The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Feminists United responds to Hurley letter in Facebook post

2 min read

Paige McKinsey


Monday afternoon, many of the University of Mary Washington community read a letter written by President Rick Hurley in response to a Title IX complaint filed by Feminists United on Campus and Feminist Majority Foundation. The letter, directed at FMF President Ellie Smeal and sent to UMW students via email, rebutted many of FUC’s initial statements and arguments made in May.
Monday night, FUC’s Facebook page posted a response to Hurley’s email. The post focused on the alleged misunderstanding of the group’s believed connection between the inappropriate Yik Yak posts and the murder of Grace Mann.

There is a deep misunderstanding about the title IX complaint filed by our club a few weeks ago. Many people, including the UMW president, think we are trying to link threats on yik yak to Grace Mann’s death. This could not be further from the truth. Not only have we literally NEVER said such a thing, we have been actively trying to discourage such speculation from the get-go.

The group also posted screenshots of older social media posts backing their initial stance that they did not want the Yik Yak comments and Mann’s death to be bundled together.

Feminists United/Facebook
Feminists United/Facebook
Feminists United/Facebook
Feminists United/Facebook
Feminists United/Facebook

We have stood by these statements from the beginning and will continue to do so no matter how badly our college president embarrassingly tries to spin it in a desperate attempt to refute the facts and evidence we presented in the complaint.

The post then quoted a segment of Hurley’s letter where he goes on to discuss the “troubling” connection that FUC was making between Mann’s death and the complaints made by the group.

“By far, the most troubling aspect of FUC’s and the Feminist Majority Foundation’s complaint is the implication that there is a connection between the concerns raised by members of FUC and the murder of Grace Mann. Grace’s death was a terrible tragedy, but it is irresponsible for FUC and the Feminist Majority Foundation to opine that it was related to the rise in explicit and offensive comments on Yik Yak. […] And in this case, the speculative connection FUC and the Feminist Majority Foundation claim exists between Grace Mann’s death and Yik Yak commenters spreads misinformation, and worse yet, it adds undue pain for the grieving Mann family.” -President Hurley in a campus wide email on June 8, 2015

The post concludes with strong words on Hurley’s alleged lack of fact-checking.

Maybe next time he will do some fact checking and listen to us before “initiating a highly-publicized media campaign with unsubstantiated claims and misinformation”. ‪#‎PresidentHurley‬ ‪#‎UMW‬ ‪#‎MaryWashington‬‪#‎FeministsUnited‬ ‪#‎FeministMajorityFoundation‬ ‪#‎YikYak‬ ‪#‎EllieSmeal‬‪#‎TitleIX‬

8 thoughts on “Feminists United responds to Hurley letter in Facebook post

  1. I can’t decide who to root for; the feminists who cry wolf or the Mr. Magoo administration.

    Whoever win, we loose

  2. I’m not trying to be incendiary but my question is why, if FUC is claiming that they’ve tried to discourage a connection between the threats and the murder, that the following was included in the title IX complaint. This seems to very clearly imply that they believed that the murder was a result of inaction by the administration. It’s one thing for an emotional e-mail to be written in haste, but another to include it as part of the complaint.

    Page 22 (64). In an e-mail to President Hurley and Dr. Cox dated April 18, 2015, a Feminists United member expressed the anger and despair that she and other members of Feminists United had about the administration’s inaction in the face of threats to Ms. Mann and other members of their group: “What will it take for the administrators to take its students seriously? The murder of one of the most passionate people at this school? Why was nothing done to address the threats directed towards Grace and the rest of [Feminists United] BEFORE THIS TRAGEDY?…You turned away when the members of [Feminists United] showed you 700 bullying and threatening posts…My friend was murdered today, and you did nothing to protect her even when you were made aware of death and rape threats directed toward her.”

  3. I have to agree with Confused on this one. While FUC has stated, often angrily, that they never wanted to tie Mann’s death to the current squabble over rape culture, they blatantly talked about both in the same sentence to insinuate a connection over the past two months. I understand their points, at times the world can be a scary place for us women, but many of my male friends are getting tired of the hostile and belittling atmosphere that FUC is creating. Not angry, I’m-gonna-beat-up-women tired, but emotionally drained from being constantly being accused of perpetuating this rape culture. FUC doesn’t really call any man a bad person… they call out a whole team, a whole cyber community and a whole college… and it’s starting to come off as paranoia in the worst way. And either their founded and Mann’s unfortunate death was tied to a misogynistic atmosphere, or their crying wolf and making us UMW villagers miserable.

  4. Hey FUC – I bet if you yell real loud the crappy DC news stations will come running. Why not yell “rape, rapey, rapist, rape culture, raparama” the more you yell it the more real it gets!


    Here is some news…the real world is cruel when you don’t get your way. Grow up and listen to the truth.

  5. As an ACTUAL working woman, I would like to let these GIRLS whom call themselves Feminists, YOU DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME!!! I have worked to make my own life and family, and NEVER once thought, it’s sooooo hard to be a woman. I have made it thru life with head held high, if I have ever thought that someone was inappropriate, I handled it by speaking with them as well as there superior, NOT by calling in the news and saying that everyone is picking on me!! If you don’t like the comments, don’t read them, just as in when you don’t like a TV show, don’t watch it, but don’t make everyone else conform to you. It’s not how you succeed in life. GROW A BACKBONE.

  6. It’s ridiculous that they’re pretending that they didn’t link Grace’s death to the threats on Yik Yak. A couple tweets don’t disprove the ridiculousness that I heard coming out of some of their mouths.

    Their response also conveniently doesn’t mention all of the other points Hurley made in his email.

    From my perspective (and I’m female), the only people I see creating a hostile environment on campus are the FUC members themselves.

  7. So blue and gray is now just a Facebook summarizing platform. This post was useless

Comments are closed.

Follow me on Twitter