Even IRL, the world isn't always kind to women. But on social media—heaven help us. The harassment, the abuse, and the haterade is omnipresent.
Thank goodness for the brave women who've shouted back into the void. To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay, let's remember some of the finest female-led social media moments and celebrate the women who started them.
An impassioned advocate for women's rights, Patricia Arquette launched #EqualMeansEqual to petition Congress to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
Since her first tweet less than a month ago, thousands of users have gotten involved and even Reese Witherspoon chimed in:
It was the Super Bowl performance heard around the world: Beyoncé and her dancers got into 'Formation' and sports fans and halftime fans alike paid attention. Cherrell Brown loved it so much she shared a photo of the women, captioning it #BeingaBlackGirlIsLit.
Writer Courtney Summers created #TotheGirls both to promote her book, All the Rage, and to share words of encouragement with girls all over the world.
Criticised for looking 'too sexy' in a recruitment poster for a tech startup, Isis Wenger let the web know that not all coders wear hoodies.
Frustrated by the instinct to shame survivors of sexual assault for how they dress and behave, Zerlina Maxwell has empowered women in cities around the world to share personal stories of abuse on Twitter.
Lady Gaga noticed. She invited Maxwell to stand by her side during her breathtaking Oscars performance last month.
Emma Watson started #HeForShe to invite men to participate in the fight for gender equality. Since she issued her call to action, over 100,000 men have used the hashtag to express support.
To inspire women to be more open about experiences of mental illness, Erin Jones took to Twitter to encourage users to post photos of themselves and their medication.
BFFs Lindy West and Amelia Bonow wanted to end the silence that still surrounds abortion. Together, they've empowered thousands of women to share abortion stories both online and off. Since January, #ShoutYourAbortion has hosted events in all 50 states. And it's just getting started.
When CalTech professor Shrinivas Kulkarni talked about scientists in an interview with NPR as 'boys with toys,' women in the field fired back. Girls can play, too.
No doubt tired of the inanities she has to respond to on the red carpet, Amy Poehler used her Smart Girls initiative to crowdsource questions that young women really want answered. What ensued will make your feminist heart do back flips.
Words by Mattie Kahn for ELLE.com