Feminists United start conversation on cyber bullying during rally
By KELLY EMMRICH
“No Longer Anonymous,” a rally held by Feminists United on Campus last Friday at 4p.m., combined the views of campus clubs such as Student Anti-Violence Educators, PRISM, Diversability and Young Democrats on anonymous bullying on campus.
The theme was harassment, which FUC club President Julia Michels opened with and passed the microphone to other members of the club to comment on. Though, due to the low turn-out, one speaker started to call out some families and students passing by, aggressively questioning them of their knowledge of comments posted on Yik Yak last March.
Billboards containing printouts of some of the comments that were posted on the social media app about some of the members of FUC were present at the rally, and ranged from slightly offensive to graphic and disturbing.
One anonymous comment under the Yik Yak handle ‘Enough’s Enough’ said, “In all seriousness, can we revoke FUC’s charter on the grounds that they are a hate group? They hate men, give real feminists a bad name, and pursue witch hunts that only hurt their fellow Eagles.”
Others were more explicit, and had a red sign over them with a ‘trigger warning.’ Virgina Pierce, a senior English literature and classical civilization double major and the publicity chair for Feminist United, spoke about how the club deals with the Yik Yak comments and the animosity that they receive.
“We’ve already had a lot of backlash to begin with,” Pierce said, “Some people don’t look at it [Yik Yak]. We just have to understand that backlash always happens when you try to make a change. This is part of the process, and I think we’ve all mentally prepared for that.”
Feminist United is still dealing with the Title IX conflict from last semester, which was filed on May 7 and addressed cyber bullying and threats the group received on Yik Yak. The purpose of the rally was to create awareness about the hate speech and the cyber-harassment that can take place on Yik Yak.
“For me the most important thing is education,” Michels said “I feel like if students were better educated about gender, race and sexuality then they’d be less likely to threaten people or harass people based on those aspects.”