AnonyMiss, the yin to the Anonymous yang

Anonymous - the global, low-orbiting, hackalicious Internet phenomenon - has been DDoSing perceived enemies of Wikileaks and more recently taking on a supportive role in the Arabist uprising. Anonymous seems to be everywhere. But percolating below the surface is an inchoate group of women working under the Anonymous banner: They're called AnonyMiss.

Although anyone can join Anonymous there was a public perception that the group was a little too testosteronic. A call was made for women to get involved, and AnonyMiss came into being. The entry point is the AnonyMiss IRC channel. From there, newer participants can be exposed to various Anonymous ops, get technical advice, and make their choices about how to get involved. Some chose to hang around the AnonyMiss channel and develop their own flavor of change.

Emma_A is involved with Anonymous and is helping to develop AnonyMiss. She spoke with about the recently formed group, and our conversation follows below.

(A disclosure: the more I learned about AnonyMiss, the more I felt inspired to personally support their work; it would be fair to say that I am now more of a supporter than a neutral observer.)


Oxblood: AnonyMiss was announced by Anonymous here. The notice was interesting in itself but even more interesting, at least for me, were the comments. There doesn't appear to be any particular consensus. Some think it's a good idea; others think it's unnecessary; still others want to see boobs. What is your reaction to the feedback?

Emma_A: I don't take it very seriously. Some are for and some are against. One has to expect that in any new movement. I sense some hostility. Some people think that women should shut up and let the men do the talking. That ain't gonna happen, boys. We're determined to make our voices heard and we want you with us. That's my goal, to make this a joint effort with men and women working together for the freedom of women. AnonyMiss is a fledgling entity learning to fly, and we will.

Oxblood: When did you become involved with Anonymous and why?

Emma_A: I first heard about Anonymous via my friend Barrett Brown. He's a staunch supporter of freedom of speech and believes that Anonymous can be a force for good, to effect cultural change and also material change. Meaning that the ordinary person will realize he/she does not have to sit back and take it, that we have power in our own hands. People are bigger than our so called leaders. We need to organize and we can change laws via peaceful protest. If you've ever watched the news and thought, WTF, and felt helpless to do anything, then Anonymous is for you.

The mainstream media tries to portray the movement as having nefarious motives, of being dangerous and out of control, and of course we are dangerous. But we are not terrorists. We seek the truth and that's what is dangerous. We want transparency and integrity in government. Imagine people knowing what their government is really up to. My God, that is dangerous. Hence you get the authorities running scared and desperately looking for scapegoats with their favorite media in tow. They attack people like Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. It's absurd.

We do not want state controlled media. We don't want spin, manipulation or government propaganda. But the state media machine is geared to that. It's in their interest to denigrate any speech they don't agree with. Mavericks, people outside what society deems acceptable and safe. Those people are freethinkers and individuals. They are the people we want.

We are dangerous in a way that has never been seen before. We can reach enormous numbers of people via the Internet. We can coordinate and motivate. We can effect change via consensus and we don't need the rich and powerful to help us. That's what interests me.

Oxblood: There is a strain of misogyny in Anonymous although my guess is that it comes mostly from younger participants. Does this bother you or is it something where you just hold your nose and look the other way.

Emma_A: Its always tricky trying to become accepted within a traditionally male dominated group. But having said that I haven't experienced it personally although I'm aware of it. I believe that the more women become involved, the easier it will be to concentrate on what is important and what we want to highlight. I can honestly say I have had nothing but amazing help and support, not to mention kindness from every Anon I've been in contact with.

Oxblood: Would you describe yourself, for lack of a better term, as a feminist?

Emma_A: I'd describe myself as a woman. I want to see women as a class lifted up, empowered, educated, brought out of poverty, trained and enabled to work, given autonomy over their own bodies, given full access to reproductive rights, and given respect. I want women to be loved and recognized as half of the human race, as sentient beings, which is of course what we are.

Oxblood: What issues are most important to you as a woman? Emma_A: First and foremost, education. In many countries girls do not go to school, are married at a very young age, have many children, and that's it. This is not just detrimental to the child and its mother but also to the world. Our population growth is out of control. Stop girls being forced to have so many children; lift them out of that cycle of being just a womb. It sickens me that a 10 year old child can be married to a 50 year old man in some cultures. Blame religion, blame tradition, whatever it is. I want to see that challenged.

Second, invest in women and girls. Many studies have proven that when a community invests in education and training for its female members the whole community benefits. Look at UNwomen.org or read Half the Sky by Kristof and WuDunn.

