After Rachel Hundley saw the link, her heart sank.
Hendry, a member of the City Council in a quiet, small city in Sonoma, California, worked from home on August 13th when a message from an unfamiliar address suddenly appeared in her inbox. What she read shocked her. This anonymous email accuses the 35-year-old Hendry of being “immoral and immoral.” She then advised her to withdraw from the reelection in November. She read this note several times before setting the reality of the threat. Then she clicked on the link.
The now banned website was called “Rachel Hundley Exposed” and attacked Hendry because she took a position on the disagreement of Mayor Sonoma. It includes photos from Hendry’s social media accounts, including those wearing bras and underwear, as well as the works of the famous art and music festival Burning Man. The site is said to be an organization called “Sonoma Citizens for Peace and Cooperation,” which calls Hundley a “cruel and demented person” who is a “cancer” that needs to be cut off from the community.
“I was shocked,” said Hendry. “Now is 2018. I thought we have surpassed this.”
Although American women who had never been in the 2018s campaigned for public office, harassment and defamation were still the personal lives of female candidates. But when the victims of these attacks, aimed at tarnishing reputation and derailing activities, are confronted with attackers, it can actually trigger anger, provoke voter support and raise the image of candidates, experts and candidates say.
The public’s response to these types of candidate attacks has changed over the years, especially after the #MeToo campaign, University of Virginia professor Jennifer Lawless said he spent years studying gender and politics. intersection. Studies have shown that women who fight back and call for such behavior tend to be rewarded. But the threat of harassment can still prevent women from escaping.
“I think it’s important to make these examples and make sure that female candidates or women on the political stage know they don’t have to suck and stay silent,” Lawless said.
Hendry communicated with consultants and close friends – many of whom advised her to ignore these threats. Instead, Hendry decided to solve the problem directly with YouTube videos, which was close to 14,000 views as of Monday afternoon. Among them, she called on “anonymous coward” to try to silence her, to silence her, and to threaten her in the broader context of harassment and hypocritical women facing politics. She said that the purpose of the site is to scare her. But she refused to be intimidated.
“I am here today to tell me the faceless bully, I can’t be ashamed of my shame,” Hendry said in the video, staring at the camera.
Most politicians deal with trolls and criticism, and in 2018, the platforms and methods of harassment are enormous. A survey conducted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 2016 on women in legislative bodies around the world found that more than 40% of respondents said that “images of extreme humiliation or sexual harassment” were widely distributed.