"The Internet was my 'Feminine Mystique.'"
That's how vlogger and feminist activist Kat Lazo began her November 2013 TEDxNavesink Talk on the powerful presence of social media in modern feminism.
“The Internet has given us tools and platforms that previous feminists could have only dreamt of," Lazo said. We're often quick to wax nostalgia about feminism's early days, but can you imagine how much more support Susan B. Anthony would've gained if she had a Change.org petition?
Born to a traditional South American family, Lazo was raised in a machismo household where she felt a strong feminist impulse with no definition or outlet. Lazo describes her "feminist click moment" as when she turned to Tumblr, where she discovered a plethora of feminist discussions and debates:
These people were not only translating everything I ever felt was so wrong with the world into eloquent and relatable language.. but them doing so also made me realize that my voice was not alone. And that the injustices between genders didn’t have to be accepted as a way of life.
From Laci Green to Julia Bluhm, the internet introduced Lazo to amazing female activists fighting street harassment, uniform beauty and rape culture. Feminism is by no means dead, it has just evolved similar to any other movement. While the protests and sit ins of Gloria Steinem's and Audre Lorde's time are still taking place, many are happening in the virtual world.
"Online feminism is the future of feminism," Lazo said. And it's time we use our computers and phones as "picket signs."