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Shocking new First World problem: Not following enough women on Twitter–it’s “passive sexism”

May 14, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Jessica Valenti believes that too many women try to be perfect mothers ...
Jessica Valenti: Monitoring strangers’ phones for misogyny

Microaggressions–so tiny you can’t even see them–are bad enough as far as feminists are concerned.

But now we have something even tinier and even worse: micro-passive-aggressions.

Credit ultra-feminist Jessica Valenti of the U.K. Guardian for discovering this shocking new form of misogyny: not following female tweeters on your Twitter feed. That’s “passive sexism”–and it must be ruthlessly eradicated.

Here’s Valenti’s tweet about the male pig she encountered on a New York subway car:

“The guy next to me on the subway was checking Twitter; he followed almost all the same people I did but NO WOMEN. Passive sexism is for real”

And if that’s not passively sexist enough, how about this, tweeted by Valenti exactly one minute later:

“It’s like when you meet someone whose favorite authors, musicians, artists, etc are all RANDOMLY male. Suspect.”

Congratulations, Jessica! You’ve discovered a brand-new form of oppression of women: men sitting on subways or buying books and music online, all, by the way, minding their own business.

***

Naturally a bunch of people took to laughing at Valenti with their own tweets–and social justice warriors don’t like to be laughed at, So Valenti tweeted in response:

“Whenever Twitter gets mad at me I know I have my next column idea”

Mmm, I can’t wait to read that one. I’ll be checking the Guardian‘s website every day.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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3 Comments
  1. PatrickH permalink

    I find her tale a bit implausible. Reading over some guy’s shoulder and seeing that he followed the same people as her, except that none were women. What does she have, super-vision?

  2. Lastango permalink

    I’m picturing it now… Valenti is sitting next to a single guy, and he’s ignoring her. What’s on his phone is more appealing. In fact, he doesn’t seem to even notice she’s there. She’s fuming. Still sputtering, she rushes back to her keyboard to frame the event in terms of him misusing his societally-conferred, patriarchal power against women like her. His twitter-following habits confirm the abusive dynamic at the root of his choice to micro-aggress by remaining in his malespace-of-one.

    Kudos to Mz. Valenti for striking this blow on behalf of “invisible” women. A communal solution is called for, one which breaks down sexist barriers. As a first step, perhaps men should be required to periodically submit their internet-based activities for audit as a precondition for (say) school admission, graduation, employment, and other life-events. Making the findings public would allow others to intervene to help men achieve new learning on the required path to becoming New Men.

  3. It makes me envious to know that there are people whose lives are so free from troubles, trials, irritations, aggravations, and other unpleasantness that they are reduced to monitoring the smart phones of total strangers on the underground in order to find something to get their knickers in a twist about. Most of us can only dream of a life so easy.

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