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The Digital Safety Gap and the Online Harassment of Women

January 31, 2013

The Digital Safety Gap and the Online Harassment of Women

Soraya Chemaly

Feminist, Writer, Satirist… not always in that order

Posted: 01/28/2013 3:53 pm

Warning for potentially triggering language.

Men Who Hate Women was the original language nameof The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo.  When the book was to be published in English the name was changed. Which is why I have a “Dumb Cunt” folder on my computer. It’s jarring to see it there next to “Kids Stuff” and “Work Docs.” But, this is where I file away copies of misogynistic messages and threats that I get via email, Facebook, Twitter and comments. I don’t respond to these, but it’s important to document them. I could have named it “Abuse File” or “Harassment,” but I didn’t because those words dilute their nature and intent. Like changing the name of the book. For some of us, words have meaning and there are men who hate women because they are women. What they say and do shouldn’t be made politely palatable so that people aren’t offended. They’re offensive. Making them or their words “family friendly” is a systematized tolerance than enables them to act the way they do.

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