#YesAllWomen Makes a Stand

(Photo courtesy of cchsvoice.org)

by Jade Hanley

Women are continuing their war against discrimination years after the initial battle and now it’s taking over the media. The hashtag “YesAllWomen” has made its way through news sources from The New Yorker to CNN.

What is it exactly? The hashtag is a way for people to come together and make a stand against misogyny and violence against women.

“#YesAllWomen” started in spring 2014 on Twitter promptly after the Isla Vista killings. The misogyny seen in this case took over the Internet rapidly. Some Twitter users created the tag “#NotAllMen” to write stories about how the man in this particular case shouldn’t be applied to the gender as a whole; in response, women banded together and created “#YesAllWomen.”

Women shared their own experiences of misogyny and objectification, marking them with the hashtag. Cases that were marked by this tag include, “‘I have a boyfriend’ is the easiest way to get a man to leave you alone. Because he respects another man more than you” and “because every single woman I know has a story about a man feeling entitled to access to her body. Every. Single. One.”

The power of this tag has come full circle, from the Internet, to papers, to making an effect and changing people’s perspectives on women’s rights. Sasha Weiss wrote for The New Yorker that the hashtag is “a stern demand for a more just society.”

Weiss noted that due to Twitter’s short character limit, it’s a “powerful vehicle for activism.” These activists can come together through this tag, spread awareness, and share their story with the hope that one day they can tweet “I can wear what I want, wherever I want, and still feel safe. #YesAllWomen.”