Hating Chanel is sexist | Opinion



Chanel beat Rigoberta and the Tanxugueiras at BenidormFest and Twitter fell apart. It was seen coming. What was unexpected was that Chanel also fell apart: a winner despised and threatened by thousands. Unbridled harassment that led Chanel to close her Twitter. Because that’s how it works: online bullying is successfully used to harass and silence women. Personally, I am part of the audience that was outraged by Chanel’s victory as the popular vote was undermined. An injustice that the journalist Paloma del Río summed up in a perfect tweet: “Demoscopic jury: 350 people. Popular jury: the number of calls is not known. Technical jury: five people. And these five people condition what the other two juries have decided.” However, the anger at such a cast has not been remotely comparable to the harassment received by the woman who won. Chanel received messages of racist, sexual and classist hatred on Twitter and by doing so she increased the number of women who are harassed every day on this (and other networks) for dancing, expressing themselves or giving their opinion as they see fit. Not in vain, the networks are a reflection of the structural machismo that crosses us. I speak of that toxic percentage that does not move and that does not forgive, just as the number of women who are murdered each year does not forgive. But how strong does this harassment become? According to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament, two out of 10 women in Europe between the ages of 18 and 29 have suffered sexist cyberviolence. An important but comparatively ridiculous percentage if I think of those of us who publicly maintain a feminist discourse, in which the possibility of receiving insults is 100%.

There will be those who say that he cannot be macho hate —euphemism that defines hate crime on networks— that Chanel has received. It can’t be because her lyrics are, for some (and some), pure patriarchy. “I drive everyone crazy daddies. I always first, never secondary…” A letter that has earned her racist and classist insults, as well as misogynists, as if dancing reggaeton was not a form of pleasure as valid as any other for a woman. Whether or not Chanel’s song is a form of female empowerment, what is certain is that the hatred aroused by it: “Demoscopic Jury: 350 people. Popular jury: the number of calls is not known. Technical Jury: five people. And these five people condition what the other two juries have decided.” However, the anger at such a cast has not been remotely comparable to the harassment received by the woman who won. Chanel received messages of racist, sexual and classist hatred on Twitter and by doing so she increased the number of women who are harassed every day on this (and other networks) for dancing, expressing themselves or giving their opinion as they see fit. Not in vain, the networks are a reflection of the structural machismo that crosses us. I speak of that toxic percentage that does not move and that does not forgive, just as the number of women who are murdered each year does not forgive. But how strong does this harassment become? According to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) of the European Parliament, two out of 10 women in Europe between the ages of 18 and 29 have suffered sexist cyberviolence. An important but comparatively ridiculous percentage if I think of those of us who publicly maintain a feminist discourse, in which the possibility of receiving insults is 100%.

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Chanel, like so many harassed before her, closed her Twitter. Thus, if you are attacked in analog life, it is the aggressor (or the aggressor) who receives a restraining order. But in networks it happens the other way around: it is the victim who must move away. The times I have been insulted on Twitter, they have always recommended me not to respond, not to provoke the aggressors. If you are virtually humiliated, experts say they are trolls those who do it, as if they were not real people. Chanel, like so many attacked she remembered on a television news the opposite: “Behind the screens there are human beings with feelings and their mental health is at stake”. Victims exist, their anxiety is real, their fear is real. On the other hand, machismo lives in the country of the trolls and is expressed, even today, with total impunity.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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