Stupid Paki Loving Bitch: The Politics of Online Islamophobia and Misogyny

  • Katy Sian
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Crime, Media and Culture book series (PSCMC)

Abstract

In 2013 feminist writer Caroline Criado-Perez found herself subjected to numerous rape threats following her Twitter campaign calling for Jane Austen to appear as the new face on the £10 bank note. A string of female MPs have also experienced online abuse, death threats and harassment. Furthermore, many celebrity figures and those in the public eye have also complained of sustained online harassment (Jane 2014: 558–570). Cases of women as victims of hate continue to escalate in the unregulated online world, whose sexism and misogyny appears to know no bounds. Symbolic and systemic violence targeted towards women is not new; patriarchy is a staple feature of western societies. However, with the rise of the Internet and new digital technologies, an environment of hate and vulnerability has flourished whereby violence towards women (and minority groups) is increasingly made possible, without restrictions and without constraints. Gendered hatred continues to spiral in cyberspace as it has come to represent a discursive stage in which the distribution, performance and displaying of graphic sexual violence are routine practice (ibid.: 558). Online hate has thus become normalised as media systems continue to facilitate the monitoring, stalking and surveillance of individuals (Atkinson 2014: 164). These shifts have worked to feed a (male) predatory relationship with women, whereby many female celebrities have often been targeted because they have gained a few pounds or lost a few pounds (ibid.). The contemporary mediascape has as such given rise to a culture of voyeurism, which continues to prop up hetero, white and hyper-masculine cultural norms that subjugate females (and those deemed ‘other’). Subsequently, more and more individuals are increasingly finding themselves at greater risk of online stalking, bullying, hate and harassment (ibid.).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katy Sian
    • 1
  1. 1.University of YorkYorkUK

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