The Hashtag That Unified Women

By: Lauren Gordon

Senator Elizabeth Warren was interrupted by Mitch McConnell when reading Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter against Jeff Sessions. When interviewed McConnell said “Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech…She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” Social media took over the rest of the story.

Users defending Sen. Warren began tweeting #ShePersisted, and it quickly started trending on Twitter. Within hours t-shirts, coffee mugs and posters were branded with the hashtag.

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Source: USA Today

Social media is a great tool as a unifying force, but at the end of the day no amount of retweets will amend legislation. The Internet has an optimistic way of elevating the stories we don’t see, but it’s important to note that an audience isn’t enough. Users need to understand that if an issue is important to them they need to take steps to make a change. No, that does not include sharing a post, liking a picture, or replying to a tweet. It’s okay to share progress, ask for help, and be up to date on social media but do not let the fight stop there.

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Source: USA Today

At the end of the day, Warren was still directed from the floor. No matter how loudly Warren (or her followers) were heard, standard procedure won in the end. Injustice will not be stopped by a hashtag. Women unified by the hashtag must continue offline.

Boston Globe

USA Today

Bibliography

Applewhite, J. Scott. “Hashtag #ShePersisted highlights both the power and limits of online activism – The Boston Globe.” BostonGlobe.com. N.p., 10 Feb. 2017. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

Haq, Mina. “How #ShePersisted became a feminist social media rallying cry.” USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, 10 Feb. 2017. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism