Sexism in Living Electric Color

I don't know my place!!

I don't know my place!!

I’m not one for the personal anecdote story, but I can’t think of another woman blogger who uses their name and picture and makes critical comments. If I could I would definitely not use myself, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to have to.

The blogosphere are filled with many personalities.

I have a strong personality, but so does my partner Ran BusTard, but in general when it comes to getting reprimanded and banned I get it much quicker than him. No, I get it and no one says anything to him. He’s threatened to bodily harm people on blogs and no one has ever said anything to him. Not only that, they apologize for offending him. Politically we’re almost identical.

A guy on the blogosphere is allowed a blank check to be as obnoxious as he wants to be. It’s viewed as an asset, but women online have to be very, “lets get along,” especially in the nonpolitical blogosphere.

As a woman blogger you are limited to three areas of blogging:

1. Event Promotion
2. Product Promotion
3. Posting adorable pictures of yourself and talking about how you went to an event or used a product

If you leave this realm of blogging and you are not rich like Arianna Huffington you risk being banned, censored, reprimanded and shunned.

How did this happen. How did the blogosphere become such a sexist place?

I will use an example from a blog that I won’t name, because this is a widespread thing and I want to be fair.

I got publicly reprimanded for this comment on a post about illegal pet shops:

The selling of animals period should be banned. This pet accessory crap is a sick trend and I hope it stops.

While we are at shutting down the “third world” I hope we all remember James Rudis of Overhill Farms in Vernon, he processes chickens (and ruins people lives and fires the people who support the people who he fires for crappy reasons.) It’s a pretty barbaric process. I actually hope all of you who are very disgusted by the “third world” people and “their” practices that it’s truly not so much about “those” people, but the animals. I hope you are also very concerned with the many eateries that are serving meat and the grocery stores that sell meat and the lotions and pet food like Iams that are tested on animals. As a vegan I find this all very disturbing

I hope you all take all of this concern and go after people who are hurting way more animals than these people and their little store fronts in downtown LA.

You know what I think, I think this has nothing to do with the animals I think it has to do with something else and that’s what I will continue to think when anyone who wears leather shoes and eat chicken, steak and fish starts acting completely outraged about animal abuse.

I’m not saying it’s not horrible, but I don’t believe why you are all so concerned.

—I was reprimanded for being distracting to the pet shop issue and was told privately by one of the editors I bring up race too much and water down real issues of race.—

But the male commenters below have been on this very same blog making these comments on a post about street closure, yet,  nothing from the editors:

1. I hope there is a huge turnout of Mexican Flags to anger more and more Americans.
Not many “smarts” in this illegal alien crowd marching on U.S. soil with Mexican Flags
Had these people entered the U.S. with RESPECT they wouldn’t have to march at all. True immigrants didn’t even have to make spectacles of themselves. How sad.

2.Hmmm, these people still have not learned. Carrying Mexican flags while demanding rights for illegal immigrants will get them any support. And the march must be for illegal immigrants since legal immigrants already have full rights as they are demanding.

3.I did a little research. It seems The Civil Rights for Immigration Coalition has connections to ACORN, a criminal organization. The Democrat Socialist of America.The International Socialist Union. Obama’s personal purple t-shirt thugs the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) And the WORKERS WORLD PARTY, a Marxist-Leninist sect that is usually responsible for organizing these pro amnesty open borders rallies and will try to provoke the LAPD to use violence.

4.What lines will they be standing in and what buses will they be riding when they are deported?
No more by-the-case purchases at Costco with food stamps only to resell for cash; no more section 8 housing abuse, no more health-code-defying untaxed food sales, no more abusing emergency health services, no more runaway procreation for more welfare, no more drug & human trafficking, and no more blatant identity and welfare fraud from this group anyway

So talking about racism and how it  is bad is a problem, but being racist is ok.

And this isn’t the only case. I have been banned from LAist owing to comment I made about the neighborhood project Watt’s post (where I was called a bitch and slut repeatedly) and I’m still banned, I asked. 

BusTard who made virtually the same comments was not banned.

I think it’s shameful that among some men of color (because both of the people in the above cases were men of color) that racism is more acceptable and palatable to them than a woman of color having a strong voice.

I think that’s kind of sick and mind blowing, but of course I am a woman with a big mouth that starts problems.

