Women, Sports, and Social Media in today's world

InsideTheParker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,386
Pioneer Valley
Apparently two female sports journalists from the Chicago area have gone public about the abuse heaped on them by fans. I haven't watched the video, just read the article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/29/sports/more-than-mean-women-journalists-julie-dicaro-sarah-spain.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

I had heard the stories of the women who came before me and what they had to go through to cover sports. Journalists like Lisa Olson, who had been with The Boston Herald. In 1990, she said she had been harassed in the locker room while covering the New England Patriots. What followed her accusations was brutal: Death threats. Slashed tires. Naked blow-up “Lisa” dolls tossed around the stands at games. Her apartment was burglarized. In the end, she had to move to Australia to get away from the abuse.

So the notes I received from creepy readers didn’t seem so bad at all. This, I thought, was the deal for women in sports. I had been an athlete. You had to be tough to make it. I could take it.

Men got mean notes, too, I was told. But as far as I can tell, none of the notes my male colleagues have ever received are laced with sexual connotations.

I’m pretty sure that any man who wrote about the rape accusations against the former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston didn’t receive reader emails saying he would be raped because of his opinion, as I did. He probably didn’t get an email from a man who said he wanted to line him and other men like him against a wall so he could shoot them all in the head.
 
Last edited:

soxfan121

JAG
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
23,043
The video is ... hard to watch. I would not be able to read those tweets TO those women. It is very uncomfortable.

I hate how women who like sports are treated on twitter. DiCaro is a great follow, very funny, and a real fan - but holy crap some of the stuff that gets tweeted at her in the middle of the 6th inning of a random Cubs game is not just disturbing, it's upsetting.

Like, this:


However, through the nearly endless rape threats and mean tweets, she manages to put out quality content like this:


Here's the video:
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
27,380
Maui
This was incredibly depressing and painful to watch. It made me very angry and brought tears to my eyes.
 

CantKeepmedown

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,708
Portland, ME
Jesus, that was tough to watch. Not sure I could have sat there and read those tweets.

These are the 2 women that D&C said need to toughen up? I'd love if Gerry's daughter got into sports and had to deal with this. I wonder how he'd deal with that?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
Nov 17, 2010
10,590
This was incredibly depressing and painful to watch. It made me very angry and brought tears to my eyes.
Same. Didn't expect to tear up.

Although If someone sent Haggerty the tweet, "I hope a puck hits you in the head and kills you", I'd probably nod in agreement.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
10,425
Maine
Jesus, that was tough to watch. Not sure I could have sat there and read those tweets.

These are the 2 women that D&C said need to toughen up? I'd love if Gerry's daughter got into sports and had to deal with this. I wonder how he'd deal with that?
Getting "into sports" isn't really even necessary. This shit happens to women no matter their interests or occupation or even their level of celebrity. Fuck, they don't even have to be a "celebrity" at all. Sometimes all it takes is participating in a conversation on Twitter or Facebook or a comment thread.
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2002
20,684
So I'll dissent a bit.

The video is impactful, but I don't think the problem is the guys in those chairs. They aren't tweeting about hate fucking women reporters or women anyone. This message will get to those types of guys who tweet that way and they will just call the guys in the video pussies or cocksuckers or n* and move on with their lives without a second thought. And the guys in the chairs, maybe they are slightly more aware, and sure in terms of the overall attitude toward women online and in social media it might chip away a few stones and any progress is worth it. But, like the street harassment video from last year, this isn't going to really change the attitudes of the people that do it.

So, yes, it makes us feel bad that people have to go through this, and it triggers our empathy for women which is great. But, unless a bunch of "good" guys see this video and take up the fight against this shit I doubt the overall problem changes much.
 

8slim

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
12,428
Unreal America
So I'll dissent a bit.

The video is impactful, but I don't think the problem is the guys in those chairs. They aren't tweeting about hate fucking women reporters or women anyone. This message will get to those types of guys who tweet that way and they will just call the guys in the video pussies or cocksuckers or n* and move on with their lives without a second thought. And the guys in the chairs, maybe they are slightly more aware, and sure in terms of the overall attitude toward women online and in social media it might chip away a few stones and any progress is worth it. But, like the street harassment video from last year, this isn't going to really change the attitudes of the people that do it.

