It’s not just the amount but the type of harassment that makes the Harris slurs stand out. President Biden gets his share of smears, but they tend to focus on his age, often repeating former President Trump’s “Sleepy Joe” moniker; a few call him creepy or worse. Those directed at Harris, however, tend to reference sex, violence or misogynistic accusations that she does not deserve her position.
“Abuse directed at women is highly personalized, often attacking them based on their appearance and denigrating their intelligence,” said Cecile Guerin, a researcher in London at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a think tank that seeks to counter extremism, disinformation and polarization. “It is also more likely to imply that they should quit politics and that they don’t belong in the public space.”
Guerin led a recent study that did not include Harris but showed that American female politicians were two to three times more likely to receive abusive Twitter comments than male counterparts.