Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gabby's Cartoon

MobyT | 3:06 PM Feel free to comment!

Note: This was originally posted as a blog page rather than a blog post. It is preserved here, with all comments.
Sou (aka MobyT) - April 2015.

This pretty much illustrates my experience on the HotCopper share trading discussion board (see here for more details).  The 'f**k you' bit was enacted by the HotCopper moderator who quickly banned me for a month* because I alerted the moderators to sexist posts, telling me in no uncertain terms, in a kneejerk reaction typical of sexist slobs, that "it's you who are sexist (because you said a sexist post was sexist)"! 

He had the full support of the HotCopper General Manager and reportedly all his fellow moderators - which is not surprising, since the nasty sexist tone of the forum has to come from the top.  The General Manager decided that a person like me, being not only female (therefore I must be a feminazi) but having the temerity to express an opinion about sexism while in his "men's playground", is not welcome on his share trading discussion board.  When I subsequently made a complaint (to the Human Rights Commission) he banned me completely and forever (as far as he is able).  (Note: Victimisation is an offense under the Sex Discrimination Act in Australia but to my knowledge no-one has ever been prosecuted. At least one civil case alleging victimisation under the Act has been successful.)

I'm told by people who work in the Human Rights space that some places on the internet (such as HotCopper) are home to quite a few sexist slobs who stick together for support.

The cartoon is reprinted with written permission - thanks Gabby. Click here to visit the brilliant Gabby's Playhouse.

Perhaps it's a tad sexist to say of a woman who makes decisions about her own body that she has a "PC abnormal dysfunction", or that she demonstrates "simple, selfish, self interested, aggressive, indoctrinated behaviour" or that she is a "stupid and dangerous person" with a "mental misfire" or that it's good that she died ("good riddance") - unless of course you are a man on HotCopper discussion board.

Sexism is allowed because we say so - it's called free speech

All the HotCopper moderators rally together for support.  They see that a couple of men have sent them TOUs complaining about a woman complaining about sexism (and ignore the men who agree with her, dismissing them as bleeding heart liberals).  "That PROVES we are right to say she's the one being sexist", they say to themselves. 

Based on my experience the unwritten Terms of Use of HotCopper means it's not sexist to demean women, it's undoubtedly thought of as 'free speech'.  It IS sexist to suggest that demeaning women is sexist (especially if you are a woman).  That sort of outspokenness is not "free speech" and will not be tolerated.  Your comments will be deleted immediately and you will be banned from posting any more.  To imply a man has said something sexist is apparently COMPLETELY PROHIBITED under the "free speech" provisions of HotCopper, even or especially in a private message to moderators.

Sigh indeed :(

*Posters are typically banned for from one to seven days if they break the rules, offend another poster (a libertarian or conservative male) or offend the forum moderators.  A ban of 30 days is extreme and very rare.  It is reserved for repeat offenders of extreme behaviour - which was definitely not me.


  1. You got Real Problems. See you Doctor after Xmas.

    You should not be let out at any time.

    Scaaaaary Stuff !!

    1. annoy- mouse.. Guess this hits closer to the spot than you care to admit, eh?

  2. Wow. Those cartoons are fantastic. Spot on, and possibly explains/demonstrates the situations better than any set of words.

    The Anonymous post immediately above demonstrates the nasty hivemind that's probably all too familiar to you and compelled you to do this blog.

    I have also noticed, in many examples that also include a gaming forum for older people, that hatred of science extends to nastiness towards women, disabled, ethnic or basically anyone different or disagrees with their absolute truth. It all seems to hand in hand.

    Crank Magnetism + Nasty? I'm not sure what it is. But thanks for your blog and hopefully, by looking at the diseased minds of the sexist cranks, we may see what motivates this mob.
  3. Good aren't they, Dave. Gabby's playhouse has other brilliant cartoons. The web versions should be for sale - I'd happily pay for them (at web prices).

