Men’s Day Out makes it to a recent report published by the United Nations (UN Women), where a study which looked at data from South and South East Asia, found that between March and June 2020 – when most of these regions were under COVID-19 lockdowns – the volume and interest in misogynistic online content increased manifold, by as much as 168%.
Contents of the Report as Published
The report pointed out that a majority of the tweets propagating misogynistic narratives came from India, which attempted to discredit the rampant violence, repression and discrimination against women. The volume of searches for misogynistic profanity and narratives increased, along with searches for terms like “incel”, “men going their own way” and “men’s rights”, it said.
SEXIST ORGANIZATIONS ARE SPREADING NEW COVID-RELATED MISOGYNISTIC NARRATIVES
Sexist organisations, particularly in India, were active in disseminating COVID-related misogynistic narratives. The majority of tweets expressing misogynistic narratives examined for this research came from India, and more than 90 percent of those tweets from India which were examined were originally shared by self-proclaimed members of misogynist organizations.
Two other narratives that emerged from India during the period included domestic violence on men and discrimination against men. In the first instance, 89% of the tweets by men in the country used hashtags such as #husbandburning and #domesticviolenceonmen, indicating women were committing violence against men. The same percentage applied for posts that indicated laws and rules are discriminatory against men. Some claimed in their posts that Facebook was deleting accounts that stand up for men, alluding that feminism is a “global conspiracy”.
According to the report, over 90% of the tweets from India were shared by self-proclaimed members of “misogynist organisations”. “[These] were originally posted by leaders or self-declared members of misogynist organisations, such as Men’s Day Out, Men’s Welfare Trust and others,” the study said.
These sexist organisations were active in disbursing misogynistic narratives centered on the news events during the pandemic. “For example, Twitter users in India were quick to exploit news stories about two women in different parts of the country who had allegedly murdered their husbands during the lockdown, to stress on the narrative that men are the real victims of domestic violence,” the researchers found.
Our Response (Hopefully will not be labelled Misogynistic Again)
To begin with, we would have routed our response through UN Men, sadly that does not exist in an unequal world of Gender Equality! We shall not get into questioning if there is a similar report done showcasing the utter sexist and male hating social media posts floated against men. We do not believe in ‘an eye for an eye’, but nonetheless you can click on the link to refer to some of them.
The response is only restricted to our portal Men’s Day Out and we would like to counter various generic statements passed off as misogyny.
We have nearly 1000+ articles on our portal, and not one article will suggest that women do not undergo domestic violence or other sufferings. We strongly object to the statement “discredit the rampant violence, repression and discrimination against women”.
Your report states, ‘volume of searches for misogynistic profanity and narratives increased, along with searches for terms like “men’s rights”.’ Such statements only suggest that UN Women completely disregards any rights, respect or equal standing of the Male Gender in society. Incidentally, this also translates as Women’s Rights is a progressive term, while Men’s Rights (which are also Human Rights) promotes patriarchy and regression. Remember, #EqualityMustBeEqual.
Moving on to your next assertion: ‘In the first instance, 89% of the tweets by men in the country used hashtags such as #husbandburning and #domesticviolenceonmen, indicating women were committing violence against men.’
It is unfortunate that we do not have a Men’s Commission or any agency in India yet, that will curate incidents of #HusbandMurder #GroomBurning #DomesticViolenceOnMen. If the same is not accounted for, it does not mean the same is non-existent. A cursory glance over all our articles under the Section ‘In The News’ & their subsequent sub categories will showcase the Other Side. One of our readers had also curated an entire blog on Groom Burning in India which can be a good reference.
Once again, listing crimes against Men, male suicides due to harassment by wives/women, murder by wives and paramours due to Adultery, Domestic Abuse of Men, others, does not suggest that women do not face the same. The numbers for women and their distress surely seem higher, however, once again in the absence of any global agency curating data for Men, the same is also debatable.
Suffering jail term for months/years due to #FalseRape Cases is another segment you must follow, before making sweeping statements. Here’s the link to several articles curated on the same. Noted documentary filmmaker Deepika Bhardwaj whose Martyrs of Marriage (False 498A Cases) ran successfully on Netflix for two years, will be soon releasing her next project India’s Sons (False Rape Cases) which will be an eye opener to the other side once again.
Dear UN Women, We are not sure if you have happened to read the India NCRB Report 2019 (Suicide) which has published these figures:
- 98,000 Men
- 41,000 Women
- Top Cause : Family Reasons
Most mainstream media portals failed to highlight these figures; if the same were reversed, surely the news would have made it to Global media.
You have labelled us as ‘self-proclaimed members of “misogynist organisations”’, however, if usage of terms like #DomesticViolenceOnMen, #MensRights, #HusbandBurning is categorised as ‘Misogyny’, we wear it as a badge of honour.
Our daily news report on Crimes By Women, Gender Inequality Against Men, Gender Biased Laws Which Make Men Pay Alimony To Educated Working Wives without Children, No Access To Kids In Cases Of Divorce/Separation and Others, clearly seems to have disturbed stake owners who has published the report. Whether we credit or discredit the same, these are facts from the ‘Other Side’ of Gender Bias and one can always form their own perceptions around the same.
You may have a quick look at our 2 Main Twitter Threads (recently started in October 2020):
- Main Thread | Murders of Men/Husbands and their families due to Adultery or other reasons in India
- Main Thread | Suicides of Men/Husbands and their families due to Gender Biased Laws in India
Lastly, our portal has always held women in equal respect and called out foul language against either Genders – as much as we can monitor on our social media platforms. If anyone is able to trace single unparliamentary term on our website, we shall be glad to shut it down.
One needs to speak with not just the Men, but also several women in their families who have gone through hell, often even ended their lives. Secondly, do we have any report from the UN on Domestic Violence on women by women?
