As a result of the many available platforms of social media, an array of messages and posts may be shared. Although many people use these media platforms in a positive way, some choose to use them as a medium to convey toxic and disrespectful messages to others.
This is particularly evident in relation to the various misogynistic comments and posts evident on these sites. This highlights the importance of removing such content from these platforms, due to the large number of individuals who may be impacted by such messages.
The following examples demonstrate the various misogynistic comments and posts present on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The aim of this brief is to not only call on the public to report such messages and posts when they arise, but to also call on the social media platforms themselves, to remove such misogynistic messages when they are first published.
The following examples depict misogynistic hate published on Facebook. Here, particular attention should be drawn to the comments themselves which have been posted in response to another user’s status or post.
Example 1: Rape and ‘asking for it’
The above image captures a Facebook status repelling the idea that women ask to be raped due to the choice of their clothes. Instead, the user submits the real issue is the individual who views women as being ‘dressed like a slut’ – stating those who believe this ‘think like a rapist’. This conveys the notion that no matter the clothing women decide to wear, they should not be subject to such misogynistic views that their clothing defines their sexual wants or wishes.
The post has gained much attention, receiving over 2,100 thousand likes, over 15,000 shares and over 280 comments, with many comments also receiving further replies. Although many have agreed with the author’s message as evidenced through comments such as ‘truth’, many have also responded with messages displaying misogynistic hate and rejecting the authors notion.
The two examples below highlight some of the responses the above status has received.
This comment is seen to justify rape by stating ‘sex is better if she’s crying’. This comment seems to make a mockery out of rape, showing no empathy towards those who have been victims of such a crime and the array of emotions such a comment would cause if seen by them.
This comment is an example of the misogynistic hate the above status has received. The response states women ‘dress like [sluts] cause they wanna get raped’, which strongly demonstrates a message of hate directed towards women. Such a message would likely to incite feelings of anger or disgust in many individuals as rape should not be justified under any circumstances, but further feelings of distress and other like emotions, may be experienced by rape victims as a result of coming across this comment. Such a comment therefore, should be immediately removed to prevent such feelings from being felt by other Facebook users who choose to positively use the site.
Example 2: Comments in response to feminist posts
The Facebook group Feminist Fight club, followed by over 64,000 users, regularly publishes material which aims to promote equality between male and females, by educating people on a range of issues which women have endured over the years. The post above depicts an image of a woman holding a sign stating, ‘equal positions with equal pay’. This is aimed at drawing attention to ‘gender discrimination in the workplace’, with particular emphasis on the pay gap between the sexes, implying both men and women of the same employment position should receive equal pay. The caption accompanying the post aims to educate viewers on the history of ‘real-life feminist fight clubs’.
The post attracted 90 likes (including reactions) as well as 53 comments and 31 shares. However, not all comments supported the idea the page was conveying.
The above image depicts an example of one of the comments the above post by Feminist Fight Club has received, which displays misogynistic hate. The user redacted in black is seen to convey misogynistic hate, stating the group ‘forgot about equal brains’. This comment implies men have a higher intelligence than females.
When confronted about their misogynistic message, the author quickly relied upon the physical appearance of the woman shown in the post, sexually objectifying her, further displaying misogyny as he stated, ‘but her breasts are miles better’.
Example 3: Further comments in relation to feminist posts
The above image further depicts a post published by the Feminist Fight Club. The caption accompanying the image highlights an extract of a book published in 1949, called ‘Bosses Pet Peeves’. The extract highlights characteristics which were listed as pet peeves in the book, including being ‘too bossy [or] too emotional’ or ‘not ladylike enough’. Reference to this book by the Feminist Fight Club aimed to demonstrate how far women have come in society and to promote positivity about this change in the workplace. However, the below comment demonstrates an example of yet another misogynistic message made in response to their posts.
The comment shows disrespect towards women, implying that in order to be a ‘super secretary’ they must merely agree with the men in charge and ‘present their bottoms for a good pat on their rumps’. Further, the reference to a female bottom as a piece of meat, shows further disrespect and highlights hate directed at females through sexual objectification.
The social media platform Twitter also presents issues relating to misogynistic hate demonstrated through the many messages published on their site.
Example 1: The characteristics a woman should hold
The above tweet depicts the author’s view on the characteristics a woman should and should not hold in order to satisfy and ‘keep a man’. This tweet has gained 684 retweets and 3,300 likes, highlighting the number of users the misogynistic post has reached.
He demonstrates his views in 6 ‘simple’ steps. These steps focus upon the traditional female stereotypes as well as sexually objectifying women. Through these steps, the author demonstrates misogynistic views and implies a woman’s role is ultimately to please a male. Through this view, he fails to understand a woman should not live her life and change herself purely to serve a male.
Example 2: Sexually objectifying women
In this example, Kayleigh McEnany – national press secretary for Donald Trump was the target of misogynistic hate. A Twitter user replied to her tweet, by posting an image of herself accompanied by an image of a blowup doll. The placement of both images side by side together with similar hair colour and posing, aims to draw a comparison between Kayleigh and a sexual toy, ultimately sexually objectifying her. This thereby demonstrates a form of misogynistic hate which should not be tolerated.
When confronted by another user who called the author of the hateful comparison ‘#misogynist’, the author further displayed misogyny by focusing upon women’s mental abilities, claiming the doll ‘CLEARLY has more intelligence’. This comment not only shows disrespect towards women, but also belittles them as the author degrades their mental capabilities and intelligence.
