by Elan Waite
Counter Movement/ Piggy-back movements
We need to grow up. Today, there seems to be a recurring pattern amongst social movements.
Step 1: Find a cause.
Step 2: Create a voice through social media.
Step 3: Sit back and wait for the piggy-back movement to strike.
Early last year, social media was taken by storm when the hashtag #Blacklivesmatter became a trending topic. Those who shared it agreed that what could be called an attack on young black people was becoming something that could no longer be watched on the sidelines. Soon after the hashtag got a decent following, a new trend emerged. This piggy-backing movement was renamed #Alllivesmatter.
This counter movement is not a single occurrence. The popular maxim “not all men” seemed to gain popularity in 2014 as well.
This was in response to women expressing their discontent toward the way they were being treated. The original movement consisted of a series of videos, pictures and posts of women discussing previous experiences varying in extremes.
Some discussed things like catcalls and the pressures of sex after a date while others told disheartening personal accounts of abuse and rape. The “not all men” movement attempted to help save face for those men who were not bad people—just as #Alllivesmatter was supposed to make sure that no other race was left out.
These piggy-backing movements are not helpful to the cause. It actually sounds a lot like the jealous sibling who wants mommy’s attention. It screams “No, over here mom. Look at me mom!”
Both movements, while they may have a core point, just take attention away from the main issue. Why would you be mad about a social issue receiving attention? Wanting to take attention away from a movement that is supposed to make a difference really shows how self-centered we can be. We have to be able to get out of our own individual bubbles and empathize with others.
The disappointing thing is that because the new movements come in at the height of the original’s popularity, they get as much, if not more, attention. All lives do matter, but that’s not the issue that was being addressed. Not all men are bad, but many women have experiences that have left them scarred.
Instead of focusing on those whose feelings might be hurt because they don’t get to be a victim, let’s focus on those who need our help. Let’s change the world without the hissy fits .