Follow Friday: #YesAllWomen

by Kristen Abell

Earlier this week, Valerie blogged about the #YesAllWomen hashtag movement on Twitter. I’m writing about it again because I think it’s that important for you to follow it. I’ve considered adding a few tweets to it myself, but as usual, I have more to say about this topic than 140 characters can contain. For this many women to be able to name their experiences with misogyny in a public forum is a huge deal – whether you realize it or not. Even claiming these experiences can feel shaming, and this hashtag has turned it into a moment for women to redefine that shame and direct it where it belongs.

I truly hope that this is a hashtag that speaks to all genders – not just women. Much of what is mentioned in the tweets is a result of stereotypical gendered socialization that doesn’t benefit any of us. I also hope that the sentiments behind this hashtag carry on for much longer than a few days, as Twitter hashtag movements are wont to do. There is so much we can all learn from this.

If you feel so inclined, use the comments below to share your #YesAllWomen tweets, comments and stories – 140 characters or more. Then go check out the hashtag on Twitter and learn what women face on a daily basis – or learn that you are not alone.

In more than 140 characters, here is my story:

Because when I was going to middle school for an education, I was made to feel shameful about the changes my body was going through. Because I was repeatedly harassed in the hallways at school. Because I was groped and touched in all the places I had been taught never to let a stranger touch me, and because they were not strangers but supposedly my friends. Because when I reported them, no one protected me from the retaliation. Because I was afraid to tell my mother any of this until I was much older because I thought it was my fault. Yes me. Yes all women.

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