Saturday, January 19, 2013

HotWhopper Classic: Misogyny and Sexism

MobyT | 2:27 AM Feel free to comment!
As anyone who's done any work in organisational development knows, the norms and values are established by those in charge.  If an organisation is broken it's extremely hard to fix without changing the leadership.  New brooms sweep the cleanest.

If you run a discussion board it's easy to make sure the subscriber base reflects your own values, if that's what you want.  Select moderators who are as sexist as yourself and they'll get the message across loud and clear.  If an errant subscriber doesn't conform and makes the mistake of standing up for women (or science), you can rely on your pet moderators to gang up and ban them forever. (Bricks and mortar businesses have to be a bit more discrete about their misogyny and sexism.  If they are small enough they can usually get around this problem by making sure they don't hire women in the first place, except to make the coffee, 'man' (yes, 'man') the front desk and answer the phone.)

Judge for yourself - compare the votes in the examples below!

Woman - how dare you intrude on the 'Domain of Men'!

Here are some posts from a classic sexist thread (subs req'd) on the HotCopper discussion board.  You can see for yourselves the type of people the operators aim to attract and, unsurprisingly, succeed.  Golfzoner starts a lively discussion with this:

Golfzoner was was roundly applauded by HotCopper-ites for telling it like it is.  So much so that thirty one more people agreed with him than disagreed!  Full-blooded male HotCopper-ites believe the world would be so much better if women weren't such brazen hussies.  A woman's place is barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen.  She should be subservient to her 'man'.   Woman's sole purpose in life is to slave over a hot stove and keep her master comfortable.

Battle-Hardened, Command-Barking, Brick Out-Houses with a Vagina

The discussion thread was very long.  Here are a few more snippets:  No battle hardened, command-barking, brick out-houses with a vagina for Sonpa:

The 50kg Clubber

One can only marvel at the sort of mentality of HotCopper moderators who unanimously agree that writing about climate science research is far too 'outspoken' to be tolerated on HotCopper, but seem happy enough for someone to write about their suspect sexual proclivities - from Linebacker (yes, really!).  You couldn't make this up.  Although it was buried in the discussion it still attracted six more 'thumbs up' than 'thumbs down':

The Men Pile On

The discussion went on and on for more than two weeks. I could show you any of dozens of other misogynistic or sexist comments from different HotCopper subscribers.  Men who didn't pile on with outright sexism indicated they thought women who objected were over-reacting and should 'lighten up'.  

But not all men agreed.  A few were as disgusted as we women were.

Too "outspoken"

Here's a comment from Dogby that most subscribers didn't like.  Unlike golfzoner and linebacker, it looks as if dogby must have been too 'outspoken' for HotCopper - he's been banned:

What about the women?

Yes, some women are bold enough to venture into the Men's Playground. Kate dismissed the thread with this sharp comment:

And Oxy came straight to the point:

In fact I made a few comments myself and this must have been about the only time that Oxy and I agreed. (IIRC she has libertarian leanings, which forbid her from accepting climate science.)

Get off your soap box!

HotCopper moderators tell people who protest sexism to 'get off their soap box'.  Interesting to be reminded of the sort of soap boxes they prefer.

PostScript: This article and subsequent comments may help explain why so many people with twisted views are attracted to HotCopper and why so many ordinary people find it repugnant. Not merely unnaturally prudish or sexist but arguably bordering on intimidation of women.

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