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antifeminism atheism bullying harassment misogyny

"A Woman's Room Online" attempts to convey the real-world consequences of online harassment

"A Woman's Room Online." Photo by Amy Davis Roth
“A Woman’s Room Online.” Photo by Amy Davis Roth

“Surly Amy” Roth, a Los Angeles artist and writer for Skepchick, has created an art installation that attempts to capture and convey what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the relentless abuse she and too many other outspoken women face online.

With the help of members of the Los Angeles Women’s Atheist and Agnostic Group, Roth has built a small office-within-an-office inside the The Center For Inquiry-Los Angeles – and covered every surface with printouts of actual harassing messages sent to her and an assortment of other misogynist bete noires, including Rebecca Watson, Amanda Marcotte, Soraya Chemaly and Lindy West.

As she writes,

There is a false notion that online spaces are not real. That what happens online does not have an effect on the regular day-to-day life of people. As we have seen recently with the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence, high profile women are seen as mere objects and targets or play-things meant to be stolen, acquired and used- that if they can not handle these made up rules- that they should leave the internet and all forms of technology behind.

My art exhibit is meant to put you, the viewer, in their shoes if only for a moment. See what it is like to be obsessively judged based on “fuck-ability”, “rape-ability”, as an object, or alternatively as what seems to be a target in a socially accepted (or otherwise ignored) game of online stalking, harassment and silencing techniques.

The opening reception for “A Woman’s Room Online” is tonight, September 13th at 7pm at the Center for Inquiry in Los Angeles; the installation will remain up through Oct. 13th.

You can read more about it here.

 

 

66 replies on “"A Woman's Room Online" attempts to convey the real-world consequences of online harassment”

I wish this exhibit was near me. maybe they’ll do something similar in other cities.

Shut up, Woody. Does your tongue ever get tired from being so far up Elam’s ass?

Cassandra posted:

“Nobody is supposed to know that the vampires are vampires initially, right? You’d think they’d have gone a bit easier on the makeup then, it looks like randoms should start chanting “undead, undead” whenever one of them walks into a room.”

**Laughter** Or Peter Murphy could follow them around with a mike in his hand.

Unless you’re auditioning for the part of Paul Elam’s asshole.

That part is currently being played by JudgyBitch.

Every time Woody masturbates “Paul’s” (I fucking love that Woody thinks they’re on a first name basis, as if Paul Elam gives a shit about his well-being or even knows who he is – news flash: Paul Elam doesn’t care about you, he’s using you) ego I hear “I wanna know what love is! I want you to show me!”

One of those “harassing” messages is an article by Paul, about Rebecca Watson. It was posted on his site and not tweeted or sent to her, so even if you think it’s vulgar, it’s not “harassment”.

How on earth would you or anyone else know whether or not …
someone you’ve never heard of …
has reported or cited or sent or tweeted …
any item on any site anywhere on the net …
to someone else you’ve never met?

Harassment doesn’t have to be done by any specific person or organisation to qualify as harassment. The internet is available all day every day to anyone who chooses to use it for any purpose.

So …

Shut up, woody.

“Though I am a little curious as to how you can tell one of Elam’s “articles” is among the pages upon pages of printouts.”

I followed the link back to Skepchick.org, and one of the pictures is that same picture, but the messages aren’t blurred. One of the messages is the headline of an article by Paul about Watson, which probably made the wall because he called her a “whore”. But again, even if you think it’s vulgar, that’s not the same thing as “harassment”.

So let me get this straight: you followed internet breadcrumbs back to another site where you recognised a single article from the exhibit as being part of Elam’s body of work, then came back here – to a site you know is not accepting of gendered insults or sexist harassment – to try to spin it as not being harassment, just because it came from Elam?

When you’re expending that much effort trying to come up with ways to excuse someone’s behaviour, to people who are very familiar with his behaviour and have made their own judgements about it, you may want to think about your motivations for continuing to work so hard at it.

Are we sure “Woody” isn’t actually Paul Elam? I can’t bear the thought that there are two people out there so dedicated to fluffing that man’s ego.

I really hope this installation opens some people’s eyes. I will admit that until I found this site I was mostly ignorant of how much hate was aimed at women on the web. If you don’t look in comment streams or post much in unmoderated sites you can manage to miss it.

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