[INDOLOGY] How we talk to women online, an example from Indology

Patricia Sauthoff sauthoff at ualberta.ca
Fri Apr 5 18:42:17 UTC 2019

I did a little analysis of two recent emails sent out on the list by the
same sender. One email was in response to a male and the other to a female.
Both emails were on the same topic and sent within a few minutes of one

The male to male (MM) email used the second person "you" and the first
person "I" in a 1:2 ratio.

The male to female (MF) email used "you" to "I" in a 1:3.6 ratio.

The first paragraph of the MM email directly addressed the previous email
by a male academic.

The first paragraph of the FM email reiterated a point that the male writer
said previously, something that occurred more than once in the FM email.

The MM email contained:
 one instance of concern trolling
one instance of an off-topic remark
 several instances of aggressive wording.
The MM email contained no obvious typos.

The MF email contained:
one instance of antagonistic wording
at least two instances of passive aggressive wording
two instances of concern trolling
three instances of questioning the female list member's intellectual
ability (aka gaslighting)
two off-topic comments (one of which containing offensive and dismissive
one instance of what could be perceived as a veiled threat.
The MF email contained multiple obvious typos.

Some definitions of the types of trolling women experience online can be
found here:

I am not trying to call anyone out in particular but find it to be a good
demonstration of how women are approached differently in online spaces.

Patricia Sauthoff
Post-doctoral researcher
Department of History and Classics
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada

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