Third, reproductive rights. Women everywhere need to be able to control their own fertility. We need access to contraception. We don't need some old guy in a Pope hat telling us we must have 15 children because its some other old guy in the sky's wish. Fuck that. Give women all over the world the freedom to decide when and how many children they want. Firstly educate women. Educated women have fewer children and have them later in life. Also lets re-frame abortion. Lets get away from the conservative lies that abortion is killing a baby. It's a cluster of cells. The fact is that those cells are within a living breathing being, a woman. For fuck's sake, give her the dignity to decide herself whether to proceed with a pregnancy or not. Hands off our wombs guys. They belong to us, not you.

Oxblood: How would you describe AnonyMiss?

Emma_A: I see it as the genesis of a women's movement which seeks to include both women and men; to work towards the freeing of the female underclass in all societies. For instance, here in the West there is a huge war on women by the Republican party in America. The latest absurdity is by Representative Bobby Franklin trying to criminalize miscarriage. If you miscarry then you could get the death penalty. I have no words to describe the absurdity of that. How did that bill even get written? But lets turn that around. Can you imagine a female politician writing an equivalent bill for men? How the press would categorize her? Yet we've hardly heard a word about this nutcase Bobby Franklin. And people say Anonymous is dangerous! Give me a fucking break. When you have men abusing positions of power like that, who exactly is more dangerous? It's that hypocrisy that sticks in my gut. We need to highlight these issues, and plenty of men could help us with that.

Oxblood: Do you see a time when AnonyMiss will spearhead its own ops or media campaigns? If so what kinds of actions would you like to see take place?

Emma_A: I'd love to see that happen. I'd support campaigns against backward thinkers like Representative Franklin, for instance. My God, there's ditch full of sewer rats like Franklin whose misogynist views should be challenged and held up to scrutiny.

Oxblood: Just as there are women in Anonymous, how do you feel about men being involved with AnonyMiss? Any pluses or negatives?

Emma_A: I think I've answered that previously. I'd love for men to support us. In fact for AnonyMiss to truly succeed we need to make this inclusive, to make men feel welcome too. We can support each other. Isn't that the best way?


Link: AnonyMiss press release, March 2011.

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    1. Yes, she is, and from what I understand this is a huge problem. The first rule of Anonymous is no names. They even have an extremely derogatory term for people who put their name out there at all.

      I’ll always thank Anonymous for their role in promoting freedom throughout the world. I’ll also always blame them for systematically destroying a girl for no purpose other than “the lulz.” Let’s recognize how they’ve helped, but let’s also recognize how they’ve hurt.

      1. I’m almost certain the ‘politically aware’ anon folk who talk about the freedom of information and so on aren’t the same ones who do the actual work. Which leads to a bit of a difference between message and results.

  1. How does AnonyMiss feel about the insane misogyny and totally unnecessary sexist language used in a number of Anonymous/4chan operations? Take the recent “Operation Skankbag” or the use of porn as a weapon to attack feminist sites to give just two examples.

  2. Eh? Just call yourself ‘Anon’… Why would you go to the trouble of making yourself 50% *less* anonymous than before? And spokespeople? Rly?? Single, *identifiable* *individuals* who speak on behalf of a *group*?

    I can’t help but think that everyone’s still missing the whole point of this whole Anonymous thing…

  3. That being said I do kind of fall into the anonymous is anonymous camp.

    The “problem” I suppose is that the default for human is male. It’s actually not accurate to assume that anonymous doesn’t identify as male when honestly it does. If the default for human being weren’t de facto male all anon participants identifying with any masculine traits whether intentional or not including the use of pronouns would be 50% non-anonymous, “not getting it”, and in need of balls or GTFO.

    Not that it would be better that way, but rather true anonymity would be human and non-gendered.

    1. Hope this helps, in a weird way. But from a developmental stand point the default for humans is actually female. I know that’s not what you were getting at but I couldn’t resist throwing that out there. After all, why in the hell else would men have nipples?

      An interesting debate for sure, one that leaves me leaning toward some concept like androgymous as a neutral term. Any takers?

      1. “toward some concept like androgymous as a neutral term. Any takers?”

        No.

        (That is funny, though, whether intended or not.)

  4. I guess what I mean more succinctly is that the issue is with the whole of culture, and it should be addressed at that level.

