torsdag 13. mai 2021

China’s feminists protest against wave of online abuse with ‘internet violence museum’

Late last month, an “unknown hill in the Chinese desert” was blanketed in scores of large red and white banners, flapping vitriol in the breeze. “I hope you die, bitch,” said one. “Little bitch, screw the feminists,” said others. They were all actual messages sent to women, a direct act of harassment anonymised by social media. They were sent during weeks of intense debate about the treatment of women on platforms such as Weibo, sparked by the abuse of Xiao Meili who posted video of a man who threw hot liquid at her after she asked him to stop smoking.

After collecting more than 1,000 of the abusive messages posted to feminists and feminist groups, a group of young women artists stuck them on a hill, creating a temporary “internet violence museum”.

“When the Xiao Meili incident happened, a lot of feminists were being trolled, including myself,” said one of the artists, Yaqing, who did not want to use her real name. “We wanted to make the trolling words into something that could be seen, touched, to materialise the trolling comments and to amplify the abuse of what happens to people online.”