protecting her from harm? We saw it in the response to the leaks of other stolen celebrity photos earlier this month, when, as Kelsey McKinney wrote for Vox, hashtags like #Ifmyphonewerehacked blamed victims for criminals' violation of their privacy. We saw it when a Montana judge sentenced a male teacher to only 30 days in prison for raping his 14-year-old student, on the basis that their "relationship" suggested that she was "older than her chronological age" and "as much in control of the situation" as the 49-year-old perpetrator.

Those three problems - women being threatened, women being pressured to change their own behavior to avoid sexual assault, and women being told that they don't deserve protection unless they stay pure and ladylike - are all individually terrible. But together, they add up to something even worse: a vicious cycle that pressures women out of public life.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:36 AM on September 23, 2014 [18 favorites]


jingzuo, the "myth" in the article you linked to refers to their theories as to the causes for the gap in equal pay - not the fact that the gap exists.

Yes, I'm aware of that.

The point is that the gap is not the result of gender discrimination, which seems to be what Watson is concerned about.

There's a pay gap between 15 year old workers and 50 year old workers, too. Similarly, that also does not indicate discrimination.
posted by jingzuo at 8:54 AM on September 23, 2014


jingzuo, your Forbes article relies on nothing more than sheer assertion, and a tired 'women's choices' argument that is soundly rebutted in some of zombieflanders' quotes and links above.
posted by Quilford at 9:24 AM on September 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


Yes, I'm aware of that.

The point is that the gap is not the result of gender discrimination, which seems to be what Watson is concerned about.


yes, but our point is that you were claiming there is no wage gap in the United States, so Emma Watson should just move here. And the notion that there is no wage gap is, quite frankly, total pants.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's kind of laughable actually how Carrie Lukas attempts to rebut the gender pay gap statistic without any evidence at all.

"[women] tend to place a higher priority on flexibility and personal fulfillment than do men, who focus more on pay. [citation needed] Women tend to avoid jobs that require travel or relocation, and they take more time off and spend fewer hours in the office than men do. [citation needed] Men disproportionately take on the most dirty, dangerous and depressing jobs. [citation needed]"
posted by Quilford at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


Also, even if 'men disproportionately take on the most dirty, dangerous and depressing jobs', that doesn't necessarily account for them being paid more.

For example construction working is a male dominated industry and the tenth most deadliest industry in the US but also it pays terribly?
posted by Quilford at 9:37 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


The point is that the gap is not the result of gender discrimination

That's just silly. Even the studies that try to account for the wage gap end up with an ineradicable unexplained remainder, and it's hard to rationalize that as anything except the absolutely purest discrimination against women.

And gender discrimination doesn't consist solely of paying women holding a particular job title in a particular industry less than men holding the identical job with the identical responsibilities, though of course that happens too. It also consists of industries and jobs that have large numbers of women working in them receiving less pay than industries and jobs that are dominated by men.

The rationalizations offered don't really make much sense; there have been travel-heavy jobs dominated by women (airline flight attendants), and they get paid shit. Likewise, the idea that men take on most of the dirty, dangerous, and depressing jobs is just silly. Dangerous, maybe -- AFAIK there aren't many women roofers. But dirty? Nursing is dominated by women, and it's hard to think of jobs dirtier than actually dealing with fresh human feces. And depressing? Social work is dominated by women. And of course, as Quilford notes, a job's danger is at most poorly correlated with its pay.

There are jobs out there that pay poorly because women do them.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:43 AM on September 23, 2014 [25 favorites]


From the Forbes piece: "Academics can debate why men and women make these different choices. The important takeaway, however, is that there are many reasons that men and women on average earn different amounts."

In conclusion, misogyny is a land of contrasts. Seriously, I'd call this stuff sophomoric if the word "puerile" weren't even more appropriate.

The assumption that everyone in a capitalist society is a free actor is bullshit. The notion that for patriarchy to be real it must be a conspiracy is bullshit. This article is too.
posted by howfar at 10:22 AM on September 23, 2014 [13 favorites]


There are jobs out there that pay poorly because women do them.

Absolutely. Like care and cleaning work. These are some of the hardest, dirtiest, most depressing and most physically damaging jobs there are, and they pay approximately fuck all. For no other reason than that women do them.
posted by howfar at 10:26 AM on September 23, 2014 [3 favorites]


My deepest wish is for all these 4chan nerds to go to jail for their crimes and never, ever, ever be given access to a computer for the rest of their pathetic, snively lives.
posted by SassHat at 10:33 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also: why have a countdown if they have the pics? Is there a threat to Watson, like "quit feminism or else"? It's like a hostage negotiation with nothing at all at stake. Do they just need the time in order to photoshop up some pics?
posted by SassHat at 10:36 AM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's Time That We End the Equal Pay Myth

The author of that opinion piece is apparently the managing director of the Independent Women's Forum think tank. From their "about" page:
IWF's mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty.

IWF is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and educational institution. By aggressively seeking earned media, providing easy-to-read, timely publications and commentary, and reaching out to the public, we seek to cultivate support for these important principles and encourage women to join us in working to return the country to limited, Constitutional government.
"Free markets", "personal liberty", and "limited, Constitutional government" are all phrases that signal that while the IWF may be "non-partisan" enough to maintain their 501(c)(3) status, their position is clearly conservative.

Their current Board of Directors includes former Republican Representative Nan Hayworth and Republican strategist Kellyanne Conway, and heading their list of Directors Emeritae is Lynne Cheney, wife of former V.P. Dick Cheney. A quick poke through the various staff members' bios finds many ties to other conservative people and organizations, like Irving Kristol, the American Enterprise Institute, and Regnery Publishing.

I would not take that Forbes piece as some kind of dispassionate analysis.
posted by soundguy99 at 10:38 AM on September 23, 2014 [10 favorites]


Those threats and attacks are especially powerful, because they are aided by the pervasive, deeply-held idea that women have a responsibility to alter their behavior in order to avoid sexual violence.
Many young women are finding a voice in the recent attempts to ban the wearing of yoga pants at public schools. Change.org Petitioning Skyview High School - Unban Yoga Pants and Leggings
posted by Emor at 10:55 AM on September 23, 2014


Germany would certainly meet all of the other criteria, including having a female head of state.

Not very important in the grand scheme of things, but I'd just like to point out Germany's head of state is Joachim Gauck, who I believe to be a man-person.
posted by sobarel at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


And then, there is this: Meghan Trainor: ‘I Don’t Consider Myself a Feminist’

Some gem quotes from the Billboard article:
"My dad's like, 'Business is great now!'" says Trainor, 20.

The Trainors have extra reason to be proud: Two years ago, they encouraged their then-18-year-old daughter to pass up college...

The EP's title track is an ode to commitment before sex; on "Dear Future Husband," she lists requirements to a future beau, including "flowers every anniversary."
posted by Emor at 11:39 AM on September 23, 2014


Alexandra Kitty is Draco Malfoy

I have also been accused of being Grant Morrison in another thread and now a fictional character in an over-rated fantasy series where the chosen one is yet another lily-white boy with a crisp-sounding name -- gag, gag.

No, I am Alexandra Kitty -- someone with critical thinking skills who has seen con artists and scammers get away with it too many times to just react to things before reflecting and I could write a book about it...

