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|Hate speech against women: addressing a democratic crisis||2.07 MB|
Public discussion of speech expressing contempt for women has intensified in Australia in recent times. Such speech may often be said to constitute hate speech against or vilification of women. That is, it may be said to be directed at women for being women, or on the basis of their actual or perceived female sex, in the sense that it is about all women, even as it is directed at particular women.
Despite the current surge in interest, sex-based vilification is nothing new. Such speech typically accompanies violence committed against women and occurs prolifically in pornography, advertising, popular culture (including film, music, literature, and other visual and performance arts) and mainstream news and tabloid media reporting.
This paper provides an overview of this pressing policy challenge, focussing on how such speech represents a crisis of democracy through its silencing of women and limiting of their democratic participation. It sets out proposals for a ‘multifaceted counter-speech’ approach to addressing sex-based vilification, combining both legal and non-legal regulatory measures.