By Courtney Snavely
You are a coward hiding behind the anonymity of a screen.
You ignorantly spew hatred without understanding the consequences of your words.
You are the reason women don't feel comfortable reporting assault sooner.
You are a part of the problem.
Considering the radical candor in which we promote reproductive rights, it was only a matter of time before the internet trolls found us. After the devastating trauma people endured during the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh (still not okay using the name “Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh”), the Ovee instagram account posted a the following illustration...
The photo was meant to be a celebration of Dr. Ford’s courage in sharing her truth and encouraging other people to report their own trauma. We included a link to an article about how medical providers can be a trusted resource in times when a person has no one else to turn to.
Encouraging someone to speak up about sexual abuse should not be a controversial stance.
But apparently it was. Did they read the post? Probably not. The illustration made no mention of Judge (barf) Kavanaugh, but served as a pure message of support for survivors of sexual assault. Yet commenters felt compelled to speak from a place of which they had no experience telling us to “take [our] opportunistic drivel and stick it up [our] ass.”
One comment read, “Their (which btw is improper grammar) is no such thing as your truth. There is THE truth, and YOUR opinion.” Let me say it louder for those engrossed in the comment section of 4chan, something can be THE truth and YOUR truth at the same time. Unless you are a survivor of sexual violence, you will never understand the pain, suffering, and lifelong impacts of being sexually assaulted. It is THEIR truth because no one will ever be able to erase that experience; it belongs entirely to them.
Because you can’t understand something doesn’t make it less valid.
To all the boys leaving hateful comments, what your comments don’t do––convince me we should be skeptical of women reporting assault.
To all of the boys leaving hateful comments, someone in your life has been raped or experienced sexual violence, but we live in a society where they can’t feel comfortable telling you. One in five women will be raped at some point in their lifetime and one in three will experience some form of sexual violence. However, only one out of three sexual assaults will be reported and it’s not difficult to understand why. Out of 1000 cases of rape, 994 perpetrators will walk free.
To all the boys leaving hateful comments, what your comments actually do––contribute to a culture where women can’t report abuse for fear of judgement, ridicule, skepticism, slurs, death threats.
To all of the boys leaving hateful comments, be better. Understand a survivor might have seen our post, been encouraged to seek help, and then been discouraged from reading your outrage at a woman speaking up.
While we wish people were more like the message on Frank Ocean’s t-shirt–– “why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?”––we recognize they’re not. While we can't stop people from leaving hateful comments on our instagram, we will be loud as fuck until the people who need to hear us will listen.
Message us if you want to chat or share your story with the community.