And really, there is no one else who I'd want to be compared to as I am very happy to be me...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:35 PM on September 23, 2014


someone with critical thinking skills who has seen con artists and scammers get away with it too many times

I mean, how is Emma Watson a "con artist" or a "scammer" for making this speech? Do you think she is somehow unfairly benefiting from it? Because as far as I can see, she's been applauded for giving a strong speech that reached out to men as much as women in her role as an ambassador of goodwill (pretty sure this is a volunteer slot for celebrities?) and oh yes, also been sent vile threats and comments. She's never claimed ownership of the writing content (even though I don't see why she, a bright twenty-something with access to editors, couldn't have written it) so why such vitriol?
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:46 PM on September 23, 2014 [6 favorites]


A serious question for AR, you wouldn't happen to be someone I knew on Barbelith a long time ago, would you? Because some of this stuff is sounding super familiar. (Which is not a knock on you; I'm now super curious!)
posted by Kitteh at 1:55 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Even the studies that try to account for the wage gap end up with an ineradicable unexplained remainder, and it's hard to rationalize that as anything except the absolutely purest discrimination against women.

The Dept. of Labor commissioned a study which found that when things like number of hours worked and length of employment are controlled for, the wage gap narrowed to 5 cents on the dollar. That 5 cents is explained by women preferring certain perquisites like scheduling flexibility over maxing out their wage, and studies have also found that women are, in general, more reluctant to ask for raises.

So, while there are undoubtedly individual instances of discrimination, there is no across-the-board discrimination in pay that results in a wage gap. On average, women choose less lucrative majors and careers, and work fewer hours.
posted by jingzuo at 3:42 PM on September 23, 2014


It's not really actual choices no matter how much you dress them up as such. I don't see how hard that is to understand.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:48 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


studies have also found that women are, in general, more reluctant to ask for raises

Because they have been socialized to be less aggressive and subvert their needs to those of others.

On average, women choose less lucrative majors and careers, and work fewer hours.

Again, because they have been socialized to. Discrimination isn't just some fat cat lighting his cigar with a C-note and cackling about how he's going to pay those broads less, it's the societal training that results in certain jobs being titled "womens' work" and thus undervalued, and thus paid less.
posted by Tknophobia at 3:50 PM on September 23, 2014 [8 favorites]


The Dept. of Labor commissioned a study which found that when things like number of hours worked and length of employment are controlled for, the wage gap narrowed to 5 cents on the dollar.

That would be the 2009 CONSAD report (pdf link), which states in its conclusion,
Economic research has identified many factors that account for portions of the gender wage gap. Some of the factors are consequences of differences in decisions made by women and men in balancing their work, personal, and family lives. These factors include their human capital development, their work experience, the occupations and industries in which they work, and interruptions in their careers.
So, yes, the fact that women are, generally speaking, in less lucrative careers and work fewer hours accounts for a portion of the wage gap.

But those "differences in decisions" still have an actual real-world effect on earning power, and both you and the report are thoroughly begging the question by assuming that women "choose" and make "decisions" from a position of equal standing as their male counterparts.

So that report does not disprove the wage gap - it merely points out that there are multiple factors that contribute to the wage gap beyond a simple comparison of theoretically equivalent women and men.

Further critiques of the CONSAD paper are at:

Fox Business: The Pay Gap Is Alive and Well - and Hurting Women

and

How The CONSAD Report On The Wage Gap Masks Sexism, Instead Of Measuring It
posted by soundguy99 at 4:41 PM on September 23, 2014 [5 favorites]


And again, all of this discussion of the CONSAD report is beside the point since what jingzou actually claimed was that the wage gap itself was largely a myth in the first place. This backtracking about "oh, no, there's a wage gap, it's just coming from something different" is just an attempt to distract from being called out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:53 PM on September 23, 2014 [7 favorites]


4chan is inherently fractious. The threats are probably the work of a rogue operator, unsanctioned by the community at large.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:55 PM on September 23, 2014


Because they have been socialized to be less aggressive and subvert their needs to those of others.

Women are generally less aggressive than men by nature.

both you and the report are thoroughly begging the question by assuming that women "choose" and make "decisions" from a position of equal standing as their male counterparts.

It is true that women do not make decisions about entering lucrative careers from a position of equal standing as their male counterparts. They make those decisions from a superior position. Not only do women have access to all of the same educational institutions and financial aid opportunities as men, they have special recruitment opportunities, support services, and scholarships that are available only to women. Yet, in spite of these incentives, many women choose less lucrative majors and careers.