  5. What joemolo is saying is that “femanons” are derided with calls for “tits or GTFO,” not because Anonymous is a boy’s club, but because, by identifying as *something,* they are no longer fully anonymous (little ‘a’) and thus shouldn’t be considered Anonymous (big ‘a’).

    The same derision is applied to anyone else who tries to separate themselves from the masses of anonymous posters, whether by posting a picture, stating race/nationality, using a name or tripcode, etc.

    Furthermore, all the “hacktivism” and famewhoring that gets claimed by or attributed to Anonymous is generally frowned upon by the oldfags and is mostly perpetrated by a bunch of kids who treat the *chans and IRC channels like the Babysitter’s Club rather than a place to trade pr0ns and lulz.

  6. I have to admit though. I really deeply and utterly hate the cutesy name.

    I would rather be dissolved into a single assumed male identity than a pun, especially a pun that plays on assumed gender.

    But from what I understand this is more a sub-movement within anon that is focused more on women’s issues than anon for girls.

    1. I’m with you. I’d rather be associated under the blanket boys’ club with Anonymous and put up with “Tits or GTFO” than being labeled “AnythingMiss.” Ugh. Gross.

      I’m all for subgroups of Anonymous splitting off to target their specific points of interest, and that’s great for them. I really don’t think it’s “anonymous for girls,” though, or if it is, I expect most female Anons will continue to be true Anons while occasionally dipping into The Little Miss Anon Club when they like.

  7. Emma_A,

    From a older woman’s perspective, I am glad the younger generation is challenging the oppression of women around the world and projecting a strong, educated, eloquent message and tech savvy to boot!

    Go Emma_A GO! And yes, it is wonderful to see men support women:

    “Every minute of every day all over the world, women are harassed, attacked and even killed just for being women, daughters, Sisters, mothers, children. It doesn’t have to be this way. Amnesty International is working to stop it. Making a difference is easier than you think. The first step is making your voice heard, make some noise to stop violence against women. Take action at Amnesty Internationals’ website:http://www.amnesty.org/.”
    Oded Fehr: Stop Violence Against Women

  8. The image should have a question mark head. As it is, it doesn’t have the same bite.

    As for Anonymous running feminist missions, I hope that’s true but I haven’t heard about it yet.

    1. Damn you, Avram! Now all my replies to Joemolo are no longer replies and I look like a CRAZY PERSON!

  9. I sometimes wonder if the new “Anonymous” (i.e. do-gooder wannabe hipsters who think it’s a cool gang to be in) are actually hyper-proficient trolls trying – mostly successfully – to piss off traditional Anonymous (obese men sitting in their parents’ basements, posting obscene photos on imageboards) by destroying the old Anon culture.

  10. I am female and totally behind Anon and have much respect for Emma, but I cannot get into the “AnonyMiss” thing at ALL. Anonymous should be understood as, and in fact BE, a gender-neutral term and entity. Having a sort of Ladies’ Auxiliary seems to me to miss the point. Why not work to correct misunderstandings about gender within and of Anon, ignore and/or point out the idiocy of misogynistic imagery and rhetoric among male Anons, work to see that roughly half of Anon’s public images and voices female, and by all means keep pressing on with the projects and agendas that you perceive as urgent?

  11. Burning questions:

    Isn’t projecting a gender onto an empty suit regressive? What would Marlene Dietrich say?

    How does Femanon feel about AnonyMiss? How would we know for sure?

    Has Emma_A ever actually visited /b/?

  12. The sexism in the comments is very enlightening. So is the privilege.

    An attempt to point out maleness-as-neutral gets reactions like “don’t get your panties in a twist” and “slightly fraught tone”. Sigh. Womenz=emotional, right?

    While I can understand how people can be miffed about using a gender label as a group name, I am always amused by how much more offensive a label is compared to inherent structures of patriarchal dispositions. Basically you are saying, why don’t you women shut up, stick with Anonymous, and change the world? Is that too much to ask?!

    I think it sort of is. Newsflash: There is a universal devaluation of women. To claim that a better move would be to change the system from the inside is steeped in privilege. I assume the people who agree with this are also the people who think affirmative action is also “racist”.

    Lastly, why does the author of this article seem to think that “feminist” is an inappropriate term? “Would you describe yourself, for lack of a better term, as a feminist?”

    1. Thank you for making that last point. That is exactly what I was thinking. What better term is there than “feminist”? All it means is sexual equality! Whoa, let’s not get too crazy and use that term! Have people like Rush succeeded into making it a dirty word? Why aren’t people proud to call themselves feminists? It was disappointing to read both the interviewer’s question on feminism and the interviewee’s answer.

