After University of Mary Washington Feminists United Club president Paige McKinsey spoke up at a student senate meeting about the culture of sexual hostility among the university’s fraternities and the university’s unwillingness to do anything about it, the anonymous social media app Yik Yak exploded with insults and threats of physical and sexual violence toward McKinsey and other campus feminists.
After the rugby team was recorded singing a song about raping dead whores, prompting FUC members to report the incident to the school administration, the threats got even worse.
Then, on April 17th, Grace Mann was murdered by her roommate, a former rugby player.
You can literally be murdered for being a feminist.
The University of Mary Washington’s campus in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was hit by a spate of violent threats against a feminist student group for months leading up to the alleged murder of a group member in April. Documents provided to The Huffington Post show the administration was keenly aware of the continued harassment, which was posted on the anonymous messaging app Yik Yak, but a federal complaint filed Thursday alleges the public university failed to act on this knowledge and permitted a hostile environment against female students.
Police have not revealed a possible motive for student’s killing and the complaint does not state the school is responsible for her death, nor does it explicitly connect the threats to her killing.
The online harassment started in November 2014, the complaint says, after Feminists United Club president Paige McKinsey spoke at a student senate meeting and criticized fraternities and the university’s response to sexual assault. The harassment continued and escalated in the spring, when complaints from club led the university to suspend its club rugby team over a sexist chant some of its members had performed at a party.
Grace Mann, a Feminists United Club member who had been subject to Yik Yak threats of physical and sexual violence, was killed on April 17 by asphyxia by strangulation. Steven Vander Briel, Mann’s roommate and a former member of the rugby team, was arrested later that day and charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death.
Grace Rebecca Mann, a college student at the University of Mary Washington, a lesbian, and a feminist activist, was brutally murdered on April 17th by a housemate who was also a former member of a misogynist rugby team she had helped get suspended in March after a flood of explicit death and rape threats on Yik Yak aimed at her organization.
And yet there are people saying “hmmmmmm, I don’t know, we can’t really say that this was even a factor, hmmmmmm, I wonder why he could have possibly killed her.” Doubtless the next excuse people will create for him is “he was probably mentally ill.” Please, PLEASE do not let them sweep Grace’s murder under the rug – I’ve seen minimal news coverage on TV about it, and the online shit is already fading fast. This is not just UMW. Colleges across the nation are like this, and the more people refuse to talk about it, the worse it will become.
Can we talk about how when people reblogged the original story, or continue to reblog the story in different posts, no one mentions she was a lesbian? It was all “you can be murdered for being a feminist” when we now know she was a lesbian. It all makes so much sense, seeing as all the yik yaks repeatedly said “dyke” in them. I’m fucking disgusted and ashamed of all straight feminists right now; grow up and stop fucking shoving your sisters under the bus.
What makes it worse is that because he was her housemate, people are already dismissing this as a domestic assault gone wrong.
tiltedswinton, dykemongering, Appropriately Inappropriate (first two tumblr blogs no longer available)