Poliittisten toimijoiden kokema vihapuhe sukupuolittuneena poliittisena väkivaltana

Translated title of the contribution: Gendered political violence: Hate speech experienced by political actors

Tuija Saresma, Reeta Pöyhtäri, Heidi Kosonen, Paula Haara, Aleksi Knuutila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In our article, we discuss hate speech targeted at politicians as a gendered phenomenon that involves a wide range of emotions and affects. Hate speech impacts its targets in many ways and evokes different emotions and feelings. We define hate speech as threatening, contemptuous, or discriminatory speech directed at an actual or alleged characteristic of a particular group. We explore hate speech in a circumscribed way as verbal political violence targeted at political actors. It counts as violence because it impacts its targets the same way as physical violence does. The definition extends the concept of political violence to cover symbolic harms. Hate speech as political violence is motivated by the belonging of its targets to a certain group of people, or their political orientation, and its purpose is to harm, silence their targets, and cause them to give up political decision-making. We analyze political violence in the light of our study The impact of hate speech on public decision-making, published in 2019. The study was directed at municipal decision-makers and parliamentarians. We present the quantitative results of the survey on hate speech and analyze qualitatively what expressions are interpreted as violence in the open-ended responses of the survey and what kinds of emotions and affects are addressed in them. In our article, we ask how the respondents make sense of hate speech, what affects it revolves around, and what kind of affective reactions it causes. The verbal violence that politicians face is intersectional: such hate speech that seeks to silence its targets is particularly directed at women, as well as gender and sexual minorities, linguistic minorities, and ethnic minorities. The focus of this article is on the gendered nature of hate speech and its manifestation as political violence that threatens the freedom of speech.
Translated title of the contributionGendered political violence: Hate speech experienced by political actors
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)18-38
Number of pages21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Affect
  • Emotions
  • gendered violence
  • hate speech
  • Intersectionality
  • political violence

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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