Ashley Judd Condemns Violence Against Women In A Powerful Essay & We Can All Benefit From Listening To Her

Ashley Judd has taken on violence against women in a big way after she said she experienced misogynist hatred online. The Insurgent actress said she received many gender-based violent tweets after she sent a tweet about a particular March Madness basketball game on March 17. Ashley Judd has written a powerful essay condemning violence against women in response to the terrible online comments. In the essay for Mic, she takes a stand against not only gender-based verbal violence online, but also violent actions, recalling her own devastating experiences of incest and being raped twice.

The essay begins with a snapshot of her recent experience of being a woman who dared to share an opinion about a sports team — or anything — on the Internet. After she tweeted her thoughts on the play, she said, "Tweets rolled in, calling me a c--t, a whore or a bitch, or telling me to suck a two-inch d--k. Some even threatened rape, or 'anal anal anal.'"

The response she got from some men online was nothing short of disgusting and hateful, but is sadly not surprising, as many women have complained of online harassment. And Judd does not let that escape her. She remarks on the sad state of harassment in the social media sphere for women as a "social norm" and called her experience a "universal" one for women who dare make their thoughts known. She then reflected on her own past of surviving sexual violence before emphasizing the need for a change. I should not have to tell you twice that this is a piece worth reading. We can really all benefit as a result of listening to her story.

TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images

Of course, Judd's story is very heavy and may take some time to read, but that's probably part of the point. Gender-based violence is not a light topic to read quickly with your morning coffee before carrying along as business as usual, because unfortunately for many women, like Judd, experiencing these types of attacks is business as usual.

Like she says in her essay, harassment of women online is the current social norm. Things don't become norms unless they happen frequently enough without people speaking out against them, after all. Judd's words remind us that these threats are not OK and should not be seen as OK just because they are considered "not as bad" as physical violence in society. And Judd reminds us that if we keep speaking out about it, we can make a difference. Don't we, as all women, deserve that?

Image: Getty Images