Are men oppressing women or are women oppressing women?
Kaitlyn Bristowe, ABC’s eleventh Bachelorette, has become the latest high-profile target of Twitter trolling. She was deluged with messages calling her a “slut” and a “whore” when she broke one of the dating contest’s unwritten rules by sleeping with a male contestant before the final stages – and then talking about it.
Predictably, media coverage has framed Bristowe as the victim of that old canard, internet misogyny. “Sexism is alive and well,” said Vocativ. “The sentiments behind the tweets are clear,” wrote The Huffington Post’s senior women’s editor: “You’re a woman and you acted in a way that I don’t like, so stop talking and stop existing.”
But was this really another horde of misogynist men attacking an innocent damsel in distress? Of course not. It doesn’t even pass the most basic common sense check: only 24 per cent of the Bachelorette‘s audience is male. And a brief glance through some of the tweets sent to Bristowe also cast doubt on the “evil men” narrative. I mean, see for yourself.
— Cheryl Olles (@cher825) July 7, 2015
— Lynn DP (@LynnD_P) July 7, 2015
— Tara Perry (@TaraPerry4) June 23, 2015
— KT (@_katiemaxwell) June 23, 2015
These tweets shouldn’t surprise us. Women are alarmingly quick to grab for the proverbial weave, and just like a real-world catfight, dirty tactics are the norm – as is foul, sexualised and degrading language.
Research from the Demos think tank has found that women are just as likely, if not more so, to use words like “slut” and “whore” as terms of abuse directed at women. Yet the media continues to present these stories as male-on-female cruelty, when the situation is, to say the least, more complicated than that.
Read more: Breitbart