Slut Shaming, misogyny and technology

This evening I shall be participating in a panel on slut shaming. The university has been quick to organize this panel in response to the slut shaming riots in December. The panel has the Swedish title NÄTMOBBNING – vad är det och vilken roll spelar den nya tekniken? which places the focus on two things (1) what is cyberbullying (2) what role does the new technology play.

Obviously the technology is vital. You just can’t have cyberbullying without the cyber. But there is an interesting undertone to the second question and my role will be to try to strike a balance between explaining why the technology does create or aggravate human behavior at the same time ensuring that the technology itself is not a problem.

Misogyny is not created by technology. BUT… the social norm systems embedded in the technology and the technology users MAY create misogynistic socio-technical systems. Therefore it would be strange not to place some of the (moral) social responsibility on systems developers.

Guns don’t kill people. But gun designers develop superior killing machines and placed in the hands of people with intent they become much more efficient at killing people than a bag of soft toys. (Gotta love an odd metaphor…)

So that’s the plan. Please drop in, if you happen to be in the neighborhood. It’s at 6pm in the university aula at Vasaparken.

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