The Six O’Clock News: Women in Sport, Trolls on the Internet and Everyday Horrible People

I haven’t been watching enough of the Winter Olympics, which should probably change because it sounds like the universe is about to take up curling. This week’s news is a little old but definitely relevant.

Beth Tweddle’s Twitter Q&A saga: Let’s judge women on their work, nothing else

 The Independent pointed out that when Beth Tweddle did a Twitter chat at the end of January, she got trolled by a group of shitheads who probably wouldn’t send a male athlete the same sort of abuse. I follow Tom Daley on Instagram and something he posted the other day got an abusive comment – I can’t actually remember what for, exactly, but I don’t think it was about his looks. That said, he’s had his own issues with Twitter trolls so should we look past gender and focus on the fact that people on the Internet use  the Internet as an excuse to be shitheads? Or are they shitheads anyway and do we need to continue to tackle everyday sexism and bullying? Or all of the above?

Beth Tweddle’s vile Twitter abuse: Women, it’s time to shout back at trolls

The Telegraph was a bit vague in its point but helpfully displays some of the Tweets for us all to enjoy. I suppose that by writing this I’m adding my voice to the people standing up against trolling – and sexism – but is it going to do anything? Not unless somebody read this and thinks “Oh yeah. Calling a woman a slut when a) I’ve never met her so have absolutely no right to call her anything including an insulting word and b) I wouldn’t say it to her face is stupid. I won’t do it anymore.” On the other hand, is a boycott of social media going to do anything to improve trolling matters? If you ignore someone they’re likely to get bored, but I must admit that I’d be tempted to research the user, find out some personal details, e.g. their address, and put up a sign on heir front door which details how shitty they are. Then I’d ignore them.

Or maybe I’d hide under a rock for the rest of my life.

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster speaks of sex assault

This is a bit different: a Sky Sports presenter about whom I knew nothing until she went on the radio discussing sexual abuse she received from a sports coach discussed what she went through and said that when she was being abused it was “one of these taboos, like domestic abuse is now”. Hopefully just by saying that she’s done something to alleviate both taboos –  and the fact that it was splashed all over the news should help even more. Course, just talking about abuse isn’t going to practically help anybody who’s suffering, but it’s a step… that said, I’m not entirely sure how to practically help somebody in that situation, because I’ve never known anybody in it.

I’ve also never been Twitter-trolled, which begs the question: how can people who know how to combat these issues teach the rest of us how to? Do we need online classes or school classes or TV shows covering the topics or bus posters…?

I dunno. Thoughts?!

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