Code, Space, and Online Misogyny

Feminist Media Studies 18 (2018)

C+= (pronounced “C plus equality” or “see equality”) is an anti-feminist programming language hoax that provides one example of the hostility experienced all too often by nonmale, nonnormative identities online. As a case study, this programming language demonstrates how misogyny happens in digital contexts through claims to space. This “digital manspreading”—a concept I develop through this case—happens because online interactions are unavoidably embodied, material, and spatial. This case study and concept argue that feminist scholarship must move beyond studying online discourse or interfaces to interrogating how digital infrastructures themselves, especially as built and represented in code, participate in misogyny.

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