Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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Violence against women in politics encompasses physical, psychological, economic, sexual and semiotic forms of violence, targeting women because their gender is seen as threatening to hegemonic political norms. Theoretical debates over these categories and empirical applications to global cases often overlook that backgrounds and lived experiences of women in politics can differ considerably. Using the United Kingdom as a case study, in this article I analyze different manifestations of online semiotic violence – violence perpetrated through words and images seeking to render women incompetent and invisible (Krook 2020, 187) – against female, religious-minority politicians. Through a qualitative discursive approach, I identify patterns and strategies of violence in an original dataset of Twitter posts that mention the usernames of seven prominent Muslim and Jewish female politicians. Results show that multiply-marginalized politicians are exposed to both sexist and racist rhetoric online. In this case, semiotic violence functions to render women incompetent using racist disloyalty tropes as well as to render women invisible by invalidating their testimonies of abuse.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): British politics; gender and politics; social media; violence against women
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