Thordis Elva is an award-winning writer, public speaker and activist. Her books, films and campaigns against gender-based violence earned her the title Woman of the Year 2015 in her native Iceland. In 2017, she wrote the book South of Forgiveness with a man who sexually assaulted her, which has been published in 14 countries. Their TED talk has been viewed 5 million times. Thordis Elva became one of the frontrunners of the #metoo revolution in Iceland, accepting the Person of the Year Award 2017 on behalf of the movement. As a sought-after speaker and content creator, her recurring clients include governments, international organisations and NGOs. She currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden with her partner and their three sons.
Additional thoughts from Thordis:
"I choose to talk back to perpetrators of online abuse, whom I refuse to call "trolls". Perpetrators of any type of violence, online or off, are not mythological monsters, but real people of flesh and blood who live in our communities. Most often, they're known to their victims. We wouldn't shrug and sit back while a member of our community chanted sexist or racist slurs at someone in a bus or the grocery store. It's high time that we apply the same principles to online spaces, because they have become an extension of our public places. I've also realised that every time I talk back to an abuser, I inspire courage in other people. By speaking up, I protest the perpetrator's conduct, while asserting my right to exist online without being abused. As opposed to the 'chilling effect', whereby groups who are often subject to online abuse start to self-censor for fear of being targeted, I think displaying civil courage in cyber space can have a 'warming effect'. That's why I choose to talk back, I see it as an important act of resistance."