"take your # off my VAG"
[by @hy_stera in collaboration with Red Zenith Collective ]
________hashtags and social media have become increasingly weaponised to reinforce toxic patriarchal agendas & create new forms of 'vagina-related-digital-oppression'
from the radical online supporters of anti-abortion extremism in Poland to sceptical trolls criticizing Scotland's (and now also New Zeland's) decision to offer free sanitary products for all, many social media users feel obliged to have their say what vaginas are all about
[and so many more]
What is the social (and digital) purpose of one's vagina? Whose needs is it supposed to fulfil? What are its rights, obligations, and responsibilities (e.g reproductive, aesthetic)? Who gets to say what your identity is if you have one (or not)?
International human rights standards emphasize that the concept of ‘violence against women’ is a form of gender-based violence (@amnesty). Online gender-based violence is an intersectional issue and affects women, LGBTQ + people, and other marginalised communities. Since #covid_19 lockdown, almost 1 in 2 women and non-binary people reported experiencing online abuse (@glitch). Result? Many women have no choice but to self-censor and remove themselves from online spaces (leading to their digital exclusion). Globally, there are 250 million fewer women online than men.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital violence has spread under the shadow pandemic of violence against women. Especiallym, women with multiple identities (i.e. LBTQI community, ethnic minority, indigenous) are often targeted online through discrimination and hate speech. As a result, they tend to self-censor and withdraw from debates and online discussions (@UN Women).