Saturday, 9 July 2016

Summary: Types of Feminism

Types of Feminism:
Summary of Types of Feminism: This article
Libertarian and Egalitarian Feminism: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/types-of-feminism-libertarian.html
Liberal and Marxist Feminism: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/types-of-feminism-liberal-and-marxist.html
Radical and Socialist Feminism: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/types-of-feminism-radical-and-socialist.html
Intersectional Feminism: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/types-of-feminism-intersectional.html
International Feminism: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/types-of-feminism-intersectional.html
Other Types of Feminism: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/types-of-feminism-other.html

Author: Blaise Wilson

Video summary of the Type of Feminism series:



To round off our Types of Feminism series, here is a handy dandy picture that can be downloaded and used.

Please see the links above for more information on these, and on additional types of feminism. This picture only include the most dominant forms, but there are plenty more! Many of them have multiple names, so again please check the links above.

If you were a feminist, or are one already - what kind are you?


There is lot of supporting evidence behind that simple summary. Follow the links at the top for a more indepth analysis and other types of less dominant forms for feminism.

The main reason we made this infograph is to highlight the term 'feminism' include a vast variety of ideologies - many of which are competing. Hopefully it will help people target specific foundations and sub-types of feminism e.g. Radical Feminism spews a lot of hate and should be called out on their misandry. But Radical Feminism does not represent all feminists such as Christina Hoff Sommers.

The hope is individuals can promote forms of feminism they approve off, while fighting the toxic elements and hopefully change the course of feminism's future.

This is based on the assumption Feminism HAS a future, as we don't think it is going to die. Change is easier and more likely that killing it.

Edit 18/06/2016: After some well rounded feedback in the comments the chart has been updated. 'Marxist/ Outcome Feminism' was changed to just 'Outcome Feminism'. Also changed the gender section on the Radical Feminism part to indicate the dispute between gender being and not being 100% a social construct.

Edit 09/07/2016: added the Type of Feminism video and released article with a change of date

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Blaise’s Opinion: SJW & Intersectional Feminism - Problems Solved!

Author: Blaise Wilson
Caveat: These are the thoughts and ramblings of Blaise Wilson, they do not represent the EgaFem Community as a whole. Opinion posts are often poorly researched and highly biased. They are useful to start a discussion on a topic. Comments, debate, evidence for and against, and feedback are welcome.

Hypothesis: Is Self-Esteem the Root Cause?


While visiting Intersectional Feminism and Social Justice Warrior sites I find myself yelling repetitively at my screen ‘Self-Esteem, the solution to your problem is not forcing society to change for you, the problem is YOU! The problem is your lack of self-esteem!’

And after getting horse and bored from repeating myself I realised a subtle flaw in my actions. My screen is not a microphone and they can’t hear me.

However, this set me off thinking, ‘is self-esteem the root cause issue with most (not all) intersectional feminist and SJW problems?’

So I set about researching self-esteem and my findings were far more interesting than I could have hoped.

What is Self-Esteem?


Self-esteem is how you see yourself. Not how others see you, not how society reacts to you. Your own personal perspective on you.

‘Healthy’ self-esteem is having a generally positive personal narrative about yourself [1]. Whereas a ‘negative’ self-esteem puts yourself down, focusing on weaknesses, mistakes, finding it hard to see anything positive [1].

Self-esteem is different from self-confidence. Self-confidence is how you feel about a specific ability, self-esteem is how you feel about yourself as a whole [3]. Confidence changes with context [6], for example I am very confident in my ability to write articles, but I have no confidence in my singing ability. I feel great about myself because I focus on what I can do, and don’t let what I can’t do bother me.

Self-esteem is not your successes or failures. Someone can be amazingly successful but still have low self-esteem. Conversely, but more rarely, someone can be a complete failure but have great self-esteem.

How Does Low Self-Esteem Develop?


Low self-esteem can be taught or developed through [1, 2]
  • systematic punishment, neglect or abuse
  • failing to meet parental standards
  • failing to meet peer-group standards
  • being on the receiving end of other people's stress or distress
  • belonging to a family or social group that other people are prejudiced towards
  • an absence of praise, warmth, affection or interest
  • being the odd one out
  • bullying or intimidation
  • abusive relationships
  • persistent stress or hardship
  • traumatic events
  • difficult life events (e.g. divorce)

Some people’s personality and temperament make them more likely to have low self-esteem [1], however this doesn’t mean they are doomed to stay this way.

Getting into negative thinking patterns can reinforce low self-esteem [1], making it a hard to break habit.

The Impact of Low Self-Esteem


People with low self-esteem may create defence mechanisms and strategies to protect themselves. These include avoiding failures by not trying [5]. When they do try they focus on the negatives, such as the slightest criticism from others. This supports their ‘I’m rubbish’ narrative they have in their heads and take any negative comments (however constructively given) as a personal attack [4].

Low self-esteem can impact people’s daily lives in many ways. Low self-esteem: [1, 2]
  • is linked to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
  • makes it hard to try new things due to a fear of failure
  • makes it hard to take risks
  • causes social isolation
  • contributes to alcohol and drug use
  • contributes to eating disorders
  • makes people worried what others think of them
  • makes people interpret others and make it personal e.g. if someone compliments you on your appearance, you might think they meant that you must have been looking unattractive before – purposely taking offense at everything
  • makes people become judgemental of others, as they are judgemental of themselves. This encourages projection, also known as Sargon’s Law - what you say of others is true of yourself
  • produces a low expectation of yourself
  • creates an expectation of failure, sometimes to the point of sabotage your own work. This creates a fear of success
  • encourages a personal narrative of “better not to try , than to fail”
And when taken to an extreme, a special snowflake is born. Someone who can’t handle any negativity, to the point of being unable to handle the slighting disagreement of opinon, as that means they could be wrong. And being wrong is failure.

They need a safe space to protect them from people who might commit ‘the microaggression of disagreement.’

The Narrative and Low Self-Esteem


I’m sure reading through the list of ‘impact of low self-esteem’ I wasn’t the only one who had that ‘ah ha!’ moment of recognising the actions of many SJW and Intersectional Feminists. If you didn't, you can find an example of their actions here: [10] http://www.breitbart.com/education/2016/02/10/fake-blood-and-war-chants-milo-yiannopoulos-event-at-rutgers-disrupted-by-feminists-black-lives-matter-activists/

I felt like I was onto something with my hypothesis. But the next question… does the SJW or Intersectional Feminism narrative encourage low self-esteem in those who follow its tenants?

One of the key parts of the Intersectional Feminism and SJW narrative is the Hierarchy of Oppression [9], also known as Privilege Theory or when only considering gender, Patriarchy Theory which is also supported by Radical Feminism.

As a simple explanation Privilege Theory claims the majority is privileged by virtue of being the majority. And any minority is oppressed by the majority by virtue of being a minority. This is especially true when considering positions of power.

As an example, the UK government tends to be made up of heterosexual, white, cis-gender men. Therefore under Privilege Theory all homosexuals, non-whites, trans people, and women must be victims of oppression by all heterosexuals, whites, cis-gendered, and men respectively regardless of personal circumstances.

Egalitarian Feminism not only disagrees with the collective notion of Privilege Theory, but finds it to be actively detrimental to society. Lets revisit the way low self-esteem can be developed with Privilege Theory in mind:
  • systematic punishment, neglect or abuse
  • failing to meet parental standards
  • failing to meet peer-group standards
  • being on the receiving end of other people's stress or distress
  • belonging to a family or social group that other people are prejudiced towards
  • an absence of praise, warmth, affection or interest
  • being the odd one out
  • bullying or intimidation
  • abusive relationships
  • persistent stress or hardship
  • traumatic events
  • difficult life events (e.g. divorce)
Being constantly told you are either a victim or you victimise others by virtue of a trait you have no control over, in my opinion, meets all these criteria. For example 'failing to meet parental standards' may happen if your parents are SJW/ Intersectional Feminists and you happen to be born as an 'oppressor class' by having the audacity of being male.

The Hierarchy of Oppression pretty much promotes low self-esteem for both the oppressed and oppressing groups. After all it’s pretty hard to feel great about oneself when you are constantly told you are either a constant victim or you constantly harm others just by existing. Those who subscribe to this narrative are destroying their own self-esteem, and the result is the 'special snowflake'. Low self-esteem seems to be the root cause of many of the perceived problems,and certainly drives many of the actions of SJW and Intersectional Feminists.

Empower Yourself to Raise Your Self-Esteem


But don’t despair, there’s hope! There are ways to improve self-esteem. That first step is to recognise low self-esteem. It may be hard at first, but it is hugely important to build enough self-esteem to be able to listen to alternative narratives and criticism.

Here is a list of things you can do to improve your self-esteem [1, 2, 8]:

  • Accept your mental wellbeing is your personal responsibility, and no one else’s
  • Accept building self-esteem will not be easy or quick, and could even be painful, but it will be worth it
  • Do things you enjoy such as hobbies
  • Allow yourself time to enjoy things, give yourself permission to be happy
  • Address underlying issues, for example feelings of guilt
  • Work, even if it is a volunteer role
  • Learn to ignore the haters, but not by avoiding them through censoring/ blocking them
  • Build positive relationships, and get rid of negatives ones. Positive friends will
    • Show you they care with action, not just words
    • May be critical but will be positive about it, help you to grow and develop not tear you down and discourage you to try
    • Don’t blame you for things outside your control
    • Are patient
    • Are supportive
    • Are encouraging
  • Learn to be assertive
  • Look after your physical health
    • Exercise
    • Sleep
    • Diet
  • Challenge yourself
  • Learn to identify and challenge negative beliefs - perhaps starting with Privilege Theory if you believe that
  • Build positive habits
  • Don’t take things personally, when you do think about why you took it that way
  • Think about why others might have said something you took personally, were they having a bad day? Where they projecting? Do they have low self-esteem?
  • Concentrate on positive things about yourself, not the negative – beware of biased negative thinking
  • Have a feel-good box or list
  • Try to learn mindfulness
  • Do positive things, like helping others or animals

Treatments


If you feel you need additional or professional help counselling, therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Theory [6] are recommended treatments.

And don’t forget, there are plenty of people in the world with low self-esteem. It is nothing to be ashamed of. But it is your personal responsibility to address your relationship with yourself. No one else’s. And definitely not societies.

References

[1] http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/
[2] http://www.overcoming.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8611
[3] http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2012/05/the-difference-between-self-esteem-and-self-confidence/
[4] http://www.overcoming.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8612
[5] http://www.overcoming.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8611
[6] http://www.overcoming.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=8613
[7] http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2012/05/the-difference-between-self-esteem-and-self-confidence/
[8] http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/self-esteem/how-can-i-help-myself/
[9] http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/blaises-opinions-hierarchy-of-oppression.html
[10] http://www.breitbart.com/education/2016/02/10/fake-blood-and-war-chants-milo-yiannopoulos-event-at-rutgers-disrupted-by-feminists-black-lives-matter-activists/

Monday, 20 June 2016

Blaise's Opinon: My Respect for Sargon of Akkad

Author: Blaise Wilson
Caveat: These are the thoughts and ramblings of Blaise Wilson, they do not represent the EgaFem Community as a whole. Opinion posts are often poorly researched and highly biased. They are useful to start a discussion on a topic. Comments, debate, evidence for and against, and feedback are welcome.

Sargon of Akkad


Sargon of Akkad is a YouTube content creator who specialises in "finding the truth of the matter using rational arguments backed up by evidence... on a wide variety of subjects, varying from gaming, anti-ideology, history and fiction." [5]


I used to want to be like Sargon. I used to respect to him.

Used too.

But now I don’t want to be like Sargon. I want to learn why and put systems in place to stop me from following in his footsteps.

What did I used to like about Sargon?


In a word: Humbleness.

I still follow Sargon’s videos, but no longer with a sense of awe.

Sargon has lost his ability to consider he could be wrong.

In his early videos he listened. He considered. He pondered.

