By Alexandra and Beatrice
In light of several recent uncoverings of sexual harassment and abuse accounts, many hashtags have emerged, #HereWeAre being one of the most recent. The purpose of this hashtag was to empower women, and it was presented through the form of a video released by Twitter during the Oscars. However, perhaps what differentiates this hashtag most from other ones of its kind is the immense amount of controversy that the video received.
While the video was indeed empowering and progressive, featuring women of different ages, shapes, races and ethnicities, the fact that Twitter released the video seemed hypocritical, seeing as it has a history of ‘instead of raising women’s voices [shutting] them down’. One example of this being when Rose McGowan accused Harvey Weinstein of sexually abusing her. Immediately after these claims, McGowan’s Twitter account was shut down, even though she was the victim of the situation.
We decided to show this video to our classmates here at school, and to ask what their opinions on the video were, before and after being aware of the many different views regarding this hashtag. There were some mixed feelings before we explained the controversy because while some felt it was ‘powerful for women’ and made them feel ‘capable of doing anything’, others felt that this advert and feminism in general ‘[are] a bit exaggerative’. However, all the students we asked unanimously agreed after hearing about the controversy surrounding the video that Twitter was ‘genuinely trying to show they’ve changed for the better’ and that ‘words mean more than actions’, therefore showing their confidence in Twitter’s capability to change and be supportive of the feminist movement.