Cathy Young Questions Allegations of a Cyber War on Women

InternetLast month,
freelance journalist Amanda Hess, in a lengthy feature in Pacific
Standard, declared that women are not welcome on the Internet.
After describing her own frightening experience of online stalking,
Hess lists other ugly incidents and cites statistics and studies
arguing that women on the Internet—journalists, bloggers, and
general users—are routinely terrorized solely because of their sex.
New York Times conservative columnist Ross Douthat called
the article “a candidate for the most troubling magazine essay of

Troubling, indeed. But is it true?

There is no doubt that many women, prominent and obscure, have
experienced severe online harassment that can spill over into “real
life,” writes Cathy Young. Hess’s stalker, who repeatedly
threatened her with rape and murder, went from emails to phone
calls and voice mail messages. Whether such harassment is a
female-specific problem and so pervasive as to actually deter
women’s online participation, is far less clear.

View this article.

from Hit & Run

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