Now if you disagree with him you're an ‘idiot.’ One example of this is his attitude concerning the response to his petition.

Long story short, he asked for certain university courses to be (albeit temporarily) banned. Effectively demanding they be no-platformed. And then he claimed this wasn’t censorship. Yet when people Sargon agrees with are no-platformed, suddenly that is different, that it is definitely evil censorship and must be fought against.

One rule for me, a different one for thee.

I think the petition called for censorship. That made me feel uncomfortable. But my husband pointed out that not all censorship is bad. For example we censor child porn. And I agree with that. Therefore, not all censorship is wrong and this concept  is one of those lovely grey areas that are so much fun to explore.

What Sargon requested wasn’t inherently wrong, but it was an idea that needed to be explored for the pros and cons it created. It would be great if we could move the discussion onto debating the petition itself instead of being distracted by the label of censorship.

I believe what Sargon was proposing was censorship. But, according to him, the sheer audacity of my questioning The Great Sargon of Akkad made me an ‘idiot’ [1].

How did this happen?


Only Sargon knows the inner workings of his mind and how he got onto the path he’s on.

Perhaps Sargon has become part of the Gender Grievance Industry, as defined by Wooly Bumblebee as high profile people being more interesting in fiscal gain than actually solving problems [4].

Driven by the cognitive bias of blind dedication in his fanbase it is human nature to repeat, and even take more extreme actions that gander a positive response - especially if you are financially dependant on your followers. Perhaps, Sargon is a victim of his own success.

Sargon has unintentionally surrounded himself with ‘yes men’ and anyone who tries to stand against him gets lambasted by Sargon’s followers. Although Sargon can’t control those who follow him, it doesn’t stop this from having a psychological impact in his sense of belonging and a positive feeling of being right.

After all Sargon is only human. As am I.

And I’ve been one of those impacted by cognitive bias of blind dedication to Sargon. I signed his petition.

I didn’t even read it.

I trusted Sargon. I trusted what he said was true and right. It wasn’t until Wooly Bumblebee stood up to him, despite the huge negative backlash against her, that I started to think for myself.

I was a sheep, part of Sargon’s flock. Sargon has so much power and I’m not sure he realises it. And what he does with that power is up to him (yes, I’m a bit annoyed he hasn’t support the petition EgaFem has been pushing: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/rape-denial-of-womens-impact-and-agency.html but that’s my personal grievance and Sargon can’t support everything people tweet at him).

The God of Logic


Once I started questioning Sargon I saw the logical fallacies sneaking in.

Calling those who disagree with him a variety of insults was just the start. One of the fallacies he falls into most often when discussing Feminism is the ‘No True Scotsman.’

Sargon defines all feminists as Marxist [2], and claims Christina Hoff Sommers therefore isn’t a feminist because she doesn’t fit Sargon’s definition of Feminism. Sargon’s arrogance shines through as he claims first wave feminists, who believe in Equality of Opportunity, are not ‘real’ feminists.

He often strawman’s feminists by putting words into our mouths claiming that we say ‘but she isn’t a real feminist’ when one of our own disagrees with our personal definition. Ironically, I believe there is a internet law which states when someone makes a character judgement about someone they disagree with, that character judgement is usually true about themselves.

I’m sure there are feminists who do that. But I personally don’t! I believe feminism is hugely diverse and there are plenty of feminists who I don’t agree with – but they are still feminists. And I don’t appreciate Sargon dictating to me what he's decided I think based on his personal definitions.

There are others too, but I think that is enough to demonstrate my point that Sargon has begun to get lazy, allowing logical fallacies to creep into, and in some cases dominate his arguments.

Sargon the Bully


The final nail in the coffin of the death of my respect of Sargon focuses on his actions.

He seemed to encourage and revel in the joint dogpiling of those Sargon thinks deserves to be taken down a notch or two. The anti-rape mass tweeting towards Jess Phillips, a British MP and feminist, is a classic example.

As a short summary, Sargon tweeted to Jess that he wouldn't rape her. She rose to it and the whole thing was rather amusing.

But then she had over 600 similar tweets over a very short time. This would have an impact on her. At the very least this would have disrupting her ability to use twitter effectively, and at worse make her feel attacked by a horde.

And to what end? What was the goal of dogpiling her? What did it accomplish? Instead she used it to her own advantage to further her narrative of oppression and victimisation. All round not a great outcome.

And in all this, Sargon laughs with no empathy for how his actions have impacted another person.

Again, I will reiterate Sargon has no direct control of his followers. But nor does the leader have direct control of their gang members. Sargon targets someone knowing they will be dogpiled, and does nothing to discourage it. Like a bully in the playground setting their group on an unsuspecting victim. Sure, the bully doesn’t have direct control over those beneath them, but they have the power to mitigate or discourage them. Sargon's action and attitudes tells a vivid story.

In the case of Sargon, he actively encourages it by giving it positive attention and provides further hostility towards his intended target as demonstrated in his TWIS video for 12/06/2016 in which he actively defends the actions of those dogpiling Jess Phillips [3] and further humiliates her.

Finally I find his blanket hostility, especially directed towards feminism, actively discourages those feminists like myself who agree with Sargon on many things from coming forward and working with him to help create change. It seems Sargon is more interested in his narrative that actually seeking out solutions with help of potential allies based on their label.

Going Forward


I’m grateful to Sargon for showing me what to avoid, allowing me to have a chance to learn from him.

I know I’m only human and could easily suffer the same fate as Sargon. So I need to be very aware of it.

To start with I need to remember I could be wrong. I need to attempt to dig out my most deeply held assumptions and beliefs. I need to hold them up and say ‘these ideas may be flawed.’ I need to learn to be humble. This isn’t to say I will always be wrong. But I need to listen to others and question my own thinking before I can question theirs.

Another key point is to surround myself with people I trust to disagree with me. It is easy to create an echo chamber, but much harder to create a debate chamber. I need to keep my friends close, but my ‘enemies’ closer.

