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Misogyny Run Rampant

Misogyny Run Rampant

I’m feeling a bit depressed this morning.  It’s March and we are supposed to be celebrating the strides that women have made, yet, right now it feels like things suck.  I’m hearing some horrific stories of how women are being treated in the entertainment business.  I see crazy stuff happening on the campaign trail where candidates say they want to get rid of Planned Parenthood and roll back other advances made for women.  And don’t get me started on the Sandra Fluke/Rush Limbaugh stuff.  That makes my head want to explode.

I woke up this morning to a couple of more misogynistic comments on my site.  I didn’t delete them (I have deleted ones in the past) because, hopefully, some of you will decide to talk back to these trolls.  I’ve had trolls before and I am used to it, but it still stings.  It takes a real effort to comment on a post.  And these guys usually never use their names.  I know I should have a tougher skin — and my skin has become calloused — but the comments are never about the writing (or my grammatical errors) they are always about women and how women want to take over the world and how we should just shut up.  And today’s brilliant genius compared feminism to Nazism.  That’s never fun.

And I also woke up this morning to some really vicious tweets and comments directed at the English writer Allison Pearson (I Don’t Know How She Does It and I Think I Love Him) in response to a piece she wrote in the Telegraph on gentleman who has “locked-in” syndrome and wants to die.  Many people disagreed with Ms. Pearson’s position which is legitimate, but she was called a c**t by comedian Doug Stanhope.  He decided that disagreeing with her point of view made her a c**t.  And his vitriol has unleashed widespread vitriol in the comments.  Disagree like adults.  Shaming and demeaning women is dangerous.

We are in deeply troubled times where women are in trouble and hated and treated poorly just for being women.  I saw a work in progress documentary last night A Quiet Inquistition about abortion laws in Central America.  The movie was terrifying.  Women sentenced for 25 years in jail for a miscarriage because there is no trust in women.  Women allowed to die from septic shock because the laws are so strict that there are no exceptions to save the life of a mother.

And the scary part is that there are laws like that coming to the US.

So I plead for civility.  I ask that we all think before calling people names — women and men.   Calling a woman a bitch or a c**t is unacceptable even when women do it.  We all get caught up in it, but it really is up to us to break this cycle.  I just can’t even begin to imagine what kids are processing when they see adults acting like jerks all the time. 

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I agree 100% with this post. Sadly, there are a lot of girls out there that think there is no longer any need for Feminism and want nothing to do with it. They are even embarrassed to be associated with that word.

Gender studies needs to be a REQUIREMENT in all public schools and public universities and colleges. Because the youth of today is clueless.


Oops. I meant to type "go to men" not "go to me." Wishful thinking I guess.


What drives me nuts is when men on industry blogs whine about how quotas are taking away their jobs. Look, guys: 85 percent of writing gigs and nearly 95 percent of directing gigs to to me. So if you can't get hired, that means AT BEST you're in the bottom 5 – 15 percent. And many of you are simply not good enough.


I hear you, sister! I think these "men" need to shut up! It's not just men being jerks though, a WOMAN told me I should have my uterus removed (rather than take hormonal birth control) if I wanted to prevent pregnancy… OMG My husband's jaw went to the floor. We need more public and loud support from our pro-choice men. #sexstrike4choice Tell them if you won't stand up for my reproductive health choices, than you can go F*CK yourself! Evil men who wage war on women should remember: Caesar had his Brutus. Charles the First his Cromwell, but Osama bin Laden was betrayed by his wife.


We get so much out of your blog, I am so sorry that some people are not civilized enough to read the posts, digest them and apply them to their life, whether they agree or disagree. Thanks for the work you do. I hope you won't waste much time on the Trolls, and will just keep turning out thought-provoking commentary. By the way, thanks for the information about that documentary, "A Quiet Inquisition", I will endeavor to see that it is shown in my town.


Thanks for the great article. The breadth and depth of misogyny just shows why we can NEVER take feminist gains for granted and why we will ALWAYS need to have a strong global feminist movement. Feminism is survival.


Hang in there, Melissa! It is pretty amazing how hateful people can be when it comes to the topic of women having more opportunities in film. That's exactly why we need you! Unfortunately, many women writer/directors/producers/etc worry about their careers being impacted if they speak up about the sexism they encounter in the business, so it is so important to have a person like you focussing on it. I really think it has made women a little more comfortable sharing their stories, and I believe it will continue to allow women to open up about it. You might not hear from us very often, but we're grateful for what you do.

And, as far as the general vitriol aimed at women lately, I think it is in some way a response to women speaking out more– thanks to blogs and social media where they have the power to broadcast themselves when traditional media ignores them. Women are pushing harder, so of course, the response is going to be louder than we've experienced in the recent past. I would posit that it's a good thing you don't delete the trolls because it shows just how real the negativity toward women is.


Ever called a male a penis, prick or dick? Exactly the same in reference to your privates. Does the mean that you are insulting an entire gender. No it doesn't in my view, it's time to grow up. Equality is cool, but it will never be equal if you play the sex card if a similar insult is aimed back (albeit more crude than the previous insults).

The laws in some state in the US seem to me (as a non US citizen) totally archaic in regards to women's rights, but that can not be assimilated into this arguement, which is about a vulgar UK columnist commenting on a man whose only bodily function is the ability to blink who has the wish to die. Because wants to die and any help he gets will result in the person helping would create a felony, he would like another option. Allison even goes to suggest that he should forgo food to meet his end. Please read the link to the original article Allison had written, because I do not want to go over all the details of how vile her point is.


Because wanting to see more women-directed films is JUST LIKE murdering six million people! LOL. I think we just have to accept that there's some serious mental illness out there. It seems that the Republicans have had to stop picking (so much) on Latinos because they're reading the writing on the wall, which is that Latinos are becoming a huge percentage of the voting public. So they seem to have decided to pick on women instead (though they'll likely end up with the same problem — women vote). Internet wingnuts just seem to pick up on whatever Republicans are doing. It's a sign of a dying party, though, when your only agenda is convincing your wingnuts to hate the maligned-group-of-the-day. It does make me wonder who will be next.

Akiva Penaloza

I couldn't have said it better Melissa. I feel the exact same way. I am exhausted and angry. But I will still march come April 28th. I'm in the fight.


Melissa, I feel your pain. It's a scary, depressing, exhausting, daunting time to be a woman. I work at Planned Parenthood and write female-driven movies. The work that you do inspires me to keep working to make women important on screen and in politics. If anything this last year has taught me, it's that when the Republicans strike women, we fight back. So let's keep fighting the good fight and keep hope alive.

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