These Ten Tumblr Posts Were My Feminist Education
I wasn’t introduced to the notion of feminism, the discussion of equal rights or the culture of slut shaming until recently. I’ve never had a classroom debate about whether or not men should be called feminists and I didn't know much about racial profiling.
My knowledge lagged, that is, until I got a Tumblr account. It seems that few educators tolerate electronic devices in the classroom, but the fact is I've learned so much from this massive media feed. I've learned that no matter where you come from — no matter what gender, age, race, or other identity — there are thousands of feminist Tumblr posts that will likely resonate.
These posts vary: Some are funny and joyful, others serious and educational. But so many represent the issues for which modern day feminists fight, like teaching young boys that catcalling is uncalled for (unless you’re truly a kitty), and raising awareness about how women understand and cope with their daily experiences of sexism.
But don't just take my word for it — check it out yourself. Here are just ten of the most significant posts I've come across so far.
This video sparked a conversation about how men treat women in public. Women and men from all walks of life have begun to have conversations about how to raise boys and debated the issue of catcalling due to the viral nature of this social experiment. I can only imagine the change that would result from exposing all elementary and high school students to the truth of the disrespect at the heart of such harassment — and that's seemingly what this video aims to do.
- 10 Hours Walking as a Woman in NYC
Thousands of responses were posted to Tumblr in response to the Woman in NYC harassment experiment, but one response in particular stood out to me as disturbingly hilarious. Many women are familiar with the gross men who stand outside of small shops and tell female passersby to take their tops off. The creators of this video decided to enlist these men's mothers to walk past their grimy sons dressed in outfits that would surely generate wonderful(y horrible) comments from their misguided sons. The video makes men who catcall rethink their decision to do so by pointing out that every woman is someone's family member — and teaches the video's viewers this as well.
- Whistling At Your Mom
- Measuring a Woman’s Worth by her Clothes
This is an awesome representation of the type of slut shaming I see on social media all the time. It’s a great way to tell girls that the height of their heels and the length of their skirt does not define them and that wearing short-shorts does not equate to asking for anything besides potentially a nice breeze to cool you down because it’s warm out.
This image depicting rape culture went viral on tumble for a good reason. It skewers victim blaming culture by assuring that the way an individual dresses should in no way be interpreted as "asking" to be sexually assaulted or harassed. Tumblr taught me I should be able walk down the street any way I want and not have to worry about being rape — that rapists are the ones that need to be stopped.
- Not Asking For It
This is a perfect example of what Tumblr stands for, as it forces you to open your mind to the varying perspectives of rape culture. It attacks the concept that “aggression” is instilled within young boys and points out that it is not a means of flirting. Oh, how I wish everybody caught on to this in grade school.
- Romanticizing Abuse
My knowledge of protests surrounding rape culture originated from Tumblr posts like this one. Plenty of campaigns have been designed around protest signs like the one featured in this post.
- Rape Protest
- I Deserve Respect
People who don't live in a major city like DC, NYC or LA are not usually exposed to street activism. But thanks to Tumblr, individuals from anywhere at all can gain exposure to the efforts of activists around the world — like the innovative ones featured in this project.
Many of us have heard the phrase “consent is sexy” before, but these young women demonstrate the importance of women's rights through spoken word and tell us why that one liner is a real joke. Consent is everyone’s natural right, they argue, and there’s nothing especially sexy about the right to say no.
- Consent Isn’t Sexy
When I first read this, I remember thinking “Wow, that’s so true.” How many young girls are being taught that they are to blame for becoming pregnant at a young age? Women are rarely taught that sex is two way street and are overwhelmingly told they are the ones responsible for policing men. Thanks, Tumblr, for making sense of premarital sex and imparting the truth about this type of "sex ed."
- Slut Shame Blame
Finally, Tumblr posts often deliver the harsh truth people are often afraid to discuss in real life. Did you have any idea that as a female, you’re more likely to live in poverty than a man in the United States? I didn’t before I found this tumblr post, and I'm likely not the only one.
- Female Poverty Ratio
There are more than thousands of opinions, memes, and graphs on this endless feed of feminist knowledge that have taught me more about what it means to be a feminist than anybody or anything else. This is my tribute to Tumblr which is clearly not just an outlet for teens to post their workout goals and favorite cat videos, but a great tool for activists — and one we'd all do well to embrace as part of our educations, in the classroom and beyond.
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