The misogyny of online drama
From Taylor Swifts’ reputation to Hailey Biebers’ marriage, Caitlin Nagle discusses online drama that places women at its forefront and the misogyny behind it all.
The relentless attacks on women by the media are becoming a continued pattern, especially for figures such as the American model Hailey Bieber. Speaking on Alex Cooper’s podcast ‘Call Her Daddy’, Hailey addressed the respect she holds for her husband’s ex, Selena Gomez, and shut down social media’s assumptions that there was any ongoing drama. In the podcast, Hailey discusses the animosity she receives surrounding her relationship with Justin Bieber, expressing how people always make out there is something wrong with her marriage.
News articles attempt to expose the ‘reality’, with one targeting the couple to expose their rumoured battle to keep their relationship going after only six months; which is now ironic as the couple stand strong after four years of marriage. If this wasn’t enough to ridicule their relationship, the drama-invested media writer states, “Yikes!”, yet the only thing alarming is the media’s toxic attitude towards the couple, and more generally, women.
Hailey describes her feelings of “numbness” as she “just knows” to expect hate comments on her social media platforms. Cruel comments such as, “He don’t even want her” and “That’s Selena’s man” attract countless likes and replies, creating a hate-filled community. With rumours surrounding how her relationship started, to dealing with an audience-fueled grudge; Hailey shared how the inaccurate and unforgivable narrative being circulated regarding her character and marriage greatly affected her mental well-being and even led to suicidal thoughts and ideas.
Relentless attacks on women by the media are becoming a continued pattern.
There is a pattern of people within social media and mainstream media relentlessly trying to create drama which doesn’t exist. Both Selena and Hailey have spoken publicly about their relationship with one another, which has confirmed time and time again there is no conflict between the two. The obsession with putting down women, such as Hailey, is part of the greater problem with the media’s misogynistic treatment of women. It is not just the larger media companies to blame, but also individuals who comment hate upon public figures’ posts. One in five women have suffered online abuse or harassment, Amnesty poll research concludes. Hailey is not alone.
American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift has also been a victim of the media’s obsession with putting down women who date in the limelight. One of the most searched questions online about Taylor Swift is how many boyfriends she’s had, irrelevant to the talent with which she performs music. She has always had a reputation based on her relationship status, dismissing her talent. The famous singer has spoken publicly about how she has been slut-shamed since her twenties.
Women in the media are criticised persistently. I can’t think of one male figure in the limelight who has the same reputation as Taylor Swift, or even understand how Justin Bieber is rarely apparent in the Selena and Hailey feud despite being the only common factor. The underlying misogyny behind the experiences of both Hailey and Taylor is clear. If they are single, everyone questions why. If they are in a relationship, there is something wrong with it. And, if a relationship ends for a woman, then the media want to expose every detail – even if it means making them up. The media thrives off putting down women, it is a pattern that seems endless.