Ashley Judd recalls rape, incest in powerful essay

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Ashley Judd Writes Powerful Essay About Online Harassment and Her Own Abuse

By THE WRAP

Ashley Judd had some choice words for her Twitter critics.

The actress penned an emotional essay about violence against women, in which she talks about her personal experience with rape and incest.

The essay, titled "Forget Your Team: Your Online Violence Toward Girls and Women Is What Can Kiss My Ass," came in response to a tweet she posted that was critical of the University of Kentucky's opponent in the SEC Basketball Tournament. Judd is a U.K. alum.

The tweet angered rival Arkansas' fans who slammed Judd on social media, causing a "tsunami of gender-based violence and misogyny," according to the actress.

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Ashley Judd recalls rape, incest in powerful essay
Hello, World! I'm glad the #onlinebullying & specifically #onlinegenderviolence we all experience is being discussed Thank you.
Last night, in processing this craziness, I began writing. It's a valuable tool for coming home to myself. I'll publish it later today.
I posted my essay & a few thoughts & questions for you. Take care of your sweet selves! https://t.co/r3L7oN4aWZ … http://t.co/a8wNUWYytE …
"Forget Your Team: It's Your Online Gender Violence That Can Kiss My Ass." Who else has had enough? What will you do? http://t.co/a8wNUWYytE
I published my #onlinegenderviolence essay w/ http://t.co/0nBdc5Ic5u because millennias will solve this problem. http://t.co/a8wNUWYytE
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In the essay, Judd writes:

Tweets rolled in, calling me a c–t, a whore or a bitch, or telling me to suck a two-inch d–k. Some even threatened rape, or 'anal anal anal.'

I deleted my original tweet after the game, before all hell broke loose, to make amends for any genuine offense I may have committed by describing play as 'dirty.' (Of course, other people, including my uncle who is a chaplain, also expressed fear that the athletes would be hurt badly. But my uncle wasn't told he was a smelly p-y. He wasn't spared because of his profession; being a male sports fan is his immunity from abuse.)...

What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually. I know this experience is universal, though I'll describe specifically what happened to me.
I read in vivid language the various ways, humiliating and violent, in which my genitals, vaginal and anal, should be violated, shamed, exploited and dominated. Either the writer was going to do these things to me, or they were what I deserved. My intellect was insulted: I was called stupid, an idiot. My age, appearance and body were attacked. Even my family was thrown into the mix: Someone wrote that my 'grandmother is creepy...'

I am a survivor of sexual assault, rape and incest. I am greatly blessed that in 2006, other thriving survivors introduced me to recovery. I seized it. My own willingness, partnered with a simple kit of tools, has empowered me to take the essential odyssey from undefended and vulnerable victim to empowered survivor. Today, nine years into my recovery, I can go farther and say my 'story" is not 'my story.' It is something a Higher Power (spirituality, for me, has been vital in this healing) uses to allow me the grace and privilege of helping others who are still hurting, and perhaps to offer a piece of education, awareness and action to our world.


