Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Women's and Gender Studies

Committee Member

Margaret Crouch, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Elizabeth Currans, PhD

Committee Member

Peter Higgins, PhD


This thesis examines harassment that takes place online, specifically on websites that focus on issues of social justice from a feminist perspective. The content I examine is a form of activism in which writers and readers work together to form communities online. I also examine online protests as a form of activism. As a result of these Internet publications and protests, many writers face harassment and degradation as they attempt to express themselves in virtual spaces. This thesis grapples with the extent of the harassment and offers explanations as to why it takes place. I explore these topics from a philosophical perspective and use logic as my methodology. The first explanation I provide for this harassment relates to access, publicity, and privacy. The Internet is contested space and some people do not think others should be allowed to express themselves within it. The second explanation relates to a lack of understanding between people, which can cause one to doubt another’s experience.


Updated: 05/24/13