In an exclusive piece for The Buzz.ie, UCC Feminist Society Auditor Ellie O’Mahony details the launch of their new campaign, #RiseAboveIt.
Insults like these are sent to UCC Feminist Society and our members on a regular basis. Up until recently, we dealt we the comments in the same way every time; screenshot, report, block, repeat. However, with the launch of everyone’s favourite anonymous app, Yik Yak, we decided that we would have to take a stance. We would have to do something to show that we were not going to let these insults get in our way. We decided that we were going to rise above it.
With this fire behind us, UCC Feminist Society have launched our first campaign of the year – Rise Above It. This campaign is our response to the abuse and insults we have received as a society since being founded in 2012. These insults will not bring us down. This abuse will not stop us fighting for our case.
We decided to put real faces to the abusive comments – real people, like Mary Crilly, Director of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre, Dr. Catherine O’Sullivan, Law Lecturer and Adam Finn, UCC Student Union’s Event Officer. In using actual people and actual feminists, we wanted to pose the question; would you say this to their face? Chances are, none of our “critics” would.
The second half of our campaign takes a more humorous form – the video, Feminist’s Read Mean Tweets. Some of the comments, particularly those on the “lovely” Yik Yak app, are witty whether we like it or not. However, we want to take back these insults and respond to them ourselves and show just how ridiculous some of the comments actually are (*cough* “I femsoc’d your sister *cough*).
We want to set the tone for the year with this campaign – we want to make it known that no matter what words you throw at us, we’re going to keep on rising and succeeding and fighting. This campaign is just the start for us.
Dr. Catherine O’Sullivan pointed out at our launch that the abuse sent to feminists is in an attempt to silence us. It’s vitally important that we never let it silence us. We invite all of you, feminists and victims of online abuse, to stand with us and #riseaboveit.
Ellie Mahony, Auditor