In my latest article for Al Jazeera English, I discuss the Steubenville rape case, the efforts by Anonymous to defend women, and the paradoxical role of anonymity online:
In the aftermath of Steubenville and a number of high-profile rape cases around the world, women launched internet campaigns to tell their stories of abuse and sexual assault. One of the campaigns was launched on Twitter under the hashtag #SilentNoMore.
The women tweeting to #SilentNoMore told horrifying stories of harassment, degradation and violence. They used the internet to fight misogyny. Unfortunately, the misogyny they fought came from the internet itself.[…]
This is the paradox of anonymity in the digital age. As women and their defenders use the internet to out and fight their assailants, others use anonymity to attack their efforts to do so. Women who draw attention to sexism are castigated by strangers in the most sexist terms possible, abused for daring to draw attention to their abusers.