As some of you Internet-savvy people may already know, there was a recent explosion on Twitter that strives to end the war on women.
By Ariella Reidenberg
As some of you Internet-savvy people may already know, there was a recent explosion on Twitter that strives to end the war on women. It began in late May when Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old virgin in Isla Vista (near the University of California, Santa Barbara) killed six people, injured 13 others, and committed suicide. The day before the shooting, he uploaded a YouTube video of him saying, “You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it.” Many people were mortified by the young man’s disrespect for women and their right to say “no.” Others, however, actually blamed these tragic deaths on the women who rejected Rodger.
The Internet became a forum for men and women alike to express their opinions on this issue — and thus, the #YesAllWomen hashtag was born. Many of the posts attacked misogyny and got to the root of the argument in a matter of hours. Over one million #YesAllWomen tweets quickly circulated their way to Facebook, Buzzfeed, and other forms of social media in an effort to stop the violence against women. I personally spent hours looking at these posts, and took an even longer time to select a few for general reading.
In direct response to the Isla Vista shootings, a woman named Bekah tweeted, “Because when a guy kills six people because he’s a virgin and women reject him, he’s met with sympathy. #YesAllWomen.” To back up her statement, she provides pictorial evidence of male Youtubers commenting on Elliot Rodger’s video with praise and appreciation. Another post that stood out to me was Erin Pratt’s tweet, “Because society would rather tell women to show less skin, than to tell men to show more respect. #YesAllWomen.” This appalling truth led other Twitter users to self reflect and uncover even more shocking truths about today’s society. But my all-time favorite post is Albert W. Dubreuil’s: “Started reading the #YesAllWomen tweets b/c I’ve got a daughter, but now I see I should be reading them b/c I’ve got two sons.”
With this post, Dubreuil shows that feminist tweets aren’t aiming to attack men, but to educate them about the struggles that every woman faces at least once in her life. The excessive violence that is committed daily against women is only fueled by ignorance and silence.
If this is your first time reading about the #YesAllWomen hashtag, I encourage you to turn to your loved ones and start a discussion. Every conversation brings us that much closer to making the world a safer place.
The author, a sophomore at Cornell University, is a summer intern at the paper.