Men Read Horrifying Comments Written About Female Sportswriters Right to Their Face
"I hope your boyfriend beats you."
Just Not Sports, a podcast dedicated to talking with athletes about anything besides sports, has recorded a particularly sobering PSA regarding the disgusting comments directed at female sportswriters, specifically Sarah Spain (espnW, ESPN Radio, SportsCenter) and Julie DiCaro (670 The Score, Sports Illustrated). They brought a selection of some of the horrifying tweets and comments with them to be read by a few random male volunteers. It begins light (as light as harassment can get, I suppose), and soon becomes heavier and heavier as they continue reading. Many of the men are quick to go, “Wow,” or criticize the early tweets, but once things become much more darker, it’s becomes that much more difficult for them to read out loud.
Of course, that doesn’t compare at all to having to be the target of these comments, but there you go. It’s understandably uncomfortable to read these comments out loud, but to read them to the live person to whom they’re directed as they’re sitting right in front of you? Painful. But that’s exactly what we’re doing when we write comments on the internet. There is a living, breathing human being sitting on the other side of that connection (and it is a connection in so many ways) who has to deal with the absolute shit that one might lay at their doorstep. These comments are a reality for so many female writers, and they’re so often written with a reckless disregard, a complete lack of fucks given for the fact that there is a person who has to read them.
Try as we might to justify the things we write online as shouts or wails into a yawning void, the truth of the matter is that it’s not a void, it’s a place where you can connect with millions upon millions of people–for better or worse.
By the end of the video, the men reading the comments have seemingly stopped cooperating. They don’t want to read the comments anymore, and it takes some prodding from an off-camera producer to get them to continue. Eventually they’re apologizing to them. The entire thing is worth watching, for sure, as uncomfortable as it might be. I mean, yes, it is disturbing, but really: imagine having to read these comments on some of your own work.
Perhaps most shocking are the responses to the video. On Twitter alone, the #MoreThanMean hashtag associated with the video has its fair share of men rolling their eyes while suggesting they “block and move on.” There are even a couple people suggesting that the video was made up. Okay, guy. But overwhelming these shitty responses are plenty of people sharing the video trying to get everyone to watch it and understand what it’s about.
(via Bitch Media/Tumblr)
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