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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Women on the Internet

The harassment of women online reached truly a staggering level yesterday when a lecture that Anita Sarkeesian was to give at Utah State University had to be cancelled due to a threat to commit "the deadliest school shooting in American history" if it was not. As Amy Roth said at Skepchik, this is "organized, dedicated, on-going, online harassment is terrorism directed at women in an attempt to silence them".

If you haven't followed this, there are a lot of articles out there. I'll just mention one:
  • "No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry" (Brianna Wu, Polygon)
  • UPDATE: "IT HAPPENED TO ME: I've Been Forced Out Of My Home And Am Living In Constant Fear Because Of Relentless Death Threats From Gamergate" (Brianna Wu, XOJane)
Wu is a developer herself, and she was forced to leave her house (as Sarkeesian had been earlier) due to threats made against her.

What's happening with gaming is particularly awful, but it's no treat being an outspoken woman on the internet anyway, as these articles show:
  • "Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet" (Amanda Hess, Pacific Standard)
  • "For Women on the Internet, It Doesn't Get Better" (Samantha Allen, Daily Dot)
  • "But WHAT CAN BE DONE: Dos and Don'ts To Combat Online Sexism" (Leigh Alexander
  • "'Unspeakable Things': The Predictable Sexist Troll Backlash" (Laurie Penny)
  • "Why I Don't Just Go To the Cops" (Rebecca Watson, Skepchick)
All of this speaks in interesting ways to some of the issues with which we've been dealing around here lately. Pay special attention to the way these women are told to "get over it", that it's "not so bad", that it happens to everyone, etc, etc, etc.

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