Have you been following this #YesAllWomen trend on Twitter? Pretty cool, right?
I mean, not cool like, “It’s awesome that all women have to deal with this stuff,” but, “It’s awesome that people are uniting to tell their stories and amplify their voices and speak out against everyday misogyny.”
It’s really heartening as someone who has been trying to have this conversation to varying degrees of success for years. Finally, women of all ages, nationalities and walks of life are getting international attention for the violence and prejudice they have to face on a daily basis. Some of my favorites include a discussion of the backlash women have faced entering science fields, a take on the trend and the oft-used-insult-for-Internet-social-justice “hacktivism” (by Forbes of all publications), and why “Not all men are like that” is an unhelpful response when facing misogyny.
I’ll admit, this Twitter trend has given me some ups and downs, emotionally. I was shaken by the shootings in Isla Vista (I won’t rehash them here; you already know) and by the revelation of the killer’s deep misogyny. And while #YesAllWomen has followed up on that with more stories of daily misogyny and violence, there’s something comforting about it.
Dare I even say it gives me hope?
Do you remember when I went off to college and you offered to buy me a gun? I declined because I’m not fond of weapons, but I’ll admit there were days when, walking across campus late at night, I thought I might need one. You know it’s not safe for women out there. As a woman, I have seen this firsthand. But the attention that #YesAllWomen has been getting, the power of the hashtag as a unifying force, galvanizing a movement, makes me almost giddy with the thought that it doesn’t have to be like this.
Please, go read some of the tweets, Dad. Just spend twenty minutes scrolling through the 140-character stories. I know you care about women and our safety. I want you to take a moment to understand how wide the sexism we face is.
And then maybe pitch in to end it.