Biden disinformation czar Nina Jankowicz’s book says she won’t be ‘silenced’ by online men’s ‘harassment’


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The Biden administration’s disinformation czar claimed in a book she wrote this year that she would not be ‘silent’ on social media as she pushed back against what she saw as ‘harassment’ from men whenever she shared opinions online.

She asserts that “the infrastructure of the Internet is designed for men”.

In her recent book, ‘How to Be a Woman Online’, Nina Jankowicz raises concerns about a number of issues regarding the backlash women face online, with a focus on how men are responding to it. what she has to say.


“We accept that harassment of women is simply the cost of their engagement on social media, or worse, that women are meant to endure harassment and silence in the name of ‘free speech’. It is high time that it changes,” she wrote in a passage from the book released in April.

Nina Jankowicz will serve as the executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Council.
(Arkadiusz Wargula/iStock)

Jankowicz also suggested that the negative comments she receives from men online violate her “fundamental democratic and human rights” and are intended to “silence” her and other women, concluding that comments from men “change the way whose women engage online”.

“[T]he relentless stream of online misogyny that I and millions of other women who deign to engage in public discourse have been subjected to shakes me at times,” she wrote. “I may have slightly thicker skin than some, but watching thousands of strangers criticize my looks, experience and expertise isn’t easy. Seeing them objectify me is not easy. Watching them deprive me and other women of our basic democratic and human rights is not easy. And watching these attacks being ignored as “the cost of doing business” in an age when an online presence is almost necessary is infuriating.

“Being a woman online is inherently dangerous,” she said. “The attacks we face are meant to silence us. They are meant to encourage us to stay home in ‘traditional’ women’s roles and not engage in politics, journalism, activism, l university or public life in general. … As absurd, as unsubstantiated and as ill-informed, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that these attacks are changing the way women engage online.”


Bringing race into the “online misogyny” equation, Jankowicz wrote that she, as a “white, heterosexual, cisgender woman,” cannot imagine how a woman “who is part of a other ethnically, racially or sexually marginalized group” deals with online experiences. According to Jankowicz, these women are “even more likely to be targeted and the attacks are likely to be more vicious.”

Highlighting a term from activist Van Badham called “the engagement gaffe,” Jankowicz described his take on online dating with men, telling readers that it “helps to familiarize yourself with their different incarnations before meet them so as not to confuse their initial approach other than in bad faith.

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(Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

“They have violently stormed into your mentions and into your life like the man from Kool-Aid, demanding your attention, peddling opinions they believe unquestionably, demonstrably correct and indispensable,” Jankowicz continued. “‘WARNING ME!’ they bellowed. ‘MY OPINION COUNTS!’ What drives much of this behavior, whether laden with misogynistic slurs or written in outwardly polite language, is what Van Badham calls “boner engagement” – when users get so turned on idea of ​​interacting with someone whose opinion they value is crossing the line into harassing, harassing, or abusive behavior.

“The engagement gaffe rears its ugly head in any kind of troll you encounter online,” she added. “Trolls may write differently, or lash out differently, or become grotesquely obsessed with different parts of your appearance or your past, but ultimately what drives them is engagement with you. , they hope, will encourage you to shut up and make room for their infinitely more worthy thoughts.”

Noting in the book that she was never “really afraid” to voice her opinions about men, Jankowicz recalled the time she “pecked a little boy in the face while dressed as a ‘bird princess’. “on Halloween” when she was in first grade.

Although there is little context for the pecking incident, Jankowicz included a message she wrote in her freshman journal which stated, “Today I am a bird… I am sad peple macke [sic] fun of me.”


“But I kept doing my best not to let anyone step on me,” she added.

Jankowicz also offered broad generalizations in his book, saying that “the infrastructure of the Internet is built for men and with male safety in mind,” suggesting that there are no “social mores and boundaries” for men to follow when making comments on social media.

“Women are expected to stoically endure astronomical levels of abuse just to participate in conversations while navigating a set of social mores and boundaries that simply don’t exist for men,” she said. “When men encounter behavior they don’t like online, they swear. They block. They purposely and openly mock and troll. And the world sees them as more manly for it.”

Reflecting on her own experiences, Jankowicz wrote in the book that she is dedicated to ensuring women have an “equal voice” on social media and said she refuses to “shut up about our collective experience of harassment, abuse and inequity, online or off.”

“We have a collective tenacity that, if activated, can challenge the norms that so many have viewed as an unfortunate but unchanging feature of women’s online engagement,” she said. “I pledge to harness that tenacity with every tweet, every TikTok, every keystroke and every click.

Nina Jankowicz will serve as the executive director of the Department of Homeland Security's Disinformation Governance Council.

Nina Jankowicz will serve as the executive director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Council.
Twitter account (@wiczipedia)

“I will continue to invest in time-consuming and sometimes costly practices, where my resources permit, to allow myself and others to express myself,” she continued. “I will familiarize myself with the platform’s policy and use it to create a more equitable online environment. I will build an inclusive and supportive circle of solidarity, committed to amplifying other women. I will ask for help from friends, family, colleagues and professionals when I need it.


“I will do this because the internet is an essential public space for discussion, politics, activism and expression,” she added. “Until women – all women, regardless of race, gender identity, religion or ability – have an equal voice there, we will truly be equal nowhere.”

Republicans have mocked both Jankowicz and the Biden administration’s new disinformation council created through the Department of Homeland Security, arguing that it is just a “ministry of truth.” “. Republicans on Capitol Hill pointed to Jankowicz’s past endorsements of disinformation as well as his efforts to suppress specific news events that were damaging to Democrats.

Anders Hagstrom of Fox News contributed to this article.

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