Online Misogyny and the RPA Mag Commenting Policy
Should the RPA Mag allow open comments?
by Tanya LougheadApril 30, 2018
A few people have suggested to our editorial board that we allow open commenting for the RPA Mag. I argue here why I am opposed to open commenting and why— ultimately — our editorial board decided against this.
We are working on allowing comments in some way — likely only from RPA members. We, your editors, believe that lively discussion amongst RPA members would be very fruitful. (We are working with our webmaster to set this up.) However, I am opposed to completely open commenting.
Why? And is this in keeping with the ‘radicality’ of the Radical Philosophy Association?
First let me note that I am the only woman on the RPA Mag editorial board. Women tend to be more keenly aware of day-to-day misogyny than men. So for our comrades here who are not women (or who are not up to speed on this issue), I suggest reading up on the contemporary environment of online misogyny. In fact, the recent terrorist attack in Toronto that killed 10 people was related misogyny festering online.
As to the second question, is it “radical” to restrict commenting? We say yes. Protecting one another in our struggle is a basic principle of solidarity — we do not allow threats of violence and harm, especially to those oppressed by structures of injustice. Radicals don’t put up with misogynist bullshit.
I collect here a few articles on the issue as well as links regarding the Toronto terrorist attack (with thanks to Girish Shambu for assistance with research):
“Feminist Writers Are So Besieged By Online Abuse that Some Have Begun to Retire”
Insults and Rape Threats. Writers Shouldn’t Have to Deal with This”
“Men, Women Experience and View Online Harassment Differently”
“Incel, the Misogynist Ideology that Inspired the Deadly Toronto Attack, Explained”