It’s been a short while since the Philip Davies kerfuffle, long enough to warrant the idea that all communication with 38 Degrees over their removal of the petition calling for his promotion has now ceased. As such I have collected various exchanges between regular townsfolk and 38 Degrees which I shall now present to you – for your enjoyment of course.
First and not necessarily foremost are my interactions with the 38 Degrees team. I started off with two offensive strategies, flagging the petition calling for Philip Davies MP’s resignation and sending an email concerned about the removal of the petition calling for his promotion. Let’s start with the former, shall we?
A fair request.
I sent the message seen above and yet, correct at time of publishing, have still not received a response. Never mind. Yet the petition is still of interest, allow me to indulge in a little curiosity before reading through the emails exchanged between 38 Degrees and myself. The petition calling for the resignation of Philip Davies MP was created by Rosie Tallant, an active feminist campaigner, she founded tokenfeminist.com (which no longer exists) and she was a contributing writer for The Yes Resource (which also no longer exists – all that remains is an old Tumblr). She also wrote for HuffPo. No surprises on the author of the petition.
She also very kindly wrote a little blog post (archive here) some days ago about her campaign to hold MPs accountable for their actions and words. How very valiant of her. In her rather menial article she spins the usual feminist narrative, massively misinterprets quotes (apparently he’s apathetic to women’s issues because he doesn’t think there’s a problem between men and women, you know the quote) and still tries to paint him as a sexist using the same meagre arguments that were shot down by him when he appeared on BBC Radio Leeds with Gayle Lofthouse. They try so hard but in the end it all falls down.
Let’s address the email I sent to 38 Degrees, I used their in-house contact system to send an email to 38 Degrees asking why the petition calling for Philip Davies MP to be promoted had been disabled, the content of the email can be found below:
A fair enough request, in my humble opinion, I suspect such places receive emails similar to this all the time. A few days later I received a rather perplexing email from Rebecca & the 38 Degrees team, informing me of their position on the petition.
As you can no doubt tell, there are a few oddities in this email. Namely, the argument that Philip Davies’ speech was anti-feminist and that the feminist movement is one that promotes equality. Eh? When did this happen? I didn’t get the memo.
The only memo I did get was this little doo-hickey, the survation.com Attitudes to Gender survey that was conducted for The Fawcett Society. You know, the one that found that only 7% of people identify as feminist, 9% think feminism is irrelevant and 4% are opposed to feminism? That’s 13% against and 7% for.
This is while 83% of the British public support equality of opportunity for women – broken down into sex we find 86% of men support the notion compared to 81% of women. I guess men are more feminist than women!
So I’m not too sure where Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team) got the idea that feminism is equality. Yet, being the courageous keyboard warrior that I am, I dutifully responded.
Whilst I am sometimes a little brazen and perhaps curt with my approaches, I do stand by this email, I do not think it was too aggressive. However, this email must have hurt Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team) somewhat deep as I have yet to receive a response. I sent the above-pictured email on Tuesday 23rd August. I still wait patiently.
A friend of mine managed to have slightly more luck than I did, he followed the same route, using the in-house email system to contact 38 Degrees. His message was shorter, simply asking “I want to support Phil Davies’ promotion. Why can’t I?” Again, a fair enough request. (My thanks to T. for this)
A simpler and more concise request, however, he was met with the same response as I received. It must be an automated response.
Meh, hardly substantial stuff. I find it funny that they say “We do not want petitions on our site that promote views that are anti-equality.” but will quite happily help censor somebody who raises issues of inequality.
Just as I did, so too did my friend follow-up inquiring to their reasoning – in a far calmer tone than mine.
His calmer and more succinct tone must have been more palatable for Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team) as he received an explanation!
Well, I guess that’s that then! Either you agree with us or we ignore you! Give me feminism or give me death! Or maybe I’m being melodramatic. I can only assume that Danny (and the 38 Degrees team) is Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team)’s supervisor. That would explain his more blunt tone *ahem* toxic masculinity *ahem*.
Perhaps my quip of toxic masculinity contains more truth than what you might expect of a throwaway jab, perhaps it’s because the two email threads above were started by men is why they were unsuccessful. Perhaps a woman would fare better than us?
Thankfully, I have been gifted with such a thread (my thanks goes to B. for this).
A very polite email with links to evidence and further research. Nothing wrong here. She links William Collins’ excellent post titled “UK Prisoners – The Genders Compared” which shows how men are sentenced at 3.1x the rate as women, they are sent to prison at 3.4x the rate of women (when sentenced) and receive on average a sentence which is 64% longer than that given to women. An inequality, one that feminism (a movement that promotes equality) should be fighting against. Let’s see their response – no prizes for guessing what Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team) say.
I feel for Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team), her hands must hurt ever so terribly from constantly pressing Ctrl + C then Ctrl + V. How does she cope? Also, does her prefrontal cortex not work – does she rely entirely upon her limbic system!? Any hint of higher thought process seems completely non-existent in that response!
