Gil Scott Heron said the revolution will not be televised, but if some social media-friendly activists have their way, the feminist revolution will be tweeted, hashtagged, Vined and Instagrammed.
Increasingly, Twitter has become a mainstay for sparking and cultivating national conversations about important issues, including feminism. Feminists of color have been especially vocal. Suey Park, who created the hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick earlier this month, told New York Magazine’s Maureen O’Connor that her tweeting is just an initial step towards dismantling “white, hetero, patriarchal, corporate America.”
That’s a tall order, but the hashtag did make quite an impact in social media and traditional media. On top of the numerous articles written about #NotYourAsianSidekick, the breadth and depth of the social media engagement was impressive.According to Aljazeera America, the hashtag was featured in 50,000 tweets and appeared in over 95 million timelines on Twitter.
The people behind those 95 million timelines might not take the time to read an entire book or even an article about feminism, but having that hashtag in their timelines might have sparked an idea, epiphany or conversation that could lead to actual changes in their lives.
Hashtags started by black feminists have made waves (no pun intended). Blogger Mikki Kendall created the hashtag#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen in August as a way to address the longstanding perception that feminism is exclusively for white women. Her hashtag still has legs and has been used in numerous conversations and articles when discussing that topic on and off of Twitter.
Outside of just the creation of hashtags, several feminists spark intelligent and sometimes heated debates on Twitter. Joan Morgan,Feminista Jones, Kimberly Foster and dream Hampton regularly offer insightful commentary about pop culture, politics and society in general as it relates to black women.
Without a doubt, these women and these tweets have generated intense conversations on and offline. The question is, are these tweets enough to be the embers that eventually spark a real life feminist revolution?
Who are some of your favorite feminists on Twitter? Do you think the conversations about feminism on Twitter are useful or just empty talk?