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Workshop 3: (Me)mes and Digital Media

 

Empathy: is the ability to feel another person’s emotions and understand their experiences by putting yourself in their shoes. You can always respond with empathy when someone is sharing their thoughts or emotions by really tuning in, listening closely, nodding, making eye contact and showing you're right there with them, even if their experience is different from yours. 

Stereotypes

 

Stereotype: An oversimplified idea about a particular group of people. Stereotypes can be related to race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion or other factors and can influence our attitudes and behaviour towards individuals within that group. Without exception, stereotypes are false, unfair, harmful, enhance discrimination and exclude people. 

Gender Stereotypes: Oversimplified and generalized ideas, messages, and images about the difference between genders. For example, if you say, “girls are better at…” or “boys only like…” you are talking about gender stereotypes.

Reinforcing Stereotypes: Reinforcing stereotypes happens when actions or attitudes, whether intentional or not, uphold oversimplified and harmful beliefs about a certain group of people; this can contribute to continued bias and discrimination. 

Challenging Stereotypes: Challenging stereotypes involves critically examining and pushing back against oversimplified and damaging assumptions about people or groups, encouraging an acceptance and appreciation for everyone’s unique qualities.

Digital Media: Digital media is digitized content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks. This can include text, photos, audio, video, and graphics.

 

Violence

Normalization of Sexual Violence: This refers to specific ideas, behaviours and actions that make people think that it is okay or not as serious for sexual violence to happen in society. It includes making sexual violence be seen as common, expected or excused, and often uses victim blaming and blames survivors for having experienced sexual violence. It is an extremely serious issue in culture and the media because it leads to many people believing that certain actions or words are normal and acceptable when, in reality, they cause a great deal of harm. 

Cyberbullying: This is a form of bullying that takes place using electronic technology (cell phone, computer, tablet, or gaming console) as well as communication tools (social media sites, text messages, chat rooms, and websites). Cyberbullying can include mean or derogatory text messages or emails, rumours posted on social networking sites, embarrassing photos/videos and fake profiles. Typically, cyberbullying includes gendered and sexual elements and is often a form of gender-based violence.

Gender-Based Violence: or GBV for short, refers to violence incurred because of someone’s gender, perceived gender, gender expression, or gender identity. GBV is a human rights violation. It is not limited to physical violence and can include any words or actions that attempt to degrade, control, humiliate, intimidate, coerce, deprive, neglect, discriminate, harass, threaten or harm another person based on their gender. GBV can take many forms, including cyber, physical, sexual, social, psychological, emotional, and economic. 

Cyber Violence: is online behaviour that constitutes or leads to harm against the physical, psychological and/or emotional state of an individual or group. This is a form of technology-facilitated violence and can include: online harassment, threats, bullying, blackmailing, unwanted sexting, Cyberstalking, hate speech, doxing, luring, non-consensual sharing of images, creepshots/digital voyeurism (taking non-consensual photos or videos and sharing them, recording & distribution of sexual assault, etc.

Sexism: Discrimination against someone or a group of people based on their sex.

Slut Shaming: The practice of criticizing, bullying, or harassing someone, often girls and women, for challenging stereotypes, expectations, or “norms” of behaviour and appearance related to sexuality. It involves using sexuality to shame or disempower someone. This is a form of sexual violence and gender-based violence.

Online & Social Media

Filter Bubble / Echo Chamber: is a situation where you encounter only information and opinions online that reflect and reinforce your own. This occurs because websites and platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Netflix, and Facebook use algorithms to personalize the content and ads you see based on your previous online activities, such as posts, searches, and views.

 

Digital Footprint: This refers to the trail of information and data that you leave behind when using social media and other online platforms. Even when you delete a post or a comment, there will remain traces of your activity on the internet. 

Pornography: Also known as porn, refers to sexual subject matter designed to cause sexual excitement by showing or describing sexual acts.

