Feminist internet laws

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The sexism encountered by many women in Internet culture has given rise to several feminist internet laws that outline general patterns of behaviour experienced by women online.


[edit] Godwin's Feminist Corollary

Godwin's Law states that as an internet discussion grows the probability that someone will accuse another poster of being like Hitler approaches one.

Godwin's Law is very popular and has inspired many variations, usually about specific groups, such as the Feminist Corollary, which states: "As an online discussion about sexism continues, the probability of a woman who speaks out being called a feminazi approaches 1."

[edit] Moff's Law

Moff's Law, which has a long and a short version, both were made on posts at io9[1] and identified on Racialicious.[2] The long version is:

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???” If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.

The easiest response to this is "Why even have movie critics, then?"

The law itself can be phrased - paralleling Godwin's Law - as follows: "As comments continue in a feminist [social justice] discussion of pop culture, the probability of someone saying 'why do you have to analyze it? it's just a movie/cartoon/book!' approaches 1."[3]

[edit] The Unicorn Law

The Unicorn Law states: "If you are a woman in Open Source, you will eventually give a talk about being a woman in Open Source."[4]

Basically, women in open source programming (and programming in general) are so unusual that they're tokenized, and then asked to talk about being a token minority as if all that matters is their sex.

[edit] Lewis' Law

Lewis' Law is named after journalist Helen Lewis, based on a tweet she made in August 2012: "Comments on any article about feminism justify feminism",[5] though the notion itself probably predates the 2010s.

Since apparently some people have problems understanding what she meant, here's a more Godwin-like formulation: "As the comment section of any article about feminism grows, the probability of someone saying something utterly vile, stupid and/or ignorant about women – something that justifies the existence of feminism – approaches one."

It's an observation about the quality of comments (and by extension, the mindsets that produce them), not some kind of cause-and-effect logical rule.

[edit] Anita's Law

Anita's Law is an internet law that exists because of the work of Anita Sarkeesian, who spends a lot of time talking about the way women are portrayed in popular media. It states: "Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny."[6] This exists because Anita is a feminist who usually focuses on how women are either not shown as advancing plot on their own, not shown at all, or shown in highly stereotypical ways. And, unsurprisingly, the responses to her were often incredibly over the top, including threats of violence.

[edit] Application outside of feminism

Most of these laws are written with the focus being on women or feminism, but many of these work just as well with other social justice issues, such as online discussions about racism quickly result in disproportionate displays of racism, and people of color who are open source programmers will inevitably be asked to give a lecture on being a person of color who is an open source programmer, and comments on any article on gay rights justify the need for laws to protect gay rights, for example.

[edit] References

Articles on RationalWiki about Eponymous laws
  Badger's Law  -  Danth's Law  -  Godwin's Law  -  Gore's Law  -  Haggard's Law  -  Haig's Law  -  Internet law  -  List of Poe's Law examples  -  Loi de Poe  -  Murphy's Law  -  Poe's Law  -  Rove's Law  -  Whale.to  
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