Twittering Twits

// 28 May 2009

Difficult to know how much to read into a few (hundred) posts on twitter. First I should briefly explain a concept to unfamiliar readers:

Members of Twitter (and there are loads) post up short messages about themselves or general stuff which appear next to their name. My name on the system is “Cruella1” so for instance I might “tweet” about what I’m doing:

(1) Cruella1 has just finished her lunch and is thinking about going to the park.

or about something I’m trying to draw attention to

(2) Cruella1 has just written a blog post http://cruellablog.blogspot.com/ #feminism

or I might reply to someone else’s Tweet

(3) Cruella1 @jester thanks for the advice!

or I might join in a discussion already happening on Twitter

(4) Cruella1 #cornypickuplines do you work in subway? cos you’ve got me a foot long…

Now I need to explain a bit of etiquette – the @jester in (3) means I’m talking to someone (jester – that’s Jess McCabe your lovely editor), and the #feminism in (2) and #cornypickuplines (4) are basically search terms. So I know people will go on Twitter looking for info about feminism and I want to direct them to my blog via (2). Also I notice other people I know are having a general chat about corny pick-up lines and I want to join in (4). You can click on these #-terms to see all “tweets” that mention them.

Anyway right now there is very popular #-search term with hundreds of “tweets” including it called #liesgirlstell. And I guess I should warn you that some of these comments might be triggering for some people. I won’t name and shame who made these “tweets” but I was quite shocked at the level of disdain and hatred for women revealed…

#liesgirlstell: I’m not a slut, I juss like sex

#liesgirlstell “I don’t f*ck on the first date”

#liesgirlstell im a virgin

#liesgirlstell I am low maintenance

#liesgirlstell I didn’t get pregnant so you would marry me

#liesgirlstell “I’m strippin to pay for college” (b!tch you are 49!! Your turn is OVER!)

#liesgirlstell “i’m on my period”

#liesgirlstell i am capable of having an intellegent conversation with another human being

#liesgirlstell “i dont want your money”

#liesgirlstell I’m not a hoe

#liesgirlstell IVE NEVER DONE IT TRU THE ASS

#liesgirlstell Kobe raped me.

I don’t know what I’m more horrified by – is it:

1) The fact that there are thousands of people happily joining in this debate as though it’s normal and funny to make jokes about women being prone to dishonesty (look at all the politicians, most men, lying about everything from war to duck islands!),

2) The repeated suggestion that women who have and enjoy sex are bad/evil/disgusting

3) That bizarre comment in the middle about women not being able to hold intelligent conversations where the author himself can’t even spell “intelligent”…!

or

4) The disgusting rape denier at the end.

But suffice as to say sadly that is the world we all live in. And to think some people think we don’t need feminism!

Comments From You

Cillian // Posted 28 May 2009 at 9:10 pm

Seriously, you’re taking it too serious!

Cath Elliott // Posted 28 May 2009 at 11:32 pm

Ooh, that’s creepy Kate. We must have posted at almost the exact same time on the same topic!

Still, as they say – great minds think alike :)

http://toomuchtosayformyself.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/misogynysnotfunnymkthxbai/

Bal // Posted 29 May 2009 at 1:46 am

I think the ‘tweets’ are either joking about a clearly false stereotype or things that the author’s have experienced in their own lifetime. I think the intelligence one is a bit stupid but the rape one is probably from someones real life experience so I think it was fair of them to say it. I think its a bit unfair to call every male politician a liar whilst getting upset about negative generalisations. That’s a little hypocritical, you silly sausage.

If these were put under ‘lies girls have told’ I’m presuming you wouldn’t have a problem with it? Because then it would just be repeating a lie you had been told in real life for others to laugh at.

PS I’m a bloke so feel free to lay into me as I’ve probably missed the point x x

Jesswa // Posted 29 May 2009 at 4:07 am

For equally disgusting contemporary internet-based sexism, check urbandictionary.com and search anything…”women”, “feminist”, “vagina”, whatever.

The only good thing about this website is that, in my early days of feminist exploration, it convinced me that DEAR LORD feminism is necessary. And that’s where thefword stepped in…

Todd Michael Greene // Posted 29 May 2009 at 7:55 am

While I understand your concerns and I’m personally appalled at many of the comments I’m wondering if you’re not being a bit over sensitive to this. There’s also an apposing thread for lies that guys tell, yet you didn’t mention that in your post. I don’t know. Perhaps I didn’t take the thread serious enough.

Lindsey // Posted 29 May 2009 at 9:18 am

Those are some grim tweets. I just checked it out and although I saw a few more choice ones (I’ve only had one abortion: wtf?) I think the topic has been mostly hijacked by female twitterers. If you twitter you can contribute to subversion, I added “you’re just so much smarter than me…”

Stephanie // Posted 29 May 2009 at 5:32 pm

I have to say that I 100% love that the “You’re over-reacting” comment is made by a man.

Anne Onne // Posted 29 May 2009 at 8:34 pm

Depressing.