    2. Sorry, Aninsomniac, but I’m going to have to disagree with you. Setting up a ‘separate but equal’ system for women to be Anonymous on their own never addresses the problem with Anonymous itself in the first place.

      I have to say, I don’t feel all that devalued by the bottomfeeders of Anon who spout various racist, sexist, and homophobic crap like punctuation, either. Any more than I do by the non-Anons who do the same. They don’t affect my value in the least. Creating some kind of feminine ghetto so the girls don’t have to hear offensive language, though, harks back to the days of harems and ladies’ salons. It gives me the heebies, frankly.

      A better move IS to change the system from within, I believe. Call that privileged if you like, but it’ll make you look kind of silly, since you have no idea of the background and life experiences that have informed my position.

      If Anonymiss really does take on the mantle of Anonymous and work to change the inequalities for women that are so endemic around the world, then that will be awesome. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      1. This is my concern. The need for a lady ghetto just enforces the idea that women can not *be* a part of the whole of humanity to me some how. In the same way I resent the implication that despite statements in the interview women’s issues are *only* in women’s interest. That to focus on women at all the organization must be womanly to the point of having “miss” in the name. It seems to fly in the face of the potential of an anonymous group at actually challenging those kinds of concepts in society.

        It isn’t that I don’t support the idea of a group of anonymous persons who take on women’s issues as a focus at will. That’s no problem to me, and I suppose if this is meant to be such a thing I have no problem with it, or even if it is simply meant to draw attention to the fact that assumptions about anonymous bodies of individuals may not be accurate.

        But as irritating as it is to face greater risks in participation such as the potential to have one’s own contributions used to further the assumption that only men are out there doing anything, to perpetuate the devaluation of women and silence their voices wherever they can not hide the signs of femininity, to be trapped in that paradox due to the sickness of culture surrounding sex and gender, it still seems better to me than acquiescing to the otherness of being female.

    3. I don’t consider “feminist” a negative term but I do think it has a sort of generational ring to it. Most younger women I know can’t stand the term although they all understand what it means. That’s why I framed the question the question the way I did. There was no disrespect intended.

  13. aninsomniac: “I assume the people who agree with this are also the people who think affirmative action is also ‘racism'”

    Let’s just say that the institutionalized racism in arenas like higher education and corporate hiring practices is not quite exactly the same thing as the casual sexism prevalent among an intentionally amorphous and anonymous, apparently predominantly male group of internet activists of dehierarchicalized / decentralized / anarchist tendency, and that perhaps different approaches are warranted?

    aninsomniac: “why does the author of this article seem to think that “feminist” is an inappropriate term?”

    I wondered that too, and have no idea, nor do I see what would cause Emma to avoid i it herself. Wtf. I mean, god forbid.

  14. This is already a thing. Femanons are called femanons. They are recognized members of the community; “Tits or GTFO” is a stock meme. I think there will be more than a little trouble tacking a feminist movement onto a community that thrives in the most depraved depths of patriarchy.

  15. tqa: I see what you mean by the institutionalization of racism, especially because of the particular history it has in the US. However, I also do not think that there is such a thing called “casual sexism” because I think the domestic space is as institutionalized as the public space. Children learn right at their homes, that girls and boys are different and that dirt is for boys and pink is for girls. That is obviously an over-generalization, but I hope you get my message. I think sexism *is* inculcated through everyday tropes and what individual members of an anonymous anarchist disparate organization exhibit through their behavior is a pattern.

    Crewbaby: You say “separate but equal”. I say “narrow focus, safe space”. I don’t need to know anything about your personal life to know that if you don’t feel the need for a safe space, you do have privilege. That might be the privilege of being white/American/male/cisgendered/heterosexual/educated/able or a million other things. In other words, everyone has privilege and what is “silly” is claiming that anyone doesn’t.

    1. Aninsomniac: I don’t expect the internet to be a safe space. In fact, I work pretty hard to ensure freedom of expression on said internet, even that expression that I find abhorrent, repulsive, hurtful, and flat-out wrong. Including the chatter that goes on in many “Anonymous” spaces, which often makes me more than a little queasy (out of that list of items of ‘privilege,’ you got two right, which says something, I suppose, but I’m not sure what).

