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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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Bina
5 years ago

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.

That’s all it takes? Wow. So scary, these Middle Eastern guys…BTW, Norway is doing this with all newcomers, too.

OTOH, if worse comes to worst, one can always do this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0EtLdPWZ8I

She pushed him off, and he went sprawling into a table and knocked himself out. For a couple of hours. If that doesn’t teach him, nothing will.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
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/.

Those numbers come from here http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

It only includes Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa.

The website you linked is dishonest and intentionally misleading. Those numbers have bloody bugger all to do with the refugees coming into Europe.

History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

I agree the books are about social justice, but it probably went over these guys’ heads or they decided to ignore it. Lots of guys get involved with more gender ratio proportionate fandoms like Harry Potter or Doctor Who because they want to get laid. At least a few of them are serial sexual predators using the fandoms as cover (many fandom groups don’t have good harassment and abuse policies that apply to every event).

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ bluecat

I was talking to a young police officer the other day

The euphemism we use is “helping the police with their enquiries” 😉

Give me a shout if you need bail money.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Oh you lovely lovely people!

My friend reports that she’s had hundreds of hits on her blog from this site, so thank you all.

She’s just done an update, so for more on one girl’s experiences in a refugee camp click here:

https://kthavocblog.wordpress.com

🙂

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

I guess that, though an adult, I was naive about the centaurs on the simple basis of “this book’s still aimed at pre-teens/early teens, I don’t think Jo would go there.”

After all, dragging Umbridge through the woods (perhaps on a rope, like an Old West Cowboy) and *threatening* her with worse would be plenty bad enough…

History Nerd
History Nerd
5 years ago

I think it’s bad to use especially cruel or degrading punishments against a hated character. In the real world cruelty doesn’t hold people accountable for their actions and it doesn’t help victims. It distracts from abuse as a societal problem.

Getting sent to prison should be a good enough punishment for everything Umbridge did.

Steampunked
Steampunked
5 years ago

Angelina Jolie has been known for doing the whole visiting camps and highlighting the plight of women thing. According to the aid workers and refugees, she’s very well informed politically and very easy to work with, because her expectations are reasonable and she is polite.

Which is pretty nice to find out.

Shaenon
5 years ago

Those numbers come from here http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

It only includes Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa.

The UN data on all Syrian refugees gives similar numbers. Men and women are fleeing Syria in about even numbers, and roughly half of the refugees are children. The majority of refugees arriving in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean are young men, but that’s not most Syrian refugees.

http://time.com/4122186/syrian-refugees-donald-trump-young-men/

numerobis
numerobis
5 years ago

Bina: indeed.

I admit that “no worse than any other western man” isn’t a super high bar to cross. In fact, perhaps we could take the opportunity to give refresher courses to western men about how not to pinch bums and catcall and stuff. And maybe how to avoid accidentally raping women who are jaywalking.

Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
Nikki the Bluth Wannabe
5 years ago

Cyberwulf and Mikkay, I would gladly sign these petitions if either of you see fit to make them.

AJ Milne
AJ Milne
5 years ago

Saying the obvious, again: Ms. Watson can be very proud of the enemies she’s made.

Tabby Lavalamp
Tabby Lavalamp
5 years ago

They just really, really hate when the left isn’t as reactionary racist as they are.

And by “the left”, I mean progressives. Not fauxgressives who freak out at concepts like white privilege.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

The UN data on all Syrian refugees gives similar numbers. Men and women are fleeing Syria in about even numbers, and roughly half of the refugees are children. The majority of refugees arriving in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean are young men, but that’s not most Syrian refugees.

its most of the ones coming into Europe by far

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

2014 stats for Sweden say out of all immigrants and refugees, about 54.6% where men/boys and 45.4% were women/girls.

Source: http://www.migrationsinfo.se/migration/sverige/

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

And also, can we ban otd soon?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

The Honey Badger fanboy is also an Islamophobe?

This is my shocked face:
comment image

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

why do you want me to be banned?

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@otd

You constantly make assertions and never provide a source. It’s annoying.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

Also, you are a fan or people who think women shouldn’t be allowed to vote (Tieman) and support domestic violence against women (Straughan).

