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Troll Petition Demands that Emma Watson Spend a Week in a Refugee Camp Without Bodyguards

Emma Watson speaks at a HeForShe event
Emma Watson speaks at a HeForShe event

If you’re a woman who engages publicly in that whole feminism thing, it’s almost inevitable that you will find yourself followed around the internet by a small squadron of the Internet Lady Hate Army, baiting you with disingenuous questions and bad-faith “challenges” and general abuse. If you’re a famous woman, well, that just makes it worse.

Consider the case of Emma Watson, the Harry Potter actress turned UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, who’s been a favorite target for this seething mob ever since she publicly embraced the F-word in a nervous speech before the UN in September 2014.

Only a week ago she faced a torrent of Twitter abuse for the terrible crime of reminding the world of the pro-feminist sentiments of fellow Harry Potter veteran Alan Rickman shortly after she learned of his death.

Now the troll army is targeting her again, this time with a Change.org petition demanding that the actress “[s]pend one week in a Calais migrant camp for feminism (without bodyguards).” The petition-writer, a Melbourne man by the name of Oscar Izard, declares that

In order to show how safe current migration is to Europe, particularly regarding the cause of feminism (I reject wholeheartedly the notion that North African and Middle Eastern migrants are unsafe, and rapists), Emma Watson should spend a week’s holiday in a Calais migrant camp, without guards of course, to show how safe, and how pro feminism these migrants are.

So far the petition has garnered more than 10,000 digital signatures. It’s unclear how many of them are from the likes of “Mike Hunt” and “Amanda Huginkiss.”

Even if you set aside all the ludicrous straw manning going on in the petition — who exactly is arguing that the refugees are feminists? — the petition is pure trollery, aimed at a woman who isn’t even particularly associated with the refugee issue. (Indeed, in reporting on this story, the Independent had to go back to September of last year to find a Tweet from Watson supportive of refugees.)

Watson’s big issues are education for girls and the HeForShe campaign she promoted in her UN speech. The only reason Emma Watson is the target of this petition is that, well, she’s Emma Watson.

Naturally, the increasingly trollish Breitbart has injected itself into the middle of all this, offering a rather strained justification for the petition’s weird focus on Watson.

Ever since she was invited to give a widely praised speech at the UN on the topic, she has become a poster girl of modern feminism. Her simultaneous embrace of female equality, mass migration and the misogynistic non-western cultures brought with it, is widely seen as typical of left wing activists today.

In this context, the petition can be interpreted as an expression of frustration with the contradictions of modern liberal feminism, rather than merely a personal attack on Ms. Watson.

Truly an argument that only a Breitbart reader could love.

The underlying assumption of this supremely bad-faith petition drive is to suggest that if Watson personally doesn’t rush off to embed herself in a refugee camp, this somehow proves that feminist women, and women in general, are terrified of refugees and think they’re all a bunch of dirty rapists.

But the fact is that many women are active in helping refugees already, some of them former refugees themselves, others the Western women who are the real target of the petition; we just don’t hear much about them because they are less famous than Watson.

Had petition-maker Oscar Izard spent any time in the refugee camps himself, he surely would have noticed this.

 

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Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

“FEMINISTS! Jump through these MAN-DATED CHALLENGE HOOPS I’ve set up for you (that aren’t even related to anything you were just discussing and I refuse to jump through myself) so you can PROVE FEMINISM IS WORTHY to me, a man! And if you don’t, you’ll face my ridicule! And if you do, you’ll face my ridicule! For I am the arbiter of the ALMIGHTY MAYUN LOJIK.”

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago

Now this is just sad.

