by Vincenza Belletti
Recently, users of social media sites have been bombarded with the emergence of social media activism movements. On March 6, a hashtag was started on Tumblr and spread to Twitter called “#BlackOutDay” where African-Americans posted pictures of themselves to celebrate the beauty of their race and ethnicity. March 8 was International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the political, economic, and social achievements of all women.The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and others (LGBTQ+) community continues to receive tremendous support from fellow social media users.
After Darron Wilson was deemed not guilty in the Michael Brown shooting case, protests have been occurring across the nation. During this time, instances of racism have been cropping up more and more recently on social media, like the video of the white members of University of Oklahoma’s fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon singing a racist chant on March 7th. Another issue African Americans face is lack of representation in media. Many popular shows and movies star an all white cast, which can be damaging to young boys and girls self esteem.
Freshman Mayada Hassan said, “I don’t understand why African Americans are being especially targeted by police when there are all these people of different races doing awful things and getting away with it. Black lives matter.”
Many people of all races are working to fight the racism African Americans face, but there are those who believe African Americans are treated equally and fairly and are not participating in the fight.
There are many common misconceptions about feminism. Many men and some women believe it’s a fight to rise against men and become the “superior sex”, but according to dictionary.com it is “the doctrine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to those of men.” The largest issues typically found on the a feminist’s agenda are to dismantle gender roles (for men as well as women), create equality in the workplace and eliminate rape culture. There are many social media accounts advocating feminism and promoting equality, whose owners post on hoping to make a difference. On the flip side, there are accounts demoting the feminist movement. The accounts call themselves meninists, and they post degrading tweets and pictures of women in an effort to fight the feminist ideology.
Since the 20th century, gay rights in the United States have come a long way, with 37 states and Washington DC legalizing same-sex marriage in the past ten years. Despite this, there are still 13 states where certain types of love are not legal. The hashtag “#LoveIsLove” is used often on Twitter to show support of non-heterosexual people, while Tumblr is usually considered on of the most open and accepting social media sites pertaining to sexual orientations and identity.
“I think that tumblr has the most support for the LGBT community out of all the major social media platforms, despite the staff of the website being fairly conservative,” said sophomore Aidan Jones.
There is the belief that gay marriage goes against religion and should not be legal in the United States, though this contradicts the Constitutional idea of keeping church and state separate.
Social media sites offer a place to share thoughts and ideas globally. It does not come as a surprise activists have taken their fight there in order to reach a more broad audience. Hopefully, these issues can be resolved soon and there will no longer be a need for these movements.
Photo by Vincenza Belletti