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Ashley Judd Will Press Charges Against Sexual Threats and Harassment on Twitter

Actual March madness.


Ashley Judd, co-star of Divergent and Insurgent/woman who dared to have an opinion—on sports or otherwise—isn’t standing for being harassed by Twitter trolls. She’s pressing charges, no matter how many other Twitter trolls try to explain that threats are alright as long as they happen on the Internet.

The harassment began when Judd Tweeted, “I think Arkansas is playing dirty,” on Sunday from her seat at the SEC Championship basketball game, which is a highly contentious sporting event from what I understand. So contentious, in fact, that Judd’s tweet drew gendered insults and threats of sexual assault.

Just for example, in case you have somehow managed to avoid this treatment as a woman on the Internet or you’re not a woman and are also completely oblivious to what goes on around you:

Judd plans to press charges, because this is the kind of thing that should not be tolerated whether the threats and harassment are in person or online. No one should talk to another human being like this—ever. And so, of course, the Internet responded in its infinite wisdom:

She’s right; you can’t compare a tweet about the nature of a play in sports to harassment and threats. This “criticism” even led her to explain herself on MSNBC, saying,

In my impassioned game moment, I said something that, if I were in a more calm state of mind, I might have phrased differently. I might have said, ‘I feel really disappointed with what seems [like an] ultra-aggressive play.’ Instead, I wrote, ‘I think Arkansas is playing dirty.’

But as she said, no amount of phrasing can equate her tweet to the ones she received in response. It’s incredibly disappointing that she was harassed to the point of feeling the need to explain herself when there was nothing wrong with her original comment, and on top of that, it shouldn’t matter. Putting this back on Judd is just victim blaming, plain and simple. And of course, more gender-based hate was thrown her way in reaction to her intent to do something about it:

Hopefully, something more will come of her legal action than usually does in situations like this—not only because she deserves justice, but the whole of the Internet does, too. Judd says she’s been filling out a lot of police reports on the incident and Twitter has taken action against many of the offending accounts, but the real test will be whether or not that results in arrests. We need to change the common wisdom of, “That’s just how the Internet is. Deal with it.”

There shouldn’t be a societal expectation to just put up with this kind of harassment, and hopefully Judd and other prominent people like her can help pave the way for the rest of us to do something about it.

(via THR, image via Genevieve)

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Dan is many things, including a game developer, animator, martial artist, and at least semi-professional pancake chef. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (his dog), both of whom are the best, and he will never stop reminding The Last Jedi's detractors that Luke Skywalker's pivotal moment in Return of the Jedi was literally throwing his lightsaber away and refusing to fight.