It’s so familiar. Sagarika Ghose, an Indian journalist and tv news anchor, got threats to herself and her daughter.
“Targeting me for my journalism is fine. But when it is sexist and foul-mouthed abuse which insults my gender identity I get incredibly angry. In the beginning I used to retaliate, but that would lead to more abuse.”
Ms Ghose says women abused on Twitter in India tend to to be “liberal and secular”.
“The abusers are right wing nationalists, angry at women speaking their mind. They have even coined a term for us – ‘sickular’.”
So many people are angry at women speaking their minds.
Kavita Krishnan, a prominent Delhi-based women’s activist, was attacked viciously during a recent online chat on violence against women on Rediff.com, one of India’s leading news websites.
“It began well. I had answered a few interesting questions. And then one person, with the handle @RAPIST, started posting abusive comments. He then asked me where he could come to rape me using a condom,” she said.
She says she decided to leave the chat after the abuse continued.
So @RAPIST won and she lost.
Writer-activist Meena Kandasamy chose to go to the police when she faced sexist abuse online.
Last year, she had tweeted about a beef-eating festival at a university in the city of Hyderabad after which she was threatened with “live-telecasted gang-rape and being torched alive and acid attacks”.
K Jaishankar, a teacher of criminology who has been studying bullying, stalking and defamation of women online, says India’s “patriarchal mindset has pervaded the internet space”.
“Men don’t like women to talk back. Public personalities who express strong opinions are trolled in a bid to force them off line,” he says.
So, very, familiar.
H/t Scr… Archivist