Browne Molyneux

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About Browne Molyneux

My name is Browne Molyneux. I'm a lady. I'm a radical feminist. I'm black. I'm an Angeleno. I'm an artist. I'm carFREE. I'm a freelance writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a philosopher. I'm a humanist. I'm a journalist. I formerly wrote a column on transportation, Tracks for LA City Beat. The above are all of the things I have to work on being, got questions email me. My topics of interests include but are not limited to politics, transportation, dark green issues, economics, race relations, feminism, culture, working class urban life, media, art, Los Angeles and literature.

13 thoughts on “Sexism in Living Electric Color

  1. Is this the new ad campaign for the AMC drama MAD MEN?

    Hey Browne you go girl…I mean woman …keep being vocal,remember there was a time when woman could not vote here in the USA and even now in some parts of the world they are still second class citizens.

    Im a gay latino male and though im not sexually attracted to women – i do have a mother,grandmother,aunts and i respect them and all women.

    See “some” men don’t take pretty young things seriously solely based on appearance.
    If you are a female that is vocal,strong or bossy- they label you a “bitch”.
    I had a conversation with a female friend and she said- one male co-worker likes to call the female boss “a cunt”,behind her back.
    But say it were a butch lesbian, they would not bend her over and spank her.

    Change only happens when you don’t conform,settle or are a follower.
    – mix it up!

  2. We are allies loveandhatela. Sexism and homophobia in my opinion are directly related. Homophobia will only disappear when sexism disappears.

    Most people who are homophobic are sexist and vice versa it goes hand and hand.

    When people insult gay men they say they are like women and that in itself is supposed to be bad and lesbians, they are uppity women who are trying to sneak into a man’s place, so sexism and homophobia are very closely connected.


  3. Browne, I think its a control issue. You are capable of bringing up counter points that make these bloggers look/sound like idiots. Then they just can’t back their shit up. True, there is also the fact that they can’t just dismiss what you write (like they would one of the guys)—because they have women-issues.

  4. Much of the sexism that exists in the blogging world is a reflection of the real world too.
    In many ways women have moved forward, in many ways we have regressed. I was just thinking the other day how much pressure there is for women of all ages from extremely young to very old to look sexy. And yet when they do present this image, it’s easy for someone to turn around and say they look slutty. It’s a no win situation.
    But yeah, the internet allows folks to say things they wouldn’t say to your face. My main problem with dude bloggers and commenters is they can’t say they are sorry when they are wrong. Women are quicker to apologize for errors.
    In any case, there is definitely a double standard but I see it in other places too. I know dudes who get away saying all kinds of controversial and challenging stuff and they get away with it. When I’ve been challenging in face to face relations or organizations, I get the silent treatment or get looked at like I’m being bitchy.
    Another thing to realize is when we stand up for ourselves or make a criticism it isn’t cause we playing the victim (as I’ve been told), it’s because we are empowering ourselves to create change, that’s the exact opposite of being a victim!

  5. Browne, you make some really important points.

    (And they really banned you at LAist for calling the writer on the fact that he was….uh…borrowing without attribution from Wikipedia???? Geeze.)

    Since I write a lot about criminal justice and gangs, I get a lot of “you don’t get it because you’re just a stupid, naive woman” type of attitude, but I’m so used to it, it no longer bothers me. I figure that in that realm I’ve more than paid my dues thus I’m way better armed (metaphorically speaking) than most of those who attack me.

    But in two instances in the last year I got some attacks that were abusive in a way that felt unpleasantly gender specific at a whole different level. Once was on my own site when I commented on the Polanski extradition issue, and the response got pretty creepy. I even had to permanently ban someone. (Trust me, he deserved it. “You dumb bitch,” was his opener. And then it went downhill from there.)

    In another case it was on Mayor Sam’s blog when Michael Higby posted something about me and my opinions on a particular issue that was, at the time, very controversial.

    Higby was perfectly appropriate. He slammed me fair and square.

    But some of his commenters were sexist in the most offensive fashion. They commented on my looks, on how I dress (or how they perceived I dress, since I doubt if any of them have every met me or could pick me out of a crowd), on…. all kinds of low-down stuff that I’ve never seen leveled at a guy unless it’s by some homophobe at a gay man.

    It was….startling.

    Anyway, you’re doing good and important work, Browne. Anybody who doesn’t think so: screw ’em.

  6. When I first started blogging, I thought the internet was going to be this great gender-equalizer. Of course, I was wrong. Feminism aside, I see an increasing amount of vitriol on a number of websites especially the ones that tend to champion the “progressive” banner.

    We shouldn’t be apologetic when taking someone to task. Which, is easy for me to say, but difficult to actually do. (I’ve fallen prey to it in a recent posting on my own website)

    I’m with Celeste…

  7. That’s horrible Celeste. You know what I hope that one day the b word gets n word status in regards to being horrible.

