Sexism and Equality Online

Equality across both genders is an issue that has been debated since the start of the 20th century, and you would think after over a century we could figure it out and all would be equal, right? Well apparently not. We continue to fight this battle as we as a society are unable to see the difference between opinion and an attack. Women continue to be undermined by men and in the age of the internet, it has become a whole lot easier to do so.

Abusing someone over the internet is a whole lot easier than abusing someone to their face and the ability to stay anonymous online gives those abusers the boost they need to say whatever they want without any repercussions, which is the beauty of the internet to those who send out hate online.

The ‘Men Call Me Things’ hashtag trend on Twitter in 2011 was a backlash towards this hate online specifically the hate directed towards women. It was started by Jessica Valenti women were encouraged to tweet the misogynistic messages they had received with this hashtag in order to bring to light the intensity of this problem online. These tweets showed hateful messages they had received about rape and offensive images. These women wanted to name and shame those who had sent the messages and have the ability to send these messages be taken into police hands.

While this incident brought awareness to the misogyny that was online, it still continues today. It is generally directed to those in political positions but also any woman who moves out of the female stereotype to give their opinion online.

Moving out of this time of gender inequality is an important step society needs to take and we should be starting online.

References:

Griffin, M 2011, ‘Troll-Attack Campaign Goes Viral’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November, viewed 15 May 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/trollattack-campaign-goes-viral-20111108-1n4j4.html

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