Female tech journalists and the abuse they receive
Adams writes, “But of the female technology journalists who replied to the survey, 62% said they had experienced sexist abuse, compared with 50% of female journalists who reported similar attacks to the Women’s Media Foundation.
What comes across in the hundreds of anonymous comments is a chilling normality: ‘Insults about my knowledge, rape threats, the usual,’ writes one. ‘Commenters routinely call me names when I write about topics like bitcoin and diversity in tech,’ says another.
“The 100 respondents also describe a plague of face-to-face incidents, from ‘sexist views’ in the newsroom, to being ‘hit on’ and ‘stalked’. Four out of 10 said fear of being attacked has affected their work or altered their writing. One woman reveals, ‘I’ve learned how to keep quiet so as to reduce abuse’. Another recounts giving her article to a male colleague to file, to escape attacks. And: ‘I avoid topics I really want to speak about because I know I can’t handle the backlash.’
“Like Brontë, George Eliot and Harper Lee before them, 20% are disguising the fact they are female by writing anonymously or using a non-gender-specific name.
“‘For years, I used the byline LA Lorek instead of Laura Lorek to avoid criticism as a female business writer,’ the chief executive at SiliconHillsNews.com says.”
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