This article discusses the harassment Ashley Judd received on twitter after tweeting about basketball. She received so much hate and so many derogatory comments that she had to delete the tweet and decided to talk about her experience. Unfortunately, this is happening too often in contemporary society. Young girls and women are being sexualized on social media for anything and everything. Judd states that, “Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood” (cited in Alter). Females are constantly put down for no obvious reason. People took a stab at whatever they could: her body, age, intellect, appearance, and even her family (Judd cited in Alter). They needed to find any excuse to demean her. I’m not saying all men do this but often they take it upon themselves to use disrespectful names and phrases to talk down to women. Often these things are not meant to trigger a response, instead women are just supposed to take it. They are not talking to the women, but instead at them, like an object, as opposed to a human being.
Each day I learn about how harmful social media is becoming. The amount of misogynistic comments on social media in today’s society is unbelievable. The even bigger issue at hand is that there aren’t only sexist comments but racist and homophobic ones as well. Her situation also demonstrates that hurtful comments don’t occur just once or even twice but often multiple times. She was disrespected on a few different occasions. People are not afraid to say hurtful things over the Internet because they get to avoid the difficult face-to-face interaction that would most likely prevent them from saying these things. I think society would see a decline in hatred as well as malicious comments if social/mass media was taken out of the picture.
While she was on the topic of women being sexualized, Judd discusses the problem of rape culture. She expresses the realization that people blame the victim instead of the rapist. Who cares what she was wearing or if she was drinking, rape is rape no matter the circumstances. That’s the trouble with society: many people don’t see the problem with rape but instead see the problem in the victim. She tied this in perfectly with the original statement because in both instances the victim is being blamed rather than the person causing the harm. Another thing is how lightly rape is talked about. It’s an invasion of someone’s body; it is not a joke and should never be a joke. The people who joke about rape are the ones that are desensitizing the meaning of it. The worst part is that she openly spoke about how she was raped in her childhood and people still had the audacity to joke about and threaten to rape her.
As a female, I’ve grown up my whole life knowing that women were once oppressed and continue to fall below men. Equal opportunities are not given to women, which is something I still cannot comprehend. Gender equity is needed for cohesion of society to take place. I grew up learning from my mom that I am not responsible for doing all the cooking and cleaning in the house when I am married and that I am capable of fulfilling my ambitions. Sadly, not everyone is taught this but they should be in order to see change in society. A few years ago, the comment “go make me a sandwich” (a male commanding a female) was very popular among people my age. The era where women stayed home, took care of cooking, cleaning, and the children, is long gone. We don’t live in the past anymore, women are not responsible for taking care of their male counterpart. They are capable of achieving their goals and are not to be seen as vulnerable and compliant. Even as a joke, this statement shows us that society’s mindset is stuck in the past even though everything is progressing around us. Comments like these need to end or society will never move forward. This idea that women are only good for the “dirty work” is seen as androcentric. Men were capable of working for a living and so they were given the authority and power to dominate women, which is still taking place in many societies and needs to be changed.
Alter, Charlotte. “Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Twitter Abuse and Rape.” Time Inc. Network. n.p., 19 March 2015. Web. 7 April 2015.