Online Misogyny: A Challenge for Digital Feminism?

Jurasz, Olga and Barker, Kim (2019). Online Misogyny: A Challenge for Digital Feminism? Journal of International Affairs, 72(2) pp. 95–114.



The rise of online feminist activism has been a catalyst for driving attention globally to issues concerning women and their everyday experiences of violence and harassment, both online and offline. The Internet, and in particular social media platforms, have also been places of political struggle and protest for many women who otherwise would have been unable to speak out about public and political issues. At the same time, women who participate in these online fora face various forms of violence—predominantly text-based—including online misogyny. Such acts severely affect women’s rights to equal participation in the public sphere, taken here to include the online public sphere, on an equal basis with men. Drawing on examples of online violence against women in politics (OVAWP), this paper examines the phenomena of online violence against women (OVAW) and online misogyny. It argues that both forms of abuse of women create significant obstacles to women’s equal participation in public and political life, while also affecting women’s rights to freely express their views. Finally, this paper considers the implications of online misogyny and OVAW generally for digital feminism.

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