If you haven’t seen it, you need to.
Earlier this week, Just Not Sports released a video in which random men read malicious tweets directed at two female sports reporters: Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro.
All of the tweets were insulting, degrading and offensive. Some condoned violence against Spain and DiCaro, while others were overtly sexual. A few seemingly condoned – or called for – one or both of them getting raped.
DiCaro, by the way, is a rape survivor.
Many of the men were unable to look Spain or DiCaro in the eye when reading the tweets, and many of the men wound up apologizing to them on behalf of their gender.
Brandon Tierney thought it was a powerful video, albeit one with limitations.
“I love the campaign,” he said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “I think anything with awareness is a phenomenal tool to educate. But the problem is that the people who watch the video and actually have sympathy and embrace this and try to further the cause like you and I are people who are smart, who love their moms, who love their wives, who cherish women and respect women – not the people who are actually going on Twitter and actually writing this stuff. So they don’t really see it.”
“Yeah,” Barber said, “and if they did, they wouldn’t care. They’re probably going to troll this story story wherever it lives. The comments are going to be vicious because it can be anonymous. If you can be anonymous, you can say whatever you want. What made this so compelling – and I encourage people to go watch this video – these men are sitting like BT and I are sitting across from these women and reading these tweets directly to their face. It’s not like they’re separated by a table. It’s not like I can look off to the side and not really engage. They’re looking directly at this person. If that was the case, of course these people wouldn’t send these tweets.
“But trolls on the internet, this is what they get off on,” Barber continued. “They’re trying to demean someone – whether it be you, me, these women or whoever – so that they feel more powerful than you do. It’s a stupid way to try to win an argument. That’s human nature. People are idiots and they can’t help themselves because they make these visceral thoughts and emotions that have no place in normal society, especially if there’s a consequence. The problem is, there’s no consequence – and without consequence, this will continue to happen.”