Women’s freedom of speech on the Internet is in danger as the FCC is considering new rules that attack net neutrality. A threat to net neutrality is a threat to women as more women continue to use the Internet as a source of empowerment. The deadline for public comments to the FCC is September 15th, so now is the time to fight back and tell the FCC to protect net neutrality.
As women, our voices are silenced every day. Women use online outlets as a source of communication, expression, and solidarity, things they often can’t find in the oppressive world outside of the Internet. To take away net neutrality is to further devalue the thoughts and ideas of women.
Proposed policies falsely advertised by the FCC as ‘open Internet’ will, in reality, close us off from the open stream of communication that the Internet is meant to provide. Not only would women’s voices become even less visible through these policies, the policies would strengthen the institutional inequalities that burden women by giving Internet service providers (ISPs) the power to censor our already marginalized opinions. Without net neutrality, the fate of women lies in the hands of big cable companies. The Internet serves as a powerful tool for women to organize against the forces that oppress them so it does not seem fair for women’s own tools to be turned against them.
The women’s movement cannot thrive when it cannot be spread through the largest channels of information, which are often prominent media outlets, like the Internet. As a women’s organization, NOW and its members are directly affected by these proposed changes and we are ready to fight actively against any obstacle that stands between us and protecting the basic human rights that women deserve.
The FCC is threatening to silence my voice, your voice, and the voices of women everywhere. For this reason, we encourage the FCC to preserve freedom by rejecting the proposed policies in order to preserve the objectivity of the Internet and adopt policies that ensure that our voices and our virtual presence remain protected in the future.