Instead of being worried when I see a notification, I need to be inspired by it. Face the challenges and accept that I could be wrong – and someone could contribute to my thinking by challenging me. After all, they've taken time out of their day to provide that feedback. Their time should be appreciated.

And finally I need to avoid the Gender Grievance Industry. The only way I can do that is to ensure I am never financially dependant on EgaFem. I must ensure I maintain a second job that will keep me fed and a roof over my head, or that my husband can cover the costs should EgaFem collapse overnight if my support dries up.

This is a difficult trade off, as I want to dedicate more time to EgaFem and having a day job cuts into EgaFem time. But I should focus on quality, not quantity and hope my followers respect that, and continue to respect me.

With thanks


Despite my personal misgivings, I still recommend Sargon's videos, just take them with a pinch of salt. Sargon of Akkad YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-yewGHQbNFpDrGM0diZOLA

This post was inspired by a comment on 11/06/2016 by DaisyPumpkin2317 on my video NA*ALT: https://youtu.be/7GPanVmsO5o

DaisyPumpkin2317’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/DaisyPumpkin23

DaisyPumpkin‘s blog: http://daisypumpkin23.blogspot.co.uk/

References

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Rape: Female Perpetrator Victims. Please mirror.

Author: Blaise Wilson
Egalitarian Feminist

EgaFem gives permission for this article to be mirrored anywhere, included on websites and printed press - on the condition this article is cited and a link is included to http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk. Edits may be made so long as the underlying message remains intact.

This article is in support of a petition the UK Government to include female perpetrators in their legal definition of rape: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124524

According to the UN definition, Violence Against Women includes any act of gender-based violence that causes psychological harm or suffering to women, such as the arbitrary deprivation of liberty through increased fear [1].

The legal UK definition of rape uses gendered language that excludes women from being physical capable of rape by defining it as unconsented penetration with a penis [2].

By excluding female perpetrators, the law not only denies women their agency to cause harm, but leaves their victims, both male and female, unable to get justice or even basic levels of support.

The gendered language in the UK legal definition of rape promotes a Rape Culture based on Rape Myths that encourage both victim blaming and vindication of the perpetrators. Victims of female perpetrators are systemically disbelieved at every level, from the initial reporting to the authorities, through the courts, and within the wider community of friends, family, and the support agencies.

Women force oral sex, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse onto their victims using the same strategies as men. These include [3]
  • threats of violence, including threatening their victims lives, sometimes with a weapon
  • physical and emotional domination, abuse and aggression
  • restraints
  • use of, or take advantage of, intoxication by drugs and alcohol
High impulsivity, hostile attributional bias, poor emotional regulation, and callousness coupled with neurological and physical factors increase motivation and willingness by men and women to use aggression against others, include sexual aggression [4].

Victims of rape can suffer the additional indignation of their own body betraying them, leaving them further traumatized. Sexual arousal is an automated response that does not require mental consent. Women self-lubricate and men gain erections through high emotional states such as fear and anger, and victims report orgasming against their will during violent and traumatic rape [3].

Even male victim with martial arts or combat training have a tendency to freeze up, especially if their lives are threatened. Not fighting back is not consent [3].

Women’s impact is ignored through the gendered definition of rape. Victims of female perpetrators suffer in the same way as victims of male perpetrators, regardless of the gender of the victim. This includes [3, 5]
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) such as flashbacks and an inability to sleep, isolation and feeling s of guilt
  • Impacts to their social life and emotional state
  • Becoming adverse to sex, or impaired sexual functions that can impact future relationships
  • Male victims suffer an additional challenge as due to the impact of their perceived masculinity
Rape Myths and Rape Culture are hugely prevalent and systematic within society causing victims of female perpetrators to be overwhelmingly disbelieved. These create an atmosphere of blaming the victim while exonerating the perpetrator, providing excuses for female perpetrators. This in turn encourages female sexual predators to further victimise others.

According to the Home Office in 2007 victims “deserve to be supported, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to see their offenders brought to justice” [cited by 3, p25]

The UK legal definition of rape creates a gender bias narrative, impacting the supporting evidence to exclude female perpetrators and their victims. This causes increased undue fear in women, treated them only as possible victims of male violence. This narrative causes psychological harm to women, and restricts their liberty by discouraging them from entering male dominated spaces.

It also denies women equal responsibility to men for the same actions and teaches women they do not have the agency to cause harm. Women’s actions are not taken seriously. If women are not taken seriously and society assumes they have no impact and agency when they choose to commit abhorrent acts, why should they be taken seriously, and have the same impact and agency when they demand equal rewards for the same job?

However, those who are impacted most by the wording of the UK definition of rape, are the rape victims themselves.

Equal rights, equal responsibility, for better or worse.

The UK legal definition needs to include female perpetrators of unconsented sexual acts. If you are a UK citizen please sign and share this petition, if you are not please spread the petition far and wide to reach as many UK citizens as you can: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124524 

Campaign Support


References

[1] UN Definition of Violence Against Women: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/48/a48r104.htm
[2] UK rape law: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/42/part/1/crossheading/rape
[3] Nicola L. Fisher, Afroditi Pina, An overview of the research literature on male sexual victimization, undated. Available at: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/33378/3/Fisher%20%2526%20Pina%20REVISED%20FV%20AVB%2010-05R.pdf
[4] Nicola Graham-Kevan, The Re-Emergence of Male Victims, 2014. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/244941105_The_Re-Emergence_of_Male_Victims
[5] NHS PTSD symptoms: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx
[6] Petition the UK Gov to change the UK rape laws: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124524 

Suggested citation

Blaise Wilson, May 2016, ‘Rape: Female Perpetrators Victims. Please mirror.’ Egalitarian Feminism. Available at: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk

Sunday, 12 June 2016

EgaCom - the Egalitarian Community

In only ten months EgaFem has grown, and it became apparent we needed to expand into a community to achieve our goals. EgaFem was never meant to work alone, the whole point of using 'egalitarian' in the name was to show our commitment to working with others, including MRA groups.

Hopefully, after many questioning our use of the 'egalitarian' label, we can finally demonstrate and achieve our goal of focusing on women, while working with and connecting to groups who bring other perspectives.


