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Social media & the...





Imbalances



Today we want to dive into a matter we’re consistently seeing - what is deemed “acceptable” to share on social media and the variance between the content that male users can post, versus female users.


We also want to discuss the notable difference when it comes to women supporting male users, and a lack of that same level of support to fellow female users.


Let's dive in.





2019, 2020, and even 2021 are supposed to be times of true change, and acceptance. Over the years we have witnessed immense improvement when it comes to freedom of expression, and celebrating individuality, however we are still seeing a very long road ahead of us.


One thing we can all agree on is that women have the ability to share their thoughts, opinions, and express themselves on massive platforms - but why are we still getting censored so much, and disproportionally in comparison to men?


Let's start with an example. A male photographer with a high following posts images of women in a boudoir shoot. The response is extremely positive, the male user, his stunning shots, and the women in the shots are all celebrated.


Now let's take a female photographer, posting the same type of imagery. Their photos have a higher rate of getting flagged by Instagram / Facebook and are removed from the platforms, and they are MUCH more likely than men to receive negative comments - by fellow female users.


Social media platforms - although being immensely beneficially for exposure and marketing - have their downfalls. As Buzzfeed explains, influencer Katana Fatale who has been posting and advocating for plus-size bodies since 2014 posted an image of herself in Hawaii last May and the image was quickly taken down by Instagram - although she was following Instagram's Community Guidelines.


Buzzfeed further explains, "Lizzo complained that a TikTok featuring herself in a bikini was pulled, while videos of thinner women did not appear to get the same treatment. While there's no hard data showing images of plus-size people are flagged more often, there have been so many anecdotes of it that influencers can't help but see a pattern."


This is the same type of pattern we often see when it comes to male vs female produced content, and how it is received.


You’ve most likely also noticed that when men with high followings post images of themselves, women celebrate them, and men give them virtual “props” and look up to them - however we as women seem to be a bit divided when it comes to supporting one another (this isn't to say that all women don't support one another, but we have seen a pattern of more women "picking" on one another than on men).


Here's another example - when you go on to a female influencers account, it’s VERY easy to find multiple negative comments picking apart how the woman looks, her hair, her makeup, her wardrobe, how much skin she’s showing, her weight, and so on. When you go to a male influencer account however, the female comments seem to be much more supportive and celebratory.


Needless to say, the concept of male and female gender roles, body positivity, and what is deemed as "socially appropriate" is something we all need to continue to work on in order to improve the narrative.


Stay tuned as we discuss in further weeks WHY we see a more common pattern of female content getting flagged, and why there seems to be a higher disparity of women criticizing one another in the online world.



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