#Mencallmethings: Sexist Abuse Online

Online bullying is nothing new. Haters can comment away from the safety of their homes, remaining faceless and unreachable to a certain extent. It gives people an unfortunate freedom to be cruel.

But recently, ladies have been starting a movement where the remarks are no longer brushed off and instead, posted as updates to their Twitter accounts for all their followers to see.

I started following Sady Doyle on Twitter after reading a story she wrote for Rookie magazine, not having any idea I’d get to see something of this caliber unfold as a result. I saw the hash tag #Mencallmethings and immediately wrote that it needed to become a trending topic. By the time I got home from class, it had exploded.

The remarks range from humorous to violent, which surely comes as no surprise. Feeds are continuing to come in, so be sure to search the hash tag to get a better understanding of what’s going on.

We all know about hate mail. Maybe some of us have received some of our own. But my world was rocked when I saw the magnitude of anti-lady, slut-shaming, insulting, and threatening responses.

So what’s it all mean?

I share a similar view as Jezebel’s Anna North:

“There’s a semi-hopeful way to interpret this: that people actually do recognize one another as human beings when confronted in person, and only forget about this shared humanity when separated by a computer screen and miles of fiber-optic cable. And then there’s a darker interpretation: lots of people are walking around filled with barely contained rage — against women, against people of color, against anyone who disagrees with them — and are eager to take advantage of consequence-free ways to let it out.”

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