Earlier this month several articles were published (see here, here, and here, among others) about the misogynistic attacks against women online. While misogyny is nothing new, it’s widespread online, due in part to the ease of being able to make vile anonymous comments without any negative social repercussions.
The nonprofit independent newsmagazine In These Times published a post titled The Girl’s Guide to Staying Safe Online, which suggest the way women can avoid harassment is the following:
- Don’t Post the Wrong Photo. Any Photo.
- Don’t Have The Wrong Name. Any Name.
- Don’t Be Good at Your Job.
In other words, it doesn’t matter how careful women are online, someone will always take it upon themselves to try to denigrate them.
There is, however, something that women can do. As media technologist Deanna Zandt notes:
Women talked about it amongst themselves, or the feminists talked about it amongst themselves, but it’s now breaking out into a place where it has a wider context… We’re really at this moment where we can begin to define the specific, gendered, hateful things that are happening to women online as a specific kind of harassment that requires change through cultural awareness, and perhaps some laws.
Keeping quiet and hoping it will simply go away is not a viable solution.
Elizabeth Flora Ross says
I’m glad to see this issue being exposed, but one thing this article does not take into account is that many times the attacks on women are by other women. Even other feminists. They originate over a difference in philosophy, and build to all out war. And I have seen those attacks classified as “misogynistic.”