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“Tory whore” Louise Mensch fights back against women-haters on Twitter

Matilda Battersby

143625518 300x199 Tory whore Louise Mensch fights back against women haters on TwitterIt’s been a busy week for Louise Mensch. Yesterday she helped deliver a damning indictment of Rupert Murdoch at the culture committee (fluently explaining that, because of the hard-line it took, she and three other Tory MPs couldn’t support it). Last night she appeared all guns blazing once more on BBC’s Newsnight programme, once again defending her argument in a lucid and professional manner.

But this morning, as a result of the recent exposure, she has spent rather a long time on Twitter drawing attention to some of the misogynistic tweets directed at her in the last 24 hours.

Some of the worst examples include:

@GagBugLive @LouiseMensch am I dreaming or has LM been bought by #Murdochscum and shagged up the bum?

@AberdeenBastard @LouiseMensch Heard you licking Murdoch’s ring earlier you twit. Fancy a ride?

@jearle If @LouiseMensch supports @rupertmurdoch and News International, will she be doing Page 3?

She began her campaign after a blogger for the Telegraph, Dan Hodges, suggested she document the horrors appearing in her Twitter feed. No matter what you think of Louise Mensch’s policies (as a Leftie, I’m no fan), however you might feel about how she presents herself in the media and in parliament, the cruel, overtly sexual and hate-filled remarks directed at her can only provoke sympathy. Yes, she has posed provocatively in the past (by which I mean, with all her clothes on) . Yes, she has authored “chick lit”. But does this mean she can’t do her job properly? Absolutely not.

Of all the tweets Mensch has drawn attention to so far today (around midday) only one is from another woman. Abusing women in positions of power because they are attractive (and let’s not get into Samantha Brick territory) is one thing. But making apparently humorous remarks about raping women, buggering them or photographing them without their clothes in is one way for certain types of trolls, usually male (and a tiny minority, as we all know), to flex a bit of macho muscle and make themselves feel better. The defence, as always, is “Calm down, dear” or “Don’t get upset, it’s only a bit of fun”.

It is immaterial whether you dislike Mensch as a politician or are simply disappointed in her policy. It would be fine to make such sentiments clear in any forum. But the level of sexually-motivated criticism she inspires is really upsetting. She has been called “Murdoch’s bitch” or “that Tory Whore” on twitter more times than I can count. In person, many women are fine with a bit of sexual banter; knowing the tone in which it is presented, the person who is engaging in it and their motivation. But online, in the cold harsh typography of the internet, the unseen writer, and the immediate ease with which a badly judged comment can be published, the joke is lost. What remains is abuse, pure and simple.

While these trolls feel safe to tap obscenities into their keyboards knowing there will be zero redress, there is no hope against the hatred of women Mensch’s recent experiences are a symptom of. This is not strictly a feminist issue. It isn’t about equality. It is about highlighting the fact that some men (a minority, as I said), feel it is OK to use broadly sexual terms in criticism of professional women. I’ve no idea of their true motivation, but they come across as out-and-out woman-haters.

It isn’t OK. It isn’t funny. What’s more, it renders the twisted points these trolls might think they’re making, utterly redundant. So, next time, don’t bother.

UPDATE: I’ve just had my attention brought to an article published on Vice.com yesterday titled Question of International Worker’s Day – Hey Crustie, Would you have sex with Louise Mensch? The magazine asked a load of Occupy protesters if they’d sleep with her (the answer was invariably “Yes”) and photographed their responses. As if the premise of the article isn’t disappointing enough, most disgustingly, one of the questions asked was “Would you shag her for revenge?” to which the response was “Yeah, she’s a Tory”. Too vile for words.

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  • Sick_As_A_Dog

    jadroo

    Perhaps you could enlighten me as to exactly where you feel I have given the exhibitionist, attention seeking new MP Mrs. Mensch any of the abuse you list below as you bothered to send your comment to me.
    You will find it difficult trying to pretend Mrs. Mensch is not a show off which is all I have highlighted together with, based on so many MP’s marriage problems, which often follow winning a seat, commenting on the likelihood of her marriage going in a different direction than it did before her successful election in 2010.

    If that offends her, OR YOU, tough. That is still not abuse of any kind, it is an opinion, exactly the same as your own comment is, get over it.

  • MonkeyBot5000

    Calling someone “Murdoch’s bitch” is not sexist – bitch in that context clearly means someone who’s owned by Murdoch and does what they’re told.

    You might say the same about Jeremy Hunt.

  • ayounggun

    Am interested to know how you draw such a distinction between the two though, as I can’t.

  • Guest

  • http://twitter.com/_wav papa chunks

    i tweeted both tom et louise, since deleted, that both rupert et james get paid the big bucks for being ‘pro’-active rather than reactive to evidence laid before them eg. what exactly did R&J seek out and uncover within their companies for themselves; L seemed to give the impression R&J need to be spoon fed every ting like juniors; L loss credibility wit me for that statement defending their reactions rather pro~actions plus I was horrified earlier to watch her excuse herself from an earlier meeting of the to go pick up the kids!

  • icarus_69

    No. It is clearly sexist (nobody has used the term of Hunt, even though he comes across as gay). The term echoes the use of ‘bitch’ by the more misogynistic rappers.

  • icarus_69

    He didn’t commit fraud. He merely claimed the maximum he could under the rules.

  • icarus_69

    I think she gets to address the public because journalists know a pretty face gets attention. Sex sells. This can go to absurd lengths: when the first South African government based on universal suffrage took office, British journalist kept interviewing one junior minister (transport, I think) about everything in their policy. The reason was his name: Sexwale. And the x isn’t even pronounced like an English x, it’s a lateral click.

  • NT86

    It was a horrible torrent of abuse and all those who participated in it ought to be ashamed of themselves. If people wanted to be critical, question the approach she took to the finding made against Murdoch. Why must her gender be the centre of criticism? Misogyny is a major cause for concern, especially online. Louise Mensch has handled this situation in a very dignified way. Good on her I say!

  • Thrasos

    What do you expect of lefty scum?  Civilised behaviour?  Most of them are worse than the slimy things that crawl out from under damp rocks.  They rant against the likes of Louise Mensch not so much because she is a woman, but because she’s good looking and successful whereas most of them are ugly and failures.


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