This chapter explores the growing public violence that men direct towards women online, and its escalating frequency and brutality in the context of an emerging fourth feminist wave, as a violent form of opposition to gender equality. It shows how feminist resistance, in both organized and individual forms, is confronted with violent opposition, and how violence is used to silence women’s feminist voices.
It is concerned with how different mechanisms of violence are deployed to oppose gender equality, focusing on three cases in Sweden, the UK, and the US and explores the oppositional dynamics at play when women’s publicly articulated demands for gender equality collide with the contemporary pervasive consensual anti-feminist discourse. What happens when women articulate resistance against the gender regime and the relatively powerful?
The theoretical point of departure takes violence as structural and as an expression of power rather than as a reaction to the loss of power or marginalization. The chapter concludes that current violent uses of ICT require feminist analyses of online violence. It introduces an alternative feminist framework for understanding online abuse as a form of violence against women which keeps the historical line of inheritance of violence against women’s voices intact.