So, yes, it makes us feel bad that people have to go through this, and it triggers our empathy for women which is great. But, unless a bunch of "good" guys see this video and take up the fight against this shit I doubt the overall problem changes much.
It's probably worth trying though, right?
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2002
20,684
I didn't say it wasn't worth doing or was a waste of time.

But, the message they present is "we wouldn't say these words, so let's not type them." But the types of guys who are typing those words are the ones who need to sit in the chair.

Again, my point wasn't to say that it's not a message worth having out there, and it's worth it if just .01% of the douchebag population repents and stops being douchebags.
 
Last edited:

InsideTheParker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,386
Pioneer Valley
The thing I don't understand is whether or not men writing these things just dislike women, dislike women poking their noses into men's business, or just speak or write hatefully to both sexes, tailoring their attacks to the sexual for women, because that is a special way of hurting them and/or frightening them out of their jobs .Perhaps it is some of each. I have zero insights into this, because I don't know men like this and Sosh is the most social I get on the internet.
 

JimBoSox9

will you be my friend?
SoSH Member
Nov 1, 2005
16,532
Mid-surburbia
The thing I don't understand is whether or not men writing these things just dislike women, dislike women poking their noses into men's business, or just speak or write hatefully to both sexes, tailoring their attacks to the sexual for women, because that is a special way of hurting them and/or frightening them out of their jobs .Perhaps it is some of each. I have zero insights into this, because I don't know men like this and Sosh is the most social I get on the internet.
There were some good thoughts posted on this in the GamerGate/TotalBiscuit thread and maybe elsewhere previously. Myself, I do think there is a specific phenomenon aimed specifically at women from men, and in a nutshell I think it's because young American men are largely sold a bill of goods on how desirability and courtship work, and are basically acting out of a horrifically extreme version of sexual frustration.
 

Kliq

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 31, 2013
9,499
I've had people straight up threaten to kill me because of things I have wrote on the internet--about pro wrestling. The internet is such an incredible cesspool of hateful human beings that spend an extraordinary amount of time spreading hate to innocent people who are often times just doing their job. I was not surprised in the least with some of the things that were said to these women. Some of the less evolved members of our society are sports fans, and social media gives them a forum to directly attack innocent people.

I didn't say it wasn't worth doing or was a waste of time.

But, the message they present is "we wouldn't say these words, so let's not type them." But the types of guys who are typing those words are the ones who need to sit in the chair.

Again, my point wasn't to say that it's not a message worth having out there, and it's worth it if just .01% of the douchebag population repents and stops being douchebags.
Unfortunately I think you are right. It is the same thing with a lot of causes out there (End Child Abuse, Stop Body Shaming, etc) that get put on wrist bands and T-shirts and people sign petitions. Terrible human beings who abuse their spouse probably don't care that some person is wearing a wrist band that says that, if they cared about right and wrong they wouldn't be doing the act in the first place.
 

soxfan121

JAG
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
23,043
The thing I don't understand is whether or not men writing these things just dislike women, dislike women poking their noses into men's business, or just speak or write hatefully to both sexes, tailoring their attacks to the sexual for women, because that is a special way of hurting them and/or frightening them out of their jobs .Perhaps it is some of each. I have zero insights into this, because I don't know men like this and Sosh is the most social I get on the internet.
I think JimBoSox9 points at one aspect, and answers one small part of your question.

More generally, the anonymity of the internet seems to have given some users license to act like there are no consequences for their actions. I know I've said things on this board I would not say "to their face". I've had things said to me that I know wouldn't be said were we in the same room, having an argument about sports. So, part of this isn't even gender related - it is just how people treat each other when there are no immediate consequences, and "the heat of the moment".

But I think some men DO "tailor" attacks to women because there are men who do not believe women are equal. There are men out there who believe women are inferior and therefore should be treated differently - and worse. Not to speak for @Blacken, but I think that's part of what was underlying his - absolutely correct - edit to my statement above. There are, unfortunately, men who think women should "be seen and not heard" and all that implies. Old school, virulent sexism based on an (incorrect) feeling of superiority.

But, unless a bunch of "good" guys see this video and take up the fight against this shit I doubt the overall problem changes much.
FWIW, I've had some conversations with DiCaro and other women-involved-in-sports about this, and I think they would agree with you.

Which is why I'm happy we're having this conversation. Because I plan to be more pro-active about "calling out" the bad behavior I see. I hope I can "take up the fight" and push back against sexist behavior and to lend my support to bringing this up - not just shaking my head and muttering "asshole" and letting it pass by.

I think SoSH is, largely, filled with "good guys" and we've taken steps in the right direction it wasn't too long ago that this battle was fought on this board and in Backwash. So as "we" - the good guys of SoSH - spend less time here and more time on twitter, etc. we can help make a difference, even a small difference.

Unfortunately I think you are right. It is the same thing with a lot of causes out there (End Child Abuse, Stop Body Shaming, etc) that get put on wrist bands and T-shirts and people sign petitions. Terrible human beings who abuse their spouse probably don't care that some person is wearing a wrist band that says that, if they cared about right and wrong they wouldn't be doing the act in the first place.
Yeah. You are also correct. Direct action is sometimes necessary. One of my best friends was arrested for domestic violence a few years ago - he called me to bail him out. I did not. We haven't spoken since.

Women's shelters always need donations. Common household items are needed. Spring cleaning at my house is a chance to give more to charities who do directly support ancillary causes.

I'm also at a loss as to how I can do more. I want to do more. I wish I knew how we could do more.

We can talk about it here, right? We can keep bumping this thread and asking people to watch the video. And we can be "good guys", right?

Tell me what else to do, and I'll do it. This shit has got to get better.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
5,412
I've had people straight up threaten to kill me because of things I have wrote on the internet--about pro wrestling. The internet is such an incredible cesspool of hateful human beings that spend an extraordinary amount of time spreading hate to innocent people who are often times just doing their job. I was not surprised in the least with some of the things that were said to these women. Some of the less evolved members of our society are sports fans, and social media gives them a forum to directly attack innocent people.



Unfortunately I think you are right. It is the same thing with a lot of causes out there (End Child Abuse, Stop Body Shaming, etc) that get put on wrist bands and T-shirts and people sign petitions. Terrible human beings who abuse their spouse probably don't care that some person is wearing a wrist band that says that, if they cared about right and wrong they wouldn't be doing the act in the first place.
The anonymous nature of internet commenting means that at some point everyone can be harassed by a complete stranger over immensely trivial things. People say things just because they know they can get away with it. And they're not looking in someones face with a camera aimed at them like in this video. It's not just women, look at any comment board or forum. We have moderators here, and so things don't devolve that often, but un-moderated or lightly moderated corners of the internet (and twitter and instagram count as very lightly moderated formats) devolve into ugliness pretty quickly. If you put yourself out there whether you're a man or woman on a lightly moderated format, you're going to get hateful ugly things back. It's terrible, but it's the nature of the beast. If your dad dies, and you post about it, you will get compassionate responses from people. You'll also get terrible hateful things from trolls. Even if your dad is Robin Williams. If you can wade through the bad and appreciate the good, then it's worth it. If you can't handle the negatives, you need to find a better moderated platform. Which is tough for people like reporters, because twitter now seems to be part of their jobs. But if enough people flee those platforms, maybe someone will come up with one that is less hate filled.
 

PBDWake

Member
SoSH Member
May 1, 2008
3,475
Peabody, MA
QUOTE="InsideTheParker, post: 1672349, member: 3150"]The thing I don't understand is whether or not men writing these things just dislike women, dislike women poking their noses into men's business, or just speak or write hatefully to both sexes, tailoring their attacks to the sexual for women, because that is a special way of hurting them and/or frightening them out of their jobs .Perhaps it is some of each. I have zero insights into this, because I don't know men like this and Sosh is the most social I get on the internet.[/QUOTE]

It's a little bit of everything. The internet provides an echo chamber for entitled, hateful people. It's certainly not strictly limited to women. Arguably the most dangerous activity that the internet engages in, swatting, takes place to both men and women (although many times when it hits men, it hits men who support women). But there is a very different tone and effectiveness to attacks on women that is particularly deplorable. There are levels of pent up rage I can't pretend to understand that come out when some men talk about women. Most of it comes from self proclaimed nice guys. Almost all of it comes from guys who think that if they're not getting laid, it's because there's something wrong with the woman that they can't accurately see what they have to offer.

