RESPONDING TO INTERNET HARASSMENT: Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny Parallels "Real-World" Harassment Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2007 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism
Yale Journal of Law and Feminism

RESPONDING TO INTERNET HARASSMENT: Blogging While Female: How Internet Misogyny Parallels "Real-World" Harassment


19 Yale J.L. & Feminism 295


Jill Filipovic+


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 ...
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