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19 Yale J.L. & Feminism 295 (2007-2008)
Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny Parallels Real-World Harassment

handle is hein.journals/yjfem19 and id is 299 raw text is: Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny
Parallels Real-World Harassment
Jill Filipovict
In early March 2007, The Washington Post published a front-page article
titled Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web: Law Students Feel Lasting Effects
of Anonymous Attacks.1 It detailed an online message board called
AutoAdmit, wherein anonymous posters leave hundreds of comments every
day about law school admissions, top schools, and law firms-along with
sexualized and sexually aggressive comments about female law students,
whose pictures are regularly posted for commenters to evaluate. All of the
women quoted in the article asked to remain anonymous out of fear that the
posts on the message board might have negative consequences for their
employment prospects. The article hit a nerve-because I was one of the
women whose pictures and personal information were posted on AutoAdmit.
I found my name on AutoAdmit just after starting my first semester of law
school at New York University. A fellow student emailed me a link to
messages about Jill F at NYU, and I took a look around the board. My name
came up several times, and was clearly a running joke that I didn't get-
someone would post something like, Did an NYU student just spew on
himself in torts? and another would respond, Was it Jill F? Other posts made
it clear that people on the board knew where I had spent the previous summer,
what I looked like, and even the ethnicity of my boyfriend. Some anonymous
commenters mentioned meeting me or seeing me at school. Others were aware
of my feminist activism and threw out the usual slurs: bitch, whore, cunt.
I spent two years writing a feminist newspaper column, and I run a popular
feminist blog (feministe.us). I've gotten my fair share of harassment and name-
calling. I have fairly thick skin. But this felt different-this involved people I
go to school with, whom I could not identify, but who knew me. I stopped
t New York University School of Law, J.D. expected 2008; New York University, B.A. 2005. 1 would
like to thank Shannon Browne, Helena Phillibert, and Julie Rubenstein for their editorial advice, as well
as Lauren Bruce, Ann Dana, Jess, Amanda Marcotte, Melissa McEwan, Maureen Moran, Jessica
Valenti, and Susan Faludi for their insights. I would also like to thank Sumeet Sinha and Mary, Michael,
and Christina Filipovic for their support.
I. Ellen Nakashima, Harsh Words Die Hard on the Web: Law Students Feel Lasting Effects of
Anonymous Attacks, WASH. POST, Mar. 7, 2007, at A01.

Copyright © 2007 by the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism

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