Amy Guth is a filmmaker and an experienced industry insider on women’s issues, who wants to develop a documentary series on the online harassment problem and the people who have been fighting it, who will no doubt include every fascinating case from the woman who found and called a harasser’s mother to the woman who hunted down one of her harassers and asked them why they did it (there have actually been more than one of those; links courtesy of Miri Mogilevsky). And so many more.
She needs funding.
So I am hereby asking any of my fans who share my interest in this to throw some dosh into her kickstarter for this project. Because I want to see this movie! There are also different perks for your support level. Spread this around as well! The more who contribute any amount they can, the more likely she can make her budget and proceed with this much-needed journalism project. She needs a little more than three hundred people to give a hundred dollars each. Or six hundred people, fifty dollars. Or bigger backers even. But if you tell everyone you can about this, surely she can pull a few hundred of us smaller supporters in.
You can read her whole pitch on her kickstarter page. But one paragraph that especially caught my eye:
While focusing on women’s stories in the modern, digital world and online spaces, I’m also including glimpses into historic examples of backlash against women’s voices (Think anti-Suffragist pamphlets and tactics, trolling letters to female literary greats and scientists, even corporate propaganda to get women out of post-war factories and back into the home). How did these previous attempts at silencing affect the way women conveyed information and organized for social change? By connecting past and present, I aim to find out how the conflict around who gets to have a public voice has (or, perhaps has not) changed over time, regardless of medium.
The historian in me is giddy at the prospect. Others have made this comparison before. There actually are a lot of similarities between the harassment of feminists a century ago and feminists online today. It’s not new. I’d love to see this elegantly laid out. But I have also heard so many fascinating stories of women combating harassers (such as the ones I linked above), and it’s clear Guth intends to collect and investigate those as well, and her followup on that is something I also want to see.
Who harasses people online and why? Who thinks it’s perfectly ok and defends the practice? Who is doing work to change it? And, what’s actually working?
I’ve pledged $50. But I’m poor. And she is still far from her target. So do what you can. Let’s see her make her budget!