Example 3: Rape views and degrading women
This is another example of the harmful, misogynistic comments which are present on Twitter. The above tweets are all written by the same user who clearly holds disturbing views towards women. The first tweet refers to their view on rape, stating men should be able to engage in sexual activity with their wife ‘at any time’, regardless of this going against their wife’s wishes, as the author believes an individual cannot rape their wife
The second tweet refers to women in power, stating women should not hold high positions – such as those in politics, as ‘they should never be allowed to be in charge’. This demonstrates their misogynistic views that only men should hold high ranking positions, displaying a very outdated view which was consistently seen in the past.
The above tweet is also written by the same user. Again, they demonstrate misogynistic hate by submitting that women do not hold any rights as they ‘need to realise they’re property’, implying they are objects to be owned by men. This also ties in with their last sentence which states ‘women should never speak out of turn’. This implies women must behave and monitor what they say, thereby rejecting their right to be free in articulating their thoughts and views if they are seen to be out of line.
Referring to women as ‘shit stains’ further demonstrates disrespect as the author’s use of words is seen to degrade women through this reference.
The social media platform Instagram, is another example of the mediums individuals can use to project their misogynistic views onto others. Below are two examples of forms of misogynistic hate found on Instagram.
Example 1: Downplay of rape
“Its Feminism” is an Instagram page which publishes posts aimed at empowering women to be comfortable within themselves and provides a space where individuals are able to discuss important matters relating to feminism. The page currently has 1663 posts and over 504,000 followers.
The above image displays a post published by the page, referring to an image on the left, which relates to rape and the important message that ‘no, does not mean convince me’. Although the post received positive feedback with 39,928 likes, such feminist pages found on the internet are regularly seen to also receive misogynistic responses. Particular attention should be focused on the comment ‘will you buy me this hand-bag? No. BUT PLEASEEEEEEE’. Here, the author compares the serious offence of rape, with saying no to buying a material object. This is seen to downplay the seriousness of rape, implying that women should also know the meaning of ‘no’, especially in relation to shopping (which stereotypically, all women love to do).
Example 2: Domestic abuse
The above image displays another post published by the Instagram page “Its Feminism”, which depicts a tweet relating to the issue of domestic violence. The post emphasises the importance of identifying and becoming aware of ‘the absolute first sign of violent/manipulative/controlling behaviour’ and leaving the relationship once such signs become evident, regardless if such behaviour is from their husband.
However, the first comment displayed in the above image makes reference to a sexist stereotype surrounding women in the kitchen. This comment has no relevance to the post and therefore was merely published in order to publicise the authors misogynistic views.
The second comment published by a different individual, also demonstrates misogynistic hate as they simply state women should ‘choose a partner properly’ to avoid domestic abuse. This comment shifts the blame onto the victim, implying if women are victims of domestic violence, they have themselves to blame as they should have been aware this would have occurred.
Example 2: Women serving their man
The Instagram account ‘Blk_Chauvinist’ regularly publishes sexist and anti-feminism posts, which aims to distribute and encourage misogynistic messages on Instagram. The account’s aim is further exemplified through the name chosen for the account. Thus, the main objective of this page is to generate hate projected towards women.
The above image depicts a post published by Bl_Chauvinist which highlights a women’s supposed ‘three basic responsibilities in a relationship’. These responsibilities all centre around the notion that women must serve their man, thereby highlighting misogynistic hate due to emphasising inequality between sexes. The account further displays this view by stating women who do not engage in these responsibilities must then hold ‘alternative motives’ for the relationship.
Finally, YouTube also evidences misogyny with the below examples highlighting the many comments published in response to YouTube videos, with particular emphasis on sexually objectifying women.
Example 1: Sexually objectifying women
Corinna Kopf – an American Youtuber, posts many YouTube videos to her 1.7 million subscribers. These videos include videos about her life, beauty and fashion videos among many others. However, like many other female Youtubers, she is also subject to misogynistic comments published in response to her videos. These comments highlight that YouTube is also a platform where individuals misogynistic views and hate can be projected onto others in a nasty and disrespectful manner.
Below are two examples of the comments published on Corinna’s video which highlight the misogynistic hate she has received.
Both comments display misogyny as they show blatant disrespect towards Corinna by sexually objectifying her based on her physical appearance. These comments are among many published on her videos, highlighting the number of these messages present on YouTube. In relation to the first comment, although this comment was made 2 months ago, it has still not been removed, highlighting YouTube’s need to better monitor misogynistic comments to avoid the effects it may cause to the individuals they are directed towards, as well as those indirectly impacted.
Example 2: Sexually objectifying women
Australian influencer – Allie Auton, is also similarly subjected to misogynistic hate. With over 64,700 subscribers, her channel is based around health, fitness and lifestyle, with many of her videos being sponsored by brands in order to promote their products. Below depicts an example of the misogynistic hate she also receives on YouTube.
This is yet another example of the sexual objectification and disrespect many women on YouTube face based on their physical appearance. This highlights the further importance for YouTube to take down such comments when they arise to ensure the site is a safe space for all users.
Example 3: Sexually objectifying women
Fitness influencer Katya Elise Henry, makes a living from posting fitness related content to her 368,000 subscribers. However, she also receives misogynistic hate on her YouTube videos, with the below comment being an example of many.
This comment clearly displays sexual objectification and disrespect, based solely on her physical appearance.
The Growing Problem of Misogyny on Social Media
The examples used in this briefing highlight the growing problem surrounding misogyny with online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Due to this issue, particular attention must focus on the need to monitor and address these comments. Such comments need to be removed quickly and efficiently, to minimise the number of individuals reached by such misogynistic messages.
Researched & Written by: Lauren LC
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This article is part of our May 2020 campaign to Stop Online Misogyny. We are currently running a fundraiser to expand our June 2020 campaign to tackle online Antisemitism. The full plan for our campaigns in 2020 can be seen here.