Theory of Knowledge

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What Justifies a Rape-Threat Tweet?

According to a moving article by Amanda Hess, she and many other female internet writers who write on provocative topics, experience threats of being raped and killed that are “are too numerous to recount”. This blog explores some of the key human psychological and sociological variables that need to be considered in understanding this morally repugnant phenomena. Read More

Not buying it

Typical of women always playing the victim card.If true-Lets be clear here: No one has the right to threaten someone like that (obviously) but here you are taking up her case and posting the usual,standby,feminst drivel talking points.What the idiot posted to her was morally repugnant for sure,but so is the epidemic of leftist,feminist,misandrous bloggers out there who seem to be keen on eviscerating men on anything and everything these days without tact,restraint and merit.Many have noticed that phenomenon and that it is out of control and perhaps someone can do a blog addressing THAT.Lets disect why so many women online slander men without a second thought and run endless smear campaigns.Its a two way street and males are sick of women attempting to control the narrative and demonizing them.Oh wait i guess the menfolk are just supposed to sit back and take women's abuse left and right? Yeah okay whatever.Ive also noticed that many females in the blogosphere are compulsive liars and will say and do almost anything to try and control the narrative of things these days.

Again,threatening someone is wrong and unacceptable and unjustified for sure but so are alot of things (both men and women) throw up online these days seemingly without a conscience.This blog wreaks of feminist sympathy,sorry jmo Peace.

I had never read any of

I had never read any of Amanda Hess's writings before, so after reading your comment I visited her Readme page and poked around. She strikes me as supportive of men's being free from restrictive stereotypes, just as feminism in general supports women's being free from restrictive stereotypes.

For example, "It's not true that only girls have something to lose here. Are we meant to believe that rape constitutes a positive life strategy for boys?" Or her article praising the work of realistic male porn star James Dean. Or her essay describing the complex response--not the response she should have felt--to meeting a male prostitute, which the reader can understand as similar to the complex response one needs to face when understanding a female prostitute. Equal rights doesn't have to be a see-saw and I don't believe Amanda Hess sees it this way.


Thanks for sharing your reaction and opinion. For the record, I have seen a fair share of rhetoric from some "feminists" that I would characterize as lame, self-pitying, male-bashing; thus I agree that that genre is out there in places. And I have seen much feminist scholarship that is insightful, enlightening and pertinent.

Personally, I consider myself a feminist from a historical perspective, by which I mean that the power inequalities between men and women where hugely problematic as recently as a few decades ago and the feminist lens was crucial in understanding and changing that. I also believe that over the past few decades the equation has changed rather dramatically, at least in the US, and now the issues are very complicated, and it is far less clear that males have much greater power than females overall, and I don’t see our society as strongly biased against women, although there remain clear pockets where this is true (e.g., positions of high power/leadership). All that said, I do see us still living in a patriarchy, broadly defined.

More to the point of my response to your comment, I think a good and important distinction can almost always be made between the message and the meta-message. The message is what is said. The meta-message is what message seems to mean in context of when and how it is said and how it is heard. Meta-messages are all about implication, that is, what does the message REALLY mean. In this context, you seem to agree with the basic message (i.e., it is morally repugnant to send rape-threats, and if this is happening with any regularity, it is a problem that ought to be addressed). But you heard it through the meta-message lens of "feminist talking points".

My reply then is that I think you heard my blog through a particular meta-message frame that really was not embedded in it. Why? Because, from my perspective, there is a very clear line between identifying what “@headlessfemalepig” did as completely out-of-bounds, deeply concerning (from a feminist lens or whatever), requiring strong condemnation and endorsing (some) radical (modern) feminist rhetoric as the key to current social woes. This is what your comment seems to react to, yet the post does not directly do this at any level.


I've always been befuddled by the prevalence of online rape threats. So far, this is the only article I can find discussing the possible reasons. Thank you for taking a stab at a pertinent topic.

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Gregg Henriques, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at James Madison University.


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