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Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet
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Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  40 reviews
‘The Internet was supposed to be for everyone... Millions found their voices in this brave new online world; it gave unheard masses the space to speak to each other without limits, across borders, both physical and social. It was supposed to liberate us from gender. But as more and more of our daily lives migrated on line, it seemed it did matter if you were a boy or a gir ...more
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 45 pages
Published August 22nd 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Demasiado autobiográfico para mi gusto. La autora se desvía del tema general explicando anécdotas de su vida y cómo empezó a escribir. Falta un análisis en profundidad y respaldar sus afirmaciones con estadísticas y diferentes experiencias de sexismo.

Me ha parecido interesante la tesis presentada en el primer capítulo: toda la libertad que nos prometieron que llegaría con Internet ha acabado siendo una herramienta más para oprimir a las mujeres.

Voy a dejar a continuación dos fragmentos con las
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a quick read. Nothing really new, but very well put and collected. To sum it up, a quote from the book:

"According to the current logic of online misogyny, a woman's right to self-expression is less important by far than a man's right to punish her for that self-expression. What appears to upset many of these men more than anything else is the idea that any woman or a girl, anywhere, might have a voice, might be successful, might be more socially powerful than they themselves are - at le
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: feminist, kindle
I agree totally with the thesis of this essay; I do. I think it is badly supported. Considering the topic and how easy it is to find seism examples on the internet, why are only two big stories and personal example used? I would have liked to see more examples that didn’t make the news (such as a reviewer being told she is old and ugly because SHE didn’t like a book, when a man who says the same thing doesn’t rate a comment). BBC Radio 4 had a better program about seism in gaming culture.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Penny slashes through the bullshit men say to defend a sexist internet - and point out that Free Speech should be protected - for the women being silenced, not as a shield to hide behind for the misogynist idiots who think they have a right to verbally assault women. The first 15 pages list the state of online harassment, and it is a horrifying read - but luckily Penny also believe that we can all save the internet together and make it liveable for all geeks male and female. Read it if you think ...more
A Librería
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Cibersexismo supone un primer acercamiento brillante y ameno a la obra de Penny, de esos que enganchan y llegan a crear referentes de lucha o, incluso, invitan a pensar en una deseada amistad con su autora (yo, al menos, querría quedar con Penny asiduamente para tomar café y comentar la actualidad en cualquier bar londinense).

Crítica completa en:
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this in one sitting while on the train from London to Cornwall. It’s a mid-length essay on the current state of gender politics, sexuality, harassment and censorship on the internet. The scope is perhaps too broad for the limited length, and it’s ultimately haphazard in its thesis, but it’s an enjoyable and interesting read.

If you don’t share in the author’s politics, you’re unlikely to enjoy this as a primer: her stance is generally confrontational rather than persuasive, and there’s li
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism
Cybersexism is Laurie Penny's take on how, for women, the Internet's promise of freedom has instead turned into another tool for men control and abuse them. She's not against the Internet because of this - indeed she celebrates the opportunities it opens up and tells of its formative influence on her life. Instead she recognises how it reflects and magnifies the still deeply sexist nature of modern society. Nor is she in favour of censorship. Confronting the anonymous haters that plague women wh ...more
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cybersexism: Sex, Gender and Power on the Internet is such a well-written, eloquent piece of criticism which focuses on the problematic politics of the internet. Men bashing women, women bashing men, men bashing men, women bashing women and all behind a screen. Ms. Penny addresses so many issues which many of us have encountered: from the verbal abuse and threatens of rape, the exclusion from the gaming world because of gender. The internet allows those that hold prejudice to abuse and to be ver ...more
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I rate this book five stars despite disagreeing with the author's reading of the film The Social Network, despite its relatively poor volulme-to-price ratio, and despite its somewhat herky-jerky tone.

