Andreea VOINA, Anișoara PAVELEA, Lorina CULIC
Universitatea „Babeş-Bolyai”, Cluj-Napoca, Facultatea de Științe Politice, Administrative și ale Comunicării; Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, College of Political, Administrative, and Communication Sciences
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Hashtag Feminism in Romania: #MeToo and Its Effects on Cyberspace Behavior
Abstract: In the recent years, cyberspace has become an incubator for feminist activism. Cyberfeminism has gained momentum through various online platforms, campaigns, movements, and galvanized women (and – to a certain extent – men) to “move beyond the hashtag” and engage in actions meant to drive socio-political change. The Women’s March on Washington in January 2016, for instance, was triggered by a Facebook post, and turned into an unprecedented women’s activism action, replicating across the globe. A more recent movement, #MeToo, has emerged into cyberspace and raised issues of credibility, as it tapped into a culture of gender inequality and power relations that created and fostered an environment of intimidation and silence. The unprecedented wave of sexual harassment allegations brought to surface countless confessions from regular women and celebrities who have been pivotal in raising awareness on this issue. However, this cyberfeminist movement also intensified the cyberbullying phenomenon, as the mechanisms of storytelling engaged in #MeToo have not only generated a wave of gendered solidarity, but also one of trivializing – even bashing – such stories, and the individuals who reported previous incidents on social media. This paper analyzes the emergence and development of the #MeToo movement in Romania in the fall of 2017, focusing on storytelling mechanisms employed on Facebook and effects on user behavior, an assessment of social media users’ navigation of the phenomenon, in terms of solidarity networks and bullying generated by Romanian women’s tackling of a cultural taboo.
Keywords: #MeToo, Romania, feminism, social media, sexual harassment.
Citation suggestion: Voina, Andreea, Anișoara Pavelea, and Lorina Culic. “Hashtag Feminism in Romania: #MeToo and Its Effects on Cyberspace Behavior.” Transilvania, no. 11-12 (2020): 62-70. https://doi.org/10.51391/trva.2020.12.07.
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