21st century feminism increasingly online

Published: Granite Bay Gazette Vol. 18, Issue 8. Friday, May 22, 2015.

Category: Writing

Reason for publication: I strongly identify as a feminist and wanted to write an opinion piece about the movement and political ideal. However, it needed to be entertainment/media based because it would be published in the entertainment section, so I focused more on its existence on social media sites.


 

   What was protests and activism in the 60s and 70s in regards to the feminist movement is the 21st century’s Twitter and Facebook post. This is in no way a bad thing. In fact, it could just be that social media websites are keeping the centuries-old struggle alive.

  Over time, the goal of feminism has stayed the same – a call for equalizing the sexes in all societal aspects – but specific goals of the movement have adapted over time. Especially with the rise in popularity and prevalence  of social media outlets, feminism has become less of a sit-outs and speak-outs kind of movement and more of an online effort.

  My grandmother took part in the 60s and 70s feminist wave, and the same values and passions have been instilled from her unto my mother, and from my own mother unto my brother and I. However, while my brother and I show our support for the ongoing movement by still talking about it, we also address it through social media platforms.

  Just on Twitter, the feminist movement can be found through the search of a word or hashtag. Following certain accounts, such as @WeNeedFeminism, conveys and proves why, simply, feminism is still necessary.

  The account @WeNeedFeminism posts quotes from many well respected celebrities, such as Anne Hathaway, Emma Watson and even First Lady Michelle Obama, encouraging young girls to follow whatever dreams they have and shunning inequality. They have also posted photos of girls in other countries who are survivors of beatings and spousal abuse and women who have been burned with acid to encourage followers to seek change not only in their own country, but also in those in which equality is farther from reach.

  Current day feminism has evolved to fit the needs of present day society, and with that, it has evolved in the way it is shown to the public. We have come far as a society in terms of equalizing the sexes – heck, we have a female candidate for president who has identified as a feminist and has a twitter account with over three million followers – but the ideas are still needed.

  Feminists now find it easier to connect with others who share the same passions for social change online, liking Facebook and twitter accounts such as Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls will supply a plethora of empowering girls from around the world. Through the touch of a button, one can find a community they connect with.

 In this way, feminism as a movement has become much less like a group to join and more like a community one can connect to, thus making it more accessible to the public.

  One might think pledging support for movements online isn’t effect – a like isn’t the same as a protest – but it can create a ripple effect. Educating oneself through these social media websites about what change is still needed may catalyze one to make a difference.

  Knowing the ideals of feminism and being willing to stand up for them can cause a young teen to influence a peer’s otherwise sexist and misogynistic attitude into being one with respect. Social media websites can prove to be more than a connecting or time-wasting tool if used in a certain manner; it can prove to be an empowering source.

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