Who is she?
Caroline Criado-Perez is a Brazilian-born, British activist and feminist, who has campaigned for women to be better represented in the media, and has highlighted the online abuse herself and many other women continue to face.
Most famously, she campaigned for a woman to be included on British banknotes – and succeeded. Jane Austen will feature on 10 pound note from 2017.
Caroline endured a hostile online campaign of harassment after speaking out about the banknote issue, with threats of rape and murder. She said that the threats were so bad that she almost suffered a breakdown, but her only recourse at the time was to email a complaint to Twitter. She didn’t think this was good enough and took the mattter to police. Since then, several of her abusers have been charged, and three served jail time for their offences.
Why should we thank her?
Caroline has bravely fought back and exposed the previously ‘nameless’ online trolls who attack many prominent women. As a result of her action, Twitter announced plans to improve its complaint process. Her campaign on the banknote issue also reminded us that women are still gravely under-represented in many aspects of society.
“Feminism doesn’t need re-branding. It names a problem and it is an uncomfortable truth for many.”