She has been provided with evidence to prove an inequality, clearly demonstrating that Philip Davies MP’s speech fits her abstract definition of feminism (that of being a movement which promotes equality) and yet she is still claiming that his speech is anti-equality! The cognitive dissonance is strong with this one!
Reading this response you can easily see the fatal mistake that was made: the belief that Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team) have any intention of pursuing genuine equality. I made the same mistake. As you can no doubt believe, no further response was returned, such a shame.
I also spoke with Douglas (the creator of the petition), who blogs at antimisandry.com, about the petition and his interactions with 38 Degrees. I’m not going to hold you in suspense, he was fed the same “feminism is a movement that promotes equality” copypasta. He initially received a list of potential violations (the only possible being that he accurately described Justice for Men and Boys (J4MB) as a political party instead of a “group”) and, despite amending the petition, heard nothing for four days. Perhaps Rebecca (& the 38 Degrees team) were taking a much needed holiday from all that copying and pasting? It was after these four days that he received that now infamous email.
He told me via email about what the behaviours of 38 Degrees says to him.
“I’m sure you can understand that, for us, the 38 Degrees censorship is now a sideshow of a much larger campaign. It was a pain and it just might have killed the campaign before it got underway … but we got stubborn instead!
Despite how a few are trying to shape it up, this campaign is not about political parties. It’s not even about political views, in the usual sense. And it certainly has nothing to do with misogyny (quite the reverse, actually). Too many good people – politicians, scientists, charity workers and many more around the globe – are being forced out of their jobs by ‘political correctness’ that only allows one opinion, one voice, to be heard many times – which is simply a form of societal indoctrination.
It only takes a rough joke made in private, or the wrong kind of shirt given by a girlfriend, or a humorous twist to a scientific revelation, any anything else which a minority can utilise to ‘be offended’ for damaging consequences, not only to an individual and his family but also to the people he would have helped, and to wider society as it gets less and less tolerant.”
He’s completely right.
This Political Correctness is stifling genuine discussion of very real issues and it’s certainly not helped by tunnel-vision staff who follow things by the book – no matter how good or bad the book is. This narrative of “we’re right and you’re wrong because we said so” is utter garbage and people are getting sick of it.
Since the petition was taken down it was restarted on change.org, check out the comments section, 38 Degrees would have a heart attack!
If only more would do the same
This whole affair has been a joyous experience from start to finish. Be it the highs of laughter at their inane, insane, asinine ignorance or the reels of exasperation at, well, the very same thing, it has certainly been an experience.
Philip Davies MP, I commend you for your patience in this bizarre little incident, goodness knows we need it when dealing with these sorts.
I also contacted Vince, the creator of the petition “End Gender Discrimination at 38 Degrees”, about his interactions with the not-for-profit. As the reader has most likely already assumed, he was treated in much the same manner as the rest. He received an email from “site:admin” informing him that his petition had been removed due to inappropriate content. It’s not atypical for someone to receive an email from an automated service such as this, however, the lack of response when he followed them up is certainly of human choosing. The petition text can be found below (no screen-grabs as the petition was removed before the writing of this article):
END GENDER DISCRIMINATION AT 38 DEGREES
TO: 38 DEGREES
I believe that 38 Degrees are promoting activities and campaigns that will lead to gender discrimination and inequality. I would like 38 Degrees to take an impartial stance on matters regarding gender equality and/or discrimination and to allow freedom of speech regardless of whether the views expressed differ from that of 38 Degree’s staff. I would also like 38 Degrees to consider petitions based on the accuracy of the information contained. I do not expect 38 Degrees to endorse or support anything that could be considered hate speech. I would request that 38 Degrees maintain a public log of all petitions, including those removed, in full, including all text, so as to demonstrate that they are open, honest and acting without prejudice against either gender.
Why is this important?
Gender Equality should be important to everybody. There should be no place for gender equality here or anywhere. 38 Degrees are supporting misleading petitions that call for sanctions against those who raise awareness of discrimination against men and boys.
Petition Marked as Spam 24/08/2016.
This petition was removed for the most obvious reason: it called for genuine equality. 38 Degrees does not want to host content that is anti-feminist, in other words, content that promotes genuine equality. Quod erat demonstrandum.
It also called for them to demonstrate that they are open, honest and acting without prejudice against either gender, a request that they, as supporters of feminism, cannot fulfil.
He followed up with an email 3 days later:
Wouldn’t it be convenient if everybody you petitioned marked your petitions as ‘spam’ and shut them down? I prepared a very serious petition. I see nothing in the original text of the petition that should require rewording or any reason why it should be considered spam. Please advise which statements, if any, you would like amended so as to allow the petition to remain. Please could you also identify yourself as the person dealing with matter and not hide behind the anonymity of ‘site admin’.
As mentioned above, he received no response from the 38 Degrees team. I guess Rebecca and Danny had had enough.
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