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Ah, another opportunity to plug my mate’s blog. It is relevant to thread.

https://kthavocblog.wordpress.com

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Is it wrong for me to think that they just made up a bunch of political sounding mumbo jumbo to justify a deep rooted fantasy where they want her to be raped? 😐 I mean, from all the things we’ve seen no bar is too low for these guys…

MexicanHotChocolate
MexicanHotChocolate
5 years ago

Emma Watson is an intelligent, beautiful person. She’s a wonderful role model and I’m happy that she’s around to inspire all the children I know. The troll who created this petition seems like a bitter idiot and one wonders if who the woman was who stole his ice cream.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
5 years ago

All refugees are, of course, men. There are no female refugees at all. Otherwise, petitions like this wouldn’t make any fucking sense, since women would be spending tons of time in refugee camps, and we all know that teh menz are totes logical and would never say something that makes no fucking sense. QED

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Is it wrong for me to think that they just made up a bunch of political sounding mumbo jumbo to justify a deep rooted fantasy where they want her to be raped?

Yes. And it’s funny, because what they’re doing is acknowledging that when for a woman, being around men puts her at risk of rape. Of course when women point that out and explain that they have to take care around men they don’t know and trust because rapists don’t wear signs, that’s misandry.

Sure, they’re trying to make a racist and xenophobic point about refugee men all being rapists, but still. It’s pretty ironic. Women go into spaces with lots of men without bodyguards all the time and the petition is accidentally pointing out the women who vulnerable in any way are in danger from being harmed by men.

Auntie Alias
Auntie Alias
5 years ago

@sunnysombrera, my thoughts exactly.

Number Sequence
Number Sequence
5 years ago

“Hey, you know how Emma Watson hates refugees *that I totally don’t think are rapists just in case you thought I did I’m just preemptively mentioning this*?”

“There is no evidence of that.”

“But what if there was?”

“But there’s not. Stop making things up.”

“But what if there was…?”

Then a sitcom daydream fantasy sequence started and farce was born. … I mean legend.

Is it wrong for me to think that they just made up a bunch of political sounding mumbo jumbo to justify a deep rooted fantasy where they want her to be raped?

Nope. That is a reasonable thing to expect is happening. I’ll be nice* and say that the petition maker is mostly just trying to create a “gotcha,” but given all the times I’ve seen calls for rape as punishment, I would be legitimately surprised if that hasn’t dripped into this or was a part of it from the start.

*niceness is undeserved

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

@WWTH
I thought at first you meant “Yes” as in I’m wrong to say it after all, but I get you now. You’re right with your other points as well, but bear in mind they believe that only foreigners/refugees are rapists. If a white man is accused of sexual assault then bitches be lyin’, but a darker skinned man? THEY BE RAPIN’ OUR WIMMINZ GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY!!

Rabukurafuto
Rabukurafuto
5 years ago

Her simultaneous embrace of female equality, mass migration and the misogynistic non-western cultures brought with it, is widely seen as typical of left wing activists today.

Something I utterly hate is when Western cultures are assumed to be the only ones with a sense of gender equality. This leads people to call Western cultures “post-feminist” as though feminism has done all it needs to. This has gone on for a long time too; there have been European men since the 19th century who would say how oppressed women of the Middle East and Asia are, then pat themselves on the back for how many rights they allow European women. It ties into fetishization of Asian women by European men who like to imagine all Asian women are submissive to men and that mistreating Asian women wouldn’t be a big deal to them.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

If a white man is accused of sexual assault then bitches be lyin’, but a darker skinned man? THEY BE RAPIN’ OUR WIMMINZ GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY!!

Until they want to turn around and accuse feminists of being racist because of the lynchings that used to take place. Because that was somehow all feminist’s fault and there’s no way to investigate and prosecute rape these days without bringing lynching back, because reasons.

Misogynists will pretend to be against racism if they can use a problem that men of color have against feminism somehow.

sunnysombrera
sunnysombrera
5 years ago

Misogynists will pretend to be against racism if they can use a problem that men of color have against feminism somehow.

It does seem that if forced to choose between hating women and hating non-white people, they’ll choose misogyny to stand on top.

