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Feminists Reading Mean Tweets Shows The Ugly Truth of Online Harassment

When Jimmy Kimmel throws together a video of a bunch of celebrities reading mean Tweets written about them, you get a lot of laughter and probably a few feuds here and there in the YouTube comments section. But what happens if you bring together a group of influential feminists and have them read mean Tweets written to them? Suddenly, it doesn't seem quite so funny (because really, is bullying ever a laughing matter?).

Well, that's exactly what Elizabeth Plank orchestrated at Mic, a news startup geared toward millennials. Plank, a senior editor at Mic, told MSNBC that she wanted to show viewers what feminists like the ones featured in the video have to deal with everyday. "We don't get attacked for our opinions, we get attacked because we have opinions," she said in an MSNBC broadcast.

Though the video has no real relation to Jimmy Kimmel's famous YouTube series, it's similar because of its comedic approach. As the women go down the line reading the disturbing, expletive-filled Tweets, you hear a twinkly melody playing in the background. In typical Jimmy Kimmel mean Tweet fashion, these women relay the malicious messages without batting an eye. Some even joked around. "I think he has a crush on me," quipped Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show.

While laughter is probably an inevitable outcome of watching the clever video, you can't help but be perturbed by the real issue it's shedding light on. Women, more so than men, deal with an overwhelming amount of online harassment, whether it be sexual or in the form of stalking. The abuse can often be worse online than in the real world; this video highlights multiple recent messages that threatened rape and death.

WARNING: This video contains offensive language. Trigger warning for sexual assault.

What's your opinion of this video and the harassment it sheds light on, collegiettes? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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