Mamamia hits out at ‘gutless abusers’ on social media



Women’s lifestyle website Mamamia has hit out at those who target women in social media attacks as ‘gutless abusers’ in an editorial from the editors and writers of Mamamia.

The post comes three weeks after publisher Mia Freedman and editor Jamila Rizvi claimed they received death threats on Twitter following Sunrise presenter David Koch’s attack on Mamamia for representing him as a “dirty old man” in a post about an online fashion segment of the show. Freedman has also been targeted in online forums such as ‘stuff I want to punch in the face’ and a Mia Freedman hate thread.

The letter, attributed to the 20 staff at and iVillage, says writers have been subjected to threats of death and rape, threats against their children and families, the denigration of partners, and abuse over their sexual histories.

“These repugnant – and in some cases criminal – responses to female writers range from 140 characters on Twitter to rambling, defamatory, gut-wrenchingly personal bile spewing blog posts of 5,000 words on sites that advocate raping women. It’s evil. It’s often illegal. It’s cowardly. And it’s pure, pure misogyny,” the post reads.

“At the zenith of these outbreaks, when the abuse is aimed at you, it can be relentless and scary and incredibly, deeply distressing. And it does make you withdraw from the fray. For a time. How can you not? Sometimes – in the case of some women – it becomes too much and they never return to publicly expressing a view.

“Well, at Mamamia, we have a message for those twisted, gutless abusers who hide behind keyboards and spew bile from their fetid, women-hating hearts. It’s not going to work. We will not be silenced by you. We will not be shamed or humiliated or scared. Your intimidation and threats will not stop us from writing or speaking.”

Freedman told Mumbrella the post was aimed at abuse on social media and other websites, rather than people commenting on Mamamia, where she encourages lively debate and all posts are moderated.

“This is about abuse that appears on social media and on other websites – whether it’s comments or blog posts about us or other women who express opinions,” Freedman said.

“There was no single incident that sparked the publication of our post. Rather a series of escalating incidents over a long period of time.

“We chose to reply as a group to protect any one individual from intimidation or retribution. And we chose not to link back to any particular post or person on another site or on social media for the reasons explained in the post.

“So this had nothing to do with comments on our websites. They continue to be interesting and fiesty and diverse in a perfectly legitimate, civil way.”


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