Since my last blog post in December it feels as if I had done so very much while simultaneously doing absolutely nothing. My home life has been busy and I have had a few issues to deal with. As a result I have been tired, stressed and run down. I know I was stressed, I get outbreaks of horrible cold sores when I am stressed and at the end of January I was buying Zovirax by the bucket load. A lot has calmed down now, but I am left with a feel of being drained and very tired, coupled with an inability to sleep. I think it will take a few months and the arrival of the sunshine to fully recover. At least I feel that it will get better, a little while ago I was not sure if it would.
I received ethics approval for my PhD research just before Christmas. I was very excited and thrilled to have it passed first time. Data collection is well under way and I get a huge thrill from watching the data roll in and seeing the stats grow. Reading has been slow, I think mainly for the reasons stated above, but where it has taken place I have been focusing on studies of online misogyny, free speech, censorship and developing masculine identity online. Recently the sheer vitriol of some of the comments posted has brought down my usual good mood. Some of the things I have seen have been hard to read. It is not the individual comments, but the sheer weight of numbers. Many voices seemingly saying the same thing over and over again. Much of it hurtful and objectifying. I have difficulty in reconciling my own libertarian beliefs and my need for tolerance and kindness.
Fortunately, I have been working with some wonderful people on other projects. Although not directly related to my research it is relevant to my interests and I have enjoyed the work so far and hope that it continues. I have had a few lunches where I have giggled and laughed, moments like that keep me sane. My friends and family have been marvellous. Listening to me complain and being non-judgemental. I hope they all know how important they are to me, and how much I value them. Currently I am working on a template for my upgrade. Looking at structure and word count.
Since my last post, there have been two major items of news regarding revenge pornography. The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill received Royal Assent and the act of posting intimate images of a person without their consent became a criminal act in England and Wales. Furthermore, Hunter Moore, arguably the man who began the Revenge Porn craze with his Website IsAnyoneUp? has pleaded guilty to hacking offences and faces time in prison. It will be interesting to see how these developments affect the number of posts to revenge porn websites.