University of Liverpool Singapore
Technologically Facilitated Gendered Violence (TFGV) is readily becoming a key site of analysis for criminologists, with scholars examining how technology is used to facilitate violence against women and the challenges the criminal justice system faces when addressing this problem. Within this scholarship online harassment including: aggressive, silencing, violent and sexually violent speech and behaviours directed at women has emerged as a troubling manifestation of TFGV. While feminist commentators have, rightly, highlighted the damaging consequences of this behaviour and its normalization, there has been little work examining the techniques women employ to resist online sexual harassment. This paper examines three individually run Instagram accounts, which expose harassment within online dating sites: “instagranniepants“, “byeFelipe” and “feminist tinder” to explore both the range of behaviours and practices used to harass online and how witnessing, shaming and humour are merged and used as techniques of resistance. It explores these visual accounts as illustrations of how women –within vexed online spaces- are harnessing and channeling the tools and nuances of the internet: the capacity for satire, intertextuality and shaming as techniques to engender a unique kind of resistance. One which both engages the individual harasser, critically witnesses harassment and facilitates an entertainment based exo-judicial punishment. This paper also situates these techniques of resistance within the context of crime control in late modernity and raises questions about the primacy of criminal law within call-out culture.
Dr Laura Vitis is a Lecturer in Criminology in the University of Liverpool in Singapore. Her research examines gender, technology and violence; risk and sexual offences and media in the criminal justice system.