Forms and Figures: Cyberspace Misogyny in the Height of the 2022 Philippine Presidential Race

Author: Juosea Mae M. Del Mundo (Philippine Normal University, Manila)
Speaker: Juosea Mae M. Del Mundo
Topic: Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
The GLOCAL CALA 2022 General Session

Despite movements to close the gender gap, women remain at a great disadvantage in the political stage where they are, compared to men, at a higher risk to experience media bigotry, judgment on their life choices, and online misogynist abuse. Such is the case of Vice President Leni Robredo being the sole woman contender vying for the seat of the 17th president of the Philippines.  This instance highlights the long-standing culture of misogyny in the Philippines and its political system.

Conventionally, misogyny is defined as a kind of sexism that can be identified in forms of hatred, physical and emotional abuse, and sexual harassment towards women. However, consequent to the rise of social media and other computer-mediated platforms of communication, expressing misogyny has likewise taken various shapes. While advancements to automatically detect hate speech and bigotry have been made, misogyny has taken subtler, deeper, and more intricate forms making it more difficult to distinguish, hence left unaddressed. It is in this light that this study aims to critically investigate a corpus of social media posts, comments, and tweets directed at the presidential candidates of the Philippine 2022 elections. Data will be analyzed through the lens of Multimodal Critical Discourse Studies and Sentiment Analysis based on M. Anzovino et. al.’s Taxonomy of Misogynistic Behavior to determine the forms and extent to which misogyny is expressed in cyberspace.

Keywords: Multimodal critical discourse analysis, Sentiment analysis, Misogyny, 2022 Philippine presidential election