      I think that we do ourselves a disservice by segregating ourselves. For any reason. I think that having branch-out groups based on interest in the moment is one of the strengths of Anonymous and I applaud all Anons who campaign against injustice of any kind. I think cutting ourselves off from our brother Anons in any kind of structured way will only end in fracture and a lack of strength.

      Clearly, you disagree. The nice thing about debate in non-narrow spaces is that I can respect your position–I do–while also disagreeing pretty much completely with it.

    2. (I needed to clarify here since we can’t edit comments: I think that if someone wishes to make a safe anonymous space for women who can’t participate in the greater Anon groups for whatever reason, then they should! And much power to them for doing so, and I hope that many people who’d otherwise be turned off by some aspects of the Anonymous ‘culture’ will be able to jump in with both feet. And hopefully it’ll get good participation and get great things accomplished.

      However, restricting the membership and speech of an Anonymous group seems impossible and even counterproductive to me, since Anonymous has always been a group of everyone, all races and genders and sexualities, despite the frat-house humor involved. I also expect that women who’ve been involved with Anon all along will in many cases remain so, since they’re already pretty used to it all. Or maybe not. But no one will really be able to tell, Anon being Anon and all.

      I just wanted to make that clear, in case I hadn’t before.)

      1. Crewbaby, I guess I’m just wondering what about Anonymiss “restricts” anything since Emma states that it’s a movement that’s for men and women. It’s not the participation that’s restricted, but the focus. I personally think focus is a good thing when it comes to activist work. Having a singular objective does not eliminate the options of partnerships and hyperlinking.

        @blueelm:
        “That to focus on women at all the organization must be womanly to the point of having “miss” in the name.”
        Is this why “feminist” is a bad word too? Because it has “fem” in it and that makes it “womanly”? Firstly, I am confused as to why a label is seen exclusively as othering and not as affirming. Are LGBT groups othering themselves? Secondly, by using the rhetoric of exclusion, you are assuming that othering occurs through the action of “anonymiss”ing a collective. In fact, it is the result. Safe places are reactions to a pre-existent othering.

        I see where you are coming from and this is an issue that raises its head all the time: Is choosing a label counterproductive to the process of acculturation? It’s not as simple as that, because there are structural elements that are exclusionary and they exist outside of the individual (and inside every individual).

        1. “Is this why “feminist” is a bad word too? Because it has “fem” in it and that makes it “womanly”?”

          No, those are separate issues. Also, don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t think feminist is a bad word though I actually do think its usage (pure pedantry here) is odd compared to other uses of “-ist” in social theory. In general I have a positive view of feminism insofar as I see it as that aspect of humanism that focuses on areas that impact women or areas that impact us all through the way women are treated. I find it ironic to the point of being annoying that the spokesperson shies away from the world feminist and yet sticks “miss” in the group’s name. I don’t think that’s something that should be ignored either.

          “Firstly, I am confused as to why a label is seen exclusively as othering and not as affirming. Are LGBT groups othering themselves? Secondly, by using the rhetoric of exclusion, you are assuming that othering occurs through the action of “anonymiss”ing a collective. In fact, it is the result. Safe places are reactions to a pre-existent othering.”

          Lots of reasons. Miss, itself, is a rather demeaning word. Like “girl” it plays to the concept of women as childish. Acceptance of this seemingly innocuous usage though has a problematic history. The idea that women are more like children has been used as a justification for treating women, well, like children. This means limited rights, in their own self interest of course, and a handy justification for not listening to them. Yes, it can be co-opted in order to attempt to empower it but so long as it is used in the usual way this isn’t going to have the stunning effect one might hope for. After all, there really is a sincere obsession on top of it all to convince women that they are only *valuable* in youth. That, itself is a trap. Considering that, miss is hardly an inviting word in the first place.

          Are LGBT groups othering themselves? This comparison doesn’t hold. I haven’t said that having a woman focus as an aspect of an affiliation with anon is othering, only that the need to imply that interest in women’s rights is a “women only” issue. Two things, why couldn’t a group made mostly of anonymous women care about other things as well and why couldn’t a group of anonymous people of either gender take on women’s issues without it needing to be “women only” in order to do so.

          I like the idea of drawing attention to the reality of women’s contributions to any movement, because women are people and like it or not they’re out there doing things and always have been. Fighting in Egypt and Libya, arguing for free speech, working for their families whether through paid or unpaid positions. However, splitting this off as some special interest group *does* signify that it is not a general interest. Why not attempt to raise awareness within the group? Is it impossible? Any more impossible than anywhere else.