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

the vast majority of the migrants coming into the Europe from the middle east towards the end of last year were young men. Anybody can see that from the photographs

http://america.aljazeera.com/content/ajam/multimedia/photo-gallery/2015/9/photos-hungary-closes-train-station-to-stem-flow-of-refugees/_jcr_content/slideShowImages/slide2/image.adapt.960.high.hungary_refugees_station_02a.jpg

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

What the fuck did I just tell you about unsupported claims? Jebus.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

I supported it with a photograph.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@dipshit

Try running a Google Image search on that picture and reading the articles that pop up. It’s not a photo of refugees coming in; it’s a photo of refugees being forced out. By riot cops with sticks. And then the country in question literally wrapped itself in a razor wire fence. So.

Dunno what you were hoping to prove there.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@otd

You are a fucking idiot. I don’t even know where to start. I’ll just try to illustrate the problem by proving that 100% of Apple board of directors are men, according to this one picture I found on the internet which may or may not have fuck all to do with Apple:

http://www.bilgesam.org/Images/Haberler/0-96-20140317kuresel1.jpg

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

I said refugees coming into Europe are mostly young men, that picture is in Europe. The picture and the article you provided proved what I said.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

Yeah, ban. Now.

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
5 years ago

Wow, OTD.

You need to have a good think about the sort of “evidence” you rely on. Two seconds of googling took me to this link on how photographic evidence cannot always be relied on, and I would recommend you do a little googling on your own. Start with “photographs lie” or something similar.

Photojournalism is a valuable tool for communicating things about the world, but you can’t look at a photo and decide you know the facts. Photographers frame photos to convey a message; few if any mediums are particularly objective, but the artistic component of photography makes it particularly problematic.

Think of photos of a protest, for example. Supportive media might show close-up footage of passionate protestors, while unsupportive media show a wide-angle view of an only partly-filled town square.

The appropriate sort of evidence to support the claim you are making here are statistics on the actual demographic make-up of refugees entering Europe, collected by a reputable organisation.

I can’t help but wonder what sort of “evidence” has convinced you of the worthiness of the Honey Badgers’ position, tbh.

*******

ETA: Why do I bother? Because this —

“I said refugees coming into Europe are mostly young men, that picture is in Europe. The picture and the article you provided proved what I said.”

— has to be trolling. Nobody actually believes that’s a remotely intellectually honest thing to say, right?

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

@dhag
ok here is a recent article http://mashable.com/2015/10/22/calais-jungle-heated-tents/#pIDpJMlsdPqL

This is about a migrant camp in CALAIS. It says there are 6,000 people there and only 200-400 are women and children.

The change.org petition was about a migrant camp in Calais, France But somebody here assumed for no reason that they must be all Syrian said it is mostly women and children and provided a link that cited numbers which only included Syrian refugees and only Syrian refugees in North Africa and the Middle East, not Europe LOL.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

— has to be trolling. Nobody actually believes that’s a remotely intellectually honest thing to say, right?

why is it dishonest? They were only going through Hungary to get to Germany anyway because Germany had already invited them

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
5 years ago

::points to own post::

Reputable source, OTD, reputable. Also your claim was about all refugees entering Europe, not the demographic make-up of a single camp. The conversation here has wandered beyond the Calais camp. Conversations do that.

Also, yes, please, David, ban. I know I barely post here, but holy crap OTD bugs.

****

ETA, in response to OTD

Why is it dishonest? Because you claim a single photo demonstrates that most refugees entering Europe are young men. SFHC pointed out the people in the photo are being removed from a European country. Other commentators pointed out that a single photo proves sweet fuck-all. You take these arguments and loudly proclaim victory, because we’re talking about Europe, and this photo is in Europe, so QED or something! /sarcasm.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

Please don’t ban me David, I am a big fan of your work.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

i’m sorry ;( I don’t want to get banned. I think this is an awesome website.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

I don’t know why I bother, but OTD has severely misread his own link, either on purpose or because he’s just that dumb. The “Jungle” refugee camp does indeed have more men than women in it, but the split is something like 60/40, not 6000 men to 200 women.

According to wikipedia, which gives this source in French: http://www.nordeclair.fr/france-monde/acces-aux-soins-medecins-du-monde-alerte-sur-la-jna0b0n897938 (I don’t read French though.)

