“Douche bag republican.” Read one comment.
“Bitter old hag.” Read another.
“Cunt.” Read a third.
There are hundreds of dedicated Facebook groups supporting Hillary Clinton for president. The excitement over electing the first woman floods through the pages with posts about Hillary’s accomplishments, opposing candidates and top issues like women’s rights. Members of these groups are Democrats: we’re activists, progressives and feminists; however, there is an underlying tone of misogyny and sexism tarnishing the very thing we are fighting for.
Read the comments under any post about Jane Sanders, Susan Sarandon, Melania Trump or Andrea Mitchell and you will find blatantly sexist comments from a few slimy members.
When someone attempts to reason with these folks about their language, they pushed-back. The slimers preach about their freedom of speech, the “overuse of political correctness” and the “actual definition” of these word. They are laughably wrong. And we all know it.
There is an entire dictionary of misogynistic words that degrade, belittle and define women as inferior. The use of this language is just as harmful and intolerable as racism, homophobia and xenophobia. We should be just as harsh in banning the former as we are the latter. These words should not be part of our vocabulary.
My argument is not to stop disagreeing with what a woman says; its to stop treating us differently for what we say. I disagree with almost everything Jane Sanders and Susan Sarandon say but I can express my disagreement without using misogynistic language. I ask we treat women as we do men. There is a very clear, very definite line between equality and misogyny that we need to acknowledge, respect and defend.
I am the co-admin of a Pro-Hillary group with 10,000 members. We have a zero tolerance policy for misogyny and sexism. We delete every single misogynistic comment, ban repeat offenders (sometimes first time offenders) and actively remind members of this policy. The group is hugely supportive and respectful of this policy.
I have though received PM’s from a few men I’ve banned calling me a whore and a controlling bitch. I’ve been told I’m censoring and taking away their right to free speech.
My response? You’re damn right I’m going to delete any comment with language that defines a class of people as inferior. Impeding on your free speech? This group is dedicated to Hillary Clinton, not Trump, we don’t allow bigotry directed at any person; post it on your own page. As for the whore, bitch and controlling comments…thanks for confirming your misogyny. I made the right move.
We have elected 44 men and not a single woman to the presidency because of misogyny. Part of our fight to elect Hillary is also the fight against misogyny. The two are not inseparable.
If you use misogynistic language, you define women as inferior. If you are progressive, if you are a feminist, if you support Hillary you do not tolerate misogynistic language.
So the next time someone posts a sexist comment about a woman, no matter how much we disagree with her statements or beliefs, address it. Is she wrong? Maybe. A whore or a bitch? Never. This change starts with you.