Blue Ridge CrossFit owner Tom Tomlo took videos of several female members as they were bending over during their workouts, later posting them to the gym’s Instagram Story with the captions “Dayum” and “#humpday.” One member saw the images last Friday and shared them on the gym’s Facebook page in outrage, writing, “This is not okay.” The post and the gym’s Facebook page quickly filled with angry comments and reviews, which prompted Tomlo to respond with an expletive-filled post demonishing people for calling him out publicly.
Thanks to the work and patience of many communities of color, platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have helped to promote Black voices, positivity, and strength and distribute the real data on discrimination across the web in recent years, driving (inching) white awareness, too. All the while, these tools have also been empowering legions of dedicated and 'everyday' racists to wage war against visible Black women with all the fresh hell and tired tropes they can muster--effecting a digital siege on Black women and girls, and, ultimately, on everything our big, unwieldy country as a whole holds dear.
Iin 2017, women also reminded us all of the upside of connecting online. Joining together around the world, they used these platforms the way the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world had originally hoped; they were able to find and support one another, despite geography and circumstance, and to subvert the power structures that have silenced them for so long.
"Our research shows that the offline inequalities are replicated online," explains Sambuli from the Web Foundation. According to her, women in urban, poor communities around the world are 50 percent less likely to be online than men. Women are also less likely to utilize the tools available online to bring about changes in their lives and empower themselves.
The social media data analytics company Lissted carried out a detailed analysis to try to find out why British female political journalists are less influential on Twitter than men. It has discovered that there were 4.9 times as many likes and retweets for male political journalists than female ones across Twitter as a whole during the election campaign, and 4.3 times as many retweets from “influencers”: people and organisations who are widely followed in the Twittersphere.