A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
From Scold’s to Trolls; Social and Legal Responses to Visible and Audible Women
A one-day symposium: September 15th 2015
Organised by the Centre for Law and Society at Lancaster University Law School
Keynote Speaker: Professor Feona Attwood, Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media at Middlesex University, UK
Underlying the trolling of visible and audible women is the deeply entrenched misogynistic idea of silencing women. Trolling is arguably just the latest methodology used to keep women silence. The process of silencing women has been on-going for centuries. In the 15th century, women were silenced by various methods one of which was known as the scolds bridle; a cast iron cage that was fitted over the head of the woman and which included a metal plate with spikes on that was inserted into her mouth. The intention and the effect were not only to silence that particular woman, but also to have a disciplinary effect on other women. The trolling of women such as Emma Watson; Mary Beard; Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasy, raise questions about whether the trolling of audible and visible women is a modern equivalent of the scolds bridle. When looking at the effects these mechanisms produce, it is difficult to see the difference between the 15th century and the 21st century. Whilst men can indeed be trolled, the significant difference in their experience is that they are not trolled because of their sex or gender. The silencing of women and issues related to women straddles all areas of life from bank notes; video games and the high street (e.g. River Island’s ‘Anti Nag Gag’); or politics (e.g. Michael Fabricant’s tweet that he would like to ‘throat-punch’ a female journalist).
We welcome submissions from a broad range of disciplines including law, criminology, media, sociology, cultural studies, history, social sciences, economics, psychology, linguistics and gender studies; from academics and non-academics whose work is relevant to the symposium theme, or which is of a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary nature.
Please submit an abstract of max. 300 words and 5-7 keywords (indicating the main research area in particular), and a short biographical note (approx. 2-3 lines) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include in your subject line ‘Abstract submission’.
The deadline for submitting abstracts is 1st May 2015. A draft programme will be announced as soon as possible after the abstract submission deadline (and no later than 19th May 2015), together with registration details. The aim is to publish selected papers in an edited, peer-reviewed collection with a leading publisher.