Pool photo by Bloomberg
倫敦——確保女性頭像繼續出現在英國紙幣上本是一場優雅的運動，而且，上個月英國人宣布將在10英鎊紙幣上用深受人們喜愛的小說家簡·奧斯汀(Jane Austen)取代查爾斯·達爾文(Charles Darwin)，本應可以為這場運動畫上句號。
數月前，當意識到英國紙幣上可能很快就不再有女性形象後——當然，除了伊麗莎白二世女皇(Queen Elizabeth II)之外，「女性空間」(The Women』s Room)網站聯合創始人、博主卡羅琳·克利亞多-佩雷茲(Caroline Criado-Perez)發起了這場運動。這事看上去很緊急：4月，英國央行英格蘭銀行(Bank of England)宣布，英國紙幣上五位歷史人物中的唯一女性、社會改革家伊麗莎白·弗萊(Elizabeth Fry)的頭像將被溫斯頓·丘吉爾(Winston Churchill)所取代，一個毫無疑問的男性。
擔心英國央行沒有靈感的克利亞多-佩雷茲還帶領一群倡導 者，裝扮成女性參政權倡導者埃米琳·潘克赫斯特(Emmeline Pankhurst)、小說家喬治·艾略特（George Eliot，原名瑪麗·安·伊萬斯[Mary Ann Evans]）、以及在公元60年迎戰羅馬入侵者的凱爾特戰士布狄卡(Boadicea)。29歲的克利亞多-佩雷茲將支持其運動的超過3.5萬個簽名親 手送到位於倫敦的英國央行門口，並籌集到近2萬美元（約合12萬元人民幣）的捐款。如果「銀行的男性」（該銀行制定利率的九人委員會中沒有一名女性）無視 2010年《平等法》(Equality Act)中要求公共機構在做所有決定時都要謹記性別平等這一目標的規定，就將用這些捐款發起法律行動。
當時即將離任的英國央行行長默文·A·金(Mervyn A. King)總愛指出，有一名女性（女王）的頭像出現在了每一種紙幣和硬幣背面，但他似乎無暇顧及這場辯論。
然而，7月份，更年輕的加拿大人馬克·J·卡尼(Mark J. Carney)接替了默文·金的職位，卡尼是英國央行319年歷史上首位外籍行長。卡尼抓住了這個樹立形象的機會。
一名Twitter用戶對工黨(Labour Party)議員斯黛拉·克里希(Stella Creasy)說，「我要在明晚9點強姦你。我們是不是在你家附近見面？」
在接到一封至少彙集了12.4萬個簽名的在線請願信之後， 受到壓力的Twitter於周六在其網站上宣布，它正在引入一個新的一次點擊按鈕，來報告每條帖子里的謾罵行為。這項新功能將幫助用戶，將他們引導至一個 在線論壇。公司還承諾，要分出更多人手來識別辱罵他人的帖子，還要更新Twitter的規定，明確聲明Twitter不會容忍粗言穢語的行為。
英國《衛報》(The Guardian)專欄作家塔尼婭·戈爾德(Tanya Gold)警告說，她反對邀請社交網絡網站來「為我們的辯論維持秩序」，她表示，「在Twitter上厭惡女性的人，應該為人所不齒，而不是被當成罪犯。」
亞利桑那州立大學(Arizona State University)文學教授德沃尼·盧瑟(Devoney Looser)說，「她有廣受歡迎的魅力和多元化的政治吸引力。和埃米琳·潘克赫斯特等人不同，你更加難以從政治上定位奧斯汀。保守派和進步派都樂於接納她。」翻譯：谷菁璐、張薇
Bid to Honor Austen Is Not Universally Acknowledged
August 07, 2013
LONDON — It was a genteel campaign to ensure that British bank notes would continue to carry images of women, and it could have ended with the announcement last month that Jane Austen, the much-beloved novelist, would replace Charles Darwin on the £10 note.
Instead, a countercampaign of online harassment, including threats of rape and death, against several high-profile women here turned so nasty that Twitter took steps this weekend to tighten its global policy on reporting abuse.
