Wednesday 27th of September 2023


Nuove virtualità e antica misoginia: sfide e orizzonti per le scienze umane nelle società informatizzate del XXI secolo

Beatrice Spallaccia, Università di Bologna pdf_icon_30x30




Abstract: Online gender-based hate speech can be defined as the discourse aimed at attacking and silencing women in cyberspace through a violent and hypersexualized rhetoric, with serious consequences on their lives on multiple levels. While in recent years legal studies have worked on more effective frameworks to counter this pervasive phenomenon (cf. Citron 2014), humanities still seem to struggle to keep up with a critical analysis of online misogyny. In this contribution, I discuss how new forms of digital communication interplay with the persistent prejudice against women, and how this entanglement poses new challenges to academic research in humanities. In doing so, I argue that the pervasiveness of misogynistic discourse online shows the need to develop new trends in humanities to understand the peculiarities and socio-cultural effects of this type of hate speech. For this reason, after reviewing the academic literature that attempted to analyse online hostility in terms of ‘flaming,’ this paper identifies some key features of misogynistic discourse on the Web, and seeks to provide a taxonomy of its impacts, which will hopefully guide future research on gender-based hate speech.



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