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Ashley Judd recalls rape, incest in powerful essay
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 15: Actress Ashley Judd attends the championship game of the SEC basketball tournament between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bridgestone Arena on March 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 14: Actor Ashley Judd attends a Semifinal Game of the SEC Basketball Tournament between Kentucky and Auburn at Bridgestone Arena on March 14, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: Actress Ashley Judd enters the 'Today Show' taping at the NBC Rockefeller Center Studios on March 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 15: Actress Ashley Judd attends the championship game of the SEC basketball tournament between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bridgestone Arena on March 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: Actress Ashley Judd enters the 'Today Show' taping at the NBC Rockefeller Center Studios on March 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 07: Ashley Judd watches the Kentucky Wildcats game against the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena on March 7, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 67-50 to finish the regular 31-0. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: Actress Ashley Judd enters the 'Today Show' taping at the NBC Rockefeller Center Studios on March 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - MARCH 07: Ashley Judd watches the Kentucky Wildcats game against the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena on March 7, 2015 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 67-50 to finish the regular 31-0. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Kentucky alumnae Ashley Judd, left, and former UK head coach Joe B. Hall are acknowledged during a time out in the second half against Eastern Michigan on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won, 81-63. (Jonathan Palmer/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31: Actress Ashley Judd cheers on her alma mater the Kentucky Wildcats before the Wildcats take on the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31: Actress Ashley Judd cheers on her alma mater the Kentucky Wildcats before the Wildcats take on the Louisville Cardinals during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Ashley Judd talks about her new ABC series and Kentucky basketball on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 3/15/12, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ASHLEY JUDD
LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 21: Ashley Judd acknowledges the crowd during the Kentucky Wildcats game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Rupp Arena on January 21, 2012 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 3: Kentucky Wildcats fan and actress Ashley Judd looks on during the basketball game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Rupp Arena on December 3, 2011 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky defeated North Carolina 73-72. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Kentucky fan Ashley Judd wears her New Orleans style boah as she watches Kentucky beat Wake Forest 90-60 in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana, Saturday, March 20, 2010. (Photo by Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13: Actress Ashley Judd cheers for the Kentucky Wildcats against the Tennessee Volunteers during the semirfinals of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 14: Actress Ashley Judd cheers for the Kentucky Wildcats against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the final of the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bridgestone Arena on March 14, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
University of Kentucky fan Ashley Judd sings the fight song as the Wildcats face Alabama during SEC Tournament play on Friday, March 12, 2010. (Photo by Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
Actress Ashley Judd greets the Wildcat prior to Kentucky's game with Connecticut in the second game of the men's NCAA Final Four semifinals at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, Saturday, April 2, 2011. (Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 20: Actress Ashley Judd cheers for the Kentucky Wildcats during the game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second round of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the New Orleans Arena on March 20, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kentucky fan Ashley Judd, middle, poses with the school's mascot during a time out against Georgia at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, on Saturday, January 29, 2011. Kentucky slipped past Georgia, 66-60. (Mark Cornelison/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)
Actress and Kentucky native Ashley Judd was the 'Y' in the 'Kentucky' cheer at the game between Kentucky and North Carolina in Lexington, Kentucky on December 3, 2005. UNC won the game 83-79. (Photo by Brad Wilder/WireImage)
Actress and Kentucky native Ashley Judd was the 'Y' in the 'Kentucky' cheer at the game between Kentucky and North Carolina in Lexington, Kentucky on December 3, 2005. UNC won the game 83-79. (Photo by Brad Wilder/WireImage)
LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 9: Actress Ashley Judd cheers on the Kentucky Wildcats during a game against the Kansas Jayhawks on January 9, 2005 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kansas defeated Kentucky 65-59. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Actress and Kentucky native Ashley Judd was the 'Y' in the 'Kentucky' cheer at the game between Kentucky and North Carolina in Lexington, Kentucky on December 3, 2005. UNC won the game 83-79. (Photo by Brad Wilder/WireImage)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 18: Actress Ashley Judd cheers for the Kentucky Wildcats from the North Carolina Tar Heels' student section during the game between the Tar Heels and Wildcats at the Dean E. Smith Center on November 18, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - JANUARY 9: Actress Ashley Judd cheers on the Kentucky Wildcats during a game against the Kansas Jayhawks on January 9, 2005 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kansas defeated Kentucky 65-59. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Judd included some of the tweets she's received:

@AshleyJudd If freedom is too difficult for you, there are other places you can go. #LiveFreeOrDie#HurtfulWordsPolice

- Superfluity5 (@Superfluity5) March 18, 2015

@AshleyJudd@JillAMackie@micnews - dont go around making out with old dudes and you wont get so much attention. DEAL with IT

- Holden (@holdenakridge) March 18, 2015

@AshleyJudd Your "outrage" over sexual harassment is nothing more than a cynical attempt to promote your latest movie. Go feed your pets.

- Peter Luna (@peterluna) March 18, 2015

@LadySandersfarm@AshleyJudd What the hell is #onlinegenderviolence ?

Judd is a long-time women's issues activist. She appeared in Diane Sawyer and Nicholas Kristof's PBS sex trafficking special, "A Path Appears," which aired in January.

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