Feminism has become quite the loaded term in recent years. Some people don’t like third wave feminism and the issues some people who call themselves feminists choose to focus on, and some do. Whatever the case, being and identifying as a feminist comes with a lot of responsibilities, some of which some people aren’t quite looking to take on. Here are the differences between real activism in feminism and slacktivism.
What is “Slacktivism”?
Generally, slacktivism is superficial and performative. It refers to things that don’t take a lot of time and effort to support, typically through the internet. Examples of slacktivism can be signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website. Slacktivism isn’t terrible, but it generally does not induce great change. It is criticized because of the belief that people are only supporting or saying something to look good online. Lots of people have a misconstrued idea of feminism because of online slacktivists.
Lots of feminists consider themselves to be activists. To be an activist is to take action to protect, defend, or advocate for different marginalized groups in society. Activists don’t just say they’ll support something-they go out on the streets and fight for it. Those Parkland student survivors fighting for gun control are activists-and some of them are feminists too.
In my opinion and others, being a feminist requires activism. A person can, of course, say they are a feminist and believe in equality, but acting on these beliefs is what is important too. There are small ways to be an activist-walking out to protest something that you believe to be immoral-and being a part of a cause working to end injustices is a great way to start. Above all else, practice what you preach and know and be passionate about what you believe. Maybe one day you’ll lead the change and inspire others too.