F**k the High Road: The Upside of Sinking to Their Level

Excerpt from this article:

Don’t feed the trolls: it’s probably the most common refrain in online discussions, especially when dealing with misogynists in feminists conversations. The idea is that the best way to deal with sexists is to starve of them of the attention they’re so clearly desperate for. Besides, we think, why sink to their level?

But the high road is overrated.

…Indeed, one of the questions I’m asked most often by younger feminists is how to emotionally and mentally deal with the incredible amount of hate that gets thrown their way. My advice has usually been not to talk to brick walls—to think of their activist energy as a precious resource and save it. But I’ve never fully taken that advice. Responding to—and making fun of—sexists has always been a part of my feminist work. Not just because it shines a light on misogyny or holds people accountable to their words—but because it’s fun.

Is misogyny worse now than before the internet?

'Feminists have always been menaced, mocked, harassed, boycotted and sued. Men’s outrage is not new'

Excerpt from this article:

But an aspect which is particular to our historical moment is that anonymity, coupled with high-speed broadband connections, has enabled the internet to become a cauldron of hate and vitriol, led by men against women. In 2006, researchers at the University of Maryland found female chatroom users received 25 times more threatening or sexually malicious messages than their male counterparts. Parents were advised: “Kids can still exercise plenty of creativity and self-expression without divulging their gender.” The message? Being online is fine, so long as you don’t identify as a woman.

The Unsafety Net: How Social Media Turned Against Women

Excerpt from this article, with a hat tip to Rina Hiranand for the link:

A report, “Misogyny on Twitter,” released by the research and policy organization Demos this June, found more than 6 million instances of the word “slut” or “whore” used in English on Twitter between December 26, 2013, and February 9, 2014… An estimated 20 percent of the misogyny study Tweets appeared, to researchers, to be threatening.

…A second Demos study showed that while male celebrities, female journalists, and male politicians face the highest likelihood of online hostility, women are significantly more likely to be targeted specifically because of their gender, and men are overwhelmingly those doing the harassing. For women of color, or members of the LGBT community, the harassment is amplified.