Todd, I’d gander a bet that the ‘lies that guys tell’ tweets don’t imply that men enjoy criminal acts carried out against them, or exist solely to be the sexual playthings of women. And even if they miraculously were equally vehement to the ones about women, it wouldn’t change the context. Rape and violence against women happens because people believe women don’t deserve to be treated like a ‘person’, that they all lie about rape, that they enjoy rape, that women have to put out and don’t have a right to say no to sex. Crimes against women don’t just happen, they are carried out by people, people who believe things like those above. That women are all gold diggers, that we’re all sluts who lie about being virgins and being low-maintenance. That we don’t have a right to say no to sex, because we’re always lying about whether we’re on our period or whether we’ve had a type of sex before, that women liking sex is inherently wrong, and that we therefore just exist to be used as sex objects for men.

It’s not an overreaction to be concerned that people feel perfectly OK making these kinds of comments when these kinds of attitudes lead to the many problems women face.

The problem is also that in this world, as society stands, minorities/oppressed groups are judged by the actions of any of their number. Therefore, ‘lies girls have told’ would also be problematic, because the implication is still there that all GIRLS lie like this. This is how we are treated. If you can look at these tweets and honestly see only someone saying ‘well, one person did this to me once’, rather than ‘girls are lying hoes’, it may be because you’re discounting the context.

Incidentally, although I believe the ‘girls’ version more serious because of oppression, I don’t approve of tweets characterising all men negatively either. I don’t believe negatively characterising a group of people is good, nor do I believe it fair to hold grudges against a whopping swathe of the population because of personal experience, or pretend that they are all like that.

Obviously, one can’t stop someone expressing such views, deplorable as they are. We need a #liesmisogyniststell if there is not already one. I don’t twitter, but anyone who does is free to use any of the below examples. I imagine it would go something like this:

#liesmisogyniststell: women aren’t really people.

#liesmisogyniststell: we already have equality. Now shut up and suck my dick already.

#liesmisogyniststell: I need to be a macho asshole to prove my heterosexuality to other men.

#liesmisogyniststell: Whether I’m heterosexual or not actually matters.

#liesmisogyniststell: Women exist for me to use and abuse.

#liesmisogyniststell: Every heterosexual man must enjoy degrading women sexually.

#liesmisogyniststell: All men are like me. To be misogynistic is to be a real man.

#liesmisogyniststell: I need to rate women’s fuckability to prove I’m a real man.

#liesmisogyniststell: A woman’s fuckability is the only thing that really matters.

#liesmisogyniststell: You fuck a slut to have fun, but you want to marry a nice virgin.

#liesmisogyniststell: Cheating makes me a real man.

#liesmisogyniststell: Men are just born like this. It’s science.

#liesmisogyniststell: if she’s wearing a short skirt, it’s not rape.

#liesmisogyniststell: if she’s slept with you before, it’s not rape.

#liesmisogyniststell: if she’s slept with anyone or everyone else, it’s not rape.

#liesmisogyniststell: if she doesn’t fight back enough, it’s not rape.

#liesmisogyniststell: if she isn’t my mother or sister, she’s fair game.

#liesmisogyniststell: I own my female family members, so they’re fair game, too.

#liesmisogyniststell: Women deserve ‘respect’, but only as long as they do whatever I want.

#liesmisogyniststell: if she doesn’t put out, she’s a lesbian/manhater/feminist.

#liesmisogyniststell: I can put any bitch in her place using my almighty penis.

#liesmisogyniststell: Feminists are just ugly women who can’t get laid.

#liesmisogyniststell: Feminists are just looking for something to get angry about.

#liesmisogyniststell: Feminists are always overreacting. This doesn’t really matter.

#liesmisogyniststell: It’s just a joke.

#liesmisogyniststell: I’m the oppressed one here.

#liesmisogyniststell: You’re taking away my freedom of speech! How dare you point out I’m being an asshole?

Feel free to come up with more…

Karen // Posted 30 May 2009 at 9:28 am

Hi Anne Onne, your list is brilliant!

viv // Posted 30 May 2009 at 10:03 am

todd micheal –

you neither understand a female’s concern about this crap, as you are not a female – nor are you personally appalled. if you truly were, you wouldn’t be using your personal offense as a preface for apologizing for misogynistic behavior.

Todd Michael Greene // Posted 31 May 2009 at 2:54 am

Wow Viv. I’m sorry I offended you. It was not my intent to offend anyone. You may not believe me, but what’s true is true regardless of one’s belief in it.

To all, I’ve read over my reply to the post and find nowhere that I apologized for the Twitter thread content. I didn’t start the thread, simply made the mistake of reading it. Stopped when I found the link to this post and never got back to it. There are a lot ‘trending topics’ on Twitter at times which trouble me. Threads about sex and alcohol, etc. I sometimes wonder if Twitter isn’t becoming the new MySpace, where one can’t go without being confronted with profanity, vulgarity and explicit sexual content. I’m so tried of logging on there and seeing I have friend requests from girls wanting me to watch them on their webcam for a monthly fee. I so tried of the singles adds with provocatively posed men or women. Believe this or not. It’s okay if you don’t.

