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online harassment

Trauma in my Pocket: Social Media and Memories of Sexual Harassment after Field Research

I did my PhD field research in Nairobi, Kenya, over the period of about nine months over 2019 and 2020. I was doing a qualitative study of strategies for wellbeing among Congolese refugees in the city and met some of the most incredible people I’ve ever known. Unfortunately, my time was also peppered with experiences of sexual harassment, particularly at the hands of two of my male informants. These men were both leaders in their respective communities and acted as ‘gatekeepers,’ controlling the level of access I had to large numbers of participants.

The Intersection of Disability and Gender with Online Harassment

I am a lecturer in Disability studies. I am also a woman with dwarfism, who since childhood has been called ‘midget’ by strangers who find my dwarfism funny and unacceptable within society. Here, I explore the online harassment I received as a disabled, female academic after successfully campaigning to remove the word midget from a popular brand of sweets.

Whispers on Social Media: Online Sexual Harassment in Spaces for People with Dwarfism

Lockdown, as a result of the global pandemic, has not changed much for me, except to make me reflect on my own behaviours. Non-disabled people protesting about lockdown restrictions, do not know how privileged they are. After lockdown they can go back to normal, but this is my normal. For a long time I have restricted when and where I go in order to reduce the amount of unwanted attention I receive. As a person with dwarfism, every outing will include the risk of being stared at, pointed at, laughed at, called names, or even photographed.