Image via The Atlantic
The internet is a great place (hello Netflix, cute selfies, and wholesome memes I’m looking at you), but it can also be a spot where *garbage people* from around the world spend their time harassing, intimidating, and threatening others.
If you’ve never heard of the term “Cyber-misogyny”, it would be a good thing to do a quick Google about. Basically, it’s the idea that women and girls face a lot more online harassment than other folks, simply because they are women and girls. It’s not necessarily the “fault” of the internet that this happens, but rather an extension of the crap women and girls face in the real world that is merely perpetuated in different ways online. Now, this also applies to BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Colour), queer and trans folk, and our Muslim communities. If you happen to be a member of a group that already faces oppression irl, chances are some mouth breather will use that if they’re trying to get under your skin online.
With some of these online attacks, we are able to simply roll our eyes, block the person, and move on. With others, however, it may be an ongoing campaign to belittle someone, scare them, and push them out of online spaces (lots and lots of female Twitter users have left the platform because of threats of real life violence or exposure of personal info), often resulting in fear of physical or sexual violence being perpetrated against the victim of online abuse.
So what can we do? How do we fight back?
In Session 7 of HRY (Social Media and Relationships), we look at how to build responsible online communities and spaces. A lot of it is the same as in the real world; stand up for others when you see harassment happening, don’t engage with people who are clearly looking to bother you, and don’t share other people’s information or pics if they haven’t given you permission. Let’s work together to build spaces where people can actually have fun and hang out without worrying about bullying, harassment, or intimidation. In the larger sense, we also need to create a world where we are constantly challenging misogyny, racism, and homophobia/transphobia until these opinions are no longer pervasive and accessible via the internet or anywhere else. It is up to us to create these spaces both online and in our classrooms, friend groups, and families.
For more information about your rights online, what’s legal, what’s not, and how to fight back if you have been targeted via the internet, check out West Coast LEAF’s very easy to read legal info brochure here:
From May 12th-14th our annual Spark the Change youth leadership camp will be held at the beautiful Liscombe Lodge in Sherbrooke, NS. We will be releasing application documents soon, and are so excited for this year’s event!! Wahoo!
Hello HRY friends,
Over the next few weeks we will be updating our list of resources to make sure that you know where to turn for support in your community. Check out the Need Help? section for a list of resources for things like mental health, addictions, sexual health and other forms of counselling and support.
We just added a list of resources available in the Guysborough area and we will be updating with lists for other areas soon!
Interested in helping HRY be the best it can be, from a youth perspective? We want you to join our youth advisory committee and have your voice heard!
- What curriculum sessions do you like? Dislike? Do you think we need to focus on other issues?
- How can we better support youth facilitators across the province? What do we need to know about you and your region?
- What do you want to learn about at Spark the Change, our annual leadership retreat, and how do you want to learn it? Who should we get to do workshops or be a speaker, and on what topics?
- What do you need from HRY and how can we give it to you?
To apply or learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your grade, school, and why you’re interested. We look forward to hearing from you!
Transcribed by Erin Wynn on Nov. 29, 2016. What motivated your passion for your activism? Where did it all begin for you? “Safety. We need the change that we are working towards to live safely in …
A powerful piece on body image, gender, and race. How do body politics interact with your multiple identities?
I remember the first time I realized that my body was different, that I took up too much space. I was in my elementary school gym class and I was playing dodge ball and my team mate told me to get off the front line because I was a bigger target and therefore would be easier for the other team to hit.[i] Before then, aside from family members offhand comments about my “baby fat” I had never thought about my body. It was merely the vessel I shoved dino nuggets and kool-aid in while I played pretend in the backyard. I started to compare my body to the other girl’s in my class, most of them tall, thin, gangly, kids while I was short, squat, and thick. I never had to think about my body as different yet, because up until that point I had kept up: I could…
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