'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Sunday, 6 October 2013

REVIEW: Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet - Laurie Penny

Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet - Laurie Penny
Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet
‘The Internet was supposed to be for everyone... Millions found their voices in this brave new online world; it gave unheard masses the space to speak to each other without limits, across borders, both physical and social. It was supposed to liberate us from gender. But as more and more of our daily lives migrated on line, it seemed it did matter if you were a boy or a girl.’

It's a tough time to be a woman on the internet. Over the past two generations, the political map of human relations has been redrawn by feminism and by changes in technology. Together they pose questions about the nature and organisation of society that are deeply challenging to those in power, and in both cases, the backlash is on. In this brave new world, old-style sexism is making itself felt in new and frightening ways. 

In Cybersexism, Laurie Penny goes to the dark heart of the matter and asks why threats of rape and violence are being used to try to silence female voices, analyses the structure of online misogyny, and makes a case for real freedom of speech – for everyone.
*Received in exchange for an honest review*
*Thank you, Bloomsbury*

Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet is such a well-written, eloquent piece of criticism which focuses on the problematic politics of the internet. Men bashing women, women bashing men, men bashing men, women bashing women and all behind a screen. Ms. Penny addresses so many issues which many of us have encountered: from the verbal abuse and threatens of rape, the exclusion from the gaming world because of gender. The internet allows those that hold prejudice to abuse and to be verbal about these prejudices without having to come face to face with those that are being abused.

This essay explores the dangers of the anonymity of the internet and what this can do to people. I found it fascinating to read and found myself with agreeing with so much of it. Laurie Penny reclaims the term Geek for women: why are men so determined to exclude women from this? But she also explores many more issues. Why is it that a woman's opinion counts for less online? Many things are shared online which would never be uttered in public and certainly not face to face. This eloquent essay explores this in great detail. It is fascinating and well researched argument; I definitely recommend it. 

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