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

You’ve done nothing but troll since you came here. In some of the most tedious ways, too. And you support some of the most terrible misogynists on the internet. Fuck right off and don’t come back.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

orange tango drinker:

I have, in the past, defended you. This is because I think you’re not arguing in bad faith so much as simply sheltered and unaware of either critical theory, feminist theory or good manners. These are not banning matters, by and large. However, every so often you post something racist about refugees and it’s getting very tiresome.

I have considerable respect for Imperator Kahlo, I think she’s an intelligent person and someone who has a good sense of which fights to pick. I’d also consider dhag85 to be a friend (although he’s taller than me and therefore must be destroyed.) In this particular case I’m going to argue against both of these people, because I have hope for you. I would like you not to be banned.

However, I would like you to drop this particular thread and not pick it up again, because it’s extremely irritating and offensive.

If you ever feel like discussing the European refugee crisis, please do it elsewhere, otherwise I’m going to change my position and support dhag85 and Imperator Kahlo in supporting a ban. Being stupid is not, in my view, a banning matter. Being loud whilst being stupid, however, is.

Please understand that I am saying this in my stern, slightly-pissed-off voice.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@Imperator Kahlo

Why do I bother? Because this —

“I said refugees coming into Europe are mostly young men, that picture is in Europe. The picture and the article you provided proved what I said.”

— has to be trolling. Nobody actually believes that’s a remotely intellectually honest thing to say, right?

Right? I would say nobody can be that stupid, but manospherians do have a history of surprising me with their stupidity.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

.

orange tango drinker
orange tango drinker
5 years ago

Thank you EJ. I will leave this thread.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@EJ

I’m taller than you? Are you sure you don’t have me mixed up with someone else? :p

I’m 170cm/5’7

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
5 years ago

EJ (TOO), you’ve made me blush. As a mostly-lurker who generally has half-hour-after-posting regret that I’ve come off as too stern, that’s lovely to hear.

OTD, if you are here in good faith, I would second EJ’s request to leave this thread be, and maybe take a little note on what the trigger issues are around here and steer clear of them. You might also want to check out some of the gazillion free online courses on how to argue (here’s one!). Because if you are honestly interested in learning and engaging with ideas, I am deeply concerned about the sort of sources you consider credible.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

Sigh. All right, let’s wait 3 days and watch him do this same shit in a different thread.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@dhag85:
Are you? I’m sure I read somewhere that you were over 2m. I’m 1.95cm, which means I’m accustomed to being taller than people and will not permit people to buck this trend. I might be confusing you for one of the other malemotheers. We’re all the same person, ultimately.

@Imperator Kahlo:
There is a time and a place for stern. You have a knack for picking those times and places, which means that “too stern” isn’t something I’d describe you as.

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

@EJ

I have to rely on my cats to get stuff down for me from the top shelves in the kitchen.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@dhag85:
Do your cats fulfil these requests? Do they get the *right* things down from the top shelves?

dhag85
dhag85
5 years ago

The thing the cat gets, was in retrospect always the right thing to get. They know.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

I said refugees coming into Europe are mostly young men, that picture is in Europe. The picture and the article you provided proved what I said.

http://i.imgur.com/vB8YFim.gif

(I apologise for the slow response, but I had to make my own GIF in order to properly convey my reaction to this.)

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
5 years ago

@dhag85:
Perhaps we should take bets on how long until EJ’s patience finally wears out :p

@EJ(TOO)
Thanks again. This really is the loveliest place to read the comments. Despite the loveliness I’m so nervous about dipping my toes in that I really only jump in when something works me into a particularly righteous rage and nobody’s beaten me to the punch, but I’ll start trying to hang out more. Consider yourself my commitment device.

In happier news, Melbournians, and circling back to the OP, we may have Oscard Izard but we also have the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. They are awesome.

/charity plug over.

Imperator Kahlo
Imperator Kahlo
5 years ago

The thing the cat gets, was in retrospect always the right thing to get. They know.

::Snicker::

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@M: Words cannot express how awesome your giffage powers are.

@Imperator Kahlo:
I’m happy to be a commitment device although I’m slightly apprehensive about how to go about doing that. Does it hurt? Does it require significant amounts of manual labour and/or debugging Python scripts?

@dhag85:
It’s just as well you said that. Some of the people here are notorious cat-sympathisers. They’d report you if you said anything bad about your cats.