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Redefining rebellion

"Slut" is and will always be a derogatory term, but thanks to the online vitality of real-time, cross-country conversations, "slut" now also echoes a growing, changing battle against sexism and violence against women.

It has taken on a different context following the "Slutwalk" movement, which may have started in Canada, but has inspired its own versions across the world as information about it travelled fast online. Photos of women donned in underwear and offering no apologies for it - were posted on different news sites.

They marched to protest the wrong belief that women should be blamed for getting raped because they were wearing supposedly provocative, sexy outfits - because they looked like "sluts."

While not all walked with these women in the streets, supporters of the movement helped raise awareness by going to the social media, posting encouraging, assertive statements on Facebook and tweeting their opinions on the action. Women started debates and welcomed, also challenged different viewpoints about it.

These happened because the Internet helped provide the issue with clarity and context. The web has become a soapbox for the everyday rebels, female activists and heroines - they destroy, through one click at a time, prejudices and misconceptions.

I hope that nongovernment organizations and groups fighting for women's rights in the Philippines and all over the world could fully optimize the power of the Web. Local groups, which have lobbied for better policies, would benefit from a strong online presence as they could push for their advocacy, send their message, to an audience that could maybe just be waiting to be shaken out of their apathy.

There is still of course, doubts on how online battles could translate to victories on the ground. Do online petitions mean a thing to lawmakers and other public officials? Does the enthusiasm on Facebook generate concrete actions and results?

These only prove that online movements need vibrant, focused and consistent actions outside of the Web. The Internet has revolutionized the ways we have waged battles and shaped changes, but the fight does not end once we logged out.

Comments

William's picture

Uniting, building force for an issue

Dear purpleromeo, thank you for your letter. It covers a lot of issues, but the one I hear you saying is that through the Internet, advocates can gather, exchange ideas and passions and encourage others to become supporters of their issues. These are all wonderful thoughts. I encourage you to take your conversation to your streets, your town/village and share them with workers and families. If you build a strong group on the ground, you will have much influence. Best of luck in your efforts.
blessings,
William

libudsuroy's picture

Purple, thank you for asking

Purple, thank you for asking questions. You have articulated the real need to bridge that gap between virtual activism and ground action.

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Aurore's picture

Thanks!

Hi Purple (such a beautiful name, by the way!)

Thanks for this post, and for starting with the "slut walks": it's really a good idea to show how real action and online action can meet and how "everyday rebels" can use both tools to advocate for what they believe in.
Still the two questions you ask about translating online enthusiasm into real action are very important and we should strive for the gap between the two to be reduced.
Thanks again,

Warmly
Aurore

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