Kit Steinkellner
Updated Mar 21, 2015 @ 10:03 am

We all stood up and cheered this week when Ashley Judd stood up and took a stand against internet trolls. Last weekend, Judd tweeted about her favorite sports team and their opponents (“playing dirty & can kiss my team’s free throw making a—“) and, to her shock, experienced creepy, violent, completely inappropriate backlash from the aforementioned trolls.

She tweeted the following in response to the madness:

When I express a stout opinion during #MarchMadness I am called a whore, c—, threatened with sexual violence. Not okay.

— ashley judd (@AshleyJudd) March 15, 2015

She has also filed police reports against her abusers and vowed to take them to court.

Judd recently published a piece in Mic entitled “Forget Your Team: Your Online Violence Toward Girls and Women is What Can Kiss My Ass,” in which she powerfully expressed how internet misogyny has got to stop:

“What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually. I know this experience is universal, though I’ll describe specifically what happened to me.

I read in vivid language the various ways, humiliating and violent, in which my genitals, vaginal and anal, should be violated, shamed, exploited and dominated. Either the writer was going to do these things to me, or they were what I deserved. My intellect was insulted: I was called stupid, an idiot. My age, appearance and body were attacked. Even my family was thrown into the mix: Someone wrote that my ‘grandmother is creepy.’ “

For Judd, a survivor of sexual assault, this nightmarish experience was triggering. Rather than let her trolls get the best of her, Judd immediately sought therapy and filed police reports. She concludes her essay with an inspiring call to arms:

“I’ve spent valuable March Madness time writing this. I have 6 versus 11 seed upsets to pick and opponents to scout. So for now, I am handing it back over to those of you who are unafraid to speak out against abuse like I have faced, and those of you who are righteous allies and intervening bystanders. You’re on it. Keep at it — on the Internet, at home, at work and in your hearts, where the courage to tackle this may fundamentally lie. We have much to discuss, and much action to take. Join me.”

And now we’re standing up and cheering for Ashley Judd all over again. We do have much to discuss and we need to take action. We’re a hundred percent in.

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