    Anonymous is typical. The level of tolerance is even less than the level of imagination and verbal sophistication on display :(

    BTW - not a single moderator has ever apologised, proving the cartoon. The only person who showed any sign of it was the female administrator who I suspect is pretty junior. In any case she was so entrenched in the male group think that she blames women, suggesting women on HotCopper should pretend to be men to 'get along'! I wouldn't be surprised they think it's the woman's fault if she gets raped.
  4. Well done Moby T. I've been on that Hot Copper site myself and I was revolted by the chauvinist, bullying, oppressive nature of too many of the contributors and the mods. They didn't seem to like me too much either. Good luck with your complaint to the Human Rights Commission, it definitely was warranted. Ignore what the self-interested posters do or say to try to make you feel less than you obviously are. You've done well.
  5. I'm having a discussion about it as we speak but now look at it from my side

    I (male) think that if women want to be equal (and I'd be happy if it was like that, I'm not sexist) they also have to take the disadvantages that men have.

    1.) bills at a bar/pub/restaurant should be split
    2.) if a lightbulb or something is broken it's not up to the man to fix it but to whoever sees it first, it's not that hard (well if the man is physically bigger there is an obvious exception in this example)
    3.) a top manager CAN be a woman but has to be the most capable person. Man/woman/black/white/... I don't care but just because it's a man doesn't mean it's sexist.
    4.) making the first move shouldn't be a mans task but for both (whoever is first)

    But the girl I'm chatting with right now doesn't agree and calls me sexist for saying I think equal means equal and not "equal while it's in my advantage". I dated her a few times and I always had to pay for everything because after all "you're the man!".

    And let's be honest. That's also sexism.

    Again I strongly agree that men and women should be equal but equal on ALL aspects.

    Also as non native English person I apologize for any grammatical/spelling errors in my text.

    1. I don't disagree with any of that. Men and women want partners in life, not slaves or to be a slave. I'm surprised that even today there is an implicit assumption that a job would naturally go to a man unless there happened to be a woman who was better qualified. Too often when someone says "equal" they mean "equal on my terms". (Back when I was young it was rare to meet a man who would cook a meal, wash the dishes, or do the laundry - let alone one who would do any of those things without expecting thanks or praise. I'm hoping things are different now.)

      (Some of the men I come across probably wouldn't know how to change a nappy, a light bulb, a car tyre or empty a dishwasher - going by their understanding of other subjects, like science :D)

      As for dating etiquette, here's my guide for what it's worth - for men and women:

      On the first date - the person who extends the invitation pays the bill (though it's not bad etiquette for the invitee to offer to share or pay for drinks).

      On subsequent dates - if mutually agreed, share the bill (or at least discuss up front who will pay for what etc).

      If you want to go to something special, decide before the invitation if you really want to go a) on your own; b) with someone else; or c) if you only want to go if you each pay your own way. Then you can decide how to raise the subject. Technically speaking for special events (not ordinary dates), the person who does the inviting pays the bill - unless agreed beforehand that you'll each pay your own way.
  6. Sadly great cartoons.

    Common, and I don't really follow the why, in April 27's anonymous comment -- lumping minor private issues, like who asks whom for a date, with major societal ones, like who gets to be hired for jobs. And (not this anonymous, but also common) what they get paid for doing them.

    The equation seems to be that women can't be managers, or paid the same, until the speaker is invited out on dates and she pays for it. I don't buy it. But, then, I speak from having had a mother who worked, and got paid less for it than the men doing the same job. Also as nephew of the winner in the case Grumbine v. USA. Where, in spite of a 1963 law on pay equality, my aunt was being paid less than her male counterparts -- in the 1980s. She spent a lot of her life being 'first woman', and that was also the case here. Anyhow, I take some comfort that in Grumbine v. USA, Grumbine won.

    Perhaps the only time my mother ever spoke favorably about the unequal and rigid roles was regarding dating when she was growing up, though even then a rather limited sense. Namely, everybody had the same script about what they were 'supposed' to be doing. She didn't particularly like the script, or follow it overmuch, but that was a different matter. When everyone knows the same script, everyone can flag appropriately when they're going _off_ script (the guy who suggests going 'dutch', or the girl who asks a guy out, or ...). Made some things easier.

    Getting back to science, concert orchestras, I've heard, did something that might be useful in science. Namely, they went to blind auditions -- the musicians playing from behind a curtain, so that it wasn't known to the judges who was playing when. Once this was done, the gender distribution started equilibrating much closer to even. Can't do that for senior scientists, as everyone knows who they are whether or not their name is on the paper. But that's less a bottleneck than early career, when those first few papers and grants are vital to continuing the career, and nobody except a handful of people working directly with the author knows their writing.

