“At first I was in shock. Then I got angry. Then I decided to do something about it,” wrote University of Maryland Baltimore County student Kelly Martin Broderick in a full-fledged essay on the website XO Jane. After learning that she had been publicly shamed on Facebook for her being who she is, Broderick rose above the ugly commentary and took action.
It all started when Broderick received a rather awkward message on the dating site OkCupid.
Confused after conducting a couple of quick searches and finding nothing of note about herself on the Internet, Broderick gave up. “I chalked it up to exactly what I thought it was, another OkCupid douchecanoe messaging me,” she wrote.
The next morning, though, Broderick realized she had made a mistake disregarding the OkCupid note. She woke up to a new message from the guy who sent a link to her Facebook picture turned meme with more than 2,000 shares, nearly 10,000 likes, and inching on toward 1,000 comments. She had gone viral overnight.
A picture taken from a “This is what a feminist looks like” campaign produced by her feminist group on UMBC’s campus had been shared in a Facebook group called “No Hope For the Human Race.” People can be so inexplicably childish sometimes.
Rather than dwell on the comments like the one written by Paul Sherman “That’s also what a lifelong virgin looks like,” Broderick made moves. She created a closed Facebook group and requested the help of her friends to report the photo. According to her testimony on XO Jane, “about a dozen or so folks reported it,” so she stood by waiting for Facebook to comply and remove the picture from the social site. Facebook, however, was not as helpful as she thought they would be. Since it “didn’t violate their community Standards,” they couldn’t take down the photo. She tried again to no avail.
That didn’t stop her from responding, though. Broderick posted the image on her own Facebook, exposing the meme to her friends. She then started her own Tumblr, “We Are What Feminists Look Like,” expanding on the point of the campaign: “to draw attention to the fact that feminists are not all the same.” Many people have already submitted photos of themselves to be featured in Broderick’s Tumblr, with hopes of promoting the idea that “Feminists are not monolith,” as Broderick wrote in her XO Jane piece. “We are diverse and unique. We don’t fit into every stereotype.”
Now that would seem like a good place to end the story, allow for a more hopeful look toward the future for Broderick. However, the story doesn’t end there. The Facebook group responsible for posting her photo, “No Hope For the Human Race,” has responded to what they refer to as a “rant.” You can read what they had to say about Broderick’s XO Jane piece in full below:
I think I speak on behalf of all no hope fans when I say that we come here to laugh at the expense of all people. No exceptions! Our page is ran and operated by 12 admins. Most of which are female, including the admin who posted your image. So to act like our page is ran by misogynistic assholes is completely ridiculous and way off base.
When you post an image of yourself on facebook you are giving your images to the internet. Just like you can express your opinion on your feminist movement, the internet can respond back with their opinion. The problem with feminism is that you are getting carried away and have been for some time.
When a funny picture on the internet becomes a reason for you to want to take away someone else’s right to an opinion, that is a real problem. If people in our comments refer to feminists as “an army of lesbians who need the cock,” that is not OUR opinion. It is the opinion of the one who commented. Which in this case, would offend lesbians everywhere to compare you to them. Someone might say that feminists look like uptight ugly fat chicks who are pissed off that hotter chicks get more dick. Once again, that is not OUR opinion. That is the opinion of the fan who commented and they have a right to express it.
The meme that was created merely stated that you look like how most individuals would commonly imagine feminists to look. You stating that you were being slammed for being fat is your own insecurity and apparently the opinion of those who support you, since that is what THEY took from it. The irony is that you are now using this as a way to promote your bullshit spin on what otherwise would be considered a positive movement. Feminism is no longer about equal rights when you don’t feel like you should be equally made fun of.
Lastly, 90% of your family and friends who supported you through this “make believe crisis” are probably fans of our page, in secret. They probably laughed behind your back and now message you with sorrow. Hypocrisy at it’s finest. After all, we are the page that so many won’t admit they like because their uptight friends may judge them. This proves the point of our page. We are merely here to bring laughter to everybody through harmless fun. The internet decides who gets made fun of and who doesn’t. Not the owner or the admins of this page. You were selected. Congratulations!
You want to talk about Feminism? Think of the young girl being stalked on facebook by a sexual predator who didn’t receive the help she needed, because facebook admins were inundated with you and your feminazi friends reporting this stupid image.
The next time you want to throw a fit about something on the internet, take XOJANES’s advice. Remember this article they posted?
Carry on with your feminism. We’ll carry on making fun of it along with making fun of everything else. People’s right to an opinion doesn’t stop where your feelings begin.
Here’s to remaining optimistic in the idea that there is still hope for the human race.
[h/t Xo Jane]