Monzach
Monzach
5 years ago

The double standard really is real. In fact, I know I’m personally guilty of holding a double standard when it comes to white men and men of color: I have been assaulted in a public place four times in my nearly 34 years on the planet, all in my home city and all committed by white men of middle age either drunk or on some other chemicals. I’ve never had to fear anything from a man of color. Therefore, I hold a double standard in that I get a little worried when I see a white man with a little “wobble” in his step.

#misandry
#whitegenocide

[/sarcasm]

Please note that the sarcasm tag should only apply to the hashtags. 🙂

Deborah Hitchens
Deborah Hitchens
5 years ago

Of course sexism is far older than racism but they are both only symptoms of a terrible disease called male supremacy!
All the bro’s who are male supremacysts no matter what their colour, are happy to collaborate when it’s comes to women they want to suppress and oppress!

The incidents in Cologne, occurred because men from a different culture, tried to impose their ideology on another through intimidation and violence.
In their culture the streets are regarded men’s territory and the women live under siege and are marginalised to their homes.

In the game of the patriarchy, women are not the opposing team, they are the ball!

NickNameNick
NickNameNick
5 years ago

I’ve always been bewildered by these “challenges” proposed by people online, who act as if the challenged is obligated to accept it – like it’s the 18th century duel or something.

It’s certainly prevalent on YouTube, where I see videos pop up like Sargon of Akkad demanding that MovieBob debate him. Do these people realize most other individuals probably don’t have time to get involved with these three hour debates? Besides, what’s the point of it other than to appease the audience of the person who proposed the challenge? It’s such a massive waste of time – yet, for whatever weird reason, many people online continuously indulge in it while faulting anyone who decides to opt out.

Cyberwulf
Cyberwulf
5 years ago

Can we start a petition where Milo Yiannopoulis has to shut up forever?

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ nicknamenick

I’ve always been bewildered by these “challenges” proposed by people online, who act as if the challenged is obligated to accept it

I’ve commented before about how most M-M violence is ritualistic and I think that’s relevant here.

A common description of male violence is “posture and submission”.

It’s less about causing actual harm but more about intimidating an opponent until they back down. All that bumping chests stuff is pretty stupid in terms of combat effectiveness; but it’s all part of the “monkey dance”.

Obviously sometimes things escalate; but generally you challenge someone “You want some!” and there’s either a bit of a kerfuffle or the challengee backs down “Hey, I don’t want any trouble”.

Your opponent refusing the challenge though still counts as a “win”.

I think were seeing that mindset at work here.

Chaltab
Chaltab
5 years ago

All the bro’s who are male supremacysts

I. C. what you did there.

Mikkay
Mikkay
5 years ago

We should start an online petition challenging MRAs to do literally anything helpful to men. Like, shovel the snow out of a guy’s driveway, or buy him a new razor. Like, anything even slightly helpful to any man at all.

Shaenon
5 years ago

Honestly, it’d be great if some female celebrity would visit the refugee camps to call attention to the dangers faced by refugee women.

Shaenon
5 years ago

I’ve always been bewildered by these “challenges” proposed by people online, who act as if the challenged is obligated to accept it – like it’s the 18th century duel or something.

Internet callouts have the force of law. If that Change.org petition for Obama to address Milo Y’s loss of his Twitter badge had gotten enough signatures, it would’ve been an item in the State of the Union address. Even though Milo is not actually American. Have you even seen “Schoolhouse Rock”?

Fabe
Fabe
5 years ago

I’ve always been bewildered by these “challenges” proposed by people online, who act as if the challenged is obligated to accept it – like it’s the 18th century duel or something.

I wounder how long those guys would last if they did suddenly find them selves in the 18th century or some other era/culture where dueling was the norm?

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ fabe

Under proper duelling rules the challengee gets to choose the weapons; so you could have some fun with that.

(Trichinella infected sausages was one of my favourites)

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

In this context, the petition can be interpreted as an expression of frustration with the contradictions of modern liberal feminism …

Assuming that by “Modern liberal” they mean “Intersectional” (because typing the word “Intersectional” would make them melt like the Wicked Witch)… Isn’t “All people are equal and all people deserve equal rights” the opposite of a contradiction?

