Social media platforms as sites of resistance against gendered harassment

Dr Emma Turley1

1Central Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia

This conference paper will consider the use of social media as an approach to feminist resistance, activism, and campaigning against gendered harassment in on and offline spaces.

Social networks are increasingly significant to the success of feminist activism, campaigning and consciousness raising. Digital spaces including Twitter, YouTube, blogs and Facebook provide a platform for feminists and others to share and address experiences and raise awareness of misogyny, sexism and violence against women. Guillard (2015:1) argues that digital spaces are central to defining ‘a fourth wave of feminist practice’ and allow for global engagement, yet Kristofferson, White and Peloza (2014) assert that the use of digital media can be tokenism.

This conference paper provides a commentary on use of social media for feminists. In this presentation, I outline approaches for social media based feminist ‘shouting back’ campaigns and explore the process of ‘shouting back’ with a focus on Twitter and hashtags. I will consider why social media can be useful to feminists with reference to existing research, before discussing the impact of two social media based feminist campaigns and the implications of these for the feminist movement and the ways that digital spaces continue to engage people in feminist campaigns and resistance, and raise awareness about issues facing women.


Dr Emma L Turley is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. Emma is a critical psychologist and has a broad range of interdisciplinary research interests that span criminology and psychology. Her specialist areas of interest include gender, social justice, inequalities, LGBTQI+ issues, feminism, sexualities, and the digital world. She is also interested in qualitative research methods, especially phenomenology , and the use of innovative data collection techniques. Emma is a co-editor of the British Psychological Society’s Psychology of Women & Equalities Review, and editorial advisory board member for British Mensa’s Androgyny journal.


Dec 09 2021