Introducing our Brother Site


After finding MRAs were somewhat tentative about working with a feminist group (and let's be fair, who can blame them!) we started our own EgaMRA http://egamenrightsactivist.blogspot.co.uk We will be looking for some content creators. I personally (Blaise) neither have the time, nor do I think it is practical to try to run both myself. So I will be looking for content from others for EgaMRA while I focus on EgaFem and continue with overarching themes and admin. But I will post on EgaMRA every so often.

If you know anyone with a story they need to tell, or want to write an article on a topic for either EgaMRA or EgaFem, please let us know (Contact page: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html).

One thing I am keen for EgaMRA to do is to provide a place men can tell their stories and show the world, and other men, what it is like to go through society from their perspective. This is under the assumption there is an empathy gap between how society treats men and women. I believe if we show the world that men are not only human, but individuals rather than a rabble of this ridiculous notion known as 'toxic masculinity' perhaps it will be harder for society to focus only on women's needs but remember men and women are symbiotic. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Helping men, helps women.

We are particually interested in content that EgaFem and EgaMRA can write about how they impact the genders uniquely and highlight how benefits or negatives for one impact the other. It would be great to work towards common goals and find overlap between feminists and men's rights. The fight between feminism and MRAs does not help the victims of either gender. Within the EgaCom (Egalitarian Community) the victims needs come first, and petty squabbling could be more harmful than helpful. Instead of looking a for a fight, let us look at how we can change solutions, assumptions and challenge ideas that are harmful

However, EgaMRA and EgaFem are NOT places to attack MRAs or Feminists. Generalised attacks on MRAs and Feminists is not acceptable. Highlighting truths and areas we disagree with, questioning and exploring ideology of specific feminists or MRAs and their actions is fine. But down right hate of the entire group is a big no-no.

Remember, 'not all'. Not all MRAs are women haters who spend more time bashing feminists than helping men. Not all feminists are marxist who support female supremacy.


A Community Hangout


We also needed somewhere neutral to discuss ideas. Somewhere people can join in the debates, provide evidence, and join in without having to use the feminist label.

So now we have a place for both EgaMRA and EgaFem. And that place is Reddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/EgaCom

It seemed like a good choice as anyone with an account can talk to us, whereas making a new forum would force people to create a unique sign up just for us. It also has great features for debating, able to reply and see threads easily and naturally allow the best ideas to gravitate to the surface over time.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

EgaFem Evaluation – UN Cyberviolence Report Pt.2

Author: Blaise Wilson

Articles in this Series:

Evaluation Criteria: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/egafem-analysis-evaluation-criteria.html
UN Cyberviolence Report pt.1: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/egafem-evaluation-un-cyberviolence.html
UN Cyberviolence Report pt 2: This article

This is a continuation of my analysis of the UN Cyber Violence report.

Link arguments to solutions, and solutions to wider context, including implications


Solutions are meant to be derived after looking at the problem. Through discussing wider impacts, the trade-offs and how well the solution might meet the goals a solution can be analysed.

In this report, solutions were stated without any links to the problem. No wider discussion on impacts (e.g. on freedom of speech). No talk of how it might reduce VAWG. No discussion on other problems that might arise - such as how the solution might be abused. Nothing.

The biggest worry is the solutions were stated in the objectives of the report on pages 10-11, stating that sensitization, safeguards and sanctions are the solutions.

Here are some example:

Sensitization:
  • “The respect for and security of girls and women must at all times be front and centre of those in charge of producing and providing the content, technical backbone and enabling environment of our digital society.” [p2]
  • “Sensitization to cyber VAWG must include education the next generation of ICT users, both boys and girls, through their parents, teachers and wider communities, as well as police authorities and the justice systems,” [p3] including “education programs targeting primary-age children” [p8]
  • "the public needs to recognize [cyber violence] and address it as a priority issue.” [p3]
Safeguards:
  • Some countries have forced electronic service providers to identify individuals on request of a court order. This means capturing, saving and managing to identify individuals [p35]
  • Website should authenticate users or attribute their content and keep records in order to be able to hand this information over to the authorise on demand [p40-41]
  • Reporting of online threats should be appropriate, because at the moment local law enforcement do not have the power to act. The police officer they send will most likely be MALE! And they will most likely take notes using a pen and paper!! [p32] How terrible!
Sanctions:
  • "Rigorous oversight and enforcement of rules banning cyber VAWG on the Internet is going to be a [pre-request] if it is to become a safe, respectful and empowering space for women and girls, and by extension, for boys and men.” [p2] – including the implementation of laws [p3]
  • “Companies need to explicitly recognise VAWG as unlawful” [p34] – gender neutral laws are not good enough.
  • The UN should “build Internet protocols and regulations to assure transparency, objectivity and the identification of illegal activities, including cyber VAWG.” [p40] includes a crack-down on social media to stop “campaigns of harassment, intimidation, humiliation and emotional distress and terror against targeted individuals” [p40]
So the solutions are:
  • Indoctrination, especially aimed at children
  • Priorities cyber –VAWG over other issues
  • Monitor and censor the whole of the internet, allowing for perpetrators to be reported to the authorities
  • Gender specific laws, set out by the UN and enforced by governments, to stop emotional distress.
And none of these solutions have been discussed either in isolation or as are a set… ummmm… you know whose internet we really want? China’s.

Mark: 3/10

Have a discussion


A discussion should talk about the report’s methodology and data. It should bring all the data together and analyse it as a whole. It is a great place to discuss the solutions as a whole, rather than in isolation.

However, this report has no discussion. It does not talk about the evidence used, or its possible bias, or if the objectives were suitable. It doesn’t consider the totalitarian implications of the solutions or their impacts on the problems they are trying to solve.

It doesn’t discuss how appropriate the solutions are to which parts of the world. When suggestions are brought over from general (non-cyber) VAWG there is no discussion on the suitability of using it for a virtual space.

Statements like “violence prevention works” [p28] – really? All of it? Is some better than others? Is some more suitable to certain applications e.g. cyber space?

