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Video: Men Read The Vicious Tweets Two Female Sportscasters Receive In Front Of Them

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Women who work in sports are frequently harassed online, from snarky comments to messages that are downright vicious and disgusting. A video highlights this abuse by asking ordinary men to read these comments to the sports reporters' faces. Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro both work in sports. Spain works for ESPN, and DiCaro is a former attorney and sports writer in Chicago. Like many women who dare exist online, both are subject to a deluge of vile, hateful comments—usually, but not always, from men. "#MoreThanMean," a short video produced by Just Not Sports and One Tree Forest Films asks other men to read the comments aloud while seated across from the women. It starts out a lot like Jimmy Kimmel's "Mean Tweets," but quickly goes to a dark place, with messages so horrible that the men have trouble voicing them. One even tells Spain that he can't look at her while he reads them. (Warning: these tweets discuss sexual assault, and they're very unpleasant.")

There's a lot of "the c-word," as one man notices. There are wishes that one of the women's dog gets killed by a car. Another tweet hope that DiCaro will be "Billy Cosby's next victim." Another hopes that DiCaro—who wrote about being raped in college in the Huffington Post—"gets raped again."

If this video doesn't illustrate how terrible some people can be online, how about this charming response to the video? There's some real case-in-point stuff here.

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And no discussion of an issue that affects women—though at no point did the women try to claim this doesn't also happen to men—could be complete with a "What about the men?"

These two sportswriters are not the only women who face harassment online, simply for doing their jobs or because they are women. Let's not forget sports reporter Erin Andrews, who was recently awarded $55 million in a lawsuit regarding a stalker who used a peephole to record nude videos of her while she stayed at a Nashville hotel for work. Andrews settled with the hotel on Monday for an confidential sum.

Andrews told the jury, "This happens every day of my life. Either I get a tweet or somebody makes a comment in the paper or somebody sends me a still video to my Twitter or someone screams it at me in the stands and I'm right back to this. I feel so embarrassed and I am so ashamed."

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Andrews also received death threats from a Twitter user who wrote things like, "You make eye contact with me and I will chop you apart."

And it's not just sports. Amy Roth, who writes about vegan food and for the skeptic site Skepchick was once able to plaster every object in a room at The Century for Inquiry on Hollywood Blvd. with the horrible messages she and other women regularly receive online.

"All one has to do is look at the type of harassment women receive online and compare it to the messages men receive to see that sexism is a huge factor," Roth told LAist at the time.

Spain wrote more about the video for ESPN, saying that while she pities these trolls, it's a problem that shouldn't be ignored:

Usually when I see a threat or insult online, I simply block the user and move on. I don't share it, I don't respond to it and I don't give it much thought. After years of working in the sports industry, I've grown accustomed to being insulted and threatened for something as simple as an opinion on a player or a game. But sometimes, if I'm feeling feisty, or angry, or bored, or sick and tired of reading this stuff over and over again, I'll respond. I'll retweet the comment, fire back something defending myself or chastising the awful words directed at me. And almost without fail, a handful of people will tweet back at me, telling me, "Don't feed the trolls" or "Ignore it." The worst of the bunch suggest that women who don't like the harassment should quit their jobs if they're not willing to endure the abuse.