screengrab them

‘Screengrab Them’: This is how one student took on an entire culture of misogyny in education

‘One girl actually complained to her uni and was told to shut up’

Casual sex culture is an inevitable part of the so-called “full uni experience.” You’re getting your first taste of freedom, living away from parents and meeting loads of new people. No-one, of any gender, should ever be shamed for how little or often they have sex. 

With that in mind, uni can also be a breeding ground for outright misogyny, where rape culture is as rife as ever. A study conducted by a sex toy brand found that 67 per cent of female students feel as if they’ve been slut-shamed by male peers. Over 70 per cent admitted that they’ve been coerced into sharing explicit images, while 68 per cent have been subjected to rumours about their sex habits. 

Behind closed doors, many young women are having to put up with repeated and consistent sexual harassment from boys on campus. Without proper sex education and resources, victims have nowhere to turn. 

This is where Zan Moon comes in. Her Instagram account – Screengrab Them – is an online “movement tackling rape culture in education.” She receives numerous DMs from young women, tired of being coerced and harassed into sending explicit photos and sexts. They’ll send Zan screenshots of boys bothering them – then, blacking out names, she’ll post them in full view of her 3,000 followers. As a final exposé, she’ll tag the schools, colleges and universities attended by the alleged harassers. 

The movement was founded in 2021

screengrab them

Photo via Screengrab Them before edits

News outlets all over the country have often taken an interest in Zan’s activism. But early last year, she decided to take a school-specific ​​exposé and turn it into something nationwide. 

Zan told The Tab: “It was around the time of Sarah Everard’s murder. A YouGov poll came out, showing that 80 per cent of women had been sexually assaulted in the UK. Meghan Markle was also being scrutinised in the media. It was just a really difficult time to navigate the space of being a woman.”

Women all over the country were suffering hugely from news fatigue – often because the constant stream of stories about VAWG (violence against women and girls) hit incredibly close to home. Like a lot of us, the news made Zan reflect back on her own horrific experiences. 

“A lot of things happened to me and my friends – and I didn’t realise until very recently that some of our first sexual experiences were pushed for, or non-consensual. We weren’t taught about enthusiastic consent, we just thought coersion was a normal part of sex.”

Zan grew up in the elite private school system – attending Tonbridge School For Girls and regularly having contact with boys from Eton. “Originally, I was just going to write to the two schools that were my twin schools growing up […] and then a week later, I had 14 pages of testimonies from nine different schools and universities across the country and just like floods of DMs every day. I just felt like I couldn’t leave one story out.

“I realised there was a much bigger problem here in terms of education cultivating this culture of misogyny and toxic masculinity.”

Once Screengrab Them started receiving coverage by the likes of BBC and Sky, the account quickly gained a following of over 3,000 people.

Before long, Screengrab Them began to receive around 70 DMs per week

Women and girls – some as young as 12-years-old – started sending screenshots through to Screengrab Them. While Zan works tirelessly to hold schools, colleges and universities accountable, she admitted the process has a detrimental effect on her mental health.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s taken a toll,” she told us. “I worried that I was becoming quite immune to it, as I was obviously reading these really shocking things every day.

“Sometimes people even get agitated at me for not replying. Like, they’ll say they’ve opened up to me and I haven’t replied in over two weeks. So managing expectations can be really hard.”

Are universities really doing enough to stop sexual harassment in its tracks?

A good portion of the screenshots posted to Screengrab Them have been sent in by uni students. She helped to expose the “rape day” hoax cooked up by male students at Falmouth and Exeter, as well as bringing awareness to an anonymous forum used by Bristol students to slut-shame their female peers. 

The Tab reached out to Falmouth University for comment – but it declined to respond. A spokesperson for University of Bristol said: “Using this sort of language in any circumstance is completely unacceptable and we encourage anyone who sees examples of this on social media to let us know, so that we can take appropriate action and offer support to those affected.”

“Unis could be doing a wealth of things [to better students’ understanding of consent],” Zan said. “I think they truly believe it isn’t their responsibility. When I came to freshers’, we were shown a patronising two-minute video on consent and cups of tea.”

tea consent

Photo via Thames Valley Police/YouTube

Zan – like a number of other young women – found the Crown Prosecution Service’s “Tea and Consent” video to be full of unnecessary innuendo. “Just talk about sex,” she said. “If you want to teach us about sex then say the word sex.

“Let’s start having frank discussions. Let’s have a mandatory sex education seminar every week. Let’s have a presentation from a grassroots feminist during freshers’ week to teach the entire new influx about respecting women.” 

In the not-too-distant future, Zan hopes to recruit some volunteers to help take on this heavy task. “The account keeps on growing and growing. So hopefully, I’ll be able to start taking on some volunteers. I’d love to expand the page as well, provide feminist resources and advice infographics.”

While rape reports have risen by a stomach-churning 13 per cent in the last year alone, it’s vital that more people like Zan take matters into their own hands. While universities insist they’re there for students if they need them, it’s evident that staff aren’t doing anywhere near enough to alleviate the issue of systemic misogyny within their own four walls.

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Featured image via Instagram.