There is no analysis of who the perpetrators are. It talks about victim-blaming and how it needs to stop – but doesn’t discuss what happens if a women says something stupid and/or inflammatory that provokes such an ‘attack’.

Some of the example solutions on pages 29-20 target men as the aggressors. Where is the discussion on the implications of this?

How do the solutions impact women? For example “Take back the Tech” [p30] holds witnesses and bystanders accountable. Many other solutions hold internet and contents provides responsible – but holding the victim responsible for their own safety online is ‘victim blaming’. The only role “that the individual must play [is] in self-regulating, not perpetuating negative gender norms and practices by sharing, watching and listening and by holding media and contend providers to account.” [p31-32]. Individuals must self-censor and then force that on others.

There is no discussion of current solutions such as block buttons, how to report harassment, safe searches (e.g. google safe search), restricted access (e.g. age limits), or privacy settings. Are these appropriate solutions and if not, why not?

The best bit of discussion the report manages is the need for “balancing safety of women from violence on the one hand and freedom of expression on the other hand” [p45]. And that was the limit of the discussion.

Mark: 0/10

Draw appropriate, supported conclusions


“We are faced with two priorities that require immediate attention: eliminating cyber abuse and violence against women and reproduction online of offline harmful gender based practices; and the use of technology to combat multiple forms of violence against women and as vehicles for systemic change.” [p47] (emphasis mine)

Firstly, I count FOUR issues in that statement. Secondly – were was this established in the report?

A conclusion should summaries the report. You should be able to read the introduction and conclusion (skipping the main body) and know what the goals were and what solutions are suggested to address them.

The conclusion should NOT contain any new information and should link to the aim of the report. This fails on both accounts.
  • “Now that cyber-touch is recognized as equally as harmful as a physical touch” [p48]… where was this established in the main report, did I miss something? And what the hell is ‘cyber-touch’? It might have been hinted at, but a full blown conclusion?
  • "Recent research on how violent video games are turning children, mostly boys, into ‘killing zombies’ are also a part of mainstreaming violence.” [p48] this is a new topic, with new evidence not covered in the main body of the report.
  • “While the presentation and analysis of this research is beyond the scope of this paper” [p48] -
    then why did you mention it in the conclusion?!
  • “An ‘open-source’ approach to changing behaviours is needed with the help of an enlightened networked society.” [p48] – Where the hell did that come from? What does it mean?
On the plus side – it had a conclusion. I had finished reading!

Where the conclusion did link to the main body it used completely different language, e.g. using ‘hard’ and ‘soft’, making it difficult to link the subjects.

Because the aims of the report were so vague, the conclusions were not linked to them. Thus the conclusions did not answer the stated premise of the report.

Mark: 4/10

Be concise, logical and be clearly laid out


In PDF form on my laptop, it looks soooo pretty. I get the impression a lot more time and effort was spent on the appearance of the report than the content.

Unfortunately for them, the first thing I did was shove it on my Kindle Touch. Which stripped away all the pretty pictures and made elements of it unreadable. The conclusion section had sentences starting in one line and finishing within another paragraph! It worked much better when I tested it on my Kindle Fire.

I had to read this report twice. Yes, TWICE I put myself through this! Even reading the pretty format on my screen I had to re-read several paragraphs multiple times. I even had to get my partner to read some because I wasn’t sure if it was me or the report!

This report rambles, has paragraphs trying to make too many points at once, is illogical and jumps about from topic to topic – often mid paragraph!

For example on page 22, a paragraph talks about ‘revenge porn’ then goes straight into ‘sexting.’ The next paragraph talk about victim blaming, then turns to pimps violating laws with impunity, only to then discuss mainstreaming of pornography before finishing with “the anonymity of the webs can also be used as an advantage to combat cyber VAWG” on page 23.

Part 3 seems to most disjointed, and happens to contain the most feminist language – it’s possible those two points are unrelated. Part 4 uses a lot of questions, a complete shift in style.

Being concise, logical and clearly laid out should be the easiest section to get marks in. And they failed dramatically.

The Executive Summary doesn’t match the report, and nor does the conclusion. The language and tone are all over the place. Sections do not flow through and it is clear parts were written in isolation to each other.

It felt rushed, with no effort put in to make sure it made sense. And seriously, this had three editing teams. THREE?!

Mark: 5 /10

Misogyny


This report was actually painful to read. About 80% of the paragraphs had at least one thing wrong with it, often suffering from multiple issues. I physically yelled at it a few times, but it continued to be obnoxious, odious and spread down right misogynistic lies. That’s right. This report is misogynistic.

Take page 19 for example. Here it demonstrates its clear contempt for women nicely in one page.

It points out women’s feelings are more important than facts, “on the whole women feel safer with a mobile phone” – with no discussion of if they actually are safer or if having a mobile phone makes them more likely to be targeted to steal the phone!

Then makes it clear that women have no agency of their own because they don’t have “access and ability to pay for services and features used, [or have] intra-household decision-making.”

Women are so fearful and pathetic it stops them from going onto the internet or using applications. And women are incapable of understanding sophisticated technology on their own. They can’t empower themselves because they don’t know how, and must be taught.

They feel they have nowhere to go, because no one will believe them. Because women don’t trust authorities and fear they may be held accountable for contributing to their situation.

Yet, naturally men don’t suffer from any of these issues and are naturally born with the ability to use sophisticated technology, have full access and can deal with any issues that arise.

For a report that tries to “take all appropriate measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women” [p27] – yet it does a really good job of making women sound pretty inept.


Propaganda?


Propaganda is defined as a bias report with an agenda.

The lack of evidence, counter-points, or discussion coupled with the use of appeal to emotion to push extreme totalitarian solutions place this report deeply in the realm of propaganda.

The context is not discussed, with the implications on wider topics such a freedom of speech being mentioned then glossed over. It over simplifies cause and effect by using assumptions of causation. It tries to include everything to give the impression of looking a wide view but fails to make any decent points.

