Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Women’s Day & R-Word & ASL (Week of March 2, 2013)


Originally posted at the THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-womens-day-r-word-asl-week-of-march-2-2013/


Following up on yesterday’s post about International Women’s Day, I spent all week tracking the many different hashtags being used on Twitter to discuss this day and the events and initiatives associated with it this year. In addition to International Women’s Day, this week also included the annual day to End the R-Word, and the incredibly innovative all-in-ASL episode of the popular television drama, Switched at Birth. All three of these are important to various substantial but marginalized communities, and show the power of social media and the Internet to create awareness and include the voices of those who may not otherwise have a strong voice in shaping culture or policy.

The End the R-Word campaign was unusual in that it only had one hashtag in common use. They’ve been doing this for several years now, and have succeeded in gathering a diverse range of voices with a unified message — to stop using hurtful language, specifically the word “retarded” as a general term.

If you haven’t seen it, Switched at Birth tells the story of two families, one wealthy and one less privileged, who discover their teen daughters were switched at birth. The child from the less well-off family is deaf, and much of the show includes subplots and scenes developed around deaf culture. The deaf community and other fans of the show went all out this week with efforts to make this special episode of the show trend on Twitter to help raise awareness around deaf concerns and culture. Part of what made that succeed was connecting the episode to the Occupy Wall Street movement with the theme “Take Back Carlton”, with Carlton being the local School for the Deaf.

With women being the largest of these three marginalized communities, and with over a century behind this specific event, it is perhaps no surprise that International Women’s Day shows the largest number of spinoff events, well developed issues, and the greatest diversity of hashtags used around the conversation. Irina mentioned two hashtags in her post — #WHM and #WMNhist. Those stand for Women’s History Month and Women’s History. Closely aligned with these is #RWHP which today stands for Radical Women’s History Project, but usually stands for Rural Women’s Health Project.

Meanwhile, the actual official hashtags for International Women’s Day are #IWD2013 and #IWD13, with many also using the simpler #IWD, #WomensDay or just #Women.

It is only to be expected that issues of women’s health and violence against women surface today as highlights of the conversations around International Women’s Day, with increased calls for awareness and support. The hashtags for violence against women today include these: #EndVAW; #VAW; #timetoact; #sayucommit. The hashtags for women’s health include #WomensHealth and #SRHR (for Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights).

Related strongly to the health conversations is the broader #GenderEquality, which includes some phenomenal content.

I could go on for days with the hashtags for IWD. Instead of embedding many more tweets, I will instead share additional hashtags and hope that you can find time to explore them yourself. There are several conferences, events, and organizations actively engaged in extending the reach of IWD.

#AAUW = American Association of University Women

#bachelet = Michelle Bachelet’s speech opening the 5th Annual Women’s Empowerment and Principles event.

#EqualityMonday = United Nations Development Program initiative. This series also includes #EmpowerTuesday; #GreenWednesday; #EndHIVThursday; #EndPovertyFriday; #Democracy Saturday; #ResilienceSunday. Storify from this Monday available here.

#fem2 = General hashtag for feminism, may have begun with the Fem 2.0 conference in 2009.

#cswusnc = United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. U.S. National Committee for UN Women (USNC)

#CSW57 = United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, 57th Session

#NGOWGG = NGO Working Group on Girls

Among the initiatives and special releases for International Women’s Day are included a number of film and music events celebrating the rights of girls and women. Here are some of the hashtags being used, but if you want the free music or to view the films, you’ll have to go look.

#GirlUp
#RiseUp
#GirlRisingHero
#WhereIsGirlRising
#reasontorise
#1BillionRising
#1woman

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