Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{May 13, 2007}   Sexual Threats Stifle Some Female Bloggers

An article published by the Washington Post titled “Sexual Threats Stifle Some Female Bloggers” and written by Ellen Nakashima has made me worry about what’s happening in the blogosphere.

Here go some extracts:

A 2006 University of Maryland study on chat rooms found that female participants received 25 times as many sexually explicit and malicious messages as males. A 2005 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that the proportion of Internet users who took part in chats and discussion groups plunged from 28 percent in 2000 to 17 percent in 2005, entirely because of the exodus of women. The study attributed the trend to “sensitivity to worrisome behavior in chat rooms.”

Sierra, whose recent case has attracted international attention, has suspended blogging. Other women have censored themselves, turned to private forums or closed comments on blogs. Many use gender-neutral pseudonyms. Some just gut it out. But the effect of repeated harassment, bloggers and experts interviewed said, is to make women reluctant to participate online — undercutting the promise of the Internet as an egalitarian forum.

The same way that, throught history, women have been thrown out of the public life and shut in domestic life due to the violence associated to patriarchy, and that being still exacly what happens in many countries all across the world, it seems that some people are trying to make that also a reality in cyberspace, making us go away from the public spaces and hiding in some safe refuges, kind of locking us up in domestic life again. Thankfully the harassers are no more than a bunch of mentally disturbed ones, and most of the people I know, male and female, are strongly against this, but as long as we are responsive to these threats and hide ourselves out of the public life to be safe, we’re gonna have a problem.

fabi says:

Hi Miry, it’s all about the same, all the time. Internet, as a cruel mirror of humanity (because of the deep human beings beyond a nickname), shows us how we are, without curtains, without masks. You can see it on the bus or in the skype. Patricentricity is inside our hearts. Hopefully, some of us will be able to have a bypass (some others not, like me, since i’m beginning to like football hahahaha).

Ok, i liked your post :) It’s not to make fun, you know that i usually take care on these topics from a girl point of view (and yes, i won’t ever be able to do it because i’m a man at the end …).

Keep on Miry!


Miry says:

Thanks for your support fabi! :)

It is really something that worries me, as this is the best time to do something about it. The longer the problem exists, the harder it will be to go back and fortunately get rid of it.

BTW, What does make you think that football (you mean soccer, I guess) is not for girls? ;)


fabi says:

Hi Miry, it’s strange to talk to you via a weblog in English :D , but it’s nice, and i need to improve :) so…

Please, don’t understand the phrase as a thought :) i was just joking (yes, i know it’s serious at all, but i’m talkin about every bar in every spanish town choked with men screaming about goals :) ).

Do you remember the girls viewing the Spain Team final at Sepsa? :D that day was a crazy one! and that it’s the same feeling for everyone, i think.

Kisses Miryyy!


Miry says:

Yup, I knew it was a joke :)

The problem is that I’m starting to get interested in soccer myself ( http://www.futfem.com/ ) :P


Miry says:

Interesting thing to read: “How not to be an asshole: a guide for men” ( http://pandagon.net/2007/04/13/how-to-not-be-an-asshole-a-guide-for-men/ )

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