Bal was able to better express the ‘general’ idea that I was trying to get across. The Twitter thread was about stereotypes and extremes. Appropriate? No. Of course not. If I ever overheard such comments being made to a woman or about a woman I would have to step in and defend said woman. Believe that or not also. Not all men are pigs or whatever derogatory term one wants to use. Thanks Ann for pointing this out. There are some decent men around. I hope I’m one of them. I’m certainly trying to be a good man. Learning more every day.

Viv, I’m personally offended that you think my statement of being appalled by much of the thread’s content is false. You do not know me. How dare anyone, me, you or whoever, assume to know how another feels or thinks. In my comment it was my intent to only offer a different view of how to respond to such things. I used words like ‘perhaps’. Trying to show my comment was not a declaration of truth. Just a suggestion. I even expressed that I could be wrong.

Which brings me to another point made by Ann. I know all about being an oppressed minority. I’m physically disabled and have been made fun of and discriminated against in some way my whole life. I would never assume to know how a woman feels when she reads such a thread as that in question. I don’t make such jokes and would never add to such. I was not trying to defend the thread comments or those who commented, for that matter. We all have our way of dealing with things that bother us. I’m bothered by the treatment I get as a physically disabled person. I could choose to rally the troops against the ignorance that causes the treatment. Perhaps I should. (again another indication I could be wrong) I just choose to take it with a grain of salt and a sense of humor. I even like so-called cruelty jokes about being disabled. I can laugh or cry. I choose to laught. I realize crimes like those mentioned in the Twitter thread are not to be taken lightly and I don’t. But I do take the stereotypical nature of the thread – however inappropriate – with a grain of salt.

I appreciate the original post that got this dialogue started. We’re all on our own journey of understanding and it’s talking it out and hearing other views that helps this process along.

I must say in closing I was I kind of surprised that some were negative to me and assume I’m a bad guy. Must of my friends are women. I’m 45. Never married. Rarely date. Women tend to find me a good listener and a caring person.

Guess I still have a lot of work to do in becoming a good guy.

Keef Lawler // Posted 31 May 2009 at 5:22 am

with each passing day, women are expected to fend for themselves ie. working in a prodominantly male environment, where as men are encouraged too get in touch with their femenine side.

yes, we are all equal, but this quest for equallity between the 2 genders is worsening relations every where, in the uk at least. a group of women to a man can b intimidating and vice versa. surely, each gender should instead learn more about what the other does, and respect that everyone has their place and should work together for the best possible outcome, instead of battling for control!!

in my experience, women dont want a nice guy, they want a complete dick too b nice too them. But then i’ve gone out with some right doozies.

But too make things even more complicated, we are only doing what was taught too us by our parents and peers.

The times have changed, and everyone is more selfish. All i know is this makes me sad. i can not beat them, but i will not join them!!!!

Anne Onne // Posted 1 June 2009 at 2:11 am

@ Todd: You’re not a ‘bad’ person. I don’t think anyone here would view you as such. However, just like you might find yourself feeling hurt if someone missed the point about an issue affecting disability rights, so people here may react sharply to someone coming and saying ‘this may not be so bad’ when it is very personal to them.

Being privileged in a particular way, or not ‘getting’ something never make a person ‘bad’ in themselves, especially if that person wants to understand. Sometimes we differ, sometime’s we don’t get it. As allies, the best course lies in trying to understand, in accepting that someone may be hurt by something we see as OK because it doesn’t affect us.

@ Keef: A group of women can be intimidating to men, true. However, How often do women gang rape men? How often do men fear rape by women? How often do men change their actions to ‘avvoid’ being raped? How often are they afraid to go out alone or wear what they want or flirt with a woman in case they are raped? How often are they murdered by partners or ex partners? In England and Wales, 2 women are killed a week by partners or ex partners on average. Rape, the threat of it as well as itself is a serious issue for women. It’s not that men are never raped or attacked, it’s that women and men are treated differently in society, especially where rape is concerned.

Both (or all) genders do NOT experience rape or the explicit or implicit threat or acceptance of rape in the same way. You just can’t compare it.

Lara // Posted 1 June 2009 at 2:06 pm

Brilliant twitter Anne Onne and well done for highlighting this. It isn’t harmless banter about lifestyle preferences – if it was I could see the joke – rape isn’t really something to post in a forum ‘what women lie about’ and whoever has posted that probably has some issues.

Have Your say

To comment, you must be registered with The F-Word. Not a member? Register. Already a member? Use the sign in button below

Sign in to the F-Word

Further Reading

Has The F-Word whet your appetite? Check out our Resources section, for listings of feminist blogs, campaigns, feminist networks in the UK, mailing lists, international and national websites and charities of interest.

Write for us!

Got something to say? Something to review? News to discuss? Well we want to hear from you! Click here for more info

  • The F-Word on Twitter
  • The F-Word on Facebook
  • Our XML Feeds