A Platform for Change

As technology becomes increasingly relevant in the twenty-first century, the circulation of thought is increasing in speed and efficiency, allowing ideas to spread from person to person, then state to state, and sometimes, even country to country, within a matter of days. The movement I have chosen to delve into, the anti-rape culture/sexual assault on campus movement, uses the power of online platforms in several ways, one of which is to provide an anonymous way for victims to reach out and speak about sexual assault without disclosing their identity. On platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, victims can discuss their feelings with others who understand what they are going through, and talk about how to cope with post traumatic stress and anxiety that prevent them from reaching out or talking about what happened to the police or school authorities. Another way this movement uses online platforms is to reach out to people about different gatherings, marches, and protests that are happening across the country such as the Anti-Rape Marches and Slut Walks in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and several other large metropolitan areas. Facebook groups, especially, are conducive to bringing people together for these events because once one person clicks the “Interested” or “Going” buttons, all of their Facebook friends can see this, and the event instantly gains exposure to all of their hundreds/thousands of friends. In this way, the word gets out quickly, and suddenly, after a mere two days of the event’s online fruition, hundreds of thousands of people are exposed to it, and many of them will decide to attend.it.jpg

Media is also incredibly important to my movement, in that humans, by nature, are visual beings, and photographs and videos tend to appeal to their emotions more than just words. Personally, I feel very empowered when I see pictures on Instagram and Tumblr of women holding up signs that say things like, “I was wearing this when I was raped”, while they are dressed in a simple tee-shirt and jeans, implying that rape has nothing to do with the victim’s clothing, provocative or not. It is NEVER the victim’s fault. Because such visuals are so powerful, I will include many on my webpage, especially on the home tab, in order to catch visitor’s attentions and appeal to their pathos the same way that Instagram posts from the marches appealed to mine.

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2 thoughts on “A Platform for Change

  1. You’ve done a really great job of explaining why social media is so beneficial to your movement! I really loved your point about the anonymous forums that allow victims to talk in a confidential setting. I didn’t think of that type of thing, but I believe that that is a very powerful tool that the Internet allows people to be a part of in order to talk out their traumatic events, and can even be critical in someone’s recovery. I also strongly agree with you that images for this movement are incredibly powerful. Rape is such a awful thing and the pictures of women banding together, such as at the Slut March, are very empowering and effective in getting women to continue to stick up for one another and angering people enough to speak up.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your blog post because it was relatable in that social media, like Facebook specifically, is a place where young and older people alike can exchange information about what they’re doing, where they are planning to go, and what they are interested in. Just like you mentioned in your post, I have definitely used Facebook in the past to find events, both on and off campus, to attend. By clicking the “interested” or “going” button, I allow my Facebook friends to not only see what I’m interested in doing, but an event that they themselves can attend. I have seen many cases where events mentioned on Facebook get tons of exposure because of all the people that take the time to click buttons that signal their levels of interest. This aspect of social media is important to many movements that have marches and walks to attend like the anti-rape/sexual-assault movement because the more people that see an event, the more people that attend the event. It will be important to include information about upcoming events for the movement that you’re focusing on in your website. I also agree that pictures often make a bigger emotional statement than words do, so I am looking forward to seeing the media that you end up choosing to include in your website.

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