Harassment of Social Media and Misogyny

Harassment of Social Media and Misogyny

This article discusses the harassment Ashley Judd received on twitter after tweeting about basketball. She received so much hate and so many derogatory comments that she had to delete the tweet and decided to talk about her experience. Unfortunately, this is happening too often in contemporary society. Young girls and women are being sexualized on social media for anything and everything. Judd states that, “Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood” (cited in Alter). Females are constantly put down for no obvious reason. People took a stab at whatever they could: her body, age, intellect, appearance, and even her family (Judd cited in Alter). They needed to find any excuse to demean her. I’m not saying all men do this but often they take it upon themselves to use disrespectful names and phrases to talk down to women. Often these things are not meant to trigger a response, instead women are just supposed to take it. They are not talking to the women, but instead at them, like an object, as opposed to a human being.

Each day I learn about how harmful social media is becoming. The amount of misogynistic comments on social media in today’s society is unbelievable. The even bigger issue at hand is that there aren’t only sexist comments but racist and homophobic ones as well. Her situation also demonstrates that hurtful comments don’t occur just once or even twice but often multiple times. She was disrespected on a few different occasions. People are not afraid to say hurtful things over the Internet because they get to avoid the difficult face-to-face interaction that would most likely prevent them from saying these things. I think society would see a decline in hatred as well as malicious comments if social/mass media was taken out of the picture.

While she was on the topic of women being sexualized, Judd discusses the problem of rape culture. She expresses the realization that people blame the victim instead of the rapist. Who cares what she was wearing or if she was drinking, rape is rape no matter the circumstances. That’s the trouble with society: many people don’t see the problem with rape but instead see the problem in the victim. She tied this in perfectly with the original statement because in both instances the victim is being blamed rather than the person causing the harm. Another thing is how lightly rape is talked about. It’s an invasion of someone’s body; it is not a joke and should never be a joke. The people who joke about rape are the ones that are desensitizing the meaning of it. The worst part is that she openly spoke about how she was raped in her childhood and people still had the audacity to joke about and threaten to rape her.

As a female, I’ve grown up my whole life knowing that women were once oppressed and continue to fall below men. Equal opportunities are not given to women, which is something I still cannot comprehend. Gender equity is needed for cohesion of society to take place. I grew up learning from my mom that I am not responsible for doing all the cooking and cleaning in the house when I am married and that I am capable of fulfilling my ambitions. Sadly, not everyone is taught this but they should be in order to see change in society. A few years ago, the comment “go make me a sandwich” (a male commanding a female) was very popular among people my age. The era where women stayed home, took care of cooking, cleaning, and the children, is long gone. We don’t live in the past anymore, women are not responsible for taking care of their male counterpart. They are capable of achieving their goals and are not to be seen as vulnerable and compliant. Even as a joke, this statement shows us that society’s mindset is stuck in the past even though everything is progressing around us. Comments like these need to end or society will never move forward. This idea that women are only good for the “dirty work” is seen as androcentric. Men were capable of working for a living and so they were given the authority and power to dominate women, which is still taking place in many societies and needs to be changed.

References:

Alter, Charlotte. “Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Twitter Abuse and Rape.” Time Inc. Network. n.p., 19 March 2015. Web. 7 April 2015.

<http://time.com/3750788/ashley-judd-speaks-out-about-twitter-abuse-and-rape/&gt;.

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5 thoughts on “Harassment of Social Media and Misogyny

  1. First of all, what did Ashley Judd tweet? Your analysis would have been improved greatly if you informed the readers of what she said and how she said it. That way we could form our opinions about the tweet to either agree or disagree with the article’s message. I agree with you that many forms of media use any excuse to demean a person’s sexuality. What are some steps society can take to move away from judging genders so frequently in the media? How can an androcentric society be changed? Try to bring in additional information from GNDS 125 to show patterns of the treatment of women to support your arguments.

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    1. Although, yes, I could have included the tweet, I did mention that her tweet was about basketball, which I believe is enough to show everyone that the comments she received were out of context and also, no matter what the tweet had said, it didn’t give people the right to disrespect her like they did. I think to change this view of women, they cannot be objectified in the media (ex. in movies, magazines, songs, etc.) because it makes them seem weak and vulnerable to attack. I also believe that media should portray women as stronger, and show equality between men and women, instead of the men dominating the women.

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  2. I believe your blog post did an excellent job and bringing in relevant details that supported the messages that you, and Ashley Judd, were trying to convey. I especially connected with the concept that racism, homophobia, and sexism are all over media. In a culture where media is being constantly consumed it lays a foundation for continuing ideas of oppression within society. Further more, young children are exposed to the hatful and negative comments while their morals and opinions are still developing. Do you think the effects of this exposure can be overruled by parents or teachers teaching acceptance and equality?

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  3. I really enjoyed reading your post and I felt you touched on so many important topics within this blog. The fact that you were able to do this really illustrates the intersectional struggle that is faced by women. The idea that a simple tweet can cause so much commotion illustrates the progress we still need to make with regard to gender equity. Furthermore, the fact that you related this situation to rape culture I find to be very insightful. I think as a society we have reached this point where we see facing a struggle as being weak, and this is not the case. Every person has had to overcome some adversity, big or small. We need to come the realization that experiencing a struggle does not make you weak nor does it make you at fault. Why do we as a society look at overcoming adversity as being a symbol of great strength but when it comes to the lived experience of the struggle we have no sympathy?

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  4. I like your approach to harassment in social media. The problem of sexual harassment and abuse is well interpreted in your essay; actually it is essential to judge and accuse abuser and not discuss victim behavior. You reviewed also very well the process of emancipation of women and tendency of developing a full equality in relationship between males and females.

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