Online attacks on women and feminist bloggers, activists, scholars and authors have become a frequent topic of coverage in U.S. news media over the past year. Increasingly more scholarship is addressing this problematic online phenomenon. For instance, a 2014 Pew study shows that young women are “particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and stalking” via social media.
The FemTechNet network of scholars, artists, and students working at the intersections of science, technology and feminism has issued a statement addressing the anti-feminist violence online: “FemTechnet publicly denounces the systematic and pernicious harassment of women, feminists of all genders, and transgender people for their participation in digital life.”
WikidGRRLs has decided to become a signatory to this important statement. AsFemTechNet,WikidGRRLs is dedicated to an open and accessible internet, especially for (young) women. As FemTechNet we are raising our voices to “reject online and offline violence and silencing of women and feminists.”
Currently societal and legal conditions in the United States are still permitting an atmosphere in which violence online is not fully acknowledged nor fully prosecuted, as Danielle Keats Citron describes in detail in Hate Crimes in Cyber Space. Only by continuing to raise awareness, to keeping up coverage, scholarship and activism can we contribute to transforming the situation for the better. As Danielle Keats CItron puts it: “Change will not be swift, but it is within reach” (p. 96).
Read the complete FemTechNet statement and become a signatory with your initiative or group to show that we do not tolerate violence online.