The proliferation of social media over the past decade has given rise to higher social awareness, albeit often marred by fake news and spiteful content too. Yet, there is no denying that promoters of multiple causes –from political ideologies to art, human rights, and environmentalism – have found a platform to raise their concerns and spread their message through portals like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
With women’s movement in India gaining strength, the role of social media in adding momentum to it is significant. After all, the #MeToo movement could not have become a global phenomenon without thousands of women from across countries speaking up on social media.
Granted, feminist content on social media mostly sticks to English and is yet to bring about real change rural India. But a few individuals are making the best of these platforms to spread awareness on women’s rights through relatable content on our everyday lives. The following are a few such individuals who you may want to follow on social media for their extra ordinary content on feminism as well as ‘taboo topics’ like body image and mental health.
All of 21 and already named among BBC’s 100 Women in 2019, this Mumbai girl is the youngest member of the G7's gender equality advisory council. The captions for her posts on Instagram speak about experiences shared by women across the world.
Aranya is also renowned for her slam poetry, and her performance of her debut collection - A Brown Girl's Guide to Beauty - has had over 3.8 million times on YouTube.
During her college days at IIT-Madras where she did Masters in English Studies, Arya was noticed among Malayali millennials through her blog ‘Silma reviews,’ where she would analyse popular Malayalam movies with a gender lens and a pinch of humour. After graduating from IIT in 2016, she went on to work in marketing for a while, before launching Popcult tribe with three other co-founders a year ago.
This social media page focuses on fighting the misogyny in Malayali pop culture with a humorous twist (through English and Malayalam content and has got more than 118,000 followers on Instagram already.
A significant part of the feminist message - of equal rights for women – is the rhetoric on being respected and provided equal opportunities without your physical appearance holding you back. To help women be more comfortable with their own bodies, Mumbai-based 23-year-old Anushka started her Instagram page – BrownGirlGazin – in 2018, with honest portraits of women who are battling negative body image.
Her project has over 10,000 followers today, and women of all shapes, sizes and with different stories have approached her to feature them. “The page is all about taking ownership of your bodies and fully embracing it,” Anushka has told MAKERS India in an earlier interview.
“Feminist researcher, activist” is how Radhika describes herself in her Twitter bio, and her Tweets reflect her intellectual sensibilities. She does not mince her words when it comes to calling out the sexism, even from “celebrities” and dares to voice unpopular opinions on women’s issues through her blog too.
We should not be so surprised when things like #boislockeroom happen in closed groups, when adult men like @vivekagnihotri openly share sexist and violent content about women regularly with no accountability. (screenshots of deleted tweets archived by @zoo_bear) pic.twitter.com/kyMIudrYFt
— Radhika Radhakrishnan 🏳️🌈✊🏾 (@so_radhikal) May 7, 2020
Radhika has a Master degree in Women’s Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and has worked at UN on Internet Governance.
This Delhi-based lawyer is the founder of Consent Project India which aims to spread awareness on the concept of consent, and conducts workshops across schools and colleges for the same.
Today marks the launch of the website for my baby, https://t.co/yqE0CKXtW6. I can't wait to do more workshops on #consent and the law with young people. Please spread the word so we can get into more places. And please volunteer - it's the most fun thing I've ever done!
— Mini's physical distancing life (@mini_s1992) March 16, 2019
On social media too, she continues to spread the message, besides voicing her thoughts on internet freedom, women’s security and how the life women is changing under the current right-wing government. Although she has been trolled and abused online for her non-conformist views, Mini continues to battle for women, on and off social media.