Who do you RT more often on Twitter? Women or men? Retweets are a way of listening to, acknowledging and passing on opinions. If we amplify the voices of male Twitter users more than female Twitter users we are ranking their opinions higher.
A fair question. Two quick answers:
1. Those of us lucky enough to live in the most progressive parts of the world tend to focus on how good we have it, and yet we still haven’t achieved true gender equality.
2. I’m over trying to pitch women’s magazines. If the story isn’t about slimmer thighs for summer, they’re just not interested.
This stuff is important, I’ll try not to make it too dry.
Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City, UT bedroom at age 14, and freed nine months later when she was found walking with her captor on a suburban street in March 2003, recently spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum. Raised in a religious household, she recalled a school teacher who spoke once about abstinence and compared sex to chewing gum.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you know longer have worth, you know longer have value,” Smart said. “Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.”
As Jessica Valenti points out in The Purity Myth, “While boys are taught that the things that make them men - good men - are universally accepted ethical ideals, women are led to believe that our moral compass lies somewhere between our legs.” The effect of this is that rape victims, like Smart, can feel that nothing they do after they are raped will make them worthwhile people again. Equating women’s morality with how sexually pure they are is deeply misogynistic and dehumanizing, and it can be especially destructive for survivors of sexual abuse.