As March Madness approaches, some Twitter users have discovered a coping mechanism for their basketball-related frustrations: misogyny.
Ashley Judd, the actress and would-be political candidate, also happens to be an enthusiastic supporter of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, the basketball team of her alma mater. Judd has celebrated the success of the undefeated team on Twitter -- where her support has been met with threats of sexual violence.
Evidently, having opinions on an athletic activity primarily practiced and managed by a gender that is not yours is unacceptable.
Judd, a vocal advocate for women's issues and gender equality, then tweeted this charming example:
By all means, dude, use misogyny to cope with your team's defeat, or female spectators as targets for an arbitrary aversion to one team in particular. Blame a woman for the outcome of an athletic activity neither of you are actually participating in. Take your sympathetic emasculation out on a proxy to whom you feel misguidedly superior. Cool move.
In an interview with "MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts” this morning, Judd said she plans to press charges against those behind the more disturbing threats of sexual violence she's received on social media. She discussed the responses to her basketball-related tweets in particular. "Well apparently I’m a ‘whore.’ I’ve been called the c-word," she told Roberts -- epithets she apparently earned for suggesting the Arkansas team was playing dirty.
"The way things happen on social media is so abusive. Everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write and not allow this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist," she continued. "And by the way, I’m pressing charges."
From disturbingly hostile behavior on Twitter towards female athletes to the lack of respect for sports journalists and commentators who happen to be women, sexism in sports affects participants and spectators alike. Where social media is concerned, we're grateful Judd is calling out the type of sexism in sports that keeps women out of it.