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7 Types Of Sexist Trolls That Plague Our Internet

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By Karthik Shankar:

Sexist trolls online may finally be getting their comeuppance. Users behind a Facebook page with the overly literal title ‘Sexually Frustrated Mallu’ are on a personal quest to name and shame cyber users who post misogynistic comments online. The page already has almost 16,000 likes and several posts, most of which I’m sadly unable to read given they are in Malayalam.

But it got me thinking about trolling. Trolls are an inevitable part of online life these days. I’ve encountered several very smart ones on Reddit who manage to make provocations and non-sequiturs and usually contribute to a fantastic comedic experience on certain message boards. But they usually tend to be among the minority. Most trolls are usually of the ‘keeps banging their head against a wall till it makes some noise’ variety.

sexist-troll

The idea of trolling is still relatively new to the Indian internet user, but we’ve taken to it like ducks to water (There’s a reason they say Indians are the most adaptable people in the world). I see trolls everywhere online. Many Times of India articles have what I like to call the ‘Modi brigade‘ that aims fire at any article that dares to excoriate him or his administration. Then there are the sexist trolls who bring colour and spark to the world of online trolling. They are the ones that leave comments on a Vidya Balan article calling her a fat aunty or post “U luk very swEet Katrina. I m ur big fan. Call me 875656****” on Katrina Kaif articles.

But if you think sexist trolls are a monolithic group, think again. Even among them there exists a hierarchy.

React to the Headline – One of the burdens of taking on the mantle of a troll is that you have less time for other activities like reading or basic comprehension. So you work your magic by reacting to headlines. Who cares what this article says about porn, let’s attack the writer because he wants to take away our right to watch Sunny Leone at night.

Image credit: Mashable
Image credit: Mashable

Mansplainers – These are sexist trolls of the benign variety. They come from a place of love, you see. They especially love explaining to women why they are wrong and ask them to focus on important issues like their education and not wilt away like a rotting flower. They usually talk to women like a father unless she’s good looking enough to make them forget about the generation gap.

#MensRights – These are the loud obnoxious sexist trolls; think of those boorish people you meet at bars who love yelling ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and taking a swig of whisky. They usually share an affinity for caps lock and are literally the visual manifestation of a loud person. No point is worth being made IF IT ISN’T THROWN RIGHT ON YOUR FACE.

Statistics Speak – These are the brainy experts who are able to quote complicated statistics at the drop of a hat. Some of these have never even been uncovered by the Census Bureau. For instance, 90% of women falsely report rape while having sex with a man. 88% of all dowry cases are frauds, intended to make a man give up his ancestral property just for the lolz. The numbers are compelling and usually never fall below 85%.

Pun Intended – These trolls love making puns and are especially adept at tools like Photoshop. Hey did you know mangos are a great metaphor for a woman’s breasts? They also stun with their ingenuity when they coin dazzling phrases. They usually reuse a joke at least a dozen times.

Not all Men – These are the men who are upset you violated the bro code. “Bro. Not all men are rapists” they say. “There are about four of us who aren’t. Why doesn’t the media talk about us?” Maybe because you did nothing worth reporting? They also love making generalisations about women right after they admonish us for making generalisations about them.

What were we talking about? – Well researched articles involving gender equality are usually expected to have a classier set of comments, and they do. Comments from these trolls cover a wide variety of topics from the Mahabharata to recent judicial proceedings and make an art of linking it into one seamless whole. They are like the crazy geniuses who have figured out the key to unlocking some ancient mystery. Sometimes if you’re lucky, their ramblings may even be tangentially related to the article!

So, write in the comments below. Have you experienced any of these kind of trolls, or are you one of them?

You must be to comment.
  1. ItsJustMe

    The 8th type – writers who are afraid to speak the truth so they always try to be politically correct and chose the side which seems to be popular choice. Also known by a four letter word starts with c and ends with t 🙂

  2. Lipi Mehta

    The ones who call you anti-national, sickular, “separationists” and jihadis. And the religious ones who think everything you are saying is against God or culture or tradition or you name it.

    1. This One Girl

      Agreed, agreed.

  3. Rishabh Raj

    Well well well, this article… Ohh… I am out of words… How I describe the observing skills of the writer.
    You just spake my minds out in this post, bro.
    Salute

  4. Smriti

    There’s one more type. People who forget all 100 good things said in the article but starts criticizing it for one wrong thing which is not even important. These are the same kind of people who don’t understand that it’s not about them but meant for mass.

  5. Monistaf

    Yet another article from Mr. Shankar and no surprises here. “Trolls”, the last time I checked did not have a gender, but apparently in his twisted mind they always have, are and will be male only, because females can do no wrong. Men’s rights activists are “loud and sexists”, for talking about men’s rights but feminists like him are fighting for much more noble cause of “Gender equality”. You would think that true gender equality should include men’s rights (They are a gender), but Mr. Shankar here obviously thinks otherwise. Statistics are really hard for feminists to grapple with because it is empirical data that does not exactly aligned with their version of reality, so they dismiss it because it is rather difficult to build compelling stories around it. Freedom of speech and expression and the right to offend is so obviously the exclusive domain of Mr. Shankar and his feminist trolls because anyone else trying to use metaphors to get their points across or disagree with his point of view does not deserve the same rights. “Not all men” is just as true as “Not all Women” but according to the author there are just 4 men who are innocent and it is obvious that he is one amongst them. The vast majority are guilty because they happen to disagree with him.

    1. ItsJustMe

      Amen to that brother

  6. TheSeeker

    How easily butthurt you are, author. Those ‘trolls’ you’ve mentioned (most of them) are exactly in the form of the red pill you need 🙂

  7. Like I Give A Shit About You Fake Modern Feminists.

    oh yeah. If we are equal? Why exactly do you need a metro seat more than guys?

    1. ItsJustMe

      Don’t ask all these difficult questions. You are sexist and a male chauvinist 🙂
      (Sarcasm)

  8. Jaspreet Sidhu

    this article is ON POINT. The most hilarious are the mansplainers, they will practically mansplain your own point of argument back to you. And the men’s rights activists. Men’s rights are human rights and they’re important, I get it. But why do you only bring up your problems as a counter argument against women rights. Why do you ONLY remember your own rights when women are lobbying for theirs?

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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