And again, all of this discussion of the CONSAD report is beside the point since what jingzou actually claimed was that the wage gap itself was largely a myth in the first place

In the sense that it results from discrimination, it is a myth.
posted by jingzuo at 5:12 PM on September 23, 2014


It's almost as if there are cultural pressures and perceptions that prevent women from seeking out the full range of majors and careers as men, factors beyond the legal and economic.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:22 PM on September 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


The explicit assumption in Australia (and I suppose in other places) was that women didn't need as much money as men. This was enshrined in law through legally-mandated bargaining agreements. My mother's trade union demanded equal pay for men and women, but other unions excluded women from their industry - because if they allowed women in, the trade would be devalued, the men would get fired, and poorly-paid women would replace them. This was about fifty years ago, I think.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:47 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


I mean, how is Emma Watson a "con artist" or a "scammer" for making this speech? Do you think she is somehow unfairly benefiting from it?

People with a public profile have other people write their speeches, including people in positions of power or disposable celebrities.

They also have all of their articles, columns, and books done by ghostwriters.

They do not write their own tweets.

Their "reality shows" have scriptwriters and directors.

Publicists micromanage every detail.

Image consultants pick their wardrobe.

Even "happy talk" of newscasters have script writers who produce every word of that banter.

No one living in the public eye is even remotely genuine.

And you actually have to ask me that in 2014?

You would actually think that in this day and age, people would be a little more media savvy and understand that nothing is what it appears at canned events, but no, we need someone to validate our beliefs. You would think it would finally sink in that if it rolls in front of a camera, anything resembling the truth is airbrushed away. Gone. Anyone whose first reaction is to think any of it is genuine is naive -- or possibly just mindless and blindly reacting without bothering to ask a single question about the presentation of a useless publicity stunt on the backs of others -- whether it is a baby-kissing photo-op, speech, or any other non-newsworthy event. Even Q&A's have planted questions.

That fact that people do not question anything is not just a unsettling statement on our modern-day educational system, but the general gullibility of a generation who will do anything but have the courage to ask the most basic questions and deal with reality.

I do not care if the "message" is one I want to hear or has "good intentions" -- I want to know why, in a world that has its share of real problems that are coming to a head -- people are wasting time praising a canned event headlined by an actress who has been micromanaged since birth.

And really? This speech is impressive because why -- feminism is the moral masturbatory topic du jour?

There will not be a single woman in peril who will benefit from this speech, but Ms Watson will certainly get a lot of mileage and publicity for herself alone.

No woman needs a speech in her struggles against misogyny. She needs opportunity and the removal of obstacles. Period. No speech will deliver this to her.

When we have starlets opening their homes to battered women or some other real form of work on behalf of women that do not require mere lip service -- then call me up for a discussion because then we are actually dealing with someone who is genuine and legit.

The world does not need the misdirection of another speech -- it needs people shutting up once already in their lives and doing real and meaningful actions without an expectation of an audience or applause...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:57 PM on September 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Alexandra Kitty, that doesn't explain why you're calling Emma Watson, specifically, a scammer and con artist. I mean, by your account every politician and news presenter deserves that title. It looks very much as though your complaint is really about her message, not any assistance that she might have had in preparing it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:29 PM on September 23, 2014 [11 favorites]


Phil Plait: I stand with Emma Watson
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:08 PM on September 23, 2014


feminism is the moral masturbatory topic du jour?

Every time you double down on this it just gets more and more grotendous, wow.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:09 PM on September 23, 2014 [12 favorites]


The world does not need the misdirection of another speech --

But apparently it needs more breathlessly pointless sneering on a website, courtesy of you. Thanks.
posted by rtha at 9:25 PM on September 23, 2014 [13 favorites]




Yes there will. Every time I hear about this stuff I am reminded to do what I can today. I doubt I'm alone. Enough people and maybe we can change things.