Social Media Algorithm: is a complex set of protocols and criteria that a platform employs to determine the presentation, ranking, and recommendation of data content to users. It analyzes user behaviors—including app usage patterns, engagement with content, and posting activity—to tailor the content feed in a way that it believes will be most relevant and appealing to the individual. This personalization process can result in users experiencing a filter bubble or echo chamber, where they are predominantly exposed to views and ads that reinforce their existing beliefs and interests.

Underrepresentation in Media: The lack of inclusion and portrayal of individuals or groups in the media wherein certain social, cultural, racial, gender or other minority groups are excluded or misrepresented. 

Meme: Coined by Richard Dawkins in the 1970s, the term ‘meme’ was used to explain how an idea goes viral. Today, “meme” describes captioned pictures and videos that are spread widely through social media.

Cookies: Cookies enable websites to store and track information and to collect data about you and what you have searched. You can usually select your preferences when you accept cookies, limiting the amount of personal information you share.

Gender and Sexuality

 

Gender: Gender is how society thinks individuals should look, think, and act. Society has beliefs and unspoken rules (that can evolve) about how people should act based on gender. For example, many people expect men to be more aggressive than women.

Gender Identity: This refers to how you feel inside about your gender. Your feelings about your gender can emerge early in life, and they can also change throughout your life. It is your personal sense of being a boy, girl, non-binary, two-spirit, agender, or something else entirely. There are many other gender identities that exist!

 

Gender Expression: This is how you express your gender to others, including your behaviour, clothing, hairstyle, or the name you choose to go by. 

Sexual Orientation: This term is used to describe who you are sexually and/or romantically attracted to. A few examples of sexual orientations include lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, asexual and heterosexual.

Consent: Giving consent means agreeing to do something. In sexual and intimate relationships, sexual consent refers to giving permission for doing or receiving any form of sexual activity (from touching and kissing, to penetration). There are a lot of aspects about sexual consent that are important to understand. Consent:

  • is always needed, no matter the partner, the context, or the types of sexual activity

  • is freely given (no threats, pressure, or coercion)

  • is informed (a person should know what they consent to)

  • is enthusiastic

  • can be revoked at any time

  • can be given for some activities, and not for others

  • is never assumed

  • can be communicated verbally or nonverbally

Consent cannot happen when:

  • someone is incapacitated

  • someone is less than 16 (sometimes less than 18)

  • there are power dynamics

  • there are threats, coercion, pressure, or force

Workshop 3

References:

(1) Definition from Moss, S. (). Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children & Youth in Canada: A Prevention and Early Intervention Toolkit for Parents. Children of the Street Society.

http://www.kristenfrenchcacn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Parents-Toolkit-on-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Trafficking.pdf

(2)  Modified definition of normalizing violence. Source: WCASA. Social Norms Toolkit: The Normalization of Violence: Explaining the connection between the normalization of violence and sexual assault. (n.d.). Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA).

(3) Definition from Moss, S. (). Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children & Youth in Canada: A Prevention and Early Intervention Toolkit for Parents. Children of the Street Society.

http://www.kristenfrenchcacn.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Parents-Toolkit-on-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Trafficking.pdf

(4) McGlynn & Rackley. (2016). Image-based Sexual Abuse: More than just ‘Revenge Porn’. University of Birmingham. p.g. 2.

(5) McGlynn & Rackley. (2016). Image-based Sexual Abuse: More than just ‘Revenge Porn’. University of Birmingham. p.g. 2.

(6) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(7) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(8) Modified from https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/other-types/sexual-coercion

(9) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(10) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(11) Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre. n.d. What is Sexual Violence?. Concordia University.

https://www.concordia.ca/conduct/sexual-assault/understanding-sexual-violence.html

(12) Harvard Law School Halt: Harassment Assault Law Student Team. (2021). How to Avoid Victim Blaming. Harvard Law School Halt.

References
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