Taking to Instagram and Twitter to campaign against sexual violence and domestic abuse, these are the women you need to follow today...
As part of our #BREAKFREE from Shame week, we wanted to draw attention to seven women who are speaking out about sexual assault – and using social media as a means of reaching hundreds of thousands of followers at a time.
@AMBER THE ACTIVIST
The founder of Stop Rape Educate, Amber is currently travelling the world, raising awareness about consent culture and talking about moving on from rape. The 20something New Yorker first experienced sexual assault as a child, and tells Marie Claire, ‘as soon as I started to open up about what happened to me, I realised it had happened to so many other people I knew too. The problem is that there’s so much shame surrounding rape – if we all spoke up, we’d realise how many of us have been directly affected. We’re all in this together.’ (Read Amber’s story about live-blogging her rape here.)
She’s a teenage feminist in Australia, with an Instagram feed largely made up of powerful statements, impressively wise insights and the kind of comments you want to scribble down on a napkin – ready to pull out next time you run into a misogynist down the pub. Witty, up-to-date and always en pointe, we wish we’d been half as cool as her when we were in our teens. Hell, we wish we were half as cool as her now.
Think poetry is best suited to, well, poetry books? Think again. Alyssa Seibert’s lyrical, political musings work just as well on social media as on paper – and reach a much wider audience in the process. Confronting issues such as sexual assault, violence against women, racism, body hair and child abuse, her writing is thought provoking and powerful. Oh, and she’ll even throw in a selfie on occasion too.
Founded by Molly Williams, FTB will fill your feed with beautiful, handdrawn illustrations of women from around the world, accompanied by speech bubbles revealing their innermost thoughts. And while there are some famous faces (watch out for a Malala cameo or two) – the stars of this feed are mostly the everyday women you’d see on the street. ‘Most people who argue that women do not experience oppression have never taken the time to actually listen to diverse groups of women describe their experiences and feelings,’ she says.
From one illustrator to another (and who said social media was stunting our creativity?), Joanna Thangiah’s feed is one for the socially-aware cartoon lovers out there. Dealing with mental health and body image, while confronting the over-sexualisation of women and victim blaming, Joanna’s account is a rainbow-coloured feminist dream. And, if you find yourself double tapping the screen so much that your finger starts to hurt, fear not – you can buy her prints here.
We can’t get enough of Carol Rossetti. So much so, that we’ve already written about her incredible works here. But sometimes somebody deserves constant coverage, you know? Using a couple of coloured pencils and the occasional felt tip pen, Carol’s images promote a shame-free, blame-free, guilt-free existence for women – encouraging the subjects of her artwork to live authentically, and never judge themselves along the way.
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Author of the ‘Unslut Project’, Emily Lindin isn’t directly campaigning against sexual assault – but she is fighting against slut shaming and the sexualisation of women’s bodies – which we reckon is pretty deeply linked. ‘This is a collaborative space for sharing stories and creating awareness about sexual bullying, “slut” shaming, and related issues,’ she explains. ‘When I heard about the tragic suicides of girls like Rehtaeh Parsons, Amanda Todd, and Audrie Pott, I was devastated – and reminded of my own experience as a girl who was labeled the school “slut.” At the time, I didn’t feel comfortable confiding in my parents or other adults in my life. I would have loved to have some reassurance that this time would pass and my life would get better.’