How a hashtag crowdsourced the construction of a vocabulary for discussing feminism in the 21st century.
Following a horrific shooting in Santa Barbara that left seven students dead and over a dozen injured, news of the massacre spread on social media like wildfire. In the days that followed, it was uncovered that the shooter had a YouTube channel dedicated to promoting misogynistic ideas, and had left a deep Internet archive documenting hateful and disturbing tendencies. This discovery shifted on and offline conversations of the incident from gun control and mental health to a more overarching discussion of the everyday sexism and misogyny that runs rampant and often unchecked in societies worldwide.
Women around the world took to Twitter to share their stories, mobilizing through the #YesAllWomen hashtag – a catchphrase designed to counter the #NotAllMen trend often used to discount complaints about misogyny. Within four days the hashtag had drawn over 1.2 million tweets, with women expressing their grievances and experiences with harassment, fear, and even violence. Continue reading