Cybersexism is but a preview of an upcoming larger collection of essays by Laurie Penny, and one I'd gladly shell out for again. Penny is a passionate, witty and confrontational writer whose militant language doesn't quite conceal a genuine care for everyone on the gender spectrum. Yes, even those o
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
This reminds me of Wired Women: Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace. That book came out in 1996. Seventeen years later, we're still grappling with many of the same problems--only in a far more public setting. I appreciate Penny's treatment of the earlier days of the Internet, when there was much more freedom and creativity in exploring gender and identity than there is now IMO. Virulent online misogyny has been on the uptick since then as she argues and I agree, but I think she needs to provi ...more
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, sachbuch
Kurzer Text, der eine schöne Einführung in Sexismus im Internet liefert. Alles andere als allumfassend, eher als Denkanstoß geeignet. Laurie Penny schreibt leicht lesbar, macht aber ein paar wichtige Punkte deutlich, benennt Probleme und deren Ursachen und bietet sogar Ansätze zu ihrer Lösung. Das kleine Geld auf jeden Fall mehr als wert!
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014
Wie auch »Fleischmarkt« eine Streitschrift, die vieles streift und sehr deutlich auf den Punkt bringt. Ganz besonders allen empfohlen, die im Internet unterwegs sind, sich als Geeks oder Nerds begreifen und vielleicht ahnen, dass sie einen heftigen, empathischem Schubs brauchen, um das Problem der Ausgrenzungs- und Niedermachpraxis gegen sich im Netz tummelnde Frauen ernst zu nehmen.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
This medium-length essay, based on how women are treated in online communities, was well written. Although I have highlighted a number of quotes throughout the essay, I do feel it was lack some depth. The author should have researched more/ used more anecdotes to make stronger specific arguments.
Bryony Gundy
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book was well written and the points are obviously argued with a strong sense of belief. However, I felt that the book lacked in examples and references to back up the claims that were being made.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Reading this made me feel like I was part of a frontier community just by growing up in "the age of the internet" and identifying as female. Very short read, but thrilling all the same.

The strength of belief behind the feelings expressed here comes across clearly; although I'm not sure the author has taken the time to sanitise her own writing from the personal biases she condemns in others.

Her examples are specific to her and those around her, which is OK because this message needed to be commu
Lauren Castle
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Smart, compelling and extremely well-written; here, Penny presents a fresh take on internet culture through a feminist lens. Her analysis introduces a human element to the discussion of social media, which is so often overlooked in popular discourse on the subject. Penny validates online interaction as a legitimate form of socialisation and emotional connection, which provides a strong platform for her overarching arguments about how sexism manifests online in a way that is real, and carries tan ...more
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
The book discuss the status of women online and the implication that it has on their daily lives. It does shed light on what it is like for girls and women to be the constant target for online harassment. I do think it is a good book and a short read indeed. However, there were points which made sense, but often were repetitive. Not to mention that the title has Gender and sexuality in it, however it mainly talks about females, barely mentioning queer folks. I believe in intersectional feminism, ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Me ha gustado bastante, es curioso que me gusta precisamente más lo que otra gente critica en otras reseñas (que hable de su experiencia personal y parta la crítica y el análisis de género desde esa experiencia y vivencia propia, en bastantes aspectos compartida por muchas de nosotras).

Me ha resultado bastante revelador lo que cuenta de que cuando alguien te amenaza con exponer tu intimidad, una respuesta puede ser exponerla tú previamente dejándole sin armas para chantajearte, empoderándote des
➸ Gwen de Sade
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Interesting, but I found the book to be lacking.
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very short read that highlights the issues of women on the internet and the attempts by some to keep women silent and the means by which many women have fought back.

Much of the content can be found in “Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution”, so if you have this book, don’t bother with “Cybersexism”
Sep 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Simon Baron-Cohen (cousin to the famous Sasha, AKA Borat and Brüno) is an eminent psychologist working at Cambridge University. His pioneering autism research at the Trinity school makes him among the most renowned researchers in his field. Baron-Cohen's work -- studying the biological differences in empathy between autistic and non-autistic children -- lead him to find a general variance in empathy between the genders. In a study on one-day-old children, at an age before any cultural influence ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a short book but it raises some serious issues for women who use the internet. It also asks questions about what exactly constitutes free speech. Any woman who uses the internet regularly – especially forums, chat rooms and social media will have come across misogyny in one form or another. Even expressing mild opinions about anything leaves you with the feeling that women should be seen and not heard and that the internet is no place for women – we should leave it to the men.

