Feminists utilize social media to build new generation of activists

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Feminists utilize social media to build new generation of activists

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By Anna Rhoads ’19

History has seen revolutionary women from Susan B. Anthony to Gloria Steinem, fight for equality. Anthony crusaded the women’s suffrage movement while Steinem used her presence in the media to fight for women’s liberation. As time has gone on, this fight has changed. In the age of social media, a new wave of feminists have emerged. Similarly to how Steinem used her editorial platform to establish herself as a feminist, this new age of activists utilize social media to make strides in the feminism fight.

“I think feminism in media especially in social media is creating a change and awareness in our culture,” Monique Ostbye ’18 said. “Before, people didn’t really know what feminism was, or the different branches of it. With the huge increase of it being brought up and talked about, it is empowering people regardless of their gender identity to take a stand, speak up, and fight for their rights.”

Platforms like Youtube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook allow anyone to voice their opinions. Activists can create opinionated or informational videos on Youtube, post photos they like or create on Instagram, tweet their thoughts regarding issues on Twitter, or share important articles on Facebook. Anyone can use these applications to share how they feel, especially when it comes to social activism and feminism. Kat Blaque, Annie Elainey, Kimothy Joy and Jen Richards are six women who have done just that.

Kat Blaque and Annie Elainey maintain a large presence on all social media platforms, but there is one in particular they both have excelled at: Youtube. Blaque has about 143,099 subscribers from her two channels and makes opinionated videos about feminism, racism, transphobia and many other current issues.

“Kat is a super interesting woman and definitely an icon. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon her channel but seeing her unapologetically herself was inspiring to me even if we don’t have a lot in common. She is extremely open and not afraid to share what she thinks and knows to be true,”  Monique Ostbye ’18 said.

Annie Elainey talks about similar topics on her channel with about 9,800 subscribers. In the bio of her channel she writes, “I create weekly videos (as long as my health allows) on various topics that include my observations and experiences with body image, gender, race, LGBT+, disability, chronic illness and mental health.” Both youtubers have used their platform on the site to shed light on inequality, along with many other topics.

Just like Kat Blaque and Annie Elainey have used Youtube to spread their ideas and opinions, Kimothy Joy uses Instagram to spread her message. She specializes in illustrations where she features quotes and drawings she creates, that comment on how women are treated in society. On Nov. 13 she posted a drawing featuring this quote, “If you want to know how to get there, ask a woman. We know how to draw the map and drive the car. If you really want to know how to get there, follow a woman of color.” Joy is constantly posting drawings similar to that one, and over 20,400 people follow her page.

Twitter has also been home to many politically active feminists. One that stands out from the rest is Jen Richards. Richards is an actress/writer and produces the grammy-nominated show “Her Story” which follows the dating life of lesbian and transgender women. Richards tweets her own writing and retweets other influential women. She has about 38,300 followers and has overall created a pro-feminism and active profile that reaches many people.

With the uprise of social media, anyone can establish themselves as a feminist or activist and take a stand. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube allow people to share their views in a matter of seconds.

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