    1. Tell me about it, Robert.

      Your aunt must be wonderful and did a great service for others.

      When I first worked for the government back in the 1970s, any woman who married was automatically retrenched. If she was lucky, she could continue on as a temp worker, which was expected to stop when (yes, it was assumed 'when') she became pregnant. Women had no access to superannuation. That plus the systemic unequal pay for decades means that many women over 55 will be doing it tough till the day they die.

      Decisions on hiring and firing in many science and engineering faculties of universities and scientific organisations were predominately made by men right up at least until the late 1990s and probably beyond. This is partly because staff freezes and reducing managerial levels coincided with EEO legislation. So the top positions were effectively 'frozen' with men in place, with all their systemic biases (often sub-conscious but not always).

      On the plus side, being pretty well a "first woman" working in a male dominated sci-tech organisation I stood out and was noticed. Of course I had to do the job well to be appreciated - which I somehow managed okay :)

      I hear that things are a lot better for younger women these days. But there is still a long way to go before everyone views women as fully fledged human beings and treats us as such :)

      I like the idea of 'behind the curtain'. I know some people who used to send resumes etc using only their initials, hoping to at least make it to interview.

      PS Sorry for the delay. Comments on older posts are modded as a spam deterrent.
  7. No news to you, of course.(And no worries on the speed -- you're faster than I often am).

    Sounds like your setup in was even worse than we had here. Glad that it's opening up. But generations, unfortunately, is the time scale for the overhaul. A couple of stories, one less and one more science-relevant.

    Less: When I was playing little league baseball, the very first girl (in the US) won her Supreme Court case to play. I was lousy (the all-star black hole of lousy), she was excellent (and nevertheless faced far more hostility than my grossly inept play). Come to when I'm coaching the 13 year old team my kid is on. There was only one girl in the league, and she was on my team. None of her teammates or opposing players batted an eyelash about it. The teammates did have some things to say about the fact that she was a weak player, same as they did about the other weak players. But that was all. A few of my generation said some things to me, weaker than were said to that first player, but still needlessly sexist, but shut up about it with speed when I answered. In another generation, fingers crossed, there'll only be maybe a few comments from the grandparents.

    High school math shows a better progression. It was possible for girls to take the most advanced high school math class in my mother's generation, but she was one of only 2 who did so. In my generation, the class was about 1/3rd girls. For my kids, it was about 50%. These days, boys are the minority, at more like 40-45% (and dropping). I don't like that part about dropping below equality, but there are other issues at play as well.

    Progress, but in generations rather than the years it could be. I've been astonished at the speed in the US of reversal on things like marriage equality. 2004, it was a successful fear campaign tactic, 2012 3 states voted it in by popular vote, and being against marriage equality is now something of a handicap.

    Anyhow, of course my aunt is wonderful :-) I've since discovered, though, that employment law cases (which this was, and my wife of almost 7 years practices) are just brutal on the employee, even if they win in court.

    One of these days, we'll get around to noticing that people are people and treating them as people. Not holding my breath, but do try to kick things in that direction.
  8. (^_^) (^_^) (^_^)

    hahaha more cartoon please thank you

    (^_^) (^_^) (^_^)
  9. Yo, I want to ask you. Or any one else here. Why is it that you want to label yourself victims. Being harassed on the internet is not a uniquely female issue it is a peoples issue. Why is it that you need to label people based on only one aspect of their anatomy. This comic is effectively a contradiction of itself. the entire premise is a girl being butt hurt about comments on something she posted then being butt hurt about men being butt hurt that she mentioned she didn't like the comment. This comic is basically just a giant pity party there is no story and its not even smart or funny.
  10. I never clicked over here since I'm always reading your climate posts...Sou this is f***ing brilliant! Nailed the issue right on the head!

    Both me and my wife are grad students (she studies OA and I study sea ice motion, gasp! its a conspiracy!), and we've seen this attitude whenever she releases research publicly. Aside from the typical denier attacks, I've seen guys publicly post the nastiest misogynistic comments deriding her intelligence.

    Another example is when we publicly spoke out against firearms on campus (only in the US do we have people stupid enough to suggest this, luckily more sober minds prevailed). She received a number of rape and death threats, that escalated to the point where people were doxxing her online.

    It seems like there's a small minority of men who feel they have to yell down at women online to feel good about themselves. It's time for this bulls**t to stop.

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