Is it wrong for me to think that they just made up a bunch of political sounding mumbo jumbo to justify a deep rooted fantasy where they want her to be raped? 😐 I mean, from all the things we’ve seen no bar is too low for these guys…

Oh, they don’t want her to be raped. They want her to be raped and murdered. *pukes*

ColeYote
ColeYote
5 years ago

On the bright side, if farcical internet petitions are the most activism these people are willing to engage in, they’re never going to accomplish shit.

History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

I wonder if some of these are butthurt ex-Harry Potter fans who can’t deal with Hermione being a feminist.

Friendly Neighborhood Dragon Arthur
Friendly Neighborhood Dragon Arthur
5 years ago

I’ve always been bewildered by these “challenges” proposed by people online, who act as if the challenged is obligated to accept it – like it’s the 18th century duel or something.

Sadly, it’s just another stupid byproduct of New Sincerity; most guys take their opinions (no matter how stupid and pointless they may be) to be very serious. The fact that people get into heated debates over something as stupid as super-heroes or bacon for more logical/rational people is absurd beyond belief. And to top it all of, the person who disagrees with the accepted notion (for instance, someone saying that bacon sucks when everyone else is obsessed with it) is often turned into a caricature of what they actually are.

What makes it potentially problematic is that the people who argue for their point often believe in their point so much that it’s impossible to reason with them on any other level. It’s a big reason why this whole manosphere issue is such a problem in the first place. These so called “REAL MENZ” believe that their petty little problems are so important and so much more than what the rational outsider sees them to be, thus you can never truly “win” against such people.

The only way to beat this is to just let reality and irony run its course. New Sincerity kids can’t understand what irony is, and thus will never know what hit them. For all these “men”, the fact they’ll remain lonely virgins or end up as criminals behind bars is what’s going to sink the reality in… Being a douche and wanting bad things to happen to people is not how to be a normal human being at all.

Now if you excuse me, I have some idiots in tin cans armed with pathetic looking daggers trying to rob my cave full of treasure…

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

History Nerd | January 23, 2016 at 11:33 pm
I wonder if some of these are butthurt ex-Harry Potter fans who can’t deal with Hermione being a feminist.

They must not have read the same books I did then. Book!Hermione was just as much of a feminist (and an intersectional one at that) as Watson, if not moreso. Remember S.P.E.W.?

Chaltab
Chaltab
5 years ago

They must not have read the same books I did then. Book!Hermione was just as much of a feminist (and an intersectional one at that) as Watson, if not moreso.

So was Ginny. Remember how she laid into Ron when he started to call her a slut?

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

Uh, that would just prove her point though, wouldn’t it? Not the disgusting rape fantasy part, but if a feminist is arguing that refugee camps are inhumane, “Well YOU wouldn’t feel safe in them would you #checkmatefeminists” isn’t a very good gotcha, now is it. And in any case, men aged 18-59 account for only 22% of Syrian refugees: http://www.politifact.com/new-hampshire/statements/2015/nov/20/carly-fiorina/fiorina-says-vast-majority-syrian-refugees-are-abl/.

Also, ugh, the “brown men raping white women” nastiness. Ida B. Wells found back in the freaking 19th century that, while the narrative of protecting white women was a huge factor in Southern fear mongering and justification for lynchings, rape accusations only accounted for about a third of actual *incidents*. http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/wellslynchlaw.html It’s the most common accusation, but barely more common than murder, even though rape is far more common and (in theory) much easier to get away with a false accusation, since it’s a lot harder to prove a nonexistent rape took place than a nonexistent murder.

