[Air-L] New Book: Sexual Harassment Online: Shaming and Silencing Women in the Digital Age
tlevey at york.cuny.edu
Tue Mar 27 09:01:11 PDT 2018
New book announcement: Tania G. Levey (2018). Sexual Harassment Online: Shaming and Silencing Women in the Digital Age (Lynne Rienner Publishers).
Women who use social media are frequently subjected to blatant sexual harassment, from name calling to threats of violence. Using social media management software (SMMS) and content analysis, Sexual Harassment Online explores the harmful language of shaming and silencing women on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Tracking common misogynist terms during 2016, words such as “sl*t” and “wh*re” were used to shame women for having any sexual activity, from having multiple sex partners to simply initiating sex or ending relationships. “D*ke” was used to shame women for failing to act feminine by having short hair or wearing loose clothing. “B*tch” and “c*nt” were used to silence women for expressing opinions and behaving in ways perceived as unfriendly or uncooperative. Women were just as likely as men to call women names such as “b*tch” and “sl*t,” though less often in the context of violent threats.
Use of these words peaked during presidential debates and the 2016 presidential election due to tweets directed at Hillary Clinton. Women of color, immigrant women, and women from non-Anglo-European backgrounds were frequent targets of misogynist abuse and also experienced racist and xenophobic comments. Commonly targeted celebrities included Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, and Melania Trump.
Misogynist terms were also used to resist restrictive heterofeminine norms through reclamation, direct critiques, and online campaigns. This book concludes by discussing the potential of social media platforms to contribute to social change.
Tania G. Levey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology
Department of Behavioral Sciences
York College, CUNY
Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs
New Book: Tania G. Levey, Sexual Harassment Online: Shaming and Silencing Women in the Digital Age (2018)
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