The reports biggest crime was to presume solutions without discussion or analysis. And it did this in its very objectives. If this isn’t enough to prove this report is hugely biased and had an agenda I’m not sure what better evidence would look like.

Mark


Criteria
Mark
Max Mark
Have clear aims and boundary
2
10
Have clearly defined consistent terms, tone and use of language
3
10
Providing evidence
4
10
Avoiding logical fallacies
3
10
Link main premise to wider topics and context
6
10
Providing a counter-argument to premise and explore alternative views
1
10
Linking arguments and solutions to wider context, including implications
3
10
Have a discussion
0
10
Draw appropriate, supported conclusions
4
10
Be concise, logical and be clearly laid out
5
10



Total
31
100

In conclusion, this report received a measly mark of 31% and is deemed an epic piece of propaganda. If they ever do a rewrite, I hope they learn from these points.

EgaFem Evaluation – UN Cyberviolence Report Pt.1

Author: Blaise Wilson

Articles in this Series:

Evaluation Criteria: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/egafem-analysis-evaluation-criteria.html
UN Cyberviolence Report pt.1: This article
UN Cyberviolence Report pt 2: http://egafeminist.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/egafem-evaluation-un-cyberviolence_4.html

Introduction


This is an analyses of the UN Broadband Commission for digital development working group on broadband and gender’s report on Combatting Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls, 2015.

This report is SO BAD that the Broadband Commission has revoked it!

Revised version due here: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/publications/Pages/bb-and-gender-2015.aspx

However it is still available on the UN’s website here: http://www.unwomen.org/~/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2015/cyber_violence_gender%20report.pdf?v=1&d=20150924T154259 – to check it’s the same version I used – scroll to page 51, the 5th bullet down should read “Halder, Debarati & K. Jaishankar (2015). Harassment via WHATsAPP in Urban & Rural India. A Baseline Survey Report (2015) file:///C:/Users/owner/Downloads/CCVCresearchreport2015.pdf” – yes this is the infamous ‘link to the authors hard drive’ report.

For anyone writing academic papers, this is a great example of what not to do.

It will be marked against the evaluation criteria and given a mark out of ten for each section. The total possible marks are 100.

For anyone as insane as I am who wants to subject themselves to an details analysis of this report, please put your breakdown scores in the comments (below), tweet us (@EgaFem) or tell us on facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/EgalitarianFeminism )

Have clear aims and boundary


This was the reports biggest failing. This is the foundation of a report on which everything else is based.

On page 6 the report claims “this report serves to address a critical issue in determining whether the gender goals of the Broadband Commission are achieved.” Then on page 10-11 it claims “the main objectives of this paper are to:
  • Situate the growing threat of cyber VAWG within the broader context and challenge of cyber-crime, internet growth and governance, and human rights;
  • Define key priority areas of action that address the 5Ps of Due Diligence, through public sensitization, compliance of safeguards and the implementation of sanctions”
One of the few consistent themes was Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). For a report entitled ‘cyber-violence’ it wasn’t well bounded and had inconsistent aims which allowed the report to shift about all over the place.

Also, it wasn’t clear which countries were included, it implied globally and used data from a range of countries.

Mark: 2/10

Have clearly defined consistent terms, tone and use of language


Page 6 defines cyber violence as including “hate speech (publishing a blasphemous libel), hacking (intercepting private communications), identity theft, online stalking (criminal harassment) and uttering threats. It can entail convincing a target to end their lives.”

On page 21 it defines cyber as “the different ways that the Internet exacerbates, magnifies or broadcasts the abuse” of VAWG, which is defined by the UN as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

Then on page 22 it defines cyber-VAWG to include hacking, impersonation, surveillance/tracking, harassment/spamming, recruitment (lure potential victims into violence situations), and malicious distribution (including using technology as a propaganda tool to promote violence against women).

Each of these definitions are different, especially when you consider each element e.g. online stalking is kind of similar to surveillance and tracking – but then the report demands on page 48 that “political and governmental bodies need to use their licensing prerogative to ensure that only those Telecoms and search engines are allowed to connect with the public that supervise content and its dissemination” i.e. use surveillance.

So, not only are the terms inconsistent but they include solutions that could be deemed as cyber-violence.

There were numerous words not defined, or defined very late e.g. ‘netizen’ is used on page 7 but not defined till page 21. Specialist terms like ‘cyber-touch’ [p48] isn’t defined at all – other than being equally as harmful as physical touch. What about ‘gender-friendly’ on page 36 – what does it mean?

Around page 41 ‘victims’ suddenly become ‘survivors’, it also around this time that ‘cyber-violence’ morphs into ‘cyber-crime’.

Part 4 of the report’s tone is very different, using a whiny ‘voice’ on page 40, “While complicated to pursue, this is not an excuse for them not to manage cyber-violence risks.”

Then there is the biased language trying to tell the reader how to react, such as, “WhatsApp excuses” [p34], “misogynist images” [p23] and “supposedly humorous context” [p31]

It does define some terms such as ‘revenge porn’ on page 22 being defined as ‘non-consensual pornography’ but then confuses it by moving straight onto ‘sexting’ and sending naked pictures.

Mark: 3/10

Provide evidence on Main Argument


Evidence? Don’t make me laugh. This report was riddled with assertions. However, to be fair, there were some citations here and there. Whether those citations support their statement is not covered here.

Here is a list of some of the assertions with no citation:
  • “The respect for and security of girls and women must at all times be front and centre of those in charge of producing and providing the content, technical backbone and enabling environment of our digital society.” [p2]
  • The spread of the internet will automatically cause behaviour of a “global pandemic with significant negative consequences for all societies in general and irreparable damage for girls and women in particular” [p6-7]
  • "An emerging set of anti-social, aggressive and violent content and behaviours are available to anyone who logs on to the internet, regardless of age, gender, culture or values… - with children as young as 5 or 6 years of age now exposed to cyber bulling and online pornography – sometimes of the most extreme kind. In some contexts online culture represents the worst form of gang violence”. [p7]
  • “There is a well-worn statistic that 30% of all Internet traffic constitutes porn” [p7]
  • “The communication tools offered by new technologies are being misused by both men and women to assert dominance, to manipulate, to terrorize, to humiliate, and to silence.” [p9]
  • "Underlying this is the perpetuation of negative and harmful stereotypes of girls and women as well as negative notions of masculinity.” [p10]
  • “The potential to broadcast cyber-violence and hate crimes against women is particularly noticeable; it is exponential, unprecedented and at times corrosive and vitriolic, and it represents the very worst of mob mentality and perceived ‘safety in numbers’ by the perpetrators. Online harassment has become, in part, a team sport, with posters vying to outdo each other.” [p10]
  • “links to the core roots of the problem are very much in evidence and cannot be overlooked” [p48]
Need I go on…? There are plenty more to pick from!

