Fandometrics In Depth: Feminism Edition
Tumblr has always been a place where feminists could connect and speak freely. And as Tumblr has grown, so have the allied communities and the size of the conversation. From 2013 to 2015, year-over-year growth in the number of original posts tagged #feminism increased at an average rate of 4.22%.
That changed in 2016. As Tumblr discussed the US presidential election and its impact on women’s rights, access to healthcare and the importance of consent, the rate of original posts tagged #feminism grew 20%, five times the growth of the previous three years. Looking at the entire ecosystem of Tumblr tags, original posts and reblogs about #feminism accounted for triple the amount of conversation it did in 2015.
2016 also saw a change in Tumblr’s understanding of what feminism means.
The term intersectionality describes the overlapping systems of oppression at play in society—it’s the idea that gender inequality, racism, class status, and other injustices are inseparable from one another and can’t be studied in isolation.
Between 2014 and 2016 there was a modest increase in engagement around #intersectionality. Original posts increased 13%, while searches increased 44%. But then came the Women’s March. On January 20th, 2017, engagements around #intersectionality spiked 5191% from just two days before. Since then, the whole tone of the #feminism conversation on Tumblr has changed.
In 2017 so far, people are talking about intersectional systems of oppression 21% more than they have in the last four years combined.
How does that change in tone manifest itself? Here’s a sampling of posts that have gone viral since the March:
- A women-only salon catering to hijabis
- Shepard Fairey’s intersectional march posters, and
- So many protest photos with intersectional slogans and themes.
Continuing the conversation
If you’re interested in joining the feminist conversation on Tumblr, there are tons of places to start. In addition to the #feminism and #intersectionality tags, you can head to tags like #wage gap and #pro choice to learn more about specific issues. There are also dozens of Tumblrs that dive deep into the conversation:
- Feminist Frequency (@femfreq), a place to talk about feminism in gaming
- Celebrating Amazing Women (@celebratingamazingwomen), which highlights women who have changed history on their birthdays
- Whovian Feminism (@whovianfeminism), which looks at inequality through a fannish lens
- Empower. Volunteer. Unite. (@ucf-now), the official Tumblr of the University of Central Florida’s National Organization for Women chapter, and
- Action (@action), our hub to help connect you to the resources you need to become an agent of change.