Public spaces for women are filled with stares and obscene comments. Keeping in mind that these harassments are not age exclusive, confronting the harassers becomes highly important. Women are always on the receiving end of harassment, based on their looks, attire, and opinion.
These narratives exist not only in public spaces but tend to haunt women in the digital world. We are not new to the ‘trolling culture’ which surrounds our social media presence. The reality of using the Internet for men and women is different. Technology is gendered and when women go online, there are elements that affect their safety. While men might enjoy some sense of freedom women from the entire gender spectrum find themselves walking on a minefield.
Every platform for them is a ticking bomb, whether it be dating sites, gaming or social media.
We can interpret that this violence in online space is travelling from the physical world. This translation of violence tends to have a damaging effect on women.
Online harassment has become a norm of the digital world, from unwanted contact, trolling, rape and death threats, cyberbullying tends to escape from the binaries of men and women. These risks are also faced by marginalized communities ranging from trans folks and people of color.
Invention of the internet was to make a positive impact on different communities and bridge the existing gaps. On the other hand, the same platform is being used to spread hate, fake news, and fear. Although there are projects which are specifically focusing on making digital spaces safe. Women need to create spaces where young girls could be taught, information on sexual health can be provided and women can be connected to easily available healthcare.
Silence is not the answer, but speaking up is! Seeking support and courage to stand against the online abuse is how women can turn the tables.