No, #YesAllWomen Isn’t “Slactivism.”

Okay, listen up readers. I haven’t posted here in a while, and I’m going to break the silence with something out of the ordinary: I’m going to talk about a current event.

Usually, I keep this blog strictly for writing about my journey as a writer. I think having a focus as a blogger is important. But there are times when something really, really gets to me, and I can’t keep quiet about it. For the past few days, that thing has been #YesAllWomen and the negative backlash it’s getting from various men AND women across Twitter.

yesall

The details of the events that led up to this discussion are pretty common knowledge by now; if you’re uninformed, here’s a great article that details the event, the #NotAllMen complaints made in response to it, and the #YesAllWomen hashtag that has now contributed over 1,000,000 tweets to the discussion worldwide. (Note: I’ve read in some articles that #NotAllMen preceded #YesAllWomen, while this one claims the opposite. Not entirely sure, but either way, the point remains the same).

What irritates me most, besides the more obvious hate-mongering and outright sexism from internet trolls such as this…

pickitup

…is people arguing that women sharing their stories of harassment, abuse, and shame are “slacktivists” who are simply jumping on a bandwagon and aren’t doing anything about the problem…

pickitup

However, countless people have been touched by the stories being shared on #YesAllWomen…

neil

…and have made some pretty damn good points to those who seem to be bothered by the flood of downright horror stories women are finally getting off their chests:

ruth

Those who argue that we should “stop whining and get out and do something” to make a change don’t even seem to have an answer as to what that something is, anyway…

change

…and, thankfully, many seem to get that an open forum for communication, education and healing isn’t “slacktivism”—it’s opening the door for that much-needed change. In fact, here’s proof that this simple discussion is changing the way we look at these issues, one tweet at a time:

taryn

nael

echo

Are any of these three men above serial misogynists who are suddenly changed for good as a result of the #YesAllWomen tag? I’d confidently wager not, but the fact that they’re becoming more aware of these issues and want to pass the discussion on means that the hashtag is achieving its goal: to provide support and education on the fact that rape culture exists, women are still objectified, and there’s a serious problem when a woman can’t walk alone at night without planning an escape route and improvising a weapon out of her keys. Or talk about it in hopes of changing it without being ridiculed and threatened across the internet.

And if you’re questioning it at all, you’re part of the problem. As the gentleman below puts it, you’re simply derailing a topic that is much, much larger than your petty annoyances from a cluttered Twitter feed and poor interpretation of the overall goal (hint: it’s not to man-hate or accuse you all of being rapists).

BorZOEsCUAAANCc

 

 

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2 comments

  1. Thanks so much for your post on this. Loved it. I’ve been trying to find the words to post myself, but I’m not there yet.

    1. Aw, thanks Alanna! Unfortunately I wanted it to be longer and much more in-depth, but it was hard to find the words after 48 hours or so of posting on and reading through the hashtag. The responses are a mix of sad, uplifting, and horrifying, so it really takes an emotional toll.

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