Rape culture has been at the forefront of media discussion in 2015. This is because of campaigns, celebrities and internet trolls using social media to combat sexual abuse and educate the public about consent. These are the top 5 most applaudable uses of social media against rape culture:

1- Clementine Ford

Australia’s most infamous, unapologetic feminist, Clementine Ford, has used her social media account to challenge rape culture, slut-shaming and gender inequality more than once this year

Ford came to infamy in early 2015 after she publicly berated Sunrise News for their inept reporting on the leaking of over 500 Australian women’s nude photos.

A post on the show’s Facebook page had asked: “What’s it going to take for women to get the message about taking and sending nudes?”. This prompted Ford to respond on Facebook with:

Ford recently made news again after she used her Facebook account, which has over 80,000 followers, to share the abuse and ‘slut-shaming’ messages that were being posted on her wall every day. She tagged the employer of one of her abuser’s in her message, which led to the man being fired.

Although many condemned Ford for causing the man to lose his livelihood, she had the perfect response:

“He is responsible for his actions. He is responsible for the things he writes and the attitudes he holds… There are basically no consequences for men who behave like this, so we have to start making consequences for them.”

2- Stoya

The forefront of the discussion of rape culture is currently centered on Porn star James Deen, who was recently dropped by adult film companies amidst rape allegations.

This is owed to Deen’s ex girlfriend, fellow Porn actress, Stoya, who decided to make a stand against the idolisation of a man who she says raped her:

This led to other women coming forward with allegations of rape against Deen, and eventually started the Twitter trend #solidaritywithstoya.

3- Debra Messing

The “Will and Grace” actress has 200,000 Instagram followers, not all of whom understand the boundaries of social media and unsolicited nude photos.

Messing took to Twitter to explain the inappropriateness of sending unsolicited nude photos.

The unsolicited nude, that Messing had to blur to post on social media, shows the kinds of sexually aggressive scenarios women are faced with daily.

Messing used her social media following re-established the boundaries of acceptability surrounding gender, sexuality and rape culture.

4- It's on us campaign

Celebrity endorsements fighting rape culture have been an effective way to teach the general public about consent and rape culture.

The most recent is the #itsonus campaign that features Hollywood heavyweights Nina Dobrev, Zoe Saldana and Jesse Metcalfe among the representatives for the cause.

The palpable lack of knowledge and education surrounding consent has been a major contributor in rape culture, and celebrity endorsements validate the fight against rape culture, particularly in the media.

5- #cosbymeme

After comedian Hannibal Buress brought Bill Cosby's sexual abuse history to the forefront of media discussion about rape, more than 60 women decided to share their stories of rape and drugging by Cosby. with allegations of rape and drugging.

Thirty-five of those women were featured on a 2015 cover for The New York Times, with the issue detailing the alleged experiences of the women who had spoken out about their experiences, to have no one listen.

The cover was shared thousands of times on social media and finally gave attention to the women who had been suppressed by rape culture, some for overyears.

Another way the public used social media to rebel against Bill Cosby was through the magical and universally understandable use of memes.

In 2014 a media representative of Cosby’s had posted a photo of the actor on Twitter asking fans to make the picture into a meme.

What ensued was the trending hashtag #cosbymeme which came with memes of the actor making allusions to rape.

This social media rebellion made it known loud and clear the boundaries of consent and the intolerance society now has for rape and rape culture.

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