I explain why I felt the need to write an article about online abuse towards women for my journalism Masters XCity Magazine, including interviews with Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Laurie Penny & Helen Lewis
*Tweets shown based on real tweets; not actual tweets received
Rape threats on Twitter, women being targeted for their apparent sexual attractiveness, anonymous social network users who seem to think any woman (or man, but less so) who dares to speak or act in a public space deserves anything they can throw at them, utterly repulsive, offensive or sexist or otherwise.
Even typing those sentences makes me sigh; makes me angry – haven’t we done this already? How many times does it need to be said for people to realise that targeting people in this way is completely and totally not OK? And not only that; that it happens, that it’s a problem, that women suffer it daily; fear it daily, and that it genuinely shuts down discussions and only adds to the prevailing bullshit idea that women are whinging harlots merely overracting when someone disagrees with us? And that basically, we need to ‘play nice’, and as women, sit down, be quiet and look pretty?
Well, apparently more times, and more again, if the past few days are anything to go by. This is a minority issue, sure (few men, I am certain, would think the behaviour of such ‘trolls’ is acceptable) but the minority are currently ruining it for the rest of us.