Arts & Culture, Features

Behind the Hashtag #YesAllWomen

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The hashtag #YesAllWomen was born out of Elliot Rodger’s premeditated killing spree in Isla Vista, California. He claimed the lives of seven people, including his own. Rodger’s YouTube videos and lengthy autobiographical “manifesto” revealed a lonely man who felt he was entitled to female attention. In his final video he spoke of his anger towards the lack of appreciation he was feeling, even though he felt he was a “supreme gentleman.” The murder of these individuals was a direct result of his hatred of women, and perhaps his jealously towards other men. These tweets mostly consist of women sharing empowering stories about the risks and threats that women face today.  This addresses the idea that men are taught to look down on women, and that this behaviour should not be tolerated. Its roots online must be dealt with before this hate grows more severe. Here are just a few examples: #YesAllWomen because ‘I have a boyfriend’ is more effective than ‘I’m not interested’ – men respect other men more than my right to say no #YesAllWomen because apparently the clothes I wear is a more valid form of consent than the words I say When I had a seizure in my home, the EMS guys asked my roommates if it was possible I was trying to get a boy’s attention. #YesAllWomen (@iSmashFizzle) Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them –Margaret Atwood #YesAllWomen (@Selintifada) #YesAllWomen because when a girl is harassed or even groped by a stranger in public, we’re told to “take it as a compliment” (@bottrill) Although this hashtag did not exist until May 24, it has gotten the attention of many individuals, including celebrities such as Lena Dunham. She posted a series of updates on Twitter and Instagram in support of this discussion, including her own harassment story. According to Hashtags.org, #YesAllWomen has reached 1.2 million tweets, peaking at 61,500 tweets on May 25. yesallwomen1

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