Mahsa Amini‘s recent untimely death has only highlighted this sad and distressing fact.
The highest ever amount of rapes, in England and Wales, have been recorded this year so far. (Rape Crisis (England/Wales)). These traumatised people - predominantly women & girls, have had their lives deeply affected by this experience. As well as this, in 26 American states and 3 territories, women’s bodies are being possessed by the State - abortion is either prohibited or strictly limited with very few exceptions, including rape.
In Saudi Arabia a PhD student was sentenced to 34 years in prison simply for tweeting feminist content and retweeting activists.
These horrifying events are just a few of many that illustrate the endeavours of Governments seeking to strip women and girls of their dignity and rights. Can this really be acceptable?
A few weeks ago Mahsa Amini an Iranian 22 year old woman was brutally beaten and killed by the Iranian morality police. It was an attack not just on her but yet another blatant attempt at destroying women/girls’ rights from all aspects, perpetuating a reality where females are presented as second class citizens.
One could argue that, with these unwanted legal developments regarding women/girls’ bodies and minds, we as a society are effectively taking drastic and draconian steps backwards in our strive to equalise rights between men and women.
So how has social media affected people's outlooks regarding women’s rights/safety?
Due to the vast influence and reach of social media platforms, notably Tiktok and instagram, women all around the world have been sympathising with the atrocities suffered by women in every country, particularly in Iran and America. This is how I became aware of the Mahsa Amini weekly protests occurring in Central London.
Although social media can be a place for positivity and spreading awareness about women’s struggles; it has also been an unwelcome platform for misogynistic individuals to promote their sexist and oppressive beliefs. It is prolific.
Influencers worldwide have been given the opportunity to influence and shape their views of a new generation - my generation. It is concerning that some influences produce content which is greatly harmful to the progress that women have spent centuries achieving.
Although, seemingly, social media has enabled a women’s rights discourse to circulate and subsequently expand the conversations, which is a hugely positive factor, many women are threatened by individual Influencers endeavouring to propagate an atmosphere of alarming hostility towards women.
Social media platforms need to be more conscience of the information they are allowing to accumulate in the minds of the young. Our generation has been jointly brought up by parents and Social Media. Parents have done their bit. It is time that social media does its bit and look after the new generation of women and girls. Because, like all women/girls we deserve better and because, we’re worth it.
by email Melissa Hansen, age 14.