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Feminism and social media – the threats and opportunities explored

Published: Fri 9 Feb 2018

In the centenary year of women – at least a section - in Britain first gaining the vote, the need is as great as ever to champion the cause of gender equality.

And in that cause, the rise of social media has manifested itself as both a threat and an opportunity, perhaps most noticeably demonstrated through the #MeToo campaign.

Now, female academics from across the world have come together to contribute their research, findings and arguments to a special edition of the quarterly journal Feminism & Psychology.

The publication, entitled Feminisms and Social Media, explores a range of issues encompassing social media platforms as complex and contradictory spaces for feminism. Among the subjects explored and analysed are:

  • Female athletes’ self-representation
  • Young feminists, feminism and digital media
  • Non-consensual pornography websites
  • Harassment and misogyny on dating sites
  • Victim blaming in discussions of sexual assault cases
  • The role of social media in sex education

Guest editor, Professor Abigail Locke, of the University of Bradford, said: “When women speak out they continue to suffer attacks, disparagement and abuse and social media has exacerbated this, given it a new profile. But social media opens up possibilities also and a new generation of women are speaking out on social media. It is providing a new space for feminism, for speaking out and connecting. #MeToo is an expression of this.

“We want this special edition of Feminism & Psychology to demonstrate that social media can be used as a force for resistance and social change. We stand at a particular point in time, when the power of social media can provide the platform and the opportunity to make significant contributions to this debate.”

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