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Five Feminist Hashtags 2017 That Trended And Made Global Impact

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2017 was the year that started with a great emphasis on women empowerment whether through social media campaigns or otherwise. We saw millions of women across the globe coming out and telling their stories of subjugation and harassment, something that was absent in the gender narrative for so long. Earlier when women would talk about menstruation or their traumatic experiences, they would want to keep themselves anonymous. But this year, we saw many women boldly come out and talk about themselves and their experiences.

Here is a list of a few feminist hashtags that trended through the year:

#MeToo

This remains the biggest hashtag to focus on sexual harassment. It’s been a universal trend and for days. It began in 2017 after Hollywood women started coming out about their stories of harassment—all of which were directed towards Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

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Actor Alyssa Milano reinstated this hashtag on Twitter calling out to women to tell their stories of abuse. And overnight, thousands of tweets poured in from across the world. Indian women also participated in the hashtag and many influential women supported it. The hashtag essentially aimed at magnifying the issue of sexual harassment.

#IWillGoOut

Bengaluru mass molestation case right in the beginning of the year gave way to the much talked about #IWillGoOut protest across the country. It came into existence after the comment of Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi who shamed women for staying out “beyond sunset” on December 31, 2016, in Bengaluru.

Women in several states organized marches and thousands of women took over the streets telling the patriarchal society

The main focus of the protests that conquered social media and then the public spaces, was to get more women out on streets. Women in several states organized marches and thousands of women took over the streets telling the patriarchal society that it is our fundamental right to walk out on streets and it shouldn’t lead to street harassment.

#LahuKaLagaan

The dramatic hashtag is courtesy to the controversial government policy of Goods and Services Tax that refused to reduce the 12% tax on sanitary napkins. As soon as the bill came out, a women’s rights organisation — SheSays — started a campaign called #LahuKaLagaan on social media and encouraged women to flood Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Twitter feed with the hashtag.

#LahuKaLagaan aimed at making sanitary pads accessible and tax-free to women in India. The movement ventured outside the virtual realm in the form of protests by women’s rights organisations. But the finance ministry refused to revoke the tax

#WomenBoycottTwitter

In October this year, women boycotted Twitter for a day to acknowledge the lack of anti-harassment policy on the platform. Although the hashtag began in support of Hollywood actor rose McGowan, it reached India as well. Twitter actually semi-blocked McGowan’s account because she posted tweets against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein who allegedly sexually abused many women in the industry. She also tweeted in solidarity with the survivors that led to Twitter temporarily limiting her access.

This gave rise to a virtual protest by women against the micro-blogging website.

#AintNoCinderella

The infamous case of stalking and street harassment of Chandigarh-based DJ Varnika Kundu gave way to the hashtag #AintNoCinderella. Two men—one of whom, Vikas Barala is the son of a BJP chief—tried to chase Kundu around midnight in Chandigarh when she was returning home in her car. This sparked a nation-wide controversy and another BJP leader, Ramme Bhatti, commented on the incident blaming Kundu for being out on streets late at night.

The comment went viral and women across country started sharing their pictures while they were out at night on Twitter along with #AintNoCinderella.

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