Video: John Oliver talks about online harassment of women

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      On June 21's edition of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver talked about a subject near and dear to my heart: the harassment of women online.

      "The Internet has become integral to modern life. But unfortunately it has also become a haven for harassment," said Oliver, referring specifically to the abuse women endure online daily.

      "I'm talking about the kind of direct threats that can make people fear for their safety," Oliver continued. "And if you're thinking, 'well c'mon that doesn't seem like that big a problem', well, congratulations on your white penis. If you have one of those, you probably have a very different experience of the Internet."

      What the Internet is good for.
      Last Week Tonight

      The 17-minute segment talks extensively about the types of grotesque threats to women, revenge porn, victim blaming, the difficulties women face when trying to prosecute online harassers, and the actions companies are taking to crack down on this kind of abuse.

      Watch the whole glorious clip below.

      Fun fact: after I tweeted about this segment last night, I was immediately—and repeatedly—called a cunt by complete strangers.

      Exhibit A: a well-reasoned response to a woman who talks about online harassment.

      What brave, brave souls.




      Jun 22, 2015 at 6:20pm

      How sad. I am sorry that you had to deal with such an incredibly angry person that feels that the only power they have in life is to troll someone like you and call them names.

      I wonder if men will ever grow up?

      Lirkan H. Moore

      Jun 23, 2015 at 4:33am

      You do realize they called you a cunt because they disagreed with you... not because you're a woman, right? If you were a guy, you would have been called a dick head, asshole, beta, white knight, faggot, etc. I'm not supporting their vulgar comment(s) in any way, I'm just saying they have nothing to do with your vagina. They did a disservice to their argument by resorting to ad hominem but let's not pretend this was gendered harassment... it was two mean tweets.


      Jun 23, 2015 at 10:57am

      Umm you completely contradicted yourself.
      "they called you a cunt because they disagreed with you, not because you're a woman. If you were a guy, you would have been called..."
      So they did call her a cunt because she's a woman.

      The real point is there are people (mostly men) who are targeting women with sexual threats and threats of violence.

      Here's a link to one of the stories Oliver mentions: