KSU Professor Addresses Online Violence And Gender Bias

By SHELBY LIN ERDMAN The Internet can be an enjoyable place, but it can also be home to lots…

Georgia (Jul 30, 2015) SHELBY LIN ERDMAN


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The Internet can be an enjoyable place, but it can also be home to lots of angry outbursts aimed at a lot of different people. When a user becomes the target of an online attack, their whole online experience can change in the blink of an eye.

Women’s advocates have been paying close attention to a rise in online attacks against female social media users in recent years – especially high-profile women – and the kind of verbal assaults the users are exposed to in online forums.

Actress Ashley Judd is a notable example of just how ugly so-called internet trolls can be and the frightening things they can say.

Judd is a big University of Kentucky basketball fan. She shared her thoughts on social media on an opposing team earlier this year and was then the target of intense verbal assaults and even threats of sexual violence.

Another incident last year involving game developer Zoe Quinn and gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian, dubbed "gamergate," involved violent online incidents that left both women fearing an attack in the real world.

Critics of this kind of social media onslaught argue women are targeted more often than men in a kind of online gender bias. But is this accurate?

Kennesaw State University professor Letizia Guglielmo, who teaches courses on gender studies and English, said during an interview on “A Closer Look” that there’s a cultural complacency when it comes to threats of violence and actual violence against women.

“We still engage in victim blaming that suggests it’s women and their behavior that’s the problem.”

Guglielmo talked about her views on online violence toward women with Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer on “A Closer Look.”

To hear the entire interview, click on link to article.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu