#ToTheGirls2016: How A YA Novel Sparked A Social Media Movement
22 January 2016, 16:30 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09
Girls deserve space.
This week, Twitter saw its first empowerment campaign of 2016 go viral. #ToTheGirls was the hashtag started by YA author Courtney Summers last year for the release of her novel All The Rage. It trended then and the updated version, #ToTheGirls2016, hit trending status again last night, around the UK release of the book.
St. Martin's Griffin Publishing
Since its release, All The Rage has received a standing ovation for its honest portrayal of sexual violence and its aftermath for a survivor. It tells the story of Romy, a teenage survivor of an assault, who was shunned by her small town community for speaking up. When her attacker, golden boy Kellan, assaults another girl, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt, if she doesn’t speak up.
The story is sharp and powerful and it's inspired some truly amazing messages so far. YA authors, booktubers and pretty much everyone else pitched in their hard earned wisdom, using the #ToTheGirls2016 hashtag.. And since we could have used some of those at 13, 14, 15, etc., we thought we'd share some of our favourites in a roundup.
Many authors tweeted a similar sentiment: you are allowed to stand up for yourself.
No is not a dirty word. No is never too late to decide on. No is for you at your discretion. #ToTheGirls2016— Kaye M. (@gildedspine) January 21, 2016
#ToTheGirls2016 Practice saying "please don't interrupt me" and "that's what I just said." You deserve to be heard, loud and clear.— Alison Cherry (@alison_cherry) January 21, 2016
i think all my #ToTheGirls2016 thoughts boil down to YOU ARE ALLOWED. feelings, thoughts, space, choices. you are allowed, girls.— emery lord (@emerylord) January 21, 2016
Others highlighted that The Girls Club is not an exclusive one.
#ToTheGirls2016 who don't have "female" on their birth certificates: you are, you are, you are. No one knows you better than you.— Dahlia Adler (@MissDahlELama) January 21, 2016
... and that you don't have to be perfect to matter. You are enough.
#ToTheGirls2016 You are allowed to be messy, angry, ugly, smart, loud-mouthed, unladylike and still be enough. You be you.— Lisa Maxwell (@LisaMaxwellYA) January 21, 2016
Others got us in touch with our inner Riot Grrrl.
#ToTheGirls2016 LET'S BREAK STUFF. Because breaking stuff is fun and then we can rebuild it even better.— Amy Ignatow (@amyignatow) January 21, 2016
Some emphasised that the girls' club is not an exclusive one.
To the trans, nonbinary, and genderfluid girls: you are valid. You don't ever need to justify your gender or your existence. #ToTheGirls2016— Kayla Whaley (@PunkinOnWheels) January 21, 2016
Some reminded us that disability is not a flaw.
To my disabled girls: your disability doesn't make you any less in any way, but feeling less isn't a failing or your fault. #ToTheGirls2016— Kayla Whaley (@PunkinOnWheels) January 21, 2016
Ditto mental illness.
to mentally ill girls: treat your symptoms as symptoms. don't internalize them as personal faults #ToTheGirls2016— laura tims! (@lauratims) January 21, 2016
Most were out to fight the evil, toxic influences in our lives.
#ToTheGirls2016 You are not pear-shaped or hourglass-shaped; you are girl-shaped and that's perfect.— Emily X.R. Pan (@exrpan) January 21, 2016
Re: "I'm only friends with boys."
#ToTheGirls2016 Friendship with women can be the most powerful force in your life. Be a great friend to great women.— Martha Brockenbrough (@mbrockenbrough) January 21, 2016
And now we'd like all of them made into motivational posters.
#ToTheGirls2016 Fail as much as you can. Fail spectacularly. Just try not to fail in the same way twice.— Lana Wood Johnson (@muliebris) January 21, 2016
Don't mind us, just having an ugly cry in the corner.