By Laurie Penny

‘The web was once imagined to be for everyone... thousands came upon their voices during this courageous new on-line international; it gave unheard lots the gap to talk to one another with out limits, throughout borders, either actual and social. It was once presupposed to release us from gender. yet as a growing number of of our day-by-day lives migrated online, it appeared it did subject when you have been a boy or a girl.’

It's a tricky time to be a lady on the web. during the last generations, the political map of human family has been redrawn via feminism and by way of alterations in expertise. jointly they pose questions about the character and supplier of society which are deeply not easy to these in energy, and in either instances, the backlash is on. during this courageous new international, old-style sexism is making itself felt in new and scary methods.

In Cybersexism, Laurie Penny is going to the darkish middle of the problem and asks why threats of rape and violence are getting used to aim to silence girl voices, analyses the constitution of on-line misogyny, and makes a case for genuine freedom of speech – for everybody.

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Extra resources for Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet

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Most of these works would not appear on the syllabi of feminist theory courses today. In fact, with one or two exceptions, this material is out of print, hard to find, or not well known. Significantly, work within feminist theory that is difficult to comprehend is more likely to be read in theory courses, especially on the graduate level. The recent rise to prominence of a particular style of French feminist theory which is linguis­ tically convoluted is an example of this trend. While such work enriches our understanding of gender politics, it is important to remember that this is not a universal discourse, that it is politically and culturally specific, and emerges from specific relationships particular French feminist scholars have to their political and social reality.

Recognition of the inter-connectedness of sex, race, and class highlights the diversity of experience, compelling TALKING BACK 23 redefinition of the terms for unity. If women do not share “common op­ pression,” what then can serve as a basis for our coming together? Unlike many feminist comrades, I believe women and men must share a common understanding— a basic knowledge of what feminism is— if it is ever to be a powerful mass-based political movement. In Feminist Theory: from margin to center, I suggest that defining feminism broadly as “a move­ ment to end sexism and sexist oppression” would enable us to have a com­ mon political goal.

This knowledge should consistently inform the direction of feminist theory and practice. Unfortunately, racism and class elitism among women has frequently led to the suppression and distortion of this connection so that it is now neces­ sary for feminist thinkers to critique and revise much feminist theory and the direction of feminist movement. This effort at revision is perhaps most evident in the current widespread acknowledgement that sexism, racism, and class exploitation constitute interlocking systems of domination—that sex, race, and class, and not sex alone, determine the nature of any female’s identity, status, and circumstance, the degree to which she will or will not be dominated, the extent to which she will have the power to dominate.

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