Tag Archives: sexism

Lucky to be born a white male

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The Internet – a place in which people around the world can communicate. There has always been an issue about the freedom that the internet provides. The anonymity of posting and responding to any comment that someone has made – changing the idea of ‘creative criticism’ to outright abuse.

Lucky to be born a male; any abuse made would be quite different when having an opinion, compared to that of a women. The internet is being used as a tool for the possible ‘suppressed’ misogynist that is present in the average male. The faceless interactions, lack of regulation and the inability to do anything by the target, leads to a public outcry. Brought to our attention is the website ‘The Anti-Bogan’ which highlights the offensive and abusive messages said by Australians to other Australians. Is there a transition, a ‘fine line’ from when free speech becomes hate speech?

Looking at the difference between the abuse that men receive compared to the abuse women receive over the internet is of some concern. Women are more common to get abusive messages relating to sexual acts, either by rape (human, animal or object), mutation of sexual organs or the accusation of being ‘whores’, ‘sluts’ and ‘slags’, for example (the abuse isn’t always just from men).

A majority of the internet exacerbates the issue of sexism, such as through humour with the following e-cards and memes:

sexist ecard

sexist meme

There seems to still be an inequality when it comes to certain issues, much like the case of women on the internet, the specific sexual abusive messages that they receive and the portrayal of women on social media.

When does the abuse become too much to handle for an individual? The female personalities on the internet need to be aware of certain opinions that may fuel a ‘flame war’, which could easily get off topic – changing from creative criticism to just abuse.

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Sensitivity and Memes in the Public Sphere!

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Warning: May contain Offensive Material!

When there is a topic that needs to be talked about, where do you go? To the ‘Public Sphere’ – an area, such as a coffee house, for discussion about controversial issues, news or debates. The idea of a Public Sphere gives people the opportunity to converse in a social setting, face-to-face about topics discussed  in media, this has changed to due to the introduction of the internet.

The internet allows for anyone in the world to gather at specific websites such as Tumblr, Facebook and Reddit, to give an opinion on any information that they so choose. The Public Sphere has become a much less face-to-face interaction but a bigger, more social one, thus changing the need for mediation with-in the “Public Sphere”. The websites mentioned have all mediated themselves in some way, usually by having rules – restricting adult content to certain forums or not allowing any at all, placing certain content into categories and allowing certain people to post or the introduction of Moderators to patrol forums to enforce the rules. There are certain aspects of the internet that can’t be mediated as they are produced by users, yet no one can justify owning the content, I am talking about Memes – a short picture, phrase or a combination that spreads around the internet.

I love strawberries BCM110

The above picture, to me anyway, is nothing more than a turtle eating a strawberry with the written words “OH MY GOD, I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!!” as to represent the feelings of the turtle as to show both the cuteness of the turtle in something so absurd but also to express the similar feel that a human can. It is something anyone can relate to by enjoying/liking something very much.

In contrast to the comedic aspect of personifying a turtle’s affection eating a strawberry, there are other memes that bring controversy, such as:

controversy meme BCM110

The above meme, and many others, bring controversy to any place that it is posted. One can be disgusted by looking at a failing attempt at humour on the touchy subject of rape. To produce a picture like this, but to also include the line “It’s not rape. If she really didn’t want to, she’d have said something”, to express the idea if women can not voice her objection, then it is not rape.

When it comes to this meme it brings up the controversy and debate of rape and women oppression against the freedom of speech on the internet. What is considered humour? Can every area of the internet be mediated? Do controversial memes hurt anyone? Are memes used to point fun at sensitive issues or to bring them up and get people to talk?

When there is no claim to creation but a reason for the creation in the first place, it would be easier to just avoid what is portrayed but then conversation and understanding would not ever happen.