Online harassment of women

The issue of online harassment of women is the main idea put forward both in Anita Sarkeesian’s speech, “Online Harassment and Cyber Mobs”, and in the internet article “Here’s What Sexist Video Games Do to Boys' Brains” by Alexandra Sifferlin.

In her speech, Sarkeesian explains that online harassment is not a game. However, for teenage boys and adult men, online harassment is seen as a game in which the villains – women – have to be destroyed and silenced. One of the things explored both in Sarkeesian’s speech and in the internet article is the idea that online harassment is mainly conducted by males:

Well, often when we talk about online harassment we think of teenage boys in their parents’ basements, and while I was attacked by some teenage boys, I was also attacked by thousands of grown men. And this isn’t entirely surprising considering the average age of the male gamer in the US is about 30. (ll. 57-61)

In the article “Here’s What Sexist Video Games Do to Boys' Brains”, the author explains that teenage boys who play violent and sexist games tend to display less empathy for women in real life.

They found that boys who played the games containing sexism and violence were more likely to identify with the character they were playing. They also reported less empathy toward the images of female victims. That did not hold true for girls who played those games, suggesting that the games may impact boys and girls differently. (ll. 15-18)...

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