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Thu Oct 24, 2013, 12:14 PM

Shutting us down: How online misogyny prevents women from fully participating in democracy [View all]

Laura Bates gave these remarks in the UK Houses of Parliament on Wednesday as part of a gathering of speakers hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

There are two major barriers to women’s full participation in the democratic process in the UK at the moment—the first relates to their taking part in the vital and shaping process of grassroots activism, and the second to their participation in more traditional political careers.

The process of democracy in the UK is shaped by exciting and vibrant activism, across a whole range of issues, from climate change to women’s equality. Increasingly, in the digital age, this activism is both organized and carried out using online resources such as social media. The Internet is a vital tool in raising the voices of those who have frequently previously been silenced, and allowing marginalized and disadvantaged groups a platform to campaign for their rights. But the experience of participating in an online campaign or in online activism is manifestly different for men than it is for women.

Simply by participating in online spaces, women are faced with a barrage of content that can make it a hostile and dangerous environment for them.

Rape jokes, domestic violence memes and entire forums dedicated to violent misogyny exist close to the surface …



… with images like these cropping up on popular social networking sites.

But more specifically, women who dare to use their voices to discuss politics or take part in democratic processes online tend to face a barrage of online abuse. I have experienced this myself almost constantly since starting the Everyday Sexism Project two years ago. It ranges from online harassment and sexist responses to political debate which utterly ignore the content of said debate in favor of outright misogyny …






http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/how-misogyny-is-preventing-women-from-fully-participating-in-the-democratic

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Reply Shutting us down: How online misogyny prevents women from fully participating in democracy [View all]
ismnotwasm Oct 2013 OP
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YoungDemCA Oct 2013 #3
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seabeyond Oct 2013 #7
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