This year, just in time for International Women’s Day (March 8th, 2015), YouTube has introduced a new video campaign called #DearMe. The campaign is focused on women, and centered around the question “What advice would you give yourself?”
A number of well known YouTubers, such as Felicia Day, Lindsey Sterling, Laci Green and many more, have created videos to give their younger (usually teenaged) selves advice from their adult selves. It’s not a new concept — giving advice to a younger version of yourself — but the campaign is geared specifically at young women, which is a really welcome act by YouTube.
The campaign is a great tie-in to this year’s theme for International Women’s day: Make It Happen, which celebrates women’s accomplishments, while calling for greater global gender equality. The women that YouTube has chosen to push this campaign forward have all accomplished great things, and many have created careers for themselves through YouTube itself.
So why the connection to International Women’s Day? As a vehicle for self-expression, YouTube has helped countless women find themselves through the videos they create, but being a woman on the internet can be (and often is) very difficult. Women on social media face all kinds of harassment, up to and including death threats, simply for being women in a space that some men think belongs to men alone.
The last few years have been especially difficult on women in media. The “fake geek girl” — women who pretend to like geeky stuff such as comic books in order too… well their goals aren’t clear — is a myth that gained traction in the last few years, and still has followers despite being completely wrong. Over the last year “GamerGate” has created a toxic environment supposedly predicated on “ethics in games journalism” but actually, and quite obviously, dedicated to driving women out of the tech and gaming industries.
So watch the video below, and check out the videos linked in the description. Hopefully this campaign will generate the buzz it deserves, and maybe help some young women along the way.