Article published in:Critical perspectives on gender, politics and violence
Edited by Eleonora Esposito
[Journal of Language Aggression and Conflict 9:1] 2021
► pp. 76–99
Xenophobia, misogyny and rape culture
Targeting women in cyberspace
The present article explores the interface between online misogyny and xenophobia in the context of both socio-cultural factors which are conducive to verbal aggression against women and cyberspace’s technological affordances. The former, as will be argued, can be linked to “rape culture”, where the notions of rape and sexual violence are used not only as instruments of subjugation and domination, but also as tools to legitimize racial, ethnic, or religious hatred. In the case of the latter, anonymity, interactivity and connectivity will be discussed as factors which facilitate generating, amplifying and perpetuating hateful and aggressive content online. Applying the Media Proximization Approach (Kopytowska 2013, 2015a, 2018a, 2018b, 2020) and drawing on previous research examining online xenophobic discourses and hate speech, the article scrutinizes hate speech targeting female politicians, namely Angela Merkel, current Chancellor of Germany, and Ewa Kopacz, former Polish Prime Minister, for their pro-refugee stance and migration policy. Data-wise, the examples analyzed will be taken from the corpora comprising comments following online articles in niezalezna.pl (a Polish conservative news portal) and YouTube videos on migrants and refugees.
- 2.Technological affordances and networked aggression
- 3.Protecting the nation: Heteronormativity, femonationalism and care racism
- 4.Rape culture and its manifestations in mediatized world
- 5.Xenophobia and violence against female politicians: A case study
- 5.1Data and methodology
- 5.2Results and discussion: Merkel and Kopacz – Between demeaning sexualized comments and incitement to violence
- 5.3Rape and the Other
Published online: 04 March 2021
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