I am very proud that Words Are My Craft is a blog tour stop for Targeted and Trolled by Rossalyn Warren.
A feminist campaigner is sent death threats online at a rate of over fifty-per-hour. A woman who shares on social media her experience of rape, so that others might feel brave enough to speak out, is bombarded with abusive messages. More than a hundred female celebrities have their personal nude photographs stolen and published by hackers. The victims of these stories of trolling and internet crimes have just one thing in common: their gender.
Most of us use the internet every day, but we rarely stop and think about the way we are received there and whether the treatment of women online differs from the treatment of men. As a Buzzfeed journalist, Rossalyn Warren has first-hand experience of the sexism and misogyny targeted at women online – the insults about their appearance, the rape threats, and in some instances even stalking.
In Targeted and Trolled, Warren exposes the true extent of the global problem. Informative, empowering and inspiring, this book is both a shocking revelation of the scale of the problem and a message of hope about how men and women are working together to fight back against the trolls. [Synopsis taken from Goodreads]
This book is an absolute essential read for any man or woman in this day and age, especially those who are very active online or with social media. So many people have no idea what is going on in the online world – how dangerous and damaging it can be, and just how many women, both high-profile and not, suffer at the hands of trolls and abusers on the internet.
The book offers examples and case studies of inspirational and influential women who have suffered needlessly for being outspoken or even simply for having a presence on the internet. Brilliantly, it also provides examples of abused women from different countries, including Pakistan, a country in which this problem is not widely known amongst the public. It shines a light on the fact that women all over the world and in every kind of community are facing this abuse and that it should not be something that women can’t talk about or seek help for.
It also tackles the stereotype that online trolls are isolated young men. In fact, as the book states, “The reality is, those who commit online abuse can be of any age, race or gender.” The book explores the consequences of there being almost a relaxed sense of morality online. There seems to be a perception amongst trolls that the internet is lawless and that things that are not OK in the real world are fine in cyberspace. People do and say things online that even they themselves would not find acceptable in the physical world. The book also explores other reasons as to why people behave the way they do to women online and whether there are any common character traits which cause people to do so.
It does not discount the fact that men are also subject to trolling and online abuse; rather it effectively outlines the differences between that abuse that women face and that that men receive. The abuse women receive is gender-centric, whereas when men are abused it is rarely because they are men:
“I really want women to know that when they’re called a slut or a bitch for sharing a comment online, that is very different to a man being called an asshole because somebody didn’t like his opinion.”
Targeted and Trolled backs up its every argument and example with scientific research, case studies and facts and figures. It is both shocking and empowering for women at the same time. It shows us we are not alone and it gives us suggestions as to how we can tackle the problem, and how it is already being tackled by inspirational women all over the world. It is a sobering and fascinating read and is very much needed in today’s society. Whether you’re a man or a woman, read this book and let your voice be heard against this despicable abuse.
A fantastic book. Well done and thank you to Rossalyn Warren for speaking out for women everywhere.