The woman in the social media post is not an object.
Presenter, Podcaster, Model and Feminist Jess Davies joins forces with Curvy Kate and Scantilly to educate and support people on social media for IWD 2022. We have honest conversations around the subjects of online sexual harassment, trolling and most of all cyberflashing.
research by YouGov published in 2018 found that 40% of women aged 18-34 had received an unsolicited sexual photo from someone who was not their romantic partner.
She isn’t just an image, a reel or a video. She isn’t just a body in a set of perfectly fitting lingerie. The woman in the image, a real-life person. She isn’t ‘asking for it, she isn’t deserving of it, she isn’t asking you to review her body or tell her what you would like to do with her.
She has feelings, she sees your comments, she feels the negative energy and she doesn’t forget.
Promoting lingerie, posting a holiday snap in her bikini, being a body positive and self-love advocate, does not make her THAT girl. She didn’t ask for sexual harassment online and she didn’t consent to your comments and illicit images.
The woman behind the post.
The Social Media Manager is a real person, not a robot. Her day is tainted by the obscenities in the DM and the vulgar use of emojis, not to mention the unsolicited images.
With social media, people often forget that it is a person behind all that a brand does.
Harassment of women online is something that we deal with daily and this International Women’s Day we want to make a stand against sexual comments, images, and unsolicited images. We want to educate the perpetrators and share the message.
How can we make social media feel safer for women?
Stop Online Abuse says “Both men and women experience abuse online but one of the significant factors of online abuse for women is the frequent use of threats of sexual violence and derogatory comments about women’s appearance and bodies. This experience aims to silence women and can feel isolating.
Many women and men are concerned at the stereotypes and sexualised representations of women and girls in all forms of media. Such content can cause and reinforces harmful,
abusive and discriminatory behaviour towards women and undermines progress towards equal rights, opportunities and fair treatment. This website is about empowering people with information and assistance to identify, challenge and change online abuse, for the benefit of all women.”
Remember, it is a crime to send unsolicited images! Non-consensual images sent on social media is finally being taken as seriously as an in person flashing incident, and a once mindless activity now has massive consequences and rightly so.
Practice self-love and respect by resisting the urge the send images, comment with sexual language and harassment. Women on social media will never be positively receptive to this kind of behavior and so, by working on a better sense of boundaries – you will protect everyone online.
Become an ally.
Challenge harmful masculine norms that encourage sexual harassment online among other men. Open up and talk with your friends, peers, and coworkers: call out sexist ideas, jokes, and language; reflect on the ways you have been raised, and how to continue to do better as allies for gender equality.
Learn more. We want to make social media platforms a safer space for women. Join our conversation with Jess Davies around Cyber Flashing on Curvy Kates Official Podcast, ‘Have I got boobs for you’.
Since recording the podcast, it has been announced that Cyberflashing will be made a crime but a date is yet to be made official.
Online abuse and harassment affects millions: research published by Refuge found that more than one in three UK women have experienced online abuse on social media or another online platform, rising to a staggering 62% of young women.