by Jarrah Hodge
As Gender Focus’ readership has grown over the past few years, we’ve encountered more situations where a few trolls visit the site and spend what seems a inordinate amount of time refusing to listen and/or trying to bait me or a contributor into one fallacious argument or another.
So, what do we do when we get a flood of comments like that?
Well, Gender Focus does have a comments policy, modelled after the excellent policy at Bitch Magazine blogs. My experience as a contributor there was that it always felt safe to post and comment. I could be reasonably assured that people disagreeing with me were at least hearing me out and considering their responses.
I wanted that for Gender Focus. I wanted to strike a balance between allowing for debate and ensuring contributors and commenters feel safe expressing their opinions and not being subject to silencing tactics.
To that end, here are a couple of the key items in the policy: Read more
Some trolls created an online game inviting players to “beat up Anita Sarkeesian”
by Alicia Costa
As I was stopped at the light today one of the young men in the SUV next to me leaned out his window and screamed, “Now THAT’S a great ass!” to a young woman crossing the street. She looked clearly startled and not at all flattered by the outburst. It literally made me recoil as I know exactly what that girl feels like. In fact this exact same thing happened to me last week while walking to meet a client. And I’m sure if you are a woman reading this you can relate to this situation.
This got me thinking about how much sexual harassment women are receiving and internalizing on a daily basis and I’m tired of it. Many men seem to think by hiding in their cars and shouting out the window- or behind a computer screen they have full license to do and say whatever they want about our bodies.
In previous weeks feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency came out and laid out all of the harassment she was getting in response to a project she created about the lack of well-rounded female characters in video games. Everything from the defacement of her Wikipedia page, to continued threats of sexualized violence, to a video game where the player can virtually punch a picture of Anita until her face in it turns black and blue.
While trying to process Anita’s experience and reconcile my own experiences of misogynist hate emails and nasty comments on things I’ve written over the years I started to think about other forms of harassment I’ve received on the internet. Read more