Feminist politics of freedom of speech - Reflections on session in AWID 2016

Submitted by jenny

We all know feminism and the world do not go hand-in-hand on many things, especially if trying to address violence against women in the virtual world. Platforms, codes and cultural settings seem to conspire against any real, concrete and timely solution, putting most often women and beyond-binary(1) self-identifying individuals on the side of protectionist censorship. It is like we, the women/girls and beyond-binary self-identifying individuals, are not strong enough to cope with the “real” world, and so ask for protection of the state or corporation, thereby silencing free speech. This frame implies that free speech is somehow enriched by statements such as “slut-will-rape-you-and-put-a-rat-into-your-hole-you-bitch” and images that usually accompany them, that are often put and shared online by many accounts (whether these are bots or humans is irrelevant).