We would like to end on a note that Rights for either Genders must be respected and if Men are speaking up and sharing their ordeal, global platforms such as yours, must regard them instead of name calling or labelling them as sexists.
We shall also be happy to personally share with you, several cases where Gender Injustice is rampant against Men.
Note: Arnaz Hathiram is the Founder – Editor of Men’s Day Out and our endeavour is only to project the sufferings of Men and their families, without undermining the grave problems faced by women.
Article Quoted By UN Women Under “Misogynistic Narratives”
We thank all our readers (both Men & Women) for their enormous support and valuable comments.
UN Women Report Lists #MensDayOut As ‘Sexist Organisations Spreading Misogynistic Narratives’ | Our Response
— Men’s Day Out (@MensDayOutIndia) December 4, 2020
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women and girls has intensified globally. 1 Analysis of social media suggests that the same is true for online misogyny and hate speech directed at women in South and South-East Asia. As COVID-19 lockdowns and other movement restrictions push more people online, digital platforms and online spaces are being increasingly used to spread sexist, inaccurate, and dangerous rhetoric about women, inciting hatred and potentially provoking violence – online and offline. This brief examines the links between the COVID-19 pandemic and online misogyny and hate speech directed at women in South and South-East Asia for the period of March – June 2020. It is based on the findings of research conducted by Mythos Labs for UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
VOLUME AND INTEREST IN MISOGYNY CONTENT INCREASED DURING COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS
As much of South and South-East Asia were under lockdown from March until June 2020 in a bid to stem the spread of COVID-19, a disturbing trend emerged: The volume of and interest in misogynistic online content increased.
Data from India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia showed that both the volume of misogynistic Facebook posts and tweets, as well as individuals’ engagement with them, including likes, comments and shares, spiked during COVID-related lockdowns in that period, with a 168-percent increase from the same period in 2019.
Similarly, in Sri Lanka, India, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, Google Trends analysis showed spikes of 25% or higher in relative search volumes for misogynistic profanity, including terms such as “bitch”, “slut”, and “whore” and similar slurs in local languages. In Indonesia, in addition to an increase in misogynistic profanity, the search volume for misogynistic narratives, such as “feminazi” and “misandry”, also increased. In India, an increase in search volume for misogynistic profanity, narratives, as well as misogynistic organizing, such as terms like “incel”, “men going their own way” and “men’s rights”, also increased.
More than 50 percent of COVID-related misogynistic tweets captured from India expressed COVID-related misogynistic narratives (detailed more below) and were originally posted by leaders or self-declared members of misogynist organizations, such as Men’s Day Out, Men’s Welfare Trust and others. In the Philippines, the clear majority of tweets examined for this research expressed COVID-19 related profanity, often using misogynistic terms such as “puta” (bitch) to describe either COVID-19 lockdown restrictions or to vent their frustration at authorities. Indonesia saw a small but consistent number of COVID-related misogynistic tweets every week, peaking in May when Security Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD repeated a joke comparing efforts to control the pandemic to controlling a wife.2 This led to a rise in misogynistic tweets from Indonesia, inspiring tweets of approval and memes showing wives as more dangerous than COVID-19.
With the easing of lockdowns from June 2020, the number of misogynistic posts and tweets decreased dramatically. This decline could be due to COVID-19 influence on day-to-day life becoming slightly less commanding.
SEXIST ORGANIZATIONS ARE SPREADING NEW COVID-RELATED MISOGYNISTIC NARRATIVES
Sexist organisations, particularly in India, were active in disseminating COVID-related misogynistic narratives. The majority of tweets expressing misogynistic narratives examined for this research came from India, and more than 90 percent of those tweets from India which were examined were originally shared by self-
proclaimed members of misogynist organizations.
Researchers categorized tweets and Facebook posts into categories based on the most salient message conveyed in the post. ‘Men are the real victims of domestic violence during COVID’ was a recurring theme, as was the notion that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the alleged ‘hollowness’ or ‘worthlessness’ of feminism. Users posting such content often exploited recent news stories to make their case. For example,
Twitter users in India were quick to exploit news stories about two women in different parts of the country who had allegedly murdered their husbands during lockdown to stress the narrative that men are the real victims of domestic violence.
The three most popular narratives expressed on Facebook and Twitter were “COVID-19 is exposing the ugly truth about women,” “Women are more dangerous than men during COVID-19”, and “COVID-
19 is highlighting gender-biased laws that disadvantage men.”
This research also included within its scope tweets and posts expressing COVID-related misogyny against women migrant workers, however no statistically significant trends emerged. This should not necessarily be taken to mean that such misogyny was not present during the monitoring period, but
simply that it was not captured in the relatively limited scope of this research.
MISOGYNISTIC ACCOUNTS ARE HAVING A SIGNIFICANT AND DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON THE OPINIONS OF THEIR FOLLOWERS
Users posting COVID-19-related misogynistic tweets are causing other users in their Twitter network to become, on average, 22 percent more misogynistic, according to a model employed in this
factors in each account’s ‘misogyny score’, tweet frequency and network connectivity (i.e. the myriad ways in which a misogynist account’s tweets can end up on the timeline of another user through various intermediary accounts in the same network). The impact of misogynist accounts on the opinions of their followers is disproportionately higher than that of others in the network.
Many of the users who tweeted COVID-19-related misogynist content in India and Sri Lanka were also
highly nationalistic, based on their user profiles and other tweets. A common narrative among such users, especially in Sri Lanka, was that “COVID has exposed the hollowness of Western ideals, so why trust a Western concept like feminism?” This suggests an intersectionality between nationalism and misogyny among social media users and merits further investigation.