    And I notice no one cares about what guy bloggers look like, but they will go there with woman bloggers.

    There is no hierarchy in oppression, race, gender, class are all equally destructive in their own way.

    And there is lots of intraracial sexism, but that always has to take a backseat to all kinds of other issues and I personally think that’s bs. As feminism should be inclusive to social justice issues (race, class etc…)Social justice issues should also be inclusive to feminism.

    In many communities sexism and homophobia are viewed as minor in comparison to the big issue, but you know if you’re woman or you’re gay this is a big issue.

    Yes around white people my color maybe what is seen first, but among people of color my gender is seen first and I notice that women are often not treated equally in the social justice movement. The women who write and organize, but that can never be talked about because people are starving and I find that troubling, because say we all get to this point the end, you know where everyone is “equal” what’s going to happen?

    Will we have a world of diversity and will diversity just mean men of all races will be in charge, well I don’t know if I like that very much.

    I don’t want anyone in charge, but at times it seems like we’re working on a world where someone will still be in charge they will just be more colorful.


  8. I gotta disagree with you on the “no one cares what guy bloggers look like” bit. I’ve seen way, way too many online arguments devolve into accusing the guy behind the keyboard/blog/post of being a fat/lazy/lives in your mother’s basement/pimple faced/can’t get laid/has no girlfriend… you get the idea.

    I think women and men get pretty much the same shafts online that both genders get in the offline. The big difference is the behavior – it’s really easy to shut someone up by banning them and literally erase them from the discussion online, and that breeds a lack of accountability on the part of bloggers and blogs.

  9. Fuck it – post as “a guy” or “a crippled veteran lesbian UFO survivor”. It’s the internet, go crazy.

    Your online identity/persona/IP address presents arguments that make people uncomfortable and angry. I peg that as the main reason you get banned.

  10. Ubrayj02,

    I’m not posting as guy, why? This isn’t about me personally. I don’t care ona personal level. I love being ban it’s proof that I made you blink.

    It’s about the fact that the chauvinistic blogosphere tries to intimidate women bloggers into being event promoters, so we won’t can’t end up in the newspaper for anything but promoting someone else’s crap.

    I understand I make certain people uncomfortable, but how do I make people any more uncomfortable than when David Markland had a can you call people “illegal” poll?

    Also I don’t see how I’m any different than Art who posts here, yet no one says anything to him and he posts in the same spirit and really by I mean no one is that yeah there are some people who are going to get angry no matter what, but there are some progressive guys of color who get way more angry at me for things and guys do the same thing and they say nothing and to me it’s very obvious what it must be and women know this.

    Why do you think the women with stronger voices in general only posts on the Feminist blogosphere and only on moderated blogs, because they know we all know what we better not say and who we better not say it to.


  11. Women of color face the double standard of race and sex on and off the net. A current example that comes to mind is Supreme Justice Sotomayor. I remember her critics complaining about her sometimes blunt and direct manner of addressing people in her courtroom, that it was “testy” and “bitchy.” Sen. Coburn’s “You’ll have lots of ‘splaining to do” comment during her confirmation was just considered a funny joke – not a racist jibe. None of these type of comments would have been tossed out a man. (Mr. High Tech Lynching – Clarence Thomas got the male sympathy vote for the “harlot” Anita Hill besmirching his character..)

    There are a couple of bloggers that come to mind who face down this type of silliness with a vengance. Jasmyne Cannick and Lisa Vazquez (Black Women, Blow the Trumpet blog) are pretty good reads on racism, sexism, and how to address it.

    Keep swinging Browne!

  12. I am amazed that you got banned by LAist for what you wrote. That Watts article was shit. The writer had some mean axe to grind to even post what he did. That Tony Pierce has some g/ball(s) to throw down the gauntlet at the end and demand better articles, when he wasn’t even paying for those articles.

  13. Alienation,

    All of the things that went on in regards to that post and I’m the one that can’t post there anymore. I don’t want to post there, but the point is that blog made it a point to make sure I would never comment there says ALOT about the blogosphere.


    Remember on JC’s site when she was talking about Shirley Q, man all of the crazies came on her site and she had no moderation. That was hardcore, but I’m glad she didn’t moderate it though, because I think it’s important that there be some spaces that people can see people’s behind. Not everyone needs to be that open, but there needs to be some places where the curtain is ripped open and the truth of how some people can be is shown so people can get it.


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