          Also as far as GLBT groups othering themselves, that’s a false comparison anyway. GLBT groups are a thing in themselves, as are feminist groups in the world at large. They vary. It would be othering though, say, if you had some single group–lets say a specific humanist group, and you recognized this humanist group had a habit of treating gays badly so you decided to make a subset of it for teh gayz and call it anonysissies so that people in the group who wish to do something for GLBT communities could participate in that. It would be more like that I think. And yes, that is othering. Plus, the segregation of women is so fundamentally a part of the problem that to me this only strikes me as some what hopeless. Now, if it gets more women doing something good for free speech? Then great, it’s worth it. However, I do think that the combination of the diminutive word with the “subset” of a greater group combines to create something that is potentially counter productive.

          I also have no problem with the creation of a space where the assumed identity of participants in that space is simply understood to be feminine. Even as a social experiment that’s just damned interesting to me. But in order to really *do* that well I think it would have to lose the name. It would have to truly *be* at that level of assumption.

          “I see where you are coming from and this is an issue that raises its head all the time: Is choosing a label counterproductive to the process of acculturation?”

          It’s really not just that. The label itself isn’t what’s wrong. What’s wrong is that in order to be an anonymous human you must be assumed male (and white actually). It’s that your very self is considered a blockade between you and being human, something that people who are free to be *themselves* anonymously as opposed to those who must be *another self* via anonymity might not understand well. For one anonymity can be an actualization of self freed of constraints while for the other this actualization requires a negation. Anon males can don a mask and *be* anonymous, anon females must wear a mask no matter what.

          “It’s not as simple as that, because there are structural elements that are exclusionary and they exist outside of the individual (and inside every individual).”

          Of course, I don’t deny that at all. But I still say tits and stay the fuck in.

          The worst you confront is other people being who they want to believe at that moment that they are.

  16. “Creating some kind of feminine ghetto so the girls don’t have to hear offensive language, though, harks back to the days of harems and ladies’ salons. It gives me the heebies, frankly.”

    Anonymous has such an overtly masculine, sexist and mysogynistic public image as to be offputting. It might not be a goal of the movement, or even something intentional, but it’s a clearly visible theme to an outsider. Additionally, Anonymous already exclusively use male imagery to refer to themselves, and overwhelmningly (exclusively?) male visible ex-members and spokeanons.

    This doesn’t seem gender neutral to people who aren’t men. It doesn’t leave people wondering what the gender of an anon is, and it doesn’t leave people to presume. It looks, to an outside, like an exclusively male group.

    Couple this with overt sexism so widespread as to be clearly tolerated, and it makes anonymous seem like a teenage boys club. A boys club for justice and freedom, but a boys club nonetheless.

    Why would I want to participate in that? While I support the work, I want to take part in that environment about as much as I want to clean a frat house in my underwear, which is to say not at all. It looks like a lot of sexism, and not a lot of fun.

    Maybe it’s different on the inside. I wouldn’t know, because the outside makes me, and a lot of other women who support the organisations goals, want not to come and hang out with y’all.

  17. Ironic that 38 comments in no one has commented anonymously or (more likely and even more ironically) no anonymously posted comments have been approved.

  18. I think the very idea of representing females feels progressive and advanced. I mean there are cultures that don’t give a voice to women that just look barbaric, but are a plane flight away or across the state border. So to me it means Anonymous is more western or self-reflective to promote women’s agenda. We’ve seen the suffrage movement, and the rise of the female ceo is helping pry money from the hands of old men. If technology can now be wielded as power, then it’s right that women have a say. I’m asking, “is Anonymous fluid?”. Is it dynamic and cohesive, responsive to change? or is it mired in definitions, set structure, established rules? I have a visual image of people afraid of change and I don’t think that’s Anonymous at all.

  19. http://anonnews.org/?p=press&a=item&i=214

    “So you want to be a modern girl.
    You want more freedom.
    You want more power.
    You want to have fun.
    You want to prove that women are more courageous than men.
    And you love the Internet.
    We need you.
    Welcome on board, Anonymiss.”

    this is just, i don’t even….

    1. “So you want to be a modern girl.
      You want more freedom.
      You want more power.
      You want to have fun.
      You want to prove that women are more courageous than men.
      And you love the Internet.
      We need you.
      Welcome on board, Anonymiss.”

