By Sara Karlovitch
Something amazing happened earlier this month on Twitter.
Women took President Trump’s favorite method of communication and, by using a simple hashtag, turned it against him.
AXIOS, an online news organization, reported that an anonymous source told them women staffers in Trump’s White House are expected to “dress like a woman” and “felt pressured to wear a dress to impress Trump.” Immediately, the Internet blew up with #dresslikeawoman. Working women everywhere were posting what exactly women wear to work.
— Kate Logan (@K8Logan) February 4, 2017
— MamaBearz (@sdsunset_3) February 4, 2017
Trump has a particularly bad reputation with women and lost the women vote by an overwhelming 12 points. On Jan. 21, over 500,000 women descended on D.C. alone to promote gender equality. That’s an estimated three times Trump’s inauguration crowd size.
To make an even bigger statement, #dresslikeawoman quickly combined with #actuallivingscientist normalizing the presence of women in STEM. Female scientists proudly posted pictures of themselves covered in dirt and holding a variety of unusual animals. Others posted pictures in lab coats studying lethal diseases or performing an operation.
— enfields (@enfielding) February 4, 2017
— Amina Yonis (@IAmInAPlace) February 4, 2017
— Steph Halmhofer (@bones_canada) February 3, 2017
— Alyson Brokaw 🦇 (@alyb_batgirl) February 3, 2017
The combination of both hashtags created a powerful message not only about politics, but about femininity in general. The world is changing, and more and more opportunities are being offered to women. Gone are the days where women are expected to wear a skirt and makeup to work. For women who work in STEM, the military and a variety of other fields, “dressing like a woman” is no longer an option.
As the lives of women change, traditional femininity is no longer practical, nor relevant. Femininity has evolved to the point where there is no longer one definition of what a professional woman wears. #dresslikeawoman and #actuallivingscientist were responses to the president’s efforts to push women back into the bubble they have worked so hard to break free from. The #dresslikeawoman campaign is the new incarnation of the #nastywomen movement.
Due to President Trump and the Republican party’s increasingly hostile attitude toward equality, women have created an equally powerful resistance (only yesterday did they vote to stop Sen. Warren (D-Mass.) from speaking). Women of all colors, religions and sexual orientations have pushed for their place in society, and they’re not about to stop fighting now.
In fact, they’re only getting started.
Featured Photo Credit: Protesters march towards the White House with a sign that reads “UNITY.” (Heather Kim/Bloc Reporter)
Sara Karlovitch is a freshman journalism and government and politics major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.