‘ Women are supposed to be sexual objects, we’re still not supposed to be thinking, feeling, complex human beings. It is due to the continual representation of women as just beauties, the attempt to reduce women to a surface on which we project sexuality. So we’re not real people’.
The electronic vilification of Australian women writers and activists – including myself – was documented in June by Christine Jackman writing in the Weekend Australian Magazine. You can read Jackman’s piece ‘War of Words’ here.
Now the issue has been taken up globally, as told in this important piece just published in The Guardian.
I hope women writers and commentators will hold firm and not allow the trolls and haters to win. Hopefully this latest piece will be the beginning of more support for and solidarity between women who choose to speak out.
Crude insults, aggressive threats and unstinting ridicule: it’s business as usual in the world of website news commentary – at least for the women who regularly contribute to the national debate.
The frequency of the violent online invective – or “trolling” – levelled at female commentators and columnists is now causing some of the best known names in journalism to hesitate before publishing their opinions. As a result, women writers across the political spectrum are joining to call for a stop to the largely anonymous name-calling.
The columnist Laurie Penny, who writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and Independent, has decided to reveal the amount of abuse she receives in an effort to persuade online discussion forums to police threatening comments more effectively. Read more
See also: ‘Troll-attack campaign goes viral’ Michelle Griffin, The Age Nov 8, 2011