Friday, 15 February 2013

Who's abusing who

There was a fair bit of discussion a couple weeks back when Mary Beard was subjected to a steam of online abuse for being, well, a woman. I also read a recent article about how women online gamers are subjected to higher levels of abuse than Men. Online is a good area for research as one can count it. But here is the result of my own bit of research in the non virtual world. Cyclists in London do and will get a fair bit of abuse. Both my Partner and I have ridden regularly for the last 6 or so years, both lycrad up and in our civvies. One cheery Sunday morning a nice man, a complete stranger at a bus stop, called me a cunt for cycling past him wearing a T Mobile top. However my partner is the victim of abuse much more often. Some of it for being a cyclist, some of it for being a woman, some merely existing. This is not a daily occurrence but it has become pretty clear that she is more likely to suffer this despite the fact she is probably a more cautious and careful rider than I am.

The abusers are not exclusively men, but they are in a majority. Angry men lashing out at women is an issue both on line and in the real world