August 12, 2005

Man Fired For E-Mailing Misogyny From Work (tip to the Captain)

Michelle Malkin's take on the Cindy Sheehan business (the mother who's alienated her family by blaming President Bush for her Marine son's death in Iraq, even though in a visit with Bush nine weeks after the incident she was all positive on the encounter) attracted a great deal of abuse from the anti-war, anti-Malkin types. Recall that a week or two ago a leftist blogger made a taxonomy (so-called) of right-wing blogs that credited her as an affirmative action hire who has succeeded largely due to having breasts (he was a little cruder). Well about eight steps of crude misogyny beyond that is a man who had this to say to her via e-mail (as toned down by Captain Ed) :

"YOU STINK you nasty C*NT! Eat S**t and DIE bitch!!"

Unfortunately for one Patrick Mitchell, formerly of the Ogletree Deakins law firm in LA, e-mails are not anonymous and use of work internet resources to send hateful, sexist comments completely unrelated to work are not tolerated. Much credit to the law firm for firing Mitchell, a legal secretary, and to managing stockholder Gray L. Geddie, who called Malkin to give sincere apologies for the "vile" e-mail.

I wish I could say that creepy-level internet sexism from 'normal' adults surprised me, but it doesn't. From my own experiences online I can verify that sexism, including deeply disturbing borderline-rapist sexism, surfaces often in the face of an intelligent and controversial female figure. Some guys just expect women to be cute and not intellectually threatening (typing in pink, cursive fonts with lots of smileys and exclamation points), and when they see themselves losing several exchanges in a row they resort to sexist name-calling, misogynistic stereotypes, sexualization of the opponent and even threats of rape.

The Internet doesn't promise to be good, only more direct.

UPDATE: Malkin herself has a nice illustration of the same effect here about Katherine Harris' appearance on Hannity and Colmes.

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