Why Are Women Being Told To Get Offline?

computer-keyboard  By Casey King

With new internet sites and apps for your phone coming out everyday many people may get caught up in the fast paced online world and forget the safety issues that come with an online presence.

Cyber harassment is an issue that woman on the internet are facing all over the world. According to Danielle Citron, a professor of Law at University of Maryland, a University of Maryland study shows that a woman is 25% more likely to be harassed online then a male presence. The University has conducted an experiment using female and male usernames and found that male usernames would receive 3.7 hateful messages a day for every 100 hateful messages sent to a female username.

According to Citron and the results of the experiment “the user gender had a significant impact on the number of sexually explicit and threatening messages received…studies suggest that women under-report cyber harassment due to feelings of shame, not over-report as the commentator suggests.” Which explains why women are walking away from their blogs and online chat rooms in order to avoid the harassment.

Women have to be more careful in so many areas of their life. We hold our keys facing out when walking to car at night, won’t listen to earphone when jogging, and worry if we are being treated the same as our male- counterparts in the workplace. Now it seems that online networking is another thing to add to the long list of warnings that woman are given in life.

The best advice for women, who are being harassed online, seems to be for them to just stop using the internet. This advice plays right into victim blaming. Many women fear that the violence and rape threats they receive may be followed through on since it has become rather easy to find out personal information online. Citron suggests in one of her articles, “Cyber Harassment: Yes it’s a Woman Thing”, that a type of Cyber Civil Rights be made in order to protect minorities, women, and other groups that may be affected by oppression from online harassment. This could allow women to feel safer online. Therefore, not have to feel the need to leave their favorite chat room, or shutdown their blogs because they are in fear of their future safety.

Everyone has the right to enjoy the internet and be involved in the connections made online. We should not tell women to hide from the harassment, but we should correct the issue of those who are behind the harassment instead.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *