Monday, October 18, 2010

Misogyny on Twitter

This tweet appeared in the Top Tweets on Twitter's homepage Saturday afternoon:

The best women are like bowling balls: Three functioning holes, found in an alley, then thrown in the gutter. 16 minutes ago via web
I'm not sure if Twitter's Top Tweets are part of its own advertising campaign or if they are just the most popular tweets at that time. Either way, misogyny thrives.

I had a look at the home lair of the creature who sent this tweet. It offers several other hilariously funny tweets, all sent to its 9000+ followers, such as

# Sometimes in love, the cause of silence, is some good ol' fashion, domestic violence. 12:43 PM Oct 15th via web

# "I just wanna be friends" says the lady in pink, "ok ok" as I spike her drink. 11:44 AM Oct 15th via web

# Show that you really, really, really love her with forced sex. 6:19 PM Oct 14th via Mobile Web
These are jokes, by the way. Because of that I should probably analyze them to see why they are funny and to whom, but I'll limit the analysis to the one which Twitter chose for its own homepage, the one about us women (all billions of us) being best when most like bowling balls.

The joke is pretty clever, honestly. It compares the essential aspects of a good woman to fuck as similar to a bowling ball: three functioning holes and returned into the gutter. The holes are to receive the penis, so those would be the anus, the mouth and the vagina. Nostrils and ears don't count. Neither does the belly button, nor all those skin pores.

Why would this joke be funny and to whom? You probably need to identify with its implicit assumption which is that women really are like bowling balls. Once you agree with that the joke is funny because it says it aloud.

Now, who would identify with that basic idea? Anyone who thinks the best women consist of three functioning holes. Anyone who enjoys misogyny and the objectification of women (yes, Virginia, there IS such a thing as utter objectification, and you have met it here). It never occurred to me that rapists and would-be-rapists must also use Twitter. But of course they do, and Twitter's rules don't ban any of that.