I've been told on the internet that someone was going to kick my ass, someone was going to kill me, that people hoped I got cancer, that they were going to find my house and light it on fire, etc. But none of that really registered to me. I can let it roll off my back because that's not something that is a part of my life. But on some level, almost every woman has to deal with a level of sexual aggression from men. And so when a guy makes a threat of sexual violence against a woman, it's a lot more of a real concern in their every day life than someone who claims they're going to slash my tires. It will also likely be a lot more resonant to a lot of women with a painful memory than someone who tells me he's going to cut my balls off.
 

mauidano

Mai Tais for everyone!
SoSH Member
Aug 21, 2006
27,380
Maui

Marciano490

Urological Expert
SoSH Member
Nov 4, 2007
34,999
Two things - yeah male posters get attacked and harassed and threatened, too, even here but it starts with a conflict over opinion or content. No male plater says "Xander had a nice night last night" and gets replies threatening him.

As for why, it's got to be a power thing right? Not just the projected power of the rape fantasy - the I could have her even if she doesn't want me. But the power that you see at the end of relationships often. The think of me. Deal with me. Feel my presence in your life type power.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
4,221
I know it will likely never happen, but the social media sites need to start taking responsibility for their users. I've used the "report post" feature on Facebook a few times for comments that go over the line and a few have been taken down, but there needs to be more accountability for the hosting site that continually allows its users to post horrible, horrible things. I think if you report a post that's racist, misogynist, etc., the site needs to start a counter for that user that, once it reaches a certain number (within a certain span of time, maybe, since everyone has a bad day every now and again), flags that user's profile for automatic deletion and blocks the IP address. It may infringe on first ammendment rights a bit, but the way I see it these sites are like any other club or organization or, to be more relevant, message board: if you don't follow the rules, you're gone and that's that. Maybe they can institute am incremental system of suspensions (one day after three offenses, a week after another three, a month after two more, etc.) where the margin of tolerance exponentially decreases while the level of punishment increases in kind. At some point, you earn a lifetime ban.

These sites, especially the likes of Facebook and Twitter, are businesses, so maybe they should start doing the same thing certain other sites do and require new members to put a credit card on file that, while it may never be charged, allows them to cut through the anonymity a bit to know exactly who to go after if DeezNuttz69 posts some screed about Muslims or something. And if they implement any kind of system like the one I detailed above, anyone who is a member already will have to put a card on file as part of the reinstatement proceedings. That way people will find it much more difficult to circumvent any IP bans by using public computers or posting anonymous comments on blog posts or videos.

But even if they never take it to that limit (and I can see all the business-related reasons they wouldn't), other users need to stop trying to engage/feed the trolls and just start reporting them when they cross the line. And people who get butthurt over dissenting views on politics and sports also need to be held responsible for abusing a feature that's meant to deal with the real dreck out there, but that's a whole 'nother issue. Either way, eliminating the forum for the horrible humans out there to spew their shit will make it that much harder for them to shit in everyone's corn flakes on a regular basis.

I don't know if it would be possible for any of that to happen, but it would be the only real way to stop things from happening any kind of regularly. It requires common sense and logic to win out over laziness and, to an extent, greed, though.
 

johnmd20

literally like ebola
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Dec 30, 2003
37,774
New York City
Twitter is particularly bad. It's a little harder to hide yourself on Facebook. Twitter is just random accounts. There really needs to be a meatier way to dissuade people from posting threats. Like, perma ban. Because, obviously, expecting people to not be ugly is asking too much. Even on a site like this there are bullies who lambast and browbeat other people, but it's done without racism or physical threats, so it stands.

So this is a thing that won't be settled easily because when you're behind a keyboard, it's so much easier to be an asshole.