      Jesus fucking shit. I’m torn between wanting to blog about this to work through whatever this is causing in my brain right now and not wanting to attract potential ire from anon :/
      great. But why the sales pitch, and the taunting tone?
      But really? Ok ok, you know if this is what people want then

      “So you want to be a modern girl”

      What is a “modern girl” here? Sort of an old fashioned phrase, isn’t it?

      “You want more freedom.
      You want more power.
      You want to have fun.”

      I want to exercise the freedom I inherently recognize in myself.

      Power, now there’s something. What’s power? Power is the ability to affect change. The control of access to methods of survival in a competitive environment is crucial. Is anon meant to be a competitive environment. Are some anons more equal than others?

      I am, in it for the lulz you got me there.

      “You want to prove that women are more courageous than men.”
      No, absolutely not. To “prove” something requires a judge, some master to earn approval from.

      I reject that entirely. It is a sad fact of life that one must wear these constraints of hierarchy, but who does this presume will judge this battle of the sexes.

      Furthermore, I do not care to compete with men for some rather obnoxious metaphysical title like “courageous” anyway. It’s like something they’d pin on your corpse after you died in a war. Something you’d find out you had all along before Dorothy goes back to Kansas.

      “And you love the Internet.”

      Love is such a strong word here. I’m… on the internet. Odi et Amo.

      “We need you.”

      You shouldn’t! You shouldn’t need me because *I* shouldn’t matter. We would simply be regardless.

      ….

      Eh… I’m sorry for the long posts. I guess this just has me thinking and confronting something that does seem worth trying to figure out.

      Heh, it’s been good for something I guess.

  20. Quote from the comments on anonnews.org about Anonymiss:

    If you want to influence Anonymous by making it more feminine, join Anonymous not Anonymiss. FFS

  21. I think this is great, but I am worried about this actually turning into a splinter group from Anonymous. Anonymous is at their peak, I don’t want to see them start pulling themselves apart now.

  22. Dear god people. This entire thread makes me wonder if Anonymiss wasn’t just a joke put out by the oldfags for the lulz. Reading the responses it seems like everyone “knows” what anonymous “is”. They’re misogynistic men! They’re fighting against Scientology! They’re internet pranksters doing it for the lulz! They’re fighting the good fight for freedom!

    Anonymous isn’t any one thing aside from being anonymous. The more you try to describe it the more exceptions you will find to your descriptions. Stop trying to label it and give it a defined message. Any single op is not representative of the will of the total collective nor is every post of tits or GTFO.

    1. It had seriously crossed my mind that the whole thing might be a prank.

      I’ll be honest, I’d kind of almost be relieved if it is.

    2. Someone better at writing than I am should do a “Universal Soldier” cover for Anonymous.

  23. “A call was made for women to get involved, and AnonyMiss came into being. The entry point is the AnonyMiss IRC channel.”

    I’ve had that “anonymiss” image on my computer since 2007…

    This is nothing new, and there was no organized “call” for its existence.

    While people may claim to represent the group, they merely represent a portion, and this sort of organization and representation in antithetical to the fluidity and purpose of the anonymous and anonymiss movements.

    Snuf42 preaches the truth.

  24. anonymous is a mode
    anyone is capable
    slip in, act in defense of humans, and slip out
    operation empire state rebellion:

  25. ‘…since Anonymous has always been a group of everyone, all races and genders and sexualities, despite the frat-house humor involved….’

    CrewBaby, it’s not ‘frat-house humor’. It’s misogynist bullshit. Nice attempt at minimizing. For those of us who identify as female (and many who don’t), it’s downright hostile. And, not even close to ‘humor’, since humor is supposed to be funny.

  26. What Emma said about empowering women everywhere, and being the key to much of the world’s problems, I agree with.
    I don’t care what they call themselves, if there is a group that is going to focus in helping the gender unfairness in this country, and that is possibly growing instead of diminishing, and to expose and help young women from becoming sex slaves, and in concubines, I’m all for the group. I do think that Anonymous should include all, and just have whomever wants to focus on gender issues be part of the same group. Let’s get it done! Thank you AnonyMiss and Mr’s.

  27. And here I was thinking Anonymous was a society of haute couture question marks. Was I ever a chump :P

    @nunoncastors
    > Whether you’ve seen any gender neutrality or feminie representation on behalf of anon is largely moot because, what with anonymous being anonymous, you’re left to presume gender, race, age, education, etc solely on what you see on the net rather than having any actual proof one way or another.

    Why not simply accept that you do not know? What’s the purpose of filling in attributes with speculation? Won’t that simply result in projecting preconceptions onto the unknown anon?