Mark: 4/10

Avoid logical fallacies


There were multiple logical fallacies throughout the report, but the most common was Assumption of Causation, Appeal to Emotion (which is unsurprising as a stated objective of the report was sensitization), and Bandwaggoning. There were many others but these three are particularly evident.

Assumption of causation was strong because the report failed to provide evidence for, discuss or even demonstrate logical links. For example on the very first page and then repeated on page 5 “millions of women and girls around the world are subjected to deliberate violence because of their gender,” (emphasis mine).

This fallacy is throughout, trying to link a statement to a cause, or a cause to a solution. Some more examples include:
  • “In the last ten years, some American and European pornography producers have moved to places such as Budapest, Hungary because of the availability of cheap actors from Eastern and Central Europe. Budapest is also a destination and transit city for women trafficked from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Romania, and countries of the former Yugoslavia. The city is also now the biggest center for pornography production in Europe, eclipsing traditional centres such as Amsterdam and Copenhagen.”[p23]
  • “Boys aged 12- 17 are the largest consumer group of Internet porn. This suggests that the first images and information surrounding sex that a young boy is exposed to would include violence towards a woman.” [p8]
  • “More women-friendly content would drive women online.” [p32]
  • “Safe, respectful and empowering space for women and girls, and by extension, for boys and men.” [p2]
"Millions of women and girls” page 1 and 5 – this is also an appeal to emotion. This not only includes appeals to emotion but often leads to over exaggeration, without evidence of course. Here are some more examples:
  • “the impact of violence, trauma and loss that women, girls and children are routinely exposed to… is a problem of pandemic proportion.” [p2]
  • “Failure to address and solve cyber VAWG could significantly impede the digital inclusion of women everywhere, putting women at increasing disadvantage for being excluded from enjoying the benefits if ICTs and the Internet.” [p3]
  • “The systematic targeting of girls and women is also a tactic used in war and conflict.” [p5]
  • “Non-fatal acts of violence take a particular toll on women and children. One in four children has been physically abused’ one in five girls has been sexually abused, and one in three women has been a victim of physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence at some point in her lifetime” [p14] – remember this report is entitled CYBER-violence
The Bandwaggon fallacy centres on the appeal to the popular – that if lots of people do it then it must be right! What is really curious is the report condemns it when a woman is the victim of large scale bandwaggoning VAWG, but condones it when the victim of the bandwagon is a perceived perpetrator of VAWG:
  • “Following public outrage, the main aggressor lost his high paying job at a public corporation” [p1-2] – doxing and mob mentally = good!
  • The time to act is now, why? Because “the issue has been brought to the fore by heightened public awareness promoted by media sensationalism, high-profile stories.” [p9]
  • “only after fifteen companies… threatened to pull their advertising” [p31] – mob mentally is good, it got us what we wanted!
  • Zoe Quinn -“A target of Gamergate, suffered harassment, including doxing” [p24] – doxing and mob mentally = evil!
  • “it represents the very worst of mob mentality and perceived ‘safety in numbers’ by the perpetrators” [p10] – mob mentality is evil!
There were numerous other logical fallacies through the report, however the stated goal of using appeal to emotion as a tactic certainly losses the report a lot of marks.

Mark: 3/10

Link Main Argument to wider topics and context


This is arguably the reports second biggest strength (after looking pretty).

Because the report was so broad it discussed a lot of interconnecting topics.

It attempted to place cyber-VAWG within the context of both cyber-crime and physical VAWG, including how cyber-VAWG can impact daily lives offline such as getting people fired. It discussed how women not being in decision making positions in technology has an impact on priorities of cyber-VAWG. It talked about how technology could be used to reduce VAWG. It linked the social status, economic challenges, and the agency of women. Freedom of speech is mentioned several times. It even covers women’s access to and understanding of technology – and more besides!

It touched on a lot of interrelated subjects – however it loses points by failing to link them coherently. After reading the report I still have no idea how the topics interrelate.

Mark: 6/10

Provide a counter-argument to premise and explore alternative views


One issues is the premise of the report is unclear. However, for each point main I would expect a counter point and then a discussion.

Although it was a bit of a stretch I did find some counter points:
  • “The use of WhatsApp instant messaging , for example, has become, according to some reports [no citation], the latest harassment tool of choice in countries like India and Malaysia, and increasingly around the world [no citation]. Pornographic imagery produced in one country now lands in the hands of anyone anywhere. This is not to say that WhatsApp is not a positive and useful tool. Many women and men use the app for activism – and netizens use it simple to communicate.” [p7] – the counter point is ‘it isn’t all bad on WhatsApp, it can be positive!’ And yes, that is a quote – that is how the sentence in the report reads.
  • “18.3 per cent have been unaware of the fact they have been victimized” [p17] – not a good counter but does show that the definition of cyber-violence is open to interpretation, not all victims think they are victims
  • “The counter-evidence shows that 70 per cent of Internet users consider the Internet to be ‘liberating’” [p18] - this is counter to the data that the internet is not safe for expression or allows greater freedoms
  • “a California lawyer had his Facebook account hacked,” [p35] - counter to the main premise of the scope that women suffer or suffer to a greater extent than men.
And that’s it… as you can see I REALLY tried to find some – accepting anything looking closely like a counter point.

Mark: 1/10


Next time: I’ll finish my marking and produce my final verdict!