In light of the recent Santa Barbara massacre, Twitter users have taken the web by storm through the #YesAllWomen hashtag. The result has been incredible: voices around the world have given personal (yet all-too universal) recollections of misogyny as it exists in their professional, social and familial lives. An example of social media’s power to do good in the world, the campaign is only growing as more than a million posts (and counting) have been spreading around the web.

Elliot Rodger killed six students from the University of California-Santa Barbara last week, and wounded 13 others. Just before the massacre, Rodger wrote a 140-page “manifesto” crippled with misogynistic remarks, claiming that he would take “retribution” for the crimes against him and would punish the world for those women who refused to sleep with him. The media frenzy that followed proved unique: the massacre and its aftermath was about more than just one mentally disturbed man exacting revenge. It is about a culture of misogyny and the detriment it can cause.

Today, more than 311 million working-age women live in countries where sexual harassment is not outlawed in the workplace. In many less-developed countries, a third of women are married or in a union by only 18. Around 60 percent of women have experienced physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime, and 2.6 billion women live in countries where rape within marriage is not outlawed.

These statistics are what the campaign #YesAllWomen stands for: across the world and in varying degrees, women are still treated as lesser citizens. #YesAllWomen works to teach that we have remained all-too blind, and it is doing so in strides.

Accessible to most of the world at any time or place, the campaign has brought a unique, understandable perspective of feminism to the most-reached platform in the world: the Internet. Yet despite the campaign’s current popularity, many wonder if it will do any good to solve the problem in the long run, comparing the campaign to short-lived, social media frenzies like #BringBackOurGirls (which has died down in response to the now popular #YesAllWomen.)

These social media phenomenons, some argue, do little to prevent or change the actual circumstances of the problem. Yet it can be argued that their real success is by infiltrating and educating by providing a much-needed lesson as to why misogyny is a serious problem we must work to fix. #YesAllWomen attempts to bridge this problematic gap.

– Nick Magnati

Sources: CNN, Chicago Tribune, UN Women, Foreign Policy
Photo: The Province