Thursday, January 16, 2014

Abuse Waiting on the Internet For Women

A recent article "Why Women Aren't Welcome on the Internet" has been catching the attention of many since it was published a week ago. In the article, the author speaks openly about her personal experiences and those of other women who have a prominent voice on the internet. Far too often and at a much higher rate than men, women of all ages face abusive language via the internet. And while rude behavior and language on the internet is nothing new, there are many extreme cases of death, rape and injury threats coupled with cyber stalking behaviors that some women must face everyday. And as cyber crimes are still fairly new, it is not often that those who threaten face repercussions for their actions.

While these actions can effect anyone with an internet connection, the hatred is disproportionately aimed at women. Girls are more likely to be cyber bullied than boys, and the article points out the studies have found that female online identities are more likely to be the target of hateful language. While a large majority of the time threats are without real credibility and lack actual threat, the author explains that there are still negative repercussions for the victims. Being persistently attacked in both public (Facebook, twitter) and private (email) spheres, time lost from documenting extreme cases and general fear the messages bring can all lead to overwhelming stress, depression and development of unhealthy relationships with others. More and more it may be necessary to screen for abusive behaviors in all aspects of a persons life. 

If and until strict regulations are put in place for actions such as these, many more women will continue to face abuse via the internet. With law enforcement confused or looking the other way when it is reported, and anonymity keeping abusers empowered, the excuses are currently stacked against the girls and women who no longer feel safe or welcome on the internet.

Link to original Article:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/women-arent-welcome-internet-72170/


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