PR agency staffers from the Chicago offices of Weber Shandwick and Fleishman Hillard teamed up with the dudes who run podcast Just Not Sports (some of whom happen to be the same people) to expose the online harassment constantly faced by female sports journalists.
To accomplish this, they had men read some “#MoreThanMean” tweets directed at sportswriters Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro out loud to their faces. We were shocked to learn that bitter and insecure men sometimes say mean things to women anonymously online, as we have absolutely no direct experience whatsoever with that alleged phenomenon.
While the women had seen the quotes before (they were presumably tweeted as replies or direct personal attacks), the men reading the items had no idea what they were getting into.
They start off fairly offensive, with foul language mostly dominated by the word “bitch” and C-bombs like the ones they like to use in Scotland. From there things get dark in a hurry, as the men struggle to read out loud the quotes of depraved individuals who anonymously tweet about how they’d like to see these women become victims of rape and violence.
We’ve seen various parties present their own takes on the “Mean Tweets” format to make a point before, but this is perhaps the most emotional example.
You’d expect that Spain and DiCaro would be troubled by hearing the quotes spoken to them out loud, but it’s more often the men repeating the awful quotes who become emotional and have a hard time continuing to look the victims of the harassment while they read these streams of hateful crap. Several of them apologize on behalf of the morons who think writing such things is in any way excusable at the end of the video, with one man adding that he thinks he needs to apologize to his mother as well. In case the message wasn’t clear (because apparently people have to have it spelled out for them), the video ends with the text, “We wouldn’t say it to their faces. So let’s not type it.”
Unsurprisingly, in an illustration of the video’s point, the YouTube comments for the video are littered with garbage from childish Gamergate types claiming the video is “hilarious” or mocking it for promoting respect and common courtesy.
Good thing none of them work in advertising!