To spite you I'll try double hard today.

posted by ElliotH at 11:40 PM on September 23, 2014 [2 favorites]


it needs people shutting up once already in their lives and doing real and meaningful actions without an expectation of an audience or applause...

Why will they decide to do this, if no one talks about the need for it? You seem to be suggesting that everyone should just spontaneously be better. While, of course, talking about it, rather than doing it. Maybe you are doing it. Maybe Ms Watson is too. So what's the difference again?
posted by howfar at 12:46 AM on September 24, 2014


When we have starlets opening their homes to battered women or some other real form of work on behalf of women that do not require mere lip service -- then call me up for a discussion because then we are actually dealing with someone who is genuine and legit.

....How many battered women are you sheltering in your house?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on September 24, 2014 [4 favorites]


That sounds a lot like only certain people I deem acceptable to care about women's rights (or whatever the topic "du jour" is) get to have a say and everyone else can GTFO. That's...pretty depressing.
posted by Kitteh at 5:09 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


There are now news articles claiming the 4chan thing was a hoax by a "viral marketing organisation" (which other news articles say apparently doesn't exist) to shut down 4chan.

I'm honestly not sure which option is worse.
posted by lwb at 5:44 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, the site that had the original threat now redirects to the accused viral marketing company's homepage, where they talk about wanting to shutting down 4chan and that the internet NEEDS to be censored.

So, marketing stunt.
posted by ymgve at 6:17 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's also a collage someone put together about the site before the changeover: http://i.imgur.com/ERgSd3g.jpg
posted by ymgve at 6:23 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Amanda Taub: The threats against Emma Watson weren't "just a hoax"
If it's true that the group is behind the Watson countdown site and that it was all about money, this is still an appalling attack, not "just a hoax." These people knew that Watson was vulnerable to sexual threats and violence because she is in the public eye, and they chose to exploit that vulnerability for their own ends. That would be an awful thing to do to any woman, but it was particularly insidious in this case, because whoever made the site was capitalizing on the existing misogynist backlash to Watson's speech.

Threats still cause fear, pain, and harm, even if they ultimately prove to be empty. That's not "just" anything — it's an attack, and it's still very, very wrong.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:11 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


False flag operations just embolden the kooks and the crazies, ughhhhhh
posted by Apocryphon at 10:16 AM on September 24, 2014


It's still common to use false rape accusations as justification for denying the problem of sexual violence and a sexually violent culture. This sort of thing just feeds those flames. I guarantee you there are comments flooding in as I type this about lies and false accusations and feminists getting worked up over nothing.

Also, this is a case where a faux-threat is just as damaging as a real one would have been. Emma Watson is still a real person who was made to believe that (either real or doctored) nude photos of her were about to be put on the internet in retaliation for having spoken up about her beliefs. Thousands of women are real people who were made to believe that this was going to happen to a woman they admired for having spoken up about her beliefs, so what might happen to them? Fear was the actual nature of the attack - hence the countdown - and the fear was real. Who was behind it and why doesn't actually change that in any substantive way except to add an extra layer of "dropping a turd in the punchbowl of an important conversation for money and/or attention" grossness to it.
posted by lwb at 11:16 AM on September 24, 2014 [4 favorites]


Not to mention that a portion of the energy that could have been expended talking about the message was derailed by this firm's viral marketing strategy.

"PR for our firm trumps the need for equality for women."
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:13 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow, Rantic. You know you done messed up when you've shown yourself to be worse than 4chan.
posted by Justinian at 3:46 PM on September 24, 2014


Now I see people saying that the hoax is a hoax, that 4chan hacked Rantic.com a month ago. That particular drama may not be over yet.
posted by LindsayIrene at 10:05 PM on September 24, 2014


D'oh! Double false flag means it's a true flag?
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:04 AM on September 25, 2014


"Rantic Media" is an anagram for "incite drama".
posted by clarknova at 5:23 AM on September 25, 2014 [2 favorites]




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