Actress Ashley Judd has had enough of being harassed online, and now she’s doing something about it.
The “Double Jeopardy” star and one-time rumored Kentucky Senate candidate was the target of social media attacks on Sunday when she tweeted about a “dirty” play during the conference championship game for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats.
That one remark about a foul play bred immense backlash on social media that Judd, unfortunately, knows all too well. She called the response “staggering,” writing in a piece for Mic.com that while she “routinely” copes with threatening and degrading tweets, “this particular wave of gender-based violence and misogyny flooding my Twitter feed was overwhelming.”
And while some in the past have pressured Twitter to take action to curb harassment on the platform, Judd is taking it one step further: she’s taking her case to court.
In an interview with msnbc’s Thomas Roberts on Monday, Judd explained: “The way things happen on social media is so abusive, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write, and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist. And, by the way, I’m pressing charges.”
She reaffirmed this statement in her Thursday op-ed: ”I must, as a woman who was once a girl, as someone who uses the Internet, as a citizen of the world, address personally, spiritually, publicly and even legally, the ripe dangers that invariably accompany being a woman and having an opinion about sports or, frankly, anything else.”
Judd is not alone in the sphere of gender violence online. Research has shown that women are more likely to suffer serious forms of online harassment than men – nor is this the first time Judd’s made news for being the target of gender-based attacks.
The actress was rumored to be taking steps to challenge now-Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell during the 2014 Kentucky Senate race. After she backed out of the race, secret tapes found McConnell aides calling Judd “emotionally unbalanced” and citing lines from her autobiography about her struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts as possible attacks should she decide to enter the race.