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morethanmean-wear-your-voice-article

Content warning: extreme harassment and abusive language toward women, including mentions of rape.

“If you wouldn’t say it to our faces, don’t type it.”

Simple idea, but rarely the case when it comes to the way people, especially men, interact with each other on the internet.

Just Not Sports, a website and podcast dedicated to talking figures in the sports world about everything (just not sports!), created this brilliant viral campaign to bring to light how women are treated online, especially women in the often male-dominated arena of sports.

“#MoreThanMean hopes to open guys’ eyes — by having them open their mouths. The video shows what happens when real sports fans read real online comments made about women sports reporters … right to their faces.”

Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro, two women sports writers, are often the object of toxic masculine vitriol. DiCaro has spoken out about being raped and helped shed light on a hard topic — only to be told that she is liar because she is “unrapeable.”

The project brought in a variety of unsuspecting men who were told to read things that had been said to the two women, much like Jimmy Kimmel’s schtick where celebrities read mean tweets about themselves. The men were not aware of the content of the tweets ahead of time, but DiCaro and Spain were. The men seemed nice enough, especially based on their very visible discomfort with having to say such awful things to women who had only been polite and kind to them in their interactions. They often apologized before reading the awful things other men had written.

Watch with caution. It had me in tears, and I’m not that sensitive a person. The language is harsh, but I’m certainly no stranger to “fuck” or the “c-word.” It’s the hate that hurts so much to watch. A lot of friends of mine within the fat community have been the target of some really intense hatred, so maybe that’s what hits so close to home — fear that it’s only a matter of time before it’s me, too.

Well done, Just Not Sports.  Your #MoreThanMean campaign is incredibly effective. Thanks for bringing to light just how harsh online bullying and harassment can be.

Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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