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In pages without any control or surveillance, groups of white and heterosexual men of the incel subculture air their fantasies of domination, which go through inflicting harm on women and exalting rape. Their sick ideas are often excused as marginal communities, but as the author reveals, some of their individuals have already put them into practice in terrorist acts.
Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, also brings to light the artists of seduction, led by massive gurus who give crowded seminars and publish best-selling books where they boast of their sexual abuse and teach to flirt with predatory techniques and under the slogan of only is yes until it is yes, trolls that are coordinated en masse in cyberbullying campaigns to sink the professional life and emotional stability of those women who dissent, or activists for men's rights, who fight for the return of their female peers to procreation and the home.
All these collectives of the most threatening toxic masculinity permeate reality through ultra-conservative media, celebrities and academics, reaching our young people, co-workers and stays of power. The truth is inconvenient, but its leader, awarded in 2015 with the Medal of the British Empire for her important contributions to gender equality, not only denounces, but also points out measures to reverse it.
For years she has suffered virtual harassment, but in the book she states that those experiences had not prepared her for what she found in the toxic world of online misogyny. Why? What I wasn't prepared for was the numerical dimension. There is a difference between receiving an email from a person fantasizing about dismembering you, and crossing a website where various groups of men share their fantasies about you. I found one where they competed to see who could think of the worst example of how to rape me with pieces of furniture and the internal wounds they would cause me. There was something chilling and very worrying about the fact that this large-scale activity was cause for collective celebration. To document his book he posed as a shy young man named Alex who ventures into the machosphere to find advice and encouragement. What did she learn about herself through her alter ego? It scared me how easy it is to get caught up no matter how good your intentions are. When we think of these groups we like to associate them with marginal people, but I have met very radicalized people and seen first-hand how common it is to be absorbed by these groups despite not sharing their ideas at first. It is very easy to enter the rabbit hole of the malesphere from benign publications on social networks. So was it your personal experience with trolls that prompted you to write this book? In part, but mainly because of my visits to schools. In recent years I have noticed a very clear and dramatic increase in the number of teenagers who have raised these ideas and these types of hoaxes online. Suddenly, the kids in the classrooms were repeating the claims of men sending me death threats, such as that women are taking over the world, that feminism has gone too far, men are its victims and they have to fight back. This ideology, which in my mind had always been confined to these dark spaces of the internet, is seeping out of virtual spaces and affects a large number of young men, although hardly anyone knows it. There are enormous and stimulating possibilities in themes of misogyny that have not been explored more broadly in our society. We cannot sit down all men and force them to re-educate them on these issues, but we can make sure that all children have resources when faced with this misinformation. It's not just about rescuing girls from harmful boys. This is scary and dangerous for them too, because these kids aren't inherently bad, they're vulnerable and radicalizing. There is a huge educational gap between our generation and that of digital natives. For a long time we have only provided them with resources for the pre-digital world. We are failing them by failing to provide them with crucial support when they are entitled to the knowledge and information necessary for the world they will encounter and of which, sadly, misogyny is a part. Reading his book is experienced as a horror novel. What a coincidence. Several of the TV production companies interested in buying the rights talk about using it as the basis for a horror movie. It seems to me that this happens because it is something that has remained hidden. It is so extreme and horrible that we have not wanted to face it, because it is easier to think thatThis is a small group of weirdos in their parents' basements, with no influence in real life. The terrifying thing is to recognize how far this current has spread in conventional society. As I point out in the book, one of the men who ran the website Incelocalypse, where he advocated rape because at least the rapist enjoyed it, was a serving politician in the United States, Nathan Larson, a congressional candidate for Virginia, or a troll who had sent more than 3,000 sexist, racist and homophobic messages, with horrific threats of rape to women in the United Kingdom, He unmasked himself as a designer, father of two and coach of a children's soccer team. How have things gotten worse since Elon Musk bought Twitter, fired or caused the mass resignation of staff dedicated to controlling misuse on the network and reinstated accounts suspended for their hate messages? It's a progression of what we're seeing more broadly on social media. People who spew up extremist ideologies are allowed to continue because they are making money from platforms. It's not just Twitter, videos of Andrew Tate, the influencer who stood up to Greta Thunberg and has been accused of human trafficking, have been viewed 11.4 billion times on TikTok. They clearly contravene the social network's guidelines, but they have spread them among billions of viewers because it's a good deal, since the more extreme the material, the more time the user spends online. Ultimately, the algorithms of all these platforms will always prioritize watch time and ad clicks over the well-being of their users. Although they are obliged to the opposite, but until we have adequate and forceful legislation, unfortunately, we will not see anything different happen. In his book he warns of the propensity to become friendly fire because of his interest in content with cyberbait. The media has a truly unique position, because of its great influence for both good and evil. Of course, the press is not a monolithic thing, so there are some media that are working very hard to expose this situation, but among the conventional ones there are many new ones that are making things worse. This is because the print press is fighting for its survival and has to compete for clicks and unique visitors. Controversy is something that helps them, so the more they lean toward polarized debate, the more likely they are to get readership. In leaning on a plethora of conspiracy theories shared online by these subcultures. As a consequence, I receive constant requests from mainstream media platforms to debate whether feminism has gone too far and men are the real victims of today's society. One of our flagship radio programmes, 'Today', on BBC Radio 4, asks if the #MeToo is a witch hunt. The problem is that they're normalizing the most extreme virtual rhetoric, because if you're a teenager, you hear that on the radio and then you see a viral video on YouTube claiming that the gender pay gap is a myth and actually theAs they were better when women had no right to vote and were owned by men, it seems a little more reasonable and a little less extreme and shocking, because you've already heard a slightly sanitized version in a respectable media outlet. In these cases, the press does the work of radicals by making extreme ideas seem less impactful. In this regard, in his essay he refers to the character of Barney Stinson in 'How I met your mother', and how he makes the little scoundrel who uses women as an object to use and throw away, but we also have examples such as 'The Handmaid's Tale', which has become a global denunciation How much is promoting and normalizing or preventing these behaviors pop culture? Both. Movies and TV series largely portray outdated tropes and gender stereotypes that normalize all these ideas again, but then you have subversive work from filmmakers like Michaela Coel, for example, who are questioning these ideas about consent and the complexity of respect and healthy relationships. His series "I Could Destroy You" was the first to make millions of people understand that removing a condom during sex is rape, so pop culture has an incredible ability to educate and drive conversation, as well as push things back. There's the use of sexual violence in an exciting way for entertainment purposes in 'Game of Thrones'.
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