How Tumblr Inspired Me to Be an Activist

In my own life, I didn’t think of myself as an activist until I got a Tumblr blog. Tumblr is a blogging and social networking platform that allows people to post content in a blog form. When I got a Tumblr, I was a junior in high school who was just starting to get into feminism. I called myself a feminist, but only within my own circle of friends because I was not only worried about being made fun of, but was also worried that I was going to be extensively quizzed on what I believed in, when all I knew at that time was I just wanted equality for women. I was also having a hard time finding a community with a similar mindset because my county is pretty conservative, and a lot of feminist communities online were mainly comprised of women in their late 20’s and their early 30’s. Getting a Tumblr exposed me to many different kinds of people and their own unique problems that I never would have known about or met in my rural county. Reading about these people and their struggles gave me new perspectives outside of my own cisgendered, heterosexual, white viewpoint. It armed me with enough knowledge to know when it is my place to talk when it comes to topics that don’t necessarily apply to me (i.e. race, being outside the gender binary, etc.), and it gave me the confidence to start calling people out, online and offline, when they do something grossly offensive.

 

Many individuals would call my kind of  activism ‘slacktivism’ because much of what I do is online instead of chaining myself to a tree or working huge fundraisers. To be honest, I’m not a fan of the term ‘slacktivism’. First of all, it’s not possible to be an activist and a slacker, because you have to be ‘active’ to be an ‘activist’. Secondly, just because I’m not drawing up several petitions up at a time or have my governor on speed dial doesn’t mean I’m not doing anything to attempt to better society. Even if I’m just telling someone how excluding trans women from feminism isn’t really feminism, I’m still doing something to improve my community.

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