@HistoryNerd, though there are obviously exceptions, from what I’ve seen the Harry Potter fandom tends to be pretty progressive? I mean, the books are clearly all about social justice. I think it’s more likely these dudes are upset such a conventionally beautiful woman as Watson is a feminist. It angers their boners and interferes with their narrative that the only reason women could support equality is because they’re hideous hags and bitter at men for not fucking them. The latter part is especially rich because well, as much as the word “projection” is overused, feminists aren’t the one with a WGTOW movement that won’t actually shut the fuck up about men, just saying…

I’ve been on and off in the comments, but have y’all seen this? https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/179584-our-shared-shelf I couldn’t believe it, as “Hermione Granger is starting a feminist book club” sounds uncannily like something 11-year-old me would’ve written as a fan fiction. But no, IT’S REAL.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

I think it’s more likely these dudes are upset such a conventionally beautiful woman as Watson is a feminist.

In addition, a lot of them are 4Channers and I remember back when their favourite meme was “[x] days left until Hermione is legal!” slapped over screenshots of the first movie. These impossible assholes probably think she “Betrayed” them by hitting the wall growing up and turning to the Dark Side becoming a feminist.

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

In addition, a lot of them are 4Channers and I remember back when their favourite meme was “[x] days left until Hermione is legal!” slapped over screenshots of the first movie.

This would be gross enough if they meant this in the usual “WOO HOO” tone when dudes talk about girls turning “legal”, but the idea that some channers are even grosser than that and see ability to consent as a *turnoff*…

*shudders*

Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ suffrajitsu

I mean, the books are clearly all about social justice

That’s obviously true. There’s not only the general anti racism message, Rowling clearly makes a point about coercion and lack of consent; Voldemort’s entire story arising from him being the product of magical date rape drugs essentially.

However Dolores Umbridge’s ‘punishment’ at the hands of the Centaurs seems a bit inconsistent with the rest of the books.

There’s not only the implication that she deserved it, but also that it’s fun (and acceptable) to tease her about it to see the reaction (“clip clop”).

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

Checking the schedule for my volunteer work, last week was the first week of the semester and we had 8 women and 5 men volunteering at my location. Another location had 9 women and 1 man. The final location had 7 women and 3 men.

Guys, this theory isn’t working. Women don’t seem to be scared of immigrants at all.

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

@alan Oh, absolutely. (Note that I read OotP when I was 10 and the centaur thing completely went over my head, so admittedly my memory might be a little fuzzy, but I’ve seen the passages and fairly clear implication after that). As hateful as Umbridge is, that’s a deeply nasty place for the books to go.

The HP books do a pretty good job as metaphors for racism, classism etc. (Lupin losing his teaching job because he’s a werewolf reminds me a bit of Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign against gay teachers), but I actually don’t think it deals with consent all that well. I seem to recall the issue with Voldemort’s conception isn’t that he was the product of rape, but that he wasn’t “born out of love”. From what I remember Tom Riddle Sr. was portrayed a lot less sympathetically than Merope Gaunt, which is a little unsettling in retrospect.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
5 years ago

Yes, and there’s also the fact that love potions and charms are sold in shops like it’s no big deal? I don’t believe the issue was ever raised against it.

Plus when Ron ate chocolates meant for Harry Potter, it was treated as a joke rather than something serious.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
5 years ago

Chocolates spiked with love potion, I mean. 😐

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@Pandapool

He stole his chocolates?!?!?!

EDIT: Spiked with love potion! That’s even worse.

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

@Pandapool, yeah, there’s that too. There is a scene where Slughorn refers to a love potion as “the most dangerous potion in this room”, but for the most part it isn’t really dealt with. If it weren’t for the backstory about Merope Gaunt, I wouldn’t fault Rowling for using love potions for throwaway laughs that much more than all the other fantasy works that tend to do it, though I would notice the missed opportunity. It really sticks out as a problem with Merope, though.

suffrajitsu
5 years ago

On a lighter note, just because I’m surprised no one’s posted this yet given the title of this post:

http://45.media.tumblr.com/a5df9220fd2389d896dc99ebf960256d/tumblr_mst1vd3Qgf1qgi05ko1_500.gif

Jamesworkshop
Jamesworkshop
5 years ago

I’ve been on and off in the comments, but have y’all seen this? https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/179584-our-shared-shelf I couldn’t believe it, as “Hermione Granger is starting a feminist book club” sounds uncannily like something 11-year-old me would’ve written as a fan fiction. But no, IT’S REAL.

