Women and other vulnerable communities do not usually fare well in the Nonhuman Animal rights movement. We are sad to report that the movement tends to be incredibly sexist, racist, disableist, and ethnocentrist. Violence against women has been documented as an unfortunate trend as well. Advocates from disadvantaged groups who work online are also targets for abuse and harassment.
It is not okay if someone is:
- Continuing to contact you after you have requested they stop
- Using derogatory words in reference to your gender, sexual orientation, etc.
- Using violent language or actions to intimidate you
- Commenting on your physical appearance or making sexual suggestions
- Stalking you online (or in person)
- Revealing personal information about you (your place of work, your address, your sexual history, your sexual orientation, your gender identification, etc.)
- Threatening to punish you if you do not do what they say
- Pressuring you to give them romantic or sexual attention of any kind
- Touching, hitting, pushing, blocking, or pinning you
- Abusing their position of power to intimidate you or take advantage of you
These behaviors are serious, as many of these behaviors are known to escalate to dangerous levels. For instance, most women who have been victims of homicide by men were stalked prior to their death. Even for those behaviors that do not escalate, they dehumanize and interfere with one’s ability to feel safe and valued. They are forms of violence. You are not alone. For example, one in three women will be raped or beaten at least once in their lifetimes. Women who are active online receive 25 times more harassment than men. While we are graduate students in the liberal arts and are not trained to deal with abuse, please feel free to contact us if you would like to talk or just want a sympathetic ear.
We believe you.
Please also consider these resources:
Amanda Hess (2014) “Why Women Aren’t Welcome on the Internet.” Pacific Standard 11 (January/February).
Ching-In Chen et al. The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities. South End Press.
Offers immediate help as well as further reading and resources.
Includes statistics, tips, advice on reporting, recovery, phone apps and more.