Female politicians facing abuse fed by social media: Clinton, Latest World News - The New Paper

Female politicians facing abuse fed by social media: Clinton

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LONDON: Female politicians are facing a backlash fuelled by social media that rewards abusive posts and conspiracy theories, former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.

Women in the public eye still face scrutiny over their looks and pressure to behave politely and meekly in a way that men do not, said Mrs Clinton as she discussed a book co-authored with her daughter Chelsea Clinton about inspirational women leaders.

Her comments came after a number of female members of Parliament in Britain announced they would not stand for re-election in the Dec 12 general election, citing abuse on social media, including rape and death threats.

"I do think there is a reaction to a lot of the success of women and the roles of women right now," Mrs Clinton told an audience at the Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall in central London.

"And I think social media has lit that up, in a very destructive and toxic way."

Mrs Clinton said the scepticism towards Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg from some critics revealed how much gendered norms still prevailed in many areas of public life.

"She is a young woman, so the idea that she is standing up and speaking out as effectively as she has just rattles all of the paradigms that people still live with," she said.

The Clintons said they hoped their book, The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience, would inspire women to stand up for their beliefs - and help men and boys find female heroes. - REUTERS