WMC Speech Project

Women in politics discuss online harassment


Anyone can be targeted by online harassment but studies reveal that violent, sexualized threats and hate speech disproportionately target women, especially in marginalized groups.  That is even more true when women are leaders and seek power.

Our video highlights the experiences of 8 women who have run for political office.

Women make extraordinary leaders.  Learn more about running for office by connecting with one of these national non-partisan organizations working to get women elected:

Vote Run Lead

She Should Run

Higher Heights


Partisan groups typically offer more in-depth trainings that can help you build your network.  Here is a comprehensive list of political & leadership resources by state – resources across the country for women interested in running for office, working on political campaigns, or holding appointive office. (Center for American Women and Politics)

Other resources:

WMC Speech Project: Online harassment and digital security tools and resources - what to do in an emergency situation; guides written by experts in security, digital privacy and gender-based violence; list of organizations working on online harassment.

Wheel of harassment – Explains the diversity of online abuse tactics and malicious behaviors ranging from sharing embarrassing or cruel content about a person to impersonation, doxing, stalking and electronic surveillance to the nonconsensual use of photography and violent threats.

Name It Change It Media Guide to Gender Neutral Coverage of Women Candidates and Politicians

Women politicians featured in the video (in order of appearance)

Wendy Davis
Wendy Davis is a lawyer and Democratic politician who served in the Texas Senate representing District 10 from 2009 to 2015. She ran for governor in 2014 but lost to Greg Abbott 59 to 38 percent.
Angela Angel
Angela Angel has represented Maryland’s 25th district in the Maryland House of Delegates since 2015. She serves on the Health and Government Operations Committee and is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland.
Marilyn Mosby
Marilyn Mosby is the State’s Attorney for Baltimore, Maryland. She was elected in 2015 and is a Democrat.
Kim Weaver
Kim Weaver ran as a Democrat in the 2017 congressional elections for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District seat.
Rina Shah Bharara
Rina Shah Bharara serves as an inaugural member of the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Conference’s Indian American Advisory Council. She is a strategic consultant, media commentator, and entrepreneur.
Stephani Roman
Stephanie Roman has held leadership positions since her freshman year and was the first underclassman to be elected Skyline High School’s student body president.
Katherine Clark
Congresswoman Katherine Clark serves the Fifth District of Massachusetts. She serves on the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations. In the House Democratic Caucus she serves as a Senior Whip, and is a member of the Steering and Policy Committee. Rep. Clark is a member of several caucuses in Congress, including the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Women’s Caucus.
Ileana Ros Lehtinen
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represents Florida’s 27th Congressional District. A member of the Republican Party, she is Chair emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.

Press release:  New video spotlights online harassment, violence against women candidates

Article: What women politicians’ online harassment tells us about degraded democracy

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More articles by Category: Free Speech, Online harassment, Politics
More articles by Tag: Cross-platform harassment, Doxing, Elections, Name It Change It, Social media, Twitter, Women's leadership



Soraya Chemaly
Director, WMC Speech Project, Activist, Writer
Kelly West
Filmmaker and photographer
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