Rape Threats: It’s A Free Speech Issue

31 Jul

The number, the viciousness and the momentum of such threats to women who express anything to do with equality is nauseating. Social media has been seen and used by too many to group attack as sport. At it’s most benign it is immature; but it is not benign. It is criminal, disgusting and offensive to anyone with an ounce of ethical fibre. We, men and woman, all society, must stand together to barricade against such abuse.

quiteirregular

Content note: this piece refers to misogynistic threats of violence

Recently the media has been full of stories about women in the public eye being subjected to sexist abuse online.  I’ve written in the past about the way women are singled out for vitriol which men simply do not have to face, and the tendency for the attacks to focus on their bodies rather than their ideas.  Just this week, Caroline Criado-Perez has spoken out about the way she was the target of a spate of hateful messages in the aftermath of her campaign to convince the Bank of England to keep a woman amongst the national luminaries pictured on banknotes.  Over the last year the academic Mary Beard, the critic Anita Sarkeezian and the journalist Helen Lewis have all faced appalling victimization simply for having opinions whilst being a woman.  And these are simply the most famous…

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