The social-sphere erupts with a powerful hashtag tackling the subject of violence against women

By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis and Kelli Bender
Updated May 27, 2014 11:45 AM
Credit: Jae C. Hong/AP

A million tweets strong since Friday, the #YesAllWomen hashtag has overtaken Twitter, sparked by the deadly rampage near Santa Barbara, California, and eliciting shared stories and thoughts on the subject of violence and misogyny against women.

The national conversation swelled as men and women alike adopted the hashtag to condemn sexist objectification and intimidation, and to express views on feminism and women’s rights – as well as sexual harassment, abuse and rape culture.

The hashtag serves as a counterpoint to postings made by Elliot Rodger, who police say killed six people in Isla Vista before taking his own life. On YouTube, and, Rodger directed his rage toward women, and reinforced his anger in a 141-page manifesto that expressed his frustration with being a virgin and laid out his plan for the killings.

“It’s not fair, you girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me. But I will punish you all for it,” Rodger, 22, said in one of the videos.

As the public shares its grief via social media, many point out that Rodger’s attack, while horrific, is just one example of the violence women experience regularly.

In 2012, an average of more than seven women were killed every day in the U.S., reports the Los Angeles Times, and FBI statistics show that women usually know their attacker, who is typically male.

Not every #YesAllWomen Tweet has been framed in violence, though. Some point a finger at something far more commonplace: sexism. Here are a few of the most thought-provoking posts. //

#YesAllWomen is not just an American movement. See the spread of this powerful hashtag, starting on May 24, 2014, by watching the world map below.

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