MIAMI (CBSMiami) — In this edition of “Women To Watch,” Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani tracked down a renowned cyber rights activist who works tirelessly to end revenge porn.
Mary Anne Franks is a law professor at the University of Miami School of Law. She’s passionate about protecting women’s rights especially online.
“I thought about some of these issues, about the kinds of things that women face online that I think most men do not and that includes a lot of sexualized attacks and stalking and harassment,” said Franks.
Gilani dubbed Franks the “revenge porn avenger.”
“Before we started there were only three states that had laws on the books that would address non-consensual pornography. Now there are 17,” said Franks. “We’re also working currently with congress to develop a federal criminal law which would mean tremendous things for the entire country all at once.”
Mary Anne Franks loves to teach what she herself enjoys and excels at, including belly dancing.
“I always found teaching belly dancing to be incredibly invigorating and actually very, very feminist because it is about supporting other women and not judging them but teaching them something beautiful,” said Franks.
She also teaches Krav Maga. Her mantra? When facing fear, fight.
“You feel like a superstar because you’ve just managed to lay everybody to waste and then you emerge triumphant and that’s pretty fun.”
She grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, one of the most dangerous small towns in America.
Mary Anne has degrees from Oxford University and Harvard Law School.
“The sense of having a horizon beyond what you could get in Pine bluff, Arkansas was something I really have to give credit to my mom for one but also to teachers. I had teachers who looked right passed the crazy hair and the makeup and just said – I think you’re smart and I think you’re destined for better things and they would talk to me as if I was already that person and I’m incredibly grateful to them for doing that because I don’t know if, left to my own devices, that’s what would have happened,” said Franks.
Mary Anne Franks, from the heart, answered the Trend Tracker®’s round of questions: I promise,”that I will remain true to my principles.” I won’t, “let the negativity that is sometimes aimed in my direction define who I am.” I wish, “that more people would think about all the times in their lives when they were vulnerable before they judge other people.” I want, “to be able to share all the things that have been given to me with other people who could benefit the same way.” I will, “do my best to make the world a better place.”
Gilani ended off the interview by saying, “A real life avenger. Love that. Thanks Mary Anne Franks!”