The Internet seems like the perfect democratizing tool, doesn’t it? Touching nearly every corner of the world, the Internet is one large, constantly evolving mass of different everything: opinions, world views, histories, sexual preferences.
And yet, the Internet has also become a place that feels more and more hostile to women, particularly women with an opinion. The lack of censorship paired with the cover of anonymity has meant that women who speak up are more often than not threatened with rape and general violence, belittled, and otherwise bullied. When Anita Sarkeesian dared to talk about sexism in video games, she became the focus of an organized online attack that wherein all of her “social media sites were flooded with threats of rape, violence, sexual assault, death” (Sarkeesian). There was even game created where users could click on a picture of Anita’s face and have her progressively bloodied and bruised. Even women who simply present factual and seemingly uncontroversial material are subject to constant and dehumanizing scrutiny. Take Emily Graslie, a scientist who hosts “Ask Emily” on the web for the Field Museum. The list of sexist and sometimes threatening comments that she pulls out as an example of what she deals with in her day to day work is both shocking and dispiriting.~ read more ~