#YesAllWomen spreads awareness as well as controversy


Photo Illustration by SIERRA YOUNG

#YesAllWomen has been trending on Twitter for several weeks now. Sparked by the recent shooting at University of California, Santa Barbara, this hashtag stands for all women around the world and their human rights.  Each #YesAllWomen tweet is written with a quote or personal statement that empowers women’s rights, a personal experience of sexual harassment, or a picture of feminists taking public action to spread awareness.

Included in over one million tweets, #YesAllWomen reminds everyone that all women receive sexual harassment in some form.  I can admit from personal experience that since the young age of about fourteen, all girls experience sexual harassment ranging from sexual jokes comments to rape.  Such events can be very traumatic and life changing to victims of rape and their families.

Prior to the shooting, women and men around the world have been taking a stand for women’s rights through the “Free Our Girls” campaign against the kidnapping of educated girls in Nigeria.  These girls should not be punished for wanting to learn.  This is the twenty first century, and if people in the “land of the free, home of the brave” cannot accept that women are just as superior as men and deserve equal rights, than we cannot pride ourselves in that quote.

Girls these days are raised to be cautious and afraid of men rather than boys being raised to respect women.  Even in public schools, girls must follow a strict dress code as not to “distract the boys from learning.”  Excuse me, but I don’t think my shoulders are going to “distract the boys from learning,” and if they do, that’s not my fault, it’s the boys’.

I’ve been told by older women in my family to “never put my drink down at a party” and “always have my keys ready as a weapon when [I] go jogging.”  Girls shouldn’t feel like giving out a fake phone number is safer than rejecting a guy.

Along with the empowering statements trending with #YesAllWomen, men are saying that they feel like they are being “attacked” or “bashed.”  As said in a tweet, “#YesAllWomen isn’t about bashing men, it’s about shedding light on what women go through, so men can see we are not aroused by misogyny.”