Ashley Judd, an actress and women’s activist, was attacked violently on social media, for a comment she posted on Twitter. During a Sunday basketball game, she was watching, she made a harmless comment about the opposing team. This comment to others was considered “unsportsmanlike”, and would receive an abundant amount of spiteful and vicious remarks (Pass The Mic, Judd). The tweet read, “”playing dirty & can kiss my team’s free throw making ass” (Pass The Mic, Judd). She said that she has had to contend to being sexualized, debased, and shamed on Twitter, and has tried to report these comments found on its platform, but this particularly circumstance was astounding. Therefore, Judd saw no option of sitting quietly when she was faced with misogynistic and gender discriminating criticisms. Judd saw the intersectionality between gender, violence and the media. She also said, it tied into the abuse and rape that she had experienced when in her earlier years. An example of intersectionality similar to Judd’s, of gender and sexism, is also found in Laverne Cox’s article. She is a trans-gendered woman who fought gender abuse that she faced from becoming a woman. Cox discusses how she was confronted with the harsh realities of being a woman, as they are to ostracized and discriminated against. The unfairness that millions of girls and women face, is what Charlotte Alter and Ashley Judd shine light to in their writing.
From this article, by Charlotte Alter, and Ashley Judd’s essay, they have both made it apparent that rape culture exists in popular culture and social media. The normalization of sexually violent language used in today’s society, is what perpetuates rape culture. The societal norm of the vulgar language expressing and exploiting Judd’s genitals is extremely horrifying. After reading these remarks, she deleted the post she made, to rectify any offense she may have caused with her choice of words. I believe that Judd did nothing wrong and has no right to be slandered for expressing her opinion, as she explains that if it were a man, things would have turned out differently. She makes it clear that her uncle, who shared the same idea, would be exempt from any threats or abuse, as he is a male sports fan (Pass The Mic, Judd). Not only did people sexually disgrace her, they also insulted her intelligence, age, body and appearance over the Internet (Pass The Mic, Judd).
This incident also truly represents how gender roles and gender socialization are present today throughout society, due to social media and histories portrayals of what men and women are to symbolize. Women are represented by emphasized femininity, and expressing an opinion about a topic, that does not fit this ideal, could lead one being scorned for it. Men discuss sports all of the time, and many of them have written comments on social media, but have not been attacked for it. Sharing their ideas are allowed, but if a woman does it, she becomes publicly sexualized and humiliated. Sports in our society, are known to be male dominated, due to these gender stereotypes and hegemonic masculinity that are set by society and followed by us. Men are dominant in society, and therefore are not challenged with the lack of mutual respect women face for their personhood.
In conclusion, Ashley Judd, a vocal advocate for women’s rights, makes a point of how women are dismembered in society, for simply being a woman (Time, Alter). Posting a sports comment on Twitter, got Judd a numerous amount of hatred remarks from people. From a single post on social media, her life was threatened and she was sexually violated all over the Internet. This displays, how people are able to write and use explicit language about another human being, without facing any consequences. This normalization is what is causing rape culture to be present and people to be permissive of it. Sexual assault or violence is one of the most traumatic experiences one could ever face, and society is making it out to be trivialized. Judd speaks about the issue of rape, as she has endured it and is a survivor (Pass The Mic, Judd). She also discusses how stereotypes are still present in popular culture, and how women are almost to blame, even though it is not their fault. These ideas she brings up, are fascinating points that we should take into consideration, if we want to move forward. To rid of sexism in the media, and to create an equal ground for women is something we should all work towards and stand up for.
Judd, Ashley. “Forget Your Team: Your Online Violence Towards Girls and Women Is What Can Kiss My Ass.” Pass the Mic.19 Mar. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2015. <http://mic.com/articles/113226/forget-your-team-your-online-violence-toward-girls-and-women-is-what-can-kiss-my-ass>>
Alter, Charlotte. “Ashley Judd Speaks Out About Twitter Abuse and Rape.” Time. 19 Mar. 2015. Web. 08 Apr. 2015. <http://time.com/3750788/ashley-judd-speaks-out-about-twitter-abuse-and-rape/>>