The author
Dec 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Penny has tackled a large topic in a short work, and as such Cybersexism focuses on unveiling the issues and considering causes, but was not deeply involved with seeking solution. I’m looking forward to reading Unspeakable Things, Penny’s forthcoming book on gender and power in the twenty-first century in the hope that a longer work will allow for the space for this very talented writer to engage the issues in greater depth. Nevertheless, Cybersexism gets the discussion off to an excellent start ...more
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Not perfect but important

Reread this while waiting for the U.S. kindle edition of "Unspeakable things" to become available.

In the aftermath of #yesallwomen and the Facebook emotional adjustment experiment, the message in the book rings even more true and cognizant. The "rules" and the tools of the internet have an impact on its use. And that impact isn't all sugar and spice.

So if you feel like starting a journey of reflection and learning, Penny might just be the guide you are looking for. Like
Kaveri Mayra
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I have come across very few authors who's writing is so uninhibited and raw. This book reminds me of Nivedita Menon's Seeing Like A Feminist. It's an honest and pure detailing of gender based exploitation that goes on in the World Wide Web. Internet has become an inseparable part of our lives and so has this harassment and exploitation which feels very normal. It's a must read for every internet junkie and net naives- actually it should be a textbook. Loved every word start to finish. Laurie Pen ...more
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is in fact a chapter from Ms Penny's upcoming publication which I believe is due out next year. It is a timely look at the misogyny rampant on the internet and the virulent gender-based hatred that is directed towards women who dare to have an opinion and express it. It is not only about that, however, and details the positive effects the internet is having on feminism, empowerment and the ongoing fight for intersectional equality. Great as an introduction but also as a publication for ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindled
A topic of interest and relevance to me but didn't leave me wanting to fight. Having read other people's comments there is a hint that this is an extract for a larger piece on the subject, and that might hit the spot for me more. Nothing much I didn't already know from experience here. Lots of room for more examples and references and, most importanty, how we can change it. It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity to me I'm afraid.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A rousing, straight-forward examination and deconstruction of the various forms of sexism online, among geeks and in the tech industry. Penny's understanding of internet and geek culture comes to the forefront as she reaches a fundamentally optimistic view that we geeks do have the chance to change the horrible treatment of women both online and off, and the misogynistic vileness that's at the very core of online experience.
Paula Dennan
Jul 30, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are a woman who has spent any amount of time having an opinion on the internet then there is little in Laurie Penny's text that is news to you, but it is a well written and worthwhile read, nonetheless, and could serve as an introduction piece to people who aren't familiar with this area of things, yet.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great discussion of some of the issues around sex, gender and geekdom on the internet. While she does a great job of making it clear that the web is not the utopia it's often presented as, she also ends on a message of hope, that the geeks so influential in establishing the early culture of the internet can continue to help shape and improve it.
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Laurie Penny is a journalist, an author, a feminist and a net denizen. She is Contributing Editor at New Statesman magazine, and writes and speaks on social justice, pop culture, gender issues and digital politics for The Guardian, The Independent, Vice, Salon, The Nation, The New Inquiry and many more. She is the author of Cybersexism, Penny Red and Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism, as ...more
“The fact that ‘attention seeking’ is still considered a slur says much about the role of women in public life, on every scale.” 5 likes
“We were there too, the other geeks and weird kids whose lives were hellish at school, who escaped into books and computers, who stayed up all night scanning obscure forums, looking for transcendence, dreaming of elsewhere. We were there too, but you didn’t see us, because we were girls. And the costs of being the geek were the same for us, right down to the sexual frustration, the yearning, the being laughed at, the loneliness. […] We had to fight the same battles you did, only harder, because we were women and we also had to fight sexism, some of it from you, and when we went looking for other weird kids to join our gang, we were told we weren’t ‘real geeks’ because we were girls.” 4 likes
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