Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is among many female politicians who face obscene and sexist abuse on line.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is among many female politicians who face obscene and sexist abuse on line.
Photo Credit: cbc.ca

Female politicians dealing with sexist abuse (and worse) on social media

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Canadians like to think of themselves as calm, rational and polite people. Some, it appears, are anything but.

The disgruntled are taking to social media to vent their frustrations–sometimes in obscene fashion–with Twitter and Facebook being the communication of choice and female politicians bearing the brunt of the attacks.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, a Lesbian,  has been especially vulnerable.

A member of her staff showed CBC News the haul from the past week and it wasn’t pretty.

While some tweets limit anger to calls such as “Resign,” You’re incompetent!” and “Worst Premier Ever!” others take it a giant step further–into the realms of the abusive, the sexist and the homophobic.

Wynne, who lives with her second spouse, Jane Rounthwaite, appears to be taking it all with a pinch of salt but is disheartened by the turn of events.

Asked Tuesday about the online abuse, Wynne stated that the obscene attacks were not limited to her.

“This isn’t restricted to me or my colleagues, it’s happening across the country,” she said. “I don’t read them all because it’s just too toxic, but I read enough of them to know it’s not who we are as Ontarians.”

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and former federal Conservative cabinet minister Michelle Rempel have also been abused on line as has Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Howath, who says she faces a “steady stream” of sexist abuse on social media.

“Premier Notley has said that she’s optimistic that we can turn that negativity.” Wynne said Tuesday. “I hope that’s true, but it’s going to mean that people are going to have to speak up.”

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One comment on “Female politicians dealing with sexist abuse (and worse) on social media
  1. Tommeh says:

    I see no examples of what all of this abuse actually is. In this age of constant accusations of sexism and homophobia, you had better actually show what you mean, otherwise I’m not going to believe it. This article is just an assertion.

    Also, we’re talking about social media here. How is this relevant to policy? I’m seeing no value in this article.