The Feminist Times
Are Women Trolled More Viciously Than Men On Social Media?
“Social media has made too many of us comfortable with disrespecting people
and not getting punched in the mouth for it.”
Nowadays, social media trolling is a routine for almost everyone. Trolling is the act of leaving an insulting message on the internet in order to annoy someone. Some of the people are getting trolled on social media while some are busy trolling other people. Online social networks are becoming the preferred platform for trolls to post negative or
offensive material due to wide reach and potential anonymity.
People are getting trolled irrespective of their gender but the magnitude of getting
trolled differs from gender to gender. Of course, both men and women face
harassment online, and some face it every day but women are trolled more
viciously than men on social media. Women experience stalking and sexual
harassment online much more frequently than men. Attacks on women online are
highly gendered, unlike attacks on men. In the same derogatory manner, members of the LQBTQIA+ community also experience a dangerous amount of trolling on social media. The saddest part is that when it comes to women and lgbtqia+ community, the insults directed towards them have nothing to do with their work but all about their gender, questioning their freedom of expression, getting all sorts of threats and abuse. And this kind of trolling doesn't remain 'fun' or 'harmless', it actually scares the person on the the other end.
The most common insult aimed at woman online is to call her some variation of fat, ugly and slutty. Men simply are not judged by their appearances and sexual activity the way women are. Body shaming is not a new phenomenon for women. In recent years, social media has taken body shaming to a new level. Females are often targeted by internet
trolls for body shaming. Females are judged for being too fat or too thin. The attitude of people towards the notions of beauty and physical appearance often leads to psychological impacts as many women feel embarrassed about the way they look and others feel angry because of body shaming. Most surprisingly, the majority of the people don’t even realize that they are body shaming others.
However, body shaming is just one example of trolls on social media.
Besides this, age shaming has also become common. And it is also true that age shaming happens more to women than men. In fact, it is also seen that women are age shaming other women which only reinforces patriarchy in our society.
Girls and women usually receive ridiculous comments on their social media posts for the clothes they wear. Our society judges a woman’s character by her clothes. Society thinks that only the girls with short clothes are being raped.
Females are not only facing trolls on social media, many are getting threatened on the social media as well. There are many girls and women who received or are receiving rape threats online. Rape threats always existed on Indian social media sites. Most women who speak up on social media understand that they will have to pay this price. People think that the only way to silence a woman is to use such explicit language that it shames
you into silence. These trolls can impact women’s mental health adversely. On one hand we are saying that our India is becoming progressive day-by-day due to awareness spread on social media but on the contrary, these trolls targeting the women of our society is only encouraging the patriarchal mindset of the society. Online violence against
women is essentially an extension of the offline violence directed at women owing to their gender- it targets their sexuality, reduces them to sexual objects and reinforces gender stereotypes.
- Juhi Garg