some of us are brave

Fresh Off The [Digital] Presses

My latest paper is out with ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology.

This paper began with a discussion on Twitter, transitioned to a blog post here, morphed into an empirical question in comment sections and finally became what it is presently, i.e. a paper about academic capitalism + attention economies + structural marginality. What is it? Why do we do it? And with what means and to what ends do we do it?

But, before I thought about theory I started with a question: why didn’t I have many rape threats?* Other women who write publicly get a lot of rape threats. I could not remember getting very many, if any at all.

I remembered that I had a blog. That blog had a lot of my public writing, complete with comments and metadata. After some extracted and cleaning, I started by resolving my memory problem: there weren’t any rape threats. I had plenty of racism. And, then I had this other stuff. I started by trying to figure out what that stuff was.

The larger project is a comparative case study of various public facing textual accounts and is on-going. Want to volunteer your content for the study??? Please email me and remember that research karma is real.

*One commenter did suggest that I am too ugly to copulate with and I allow that as a confounding variable. For science.


7 comments on “Fresh Off The [Digital] Presses

  1. Reader but very rare commenter here. The Enemy asks of the Brave: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me you are going to study “Gamergate” as part of your research. Its got everything a student of misogyny and social media could look for in an object of critical study. It will certainly answer a huge chunk of your question regarding which women get online rape/death threats and which do not. Partial hint: It ain’t you individually, it’s where you go, what you say when there, and who shows up to react, and what you do in reaction to that reaction.

    I call Gamergate “the terrorism campaign you never heard of” (although I don’t mean YOU personally as you more than likely have heard of it). It is too horrible to begin to relate here but let us note that it began with an online lie about a woman journalist by her angry ex-beau. And it goes downhill from there.

    This may sound like a bit of a stretch, but I’d wager that — in some ways — the darkness at the heart of Gamergate is far scarier than even some of the worst anti-Black racism still around now. Its invisibility in synthesis with its swarming lynch-mob mentality and “contagion effect” energized by a species of anti-women hate unlike anything I have read about before…. I don’t even know how to finish that sentence, and history is filled with anti-women violence. What distinguishes GG is that historical violence against women takes place in what we like to call the real space of physically lived experience. GG polices that space by its ghostly aspect, inhabiting “uppity” womens’ lives in the way other forms of misogyny can only envy. It does not even require the “false consciousness” of some women to be effective, the way anti-choice, anti-poor, racist, able-ist, homophobic misogyny often does.

    GG is… wow, just… just wow!

    Anyway, I hope I added something interesting and worthy of your inquiring gaze.

    • I read your entry BEFORE going to the WaPo link. GG is mentioned there — so obviously….

      Anyway, I hope GG is part of your research and get the scrutinizing mention it so richly deserves.

  2. katherinejlegry
    April 13, 2015

    So… I read your “latest paper” and then the Washington Post link “to getting rape threats” but I don’t understand your question at all. You wanna know how to get rape threats on line? You want to have that common experience with white feminists or white women intellectuals or whatever? What? You want to study what for your research? I can honestly say the online experience for women whether it is white or of color or LGBTQ is designed to keep us “raped” out of this field like any other… for all the reasons you site. It’s a “mind fuck” to threaten you regardless of whether the words are “get raped” or “I will blow your brains out”. Rape is murder. The body just still walks around… it’s spiritual theft and the mind isn’t considered…

    Anyhow… I suppose I’m triggering. Feel absolutely free to remove this comment.

    I’m drawn to your mind and what I learn. I’m not here to learn what I already know. I am here to make connections to my own learning however. The distance and then what bridges. So I don’t think I fit into any of your research patterns yet… but I like Ta Nehisi Coates, the way he doesn’t fit in the more he learns… know what I mean?

    • tressiemc22
      April 13, 2015

      I literally have no idea what you’re talking about but thanks for reading.

      • katherinejlegry
        April 14, 2015

        Oh, sorry I’m being unclear.

        I just don’t understand the question you’re coming up with even with stats… about not getting rape threats comparatively. And I don’t understand what you’re researching this way…

        I thought I understood as I read your paper, for the most part… and why to deconstruct the interactions online and where the patterns are.

        It “sounded” like a heavy thing going down to the very root and finding out women are competing for rape threats on line when our minds aren’t being valued.

        • tressiemc22
          July 8, 2015

          Oh then you read a different paper perhaps.

          • katherinejlegry
            July 8, 2015

            This is an old comment you are replying to by now… Tressie, but thanks.
            I am understanding your papers. This one was one of the more unclear ones (to me) but you’ve since followed it up with a post that more or less refined it and I see why and what you’re getting at.

            I think more accurately, I was shocked by your post at the time because I was pissed of at the time by online trolls who liked to go after rape-survivors. The treatment on-line of women be it murder threats or rape got to me.
            In terms of your “specificity” in your writing and teaching, I was struck by the “color-lines” or barriers. That black women get threatened with murder more than rape as a complete erasure of body was important for your stats and knowledge. And to me personally, rape is murder… so the difference between the threats and stats are your thing on this topic. Not mine. It’s not a criticism of your writing or style or choices in study (because I love your teaching). This is my honest reaction as a reader and as a teacher you can either try to understand my angle, and empathize somewhat or not. It was a visceral read for me. And it was exclusive. And I think it’s intentional in part (not on your part but rather built into the structure) to keep us divided.

            Anyhow, I look forward to your future posts very much. Best to you and your work(s).

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This entry was posted on April 11, 2015 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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