Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and the Power of Online Feminism

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou and the Power of Online Feminism

Article excerpt

The Twitter hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou went viral over the past few weeks to raise awareness about signs of emotional abuse in relationships.

In recent years, social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, have become popular forums for a variety of social awareness campaigns, many of which have centered around issues relating to women's rights. In the past three years, conversations about feminism on Twitter have increased by 300 percent, according to Twitter product manager Mollie Vandor. After Patricia Arquette's Oscar speech, in which she referenced pay inequalities, #equalpay had 320,000 tweets within two hours.

"I definitely feel like there's a moment happening right now, where we're reaching a tipping point," Ms. Vandor told the Guardian. "It's easy to dismiss these social moments as just 'talk,' but I really believe that the more we talk about what gender equality means and why it's important, the more that conversation picks up volume and the harder it is to ignore."

Young feminists are now able to discuss women's rights issues in an open forum, educating one another about less-obvious issues like emotional abuse.

"Abuse is often seen as very cut and dry, and only physical," Dominican-American writer Zahira Kelly, who started the hashtag #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou, tells BBC. "For several years now on social media, on a daily basis I talk about many different forms of abuse and what they look like."

The hashtag has since taken off, with users tweeting examples of emotional abuses or messages of support for victims.

This conversation happening around #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou highlights that domestic violence isn't limited to physical assaults. Pay attention.-- olivia neauxp (@KatrinaLRogers) May 2, 2016

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he makes you constantly "check-in" with him,'is always calling, texting or messaging under the guise of concern-- Diet Bell Hooks (@afrotastic_lex) May 2, 2016

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he ridicules your interests and hobbies to the point that he is able to mold you into the woman he wants to be with-- lara (@creepygrrl) May 8, 2016

#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but he won't let you go home or see your friends very often or at all. …

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