There has been plenty of pride, but also a good dose of prejudice, as a small band of feminists in period costumes has initiated a national debate about power, rape and the limits of free speech in the age of social media.
Caroline Criado-Perez, a blogger and co-founder of the Web site The Women’s Room, began her campaign months ago when she realized that soon there might be no women — except Queen Elizabeth II, of course — left on British bank notes. The issue seemed urgent: in April, the Bank of England had announced that the only woman currently featured among five historical figures, the social reformer Elizabeth Fry, would be replaced by Winston Churchill, indisputably male.
Surely, Ms. Criado-Perez argued, there were enough women of note in British history to find at least one more?
In case the bank lacked inspiration, she led a group of campaigners dressed up as the suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst, the novelist George Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans) and the Celtic warrior queen Boadicea, who fought Roman invaders in A.D. 60. Ms. Criado-Perez, 29, hand-delivered more than 35,000 signatures supporting her cause to the bank’s doorstep in London and collected nearly $20,000 in donations to mount a legal challenge should the “men of the bank” (there are no women on the nine-member committee that sets interest rates) ignore the 2010 Equality Act obliging public institutions to keep in mind the goal of gender equality in all matters that they decide.
The departing governor of the bank, Mervyn A. King, fond of pointing out that one woman, the queen, is on the back of every bill and coin, appeared to have little time for the debate.
But in July he was replaced by a younger man, a Canadian named Mark J. Carney, the first non-Briton to run the bank in its 319-year history. Mr. Carney seized the opportunity to make a gesture.
On July 24, Mr. Carney said that it had always been the bank’s intention to include another woman among the historical figures on the bank notes, and he announced that Austen would appear on future £10 notes. He also vowed to review the whole process of choosing historical figures for the notes.
“A brilliant day for women,” Ms. Criado-Perez said in response.
But that same day on Twitter a trickle of abuse grew into a shower of crude rape and death threats against Ms. Criado-Perez at a rate of nearly one per minute. Several other women, from members of the public to members of Parliament, have also been the targets of Twitter attacks. Three female journalists received bomb threats.
“I’m going to pistol whip you over and over until you lose consciousness,” one Twitter user warned Ms. Criado-Perez, threatening to “then burn ur flesh.”
“I will rape you tomorrow at 9pm,” a Twitter user told Stella Creasy, a Labour Party legislator. “Shall we meet near your house?”
Two men, ages 21 and 25, have been arrested so far in connection with the harassment. Scotland Yard’s electronic-crime unit is investigating the Twitter attacks involving mostly anonymous Internet users, so-called trolls.
Twitter, under pressure after receiving an online petition with at least 124,000 signatures, announced Saturday on its site that it was introducing a new one-click button to report abuse on every post. The new feature will help users navigate their way to an online form. The company also pledged to dedicate more staff members to identifying abusive posts and is updating its rules, stating explicitly that it will not tolerate abuse.
Tony Wang, who runs Twitter’s British operation, posted a personal apology “to the women who have experienced abuse on Twitter.”
The abuse is “not acceptable in the real world, and it’s not acceptable on Twitter,” he said. He added, “There is more we can and will be doing to protect our users against abuse.”
The debate highlighted a basic tension: technology has made female campaigners more vulnerable to sexist abuse, but it has also empowered them. (Ms. Criado-Perez collected her signatures on Change.org and has more than 24,600 followers on Twitter.)
Tanya Gold, a columnist for the British newspaper The Guardian, warned against asking social networking sites to “police our debate,” suggesting that “misogynists on Twitter should be shamed rather than criminalized.”
Mr. Carney and his colleagues at the Bank of England may be relieved to find that the attention of equality campaigners has for now shifted the focus away from the still overwhelmingly male world of finance.
But few could have foreseen that Austen, a writer perhaps best known for her musings on 19th-century romance, might inadvertently become a feminist symbol.
“She has a wide popular and a varied political appeal,” said Devoney Looser, a professor of English at Arizona State University and an Austen specialist. “Unlike someone like Emmeline Pankhurst, it’s more difficult to slot Austen politically. She’s embraced by conservatives and progressives both.”