Sunday, July 13, 2014

"I Am A Feminist And I Also Don’t Have A Sense Of Humor:” A Story About Facebook

 - AUG.31.2013

I belong to the Israeli group “I am a feminist and I also don’t have a sense of humor” on Facebook. The group defines itself as “the group of disgruntled uber feminists and their friends." The group serves as a watchdog against discriminating misogynistic practices in different areas of life in Israel and  acts against offensive texts, photos and pictures in the media in general and on Facebook in particular. The other day the trigger for action was a cartoon that  appeared on FB, courtesy of a group called “Welcome to the Internet” 

The cartoon showed a roller-coaster ride in an amusement park and the caption read “rape-- you could either scream or enjoy the ride.”

Our humorless group has over 3000 friends on FB and many of us reported the cartoon to FB as abusive and inappropriate. At first Facebook refused to regard that cartoon as offensive. Today more than a week later they wrote me to inform that they have reversed the decision. Here is what they wrote:

“You reported Welcome to the Internet's photo for harassment.

Details: We reviewed the photo you reported for harassment. Since it violated our Community Standards, we removed it. Thanks for your report. We let Welcome to the Internet know that their photo has been removed, but not who reported it. Facebook never discloses who submits a report. We have marked this content as insensitive and reached out to Welcome to the Internet and asked this to remove it.

Report Date       August 20

Status   This photo was removed

Owner  Welcome to the Internet

Reason Harassment”

I am relieved that Facebook has changed  its scandalous decision. However, it is discouraging to see, first that cartoons like this one are still posted at all, second that they could be considered humorous, and finally that for more than a week FB refused  to acknowledge the noxious nature of that cartoon.

For generations, feminists have been accused of having no sense of humor; the  Feminist  group on FB takes pride in having no sense of humor when it comes to offensive content.

Humor is a quality that allows us to put a distance between ourselves and the world around us. But could fathers, brothers, sons and husbands remain detached when rape, the most violent and inhuman crime against their women, is treated as a joke?

PS. I just found out that the cartoon could still be seen on FB

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