STRONG WOMXN FOR CHANGE
by ALEX MC CREANOR
A womxn is a powerful force for change.
Since societal norms for women have existed, there have always been voices shining above, pushing back, and testing the limits. The change brought by those powerful feminist voices of the past can still be seen today, all over the world, where womxn’s rights continue to evolve. A womxn’s role in society remains a topic which is highly questioned and put to the test, revealing the long road ahead that still exists for womxn everywhere.
Throughout the past few years more womxn than ever can be seen speaking out against injustice. Topics range from sexual assault, to equality in the workplace, body image, domestic violence, and everything in between. It is clear that womxn are beginning to feel more comfortable finding a platform, and expressing opinions that may have previously been considered unacceptable. However, many still fear backlash for going against the status quo from their families, friends, or workplace, and choose to stay silent. Others hold their tongue because they fear much more serious punishment, or they simply worry that their knowledge on the subject isn’t enough and someone else must know better.
But every voice matters; especially when it comes to what is right.
Outcries for justice can erupt from anywhere, and frequently do. The majority of this can be seen on social media, which has become an incredible tool for mobilizing like-minded individuals, and increasing involvement in many social issues. In 2017, the Women’s March on Washington was organized through Facebook, and blossomed into an international event of several protests that saw over two million participants collectively. Social media also provides the perfect atmosphere to develop movements such as “Me Too”, which began in the United States, and takes to addressing just how many women have been victims of sexual assault. “In Her Shoes” is another social media movement which stems from Ireland, allowing womxn to publicly speak up about their experiences with abortion, in an effort to shed light on Ireland’s strict abortion laws. Many womxn say that the willingness of their peers to share their stories on a public forum encourages them to share their own.
When we encourage one another’s voices to speak up, we lift and strengthen our voice as a whole.
Things can become more difficult, and actions take on significantly higher levels of risk when protesting in countries that do not have as many protections against free speech. Many people who choose to protest in these countries, women especially, face arrest or even death when voicing their opinions. In Iran, a teenage dancer named Maedeh Hojabri was arrested for posting dancing videos online that contained footage of her without her hijab. These videos violated her country’s laws against morality, and her social media account was suspended. However, in an act of solidarity and support many people continue to use social media not only to share Hojabri’s videos, but to upload controversial videos of their own.
Social media has provided the platform necessary for womxn to connect with one another, and show ourselves we are not alone. It allows us to hear testimony from others, and recognize the powerhouse we truly are when we work together. It has empowered an entire generation of women to be brave and speak their truth. One protest will inspire another, one voice will encourage the next, until it is a chain reaction so big that a revolution is inevitable.
Womxn lifting up other womxn will help us find our voice and slowly but surely they will strengthen until they deafen the ears of anyone who dare challenge us.
So speak up; you never know who is listening.