Our bodies, our shelves

Watsonyourbookshelf

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Jackie; currently using they/their, he/his, she/her pronouns)
5 years ago

Watsonyourbookshelf

A wasted opportunity.

Ghost Robote
Ghost Robote
5 years ago

As a fellow Melbournian, I cringe at this Oscar Izard guy. Australia has its own refugee panic issues – successfully stoked and exploited by countless federal governments – which has only been exacerbated by recent international events. Refugees have been routinely demonised in this country for decades, appealing to our weird siege mentality (WW2 paranoia after the Darwin bombing, the shameful White Australia policy, endless fear-mongering about Asian investment, etc) and the worst, most ignorant elements of Australian society.

All of which is bitterly comical given that Australia was invaded by white people and exterminated huge swathes of Aboriginal people in the process. We’ve also got a ludicrously overblown sense of our own global importance. Hell, our previous Prime Minister claimed ISIS was coming for us, which is utterly absurd, but strikes a powerful chord among frightened, racist Australians who’ve got no understanding of the outside world.

Melbourne’s a really progressive city – and Victoria a progressive state – overall, so I like to think that people like Oscar Izard are in the minority. I hope.

EDIT: I have no idea how that “e” got on the end of “Robot.”

Alex Rogan
Alex Rogan
5 years ago

So this is the (il)logical next step from the “Well, if you care so much about feminism in “…” then why aren’t you rescuing those kidnapped girls in Nigeria?” avoidance technique?

bluecat
bluecat
5 years ago

@ Alan Robertshaw

Interesting about the display aspects of M-M violence.

I was talking to a young police officer the other day and the subject of policing our nighttime economy came up. (There are some issues of safety in our local nightclub zone, with all the fun stuff that happens when the English are out for a good time).

He said the most tiresome part of policing it, for him, was the number of times a drunk dude will look the police in the eye, land a punch on someone near them, and then turn around to be arrested. It means they get to punch someone without ever risking more than a punch back.

Sometimes he sees people heading over to the police stand to be sure they’re within reach.

Bina
5 years ago

In order to show how safe current migration is to Europe, particularly regarding the cause of feminism (I reject wholeheartedly the notion that North African and Middle Eastern migrants are unsafe, and rapists), Emma Watson should spend a week’s holiday in a Calais migrant camp, without guards of course, to show how safe, and how pro feminism these migrants are.

I have a better idea, Oscar (or whatever your real name is): How about you big machos go there, unarmed, and show those nasty-wasty furriners what’s what, what? Let’s see how long YOU last, if you think they’re all so rapey and violent and terrible.

(Delightful mental image of a bunch of menzers running scared from a crowd of bewildered refugees who didn’t even touch them, but who are still wondering why these creeps yelled insults at them and then just turned tail with wet pants.)

snork maiden
5 years ago

I posted about this ‘petition’ back on the last non-personal thread after I saw it mentioned on Facebook. It’s confusing the hell out of Facebook readers judging by the comments. Most people do not understand misogynist troll logic, thankfully.

numerobis
numerobis
5 years ago

My sister (whose career is to work with refugees) notes that refugees in general need some help adapting to their new culture.

Arab cultures tend not to have caught on to the part about how tapping women on the bum, groping, and cat-calling are not nice. According to her, Egypt is worse than Syria or Jordan about this, but all three are worse than Italy, which is itself worse than the rest of the world she’s been in.

It doesn’t take much: these men see sexual harassment as a bad thing, they just don’t see these actions as being sexual harassment. So you tell them “don’t grope” and they go “oh really? ok” and become no more dangerous than any other western man.

numerobis
numerobis
5 years ago

Oh, and I don’t recall her complaining of harassment *in a refugee camp* — it’s more an issue in town with the locals.

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