Why Is Internet Feminism Important?
- Bradley Smith
Cyberspace has become the new frontline for feminist activism. Internet feminism is on the rise in the form of websites, campaigns, platforms, videos and tweets, here are a pick of the best
21st century feminism has a new weapon. Through the power of the internet and shareable content, feminism has a sharp and satirical edge. It can instantly target misogynist media, create viral content that reveals gender inequality in provocative ways, organise petitions and create platforms for people to share their experiences.
Internet feminism has risen in part, as a reaction to the world wide web allowing the spread of misogyny. With the ubiquity of porn and recently revenge porn, the Daily Mail homepage being the most popular ‘news’ site in the world, the spread of online platforms such as the LADBible and Uni LAD, feminism has met the challenge with its own arsenal.
The battleground of feminism vs sexism has moved to a virtual frontier, and these 5 pieces of content suggest internet feminism is winning.
1. The Everyday Sexism Project
The Everyday Sexism Project is the ingenious invention of feminist writer Laura Bates. It is an online platform for people to share their stories and experiences of everyday sexism and promote gender equality. This is unique as it has opened up a space for people to share their experiences which may not be severe enough to report to the police but are horrible enough to ruin your day. It provides an unprecedented insight and outlet for the daily challenges many women face in everyday life.
2. Tabloid Headlines Without The Sexism
The Vagenda asked their followers to re-write Daily Mail headlines without the misogyny and sexism. Here’s the compiled list of the best contributions of re-written headlines. The results were hilarious, and highlighted how the Mail scrutinises the female body image whilst ignoring their achievements.
3. ‘Get Your Arse Out Mate’
The Guardian turned the tables on some unsuspecting men as a woman starts making sexist and inappropriate comments. It really puts into perspective how absurd some of the things men say to women really are. The reactions are hilarious too.
4. Who Needs Feminism?
Who Needs Feminism aims to give a voice to the unheard and create an online collection of the reasons for feminism. The project, launched by 16 students, now has over 37,000 likes on Facebook. It makes the personal and political supporters post images of themselves with a white board explaining their reason for needing feminism. In this way it expands the definition of feminism so it belongs to the individual, and allows everyone to express themselves. It has spawned the hashtag #whoneedsfeminism and the popular Tumblr account.
5. The Oppressed Majority
This short film by director Eléonore Pourriat is genius. It completely reverses gender roles and shows a man facing harassment, discrimination and oppression in a society ruled by women. Through completely turning the world of patriarchy upside down, this video poignantly highlights the issues that many women face.
Bonus : #AskThicke
What form of sexual or emotional abuse will you be normalising in your next jaunty hit? #AskThicke
— Scriblit (@Scriblit) June 30, 2014
Today, whilst writing this article, the internet erupted into a witty attack aimed at Robin Thicke. The lyrics in his infamous song Blurred Lines contained derogatory sexist slurs and included lines that suggested pressuring a woman even if she refused advances, and as such has been accused of normalising rape culture. Once VH1 announced they were hosting a live Q&A session with the singer, the hashtag #AskThicke was flooded with witty, angry and downright bizarre tweets vilifying him for his sexism.
This is just the latest example of how internet feminism has grown and proliferated. Virtual activism has meant that feminism has reached, and is undertaken, by thousands of people online, who might never have been involved before. The rise of internet feminism has enabled an unprecedented freedom, expression and a challenge to sexism – the essence of the original movement.