Activism is defined as working to bring about social, political, or economic change. There are a ton of ways to be an activist, it doesn’t always mean marching and holding up a sign. Types of activism include digital/cyber activism, grassroots, peace activism, petitioning, and striking. Without activism, the whole concept of feminism is futile. As I mentioned before, I believe the best and easiest way to be an activist is to educate yourself. In 2019, we have the internet in the palm of our hands, all it takes is a click or two to start finding out more and more.
Another word I debated using for a was Ally/Allyship, which is another form of activism. It is important to take a step back when looking at social, political, and economic elements that are in place in our society and recognize that it’s not always just you that it affects. You do not have to be a part of the LGBT+ community to care about gay rights, just like you don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist. Allyship does end at feminism or LGBTQIA rights either, it is standing alongside marginalized groups and listening. As an ally, it is important to take a moment to analyze your own biases, unfortunately, as much as you may think you don’t have any, we all have internalized prejudices that society has led us to carry, even if we’re not always aware of them. It isn’t always fun to be critical of yourself, but having humility makes you a better ally.
Activism and allyship go hand and hand much more than you would think. Just look at the #metoo movement. The movement was initially created by Tarana Burke in 2006 when she realized how many women had faced sexual assault and harassment in their lives. She thought that by speaking up, it would empower women to create a safe space to recognize these issues. In 2017, the movement spread and celebrities took to the #timesup movement to make it even more global after Alyssa Milano used the phrase in a tweet.
Like I mentioned before (and will probably say a million times) activism can be achieved so easily by educating yourself, just like allyship. It is important to realize that it takes a degree of selflessness to do this, and sometimes you have to just sit back, shut up, and listen.