With the shift to greater use of social media, each user has the potential to advance movements, such as the feminist movement, to advocate for greater equality through their platforms. Social media brings greater visibility to women’s rights issues, facilitates effective communication, aids people in organizing, educates the public on women’s history and current events, and inspires individuals to become activists. Yet, social media also allows for online harassment and disinformation, creates cages of constant self comparison and perfection driven by societal beauty standards, and hinders critical thinking.
This project investigates how social media is capable of both advancing and hindering the feminist movement from the perspectives of those creating informative campaigns on women’s history, women’s rights issues, and activism. Melissa Jones from the Women’s Museum of California, Allison Munder from Girls Learn International, Ellen Snortland from the National Women’s History Alliance, and Melissa Herrera, creator and host of the Mimosa Sisterhood podcast, discuss how they use their social media platforms to keep their followers informed of women’s rights issues and advocate for greater gender equality.
These four women also describe some of their experiences with the drawbacks of utilizing social media to create positive change. Experts in women’s history and researchers on body image, weight stigma, and disordered eating behaviors further share their knowledge of how social media has impacted their respective fields and the feminist movement.