Given the amount of harassment and abusive behavior that women are subjected to every day, it is hardly surprising that women are also victimized online as well. It is probably fair to say that because of the nature of the web, in many ways it is easier to be abusive online than off. People who might not have the nerve to threaten you in person feel safer in doing so online when they can hide behind screen names and phony email addresses.
Women’s rights to expression and information are increasingly under threat. The UN estimates that 95% of aggressive behavior, harassment, abusive language and degrading images in online spaces are aimed at women.
As more and more women go online using computers and mobile phones, many are silenced through acts of violence, sexism and censorship. The first object that is destroyed by a violent partner is often the women’s cellphone.
It’s critical that we are able to speak out and share our ideas to challenge attitudes and beliefs that sustain violence against women.
Kee offers these excellent ideas for documenting online abuse and fighting back against it:
- Use your mobile phone, camera, social networking spaces.. to document the reality of violence that women where you are.
- Experiment with technology you’ve never used before and use it in your activism
- Be as creative and as tactical as you can in your action
- Make a podcast
- Create a video or make a digital story
- Write a blog post
- Send an SMS
- Map cases of violence against women in your neighbourhood
- Report hacked feminist sites
- Form a technical response group
- Petition against censorship of women’s rights web pages
- Email your political representative
- Tweet your political representative
- Start an online community that talks about violence against women
- Respond to sexist comments
To learn more, check out the Take Back The Tech campaign.