Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a woman on the internet nowadays? With trolls, bots, and ‘alt’ political party members, it can sometimes feel like a miracle that women choose to be on social media at all. Why do they stay? Why do they leave? What is it actually like to be a victim of online harassment?
In the next coming weeks, I will be taking a deep dive into the world of women on the web. I want to understand women’s motives for joining social media and the risks and rewards of doing so. I will be starting with the basics: What is digital harassment? How prevalent is it? And how are women and different kinds of women uniquely affected?
There are also other sub-topics I would like to explore, that may include things such as social media and rape culture, issues of free speech, legal issues and resources, revenge pornography, doxing, and hashtags such as #notallmen. Throughout all of these topics, I will use an intersectional lens to analyze who holds power over who and who is uniquely affected by these topics. I want to end my exploration with examples of how women have pushed back against all of this or used social media to shed light on these issues.
I will be including scholarly research, pop-culture examples, interviews with victims, and various first-person accounts. I will be compiling resources as I go for victims of digital harassment. I will also be talking about and including my own experience with this issue as well. As someone who has experienced online harassment, I too have a personal, vested interest in this problem.
I hope that this research can be a resource for other women who want to understand this issue and combat it as well.