Challenge sexism and counter sexist hate speech!

10 February, 2016
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Community Manager
February 10, 2016 at 9:15 am

THE MOVEMENT CALLS FOR FLAGGING ONLINE SEXIST HATE SPEECH BY THE HATE SPEECH WATCH. In March the Hate Speech Watch is collecting examples of different online expressions of sexist hate speech with the purpose of raising awareness and support the education of young people. Discrimination, multiple discrimination and hate speech against women is a serious issue still in today’s Europe. Sexist hate speech builds on narratives reaffirming gender stereotypes which justify gender discrimination and sexism, thus it is very important to  challenge sexism and speak up for gender equality both online and offline. 

It is very important to explain that sexism is also a form of Human Rights violation and hate speech against women increases violence against women. Sexist hate speech aims to humiliate and objectify women, to destroy their reputation and to make them vulnerable and fearful. It is a form of social shaming, and it is spreading the message that the women are less human beings. The No Hate Speech Movement aims to raise awareness about sexist hate speech online and its risks for democracy and its tragic consequences for young people. Sexism can be defined as “the supposition, belief or assertion that one sex is superior to the other, often expressed in the context of traditional stereotyping of social roles on the basis of sex, with resultant discrimination practiced against members of the supposedly inferior sex”. “Sexist hate speech” as a legal term does not yet exist but legal documents support its inclusion. Sexist hate speech targeting women has been referred to in several terms such as “sexualised hate speech”, “sexist hate speech”, “cyber gender harassment”, or “cybersexism”. The aims are to humiliate and objectify women, to destroy their reputation and to make them vulnerable and fearful. It is a form of social shaming, spreading the message that the woman is not a full human being. Gender motivated hate speech creates, reinforces and perpetuates gender hierarchy in public places. Freedom of expression as a fundamental human right has enjoyed a solid place within the human rights discourse and the increasing use of Internet has made it easy for users to share their thoughts publicly, instantly and anonymously. It is enshrined in several legally binding human rights instruments but its exercise might be subject to restrictions prescribed by law, such as the prohibition of hate speech. The feeling of impunity and the thought of the Internet as disconnected from real life have contributed to the spread of hate speech but also of a specific kind directed at women. Sexist hate speech prevents women to enjoy their right to freedom of expression and their participation in the online space. Read more details about the Action Day here.


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