Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Opinion Piece: Feminism in the Digital Age📱

As we know, social media has begun to dominate the world. Whether it be the latest news, celebrity gossip or annual events, we all turn to social media to explore diverse opinions. The Digital Age has truly revolutionised the way we 'do' feminism

Dating back to the 19th Century when Feminism first emerged, the most inspiring feminists couldn’t log onto a computer or iPhone to further vocalise their passion, nor could they explore the vast amount of the public’s comments.  Since the development of various media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, there seems to be controversy as to whether media has promoted or abused feminism. 

Over the years, there have been many advertisements that have spurred online debate between feminists. Twitter has become a platform that has, in some cases, helped to empower women. The famous hashtag option on Twitter has been used worldwide to confront global issues and gender controversy.     
One example of the positivity social media can offer was demonstrated by the Victoria Secret’s incident back in 2014, when the brand received widespread criticism for their ‘The Perfect Body’ campaign. Thousands of users jumped online to sign the petition to change this patronising ideal. After receiving over 30,000 signatures, Victoria’s Secret listened to the public and changed their campaign to ‘A Body for Everybody.’ This shows that social change can happen from women all over the globe joining forces through technology. By speaking out on social media, women can gain back control. This is just one example which demonstrates that when women unite over certain disputes they can make a change in the world. Women are here and they will be heard.

If you search feminism in Google News, the number of articles addressing feminism from all over the world is fascinating. Most recent articles of 2017 regarding Feminism range from Helen Mirren’s rejection of the term ‘feminism’ to the Emma Watson who wants to break the male ideal of proposal. Emma Watson is a key figure amongst social media users, who is forever catching the minds of many young girls and women through her inspiring and powerful approach towards feminism. Ultimately, the world is continually discussing, confronting and challenging feminist affairs on social media.

Although, with the positive forces driven by social media follows the potential problematic areas. Studies have shown that the threat and attacks against women online are distinctly different from men’s. During many news uproars that are discussed using social media, there is always the possibility of women being targeted or female journalists receiving online abuse for their work.  The internet can be a dangerous place if someone caught in the public eye says the wrong thing. We are living in the 'Call-Out Culture' where people run the risk of being called out for statements and actions that are sexist, racists and the list goes on. This can be toxic, especially when on Social media as their opinions are being abused by hundreds of online users.

Social media is a significant platform here at The Women’s Organisation, we are continually using our accounts to empower, promote and encourage women that we are equal. We engage by sharing powerful and inspiring quotes amongst social media that remind women of their worth.  Social media provides another voice for women - a way to passionately speak about issues raised in society.

Social media is here to stay and so are the women who all strive to empower each other!

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