    @aninsomniac
    > An attempt to point out maleness-as-neutral gets reactions like “don’t get your panties in a twist” and “slightly fraught tone”. Sigh. Womenz=emotional, right?

    What does “fraught” have to do with gender? Also, you seem to have a very selective eye. “And before any Anonymous supporter gets his johnson in a knot – an impossibility for most men…” may be sexist, but, by anatomical definition, women are not to whom it is a pejorative.

    > Newsflash: There is a universal devaluation of women.

    If you do not devalue women (which I take to me implicit), than it cannot be universal.

    > To claim that a better move would be to change the system from the inside is steeped in privilege.

    I disagree with you. Does that make me privileged? Does privilege mean my contrarian view is worthless? Are you privileged? If not, then does that make your view more worthwhile than someone who is? If so, then how can your view be worthwhile? Denigrating anyone who does not share your viewpoint seems very egotistical.

    > I assume the people who agree with this are also the people who think affirmative action is also “racist”.

    That’s a big assumption.

    > Lastly, why does the author of this article seem to think that “feminist” is an inappropriate term? “Would you describe yourself, for lack of a better term, as a feminist?”

    To which Emma_A replied: “I’d describe myself as a woman. I want to see women as a class lifted up, empowered, educated, brought out of poverty, trained and enabled to work, given autonomy over their own bodies, given full access to reproductive rights, and given respect. I want women to be loved and recognized as half of the human race, as sentient beings, which is of course what we are.”

    Sounds to me like she defined feminism pretty darn well. Are definitions worth less than labels?

    @lknope
    > Thank you for making that last point. That is exactly what I was thinking. What better term is there than “feminist”? All it means is sexual equality! Whoa, let’s not get too crazy and use that term! Have people like Rush succeeded into making it a dirty word? Why aren’t people proud to call themselves feminists? It was disappointing to read both the interviewer’s question on feminism and the interviewee’s answer.

    I took away exactly the opposite. Anyone can riffle off a word. Talking about what that word means (or should mean) demonstrates real understanding.

    @PMcGorrill
    > This is already a thing. Femanons are called femanons. They are recognized members of the community; “Tits or GTFO” is a stock meme. I think there will be more than a little trouble tacking a feminist movement onto a community that thrives in the most depraved depths of patriarchy.

    If you truly think that is the most depraved depths of patriarchy, you may want to look into the history of women’s rights (or, more often, lack thereof). Or was this was simply a bit of hyperbole?

    @blueelm
    > I find it ironic to the point of being annoying that the spokesperson shies away from the world feminist and yet sticks “miss” in the group’s name. I don’t think that’s something that should be ignored either.

    Why is passionately describing the definition of a word rather than espousing the word itself shying away from it? If I say, ‘I support A, B and C because that’s only right and humane and anything less than A, B and C is unacceptable,” how is that any less emphatic than saying I’m an ABCer?

    > Furthermore, I do not care to compete with men for some rather obnoxious metaphysical title like “courageous” anyway. It’s like something they’d pin on your corpse after you died in a war. Something you’d find out you had all along before Dorothy goes back to Kansas.

    Who are they? Courage is bravery in the face of fear. I would hope one need not die in a war to find that. My guess (and it’s only a guess) is that you know and (since I like to give people the benefit) value what courage is even if you don’t identify with the conventional term for it. Sort of how some feminists might feel the word feminism has become superficial with over-usage and under-action, and so might prefer to talk brass tacks instead of labels.

    Peace,
    Aaron

  28. An anarchic group like anonymous gains its power not only from masses but from diversity of membership. Internal strife (or more tamely, internal conflicts and the potential for schism) is even more important in a group like anonymous wherein the heads of the hydra are given a unified identity through the mechanism of bulk anonymity (rather than pseudonymity, which is fairly standard, groups like anonymous and luther blissett by adopting a single name and in some cases a single style are practically indistinguishable even when arguing amongst themselves). There is a danger of actually presenting a unified front in such a system, which is awful: it’s how anonymous accidentally slips into fascism.

    Having a greater number of women will aid anonymous in being both more balanced and more divided, which will prevent it from losing its intellectual edge. I strongly encourage anyone who does not consider themselves aligned with anonymous’ current behavior to become active under their banner. In that way, your behavior will become anon’s behavior, and anon’s behavior will become more aligned with your own goals.

    It should not stop at women. Anyone who is underrepresented in anon represents a blind spot.

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