This morning I stumbled upon the #DressLikeAWoman hashtag on Twitter. It was in response to an alleged statement made by Donald Trump that his female staff should “dress like women”. The easiest response is to take offence to Trump’s statement. What does that even mean?? I know my first instinct was to do this. And in typical fashion, people seem to go to social media to express their discontent in sometimes inappropriate ways. We tell our students to THINK before they post, but I’m not sure how many adults follow this rule of thumb.
Negativity is a choice.
This Forbes post, gives an overview of the allegations and a the campaign by working women in response. I took a closer look at what #actuallivingscientist have contribued to the #DressLikeAWoman hashtag. They have used it as an opportunity to showcase female scientists who are making a difference and wearing whatever their job needs. It’s brilliant. It’s positive.
And it’s a teachable moment:
- Looking at the #actuallivingscientist hashtag provides me with an incredible directory of scientists with whom I could potentially connect my class to ask questions about their career the hashtag #DressLikeAWoman has lots of negative posts as well.
- It’s an opportunity to have students explore different careers in Science
- Juxtaposing the negative with the positive provides a great opportunity for Digital Leadership (you’d have to screen this depending on the age of the students you have in front of you)
- You can use this as a model to take a possibly negative situation at your school or in your community and turn it on its head so it is positive
I know it’s easy for me to say. I don’t live in the US. I don’t feel first hand the frustration which so many of my PLN of every hue and Religion have expressed in recent weeks.
But I do believe with all my heart that social media can be a vehicle for change and I fervently believe that for the sake of our students who are watching us, we need to use it model hope and positivity as much as we can.
Check out what 9 year-old Olivia Van Ledtje has to say about using Twitter to inspire hope.
Here are a few of my favourites from the feed: (By the way, Storify is a great tool to use if you want to use a social media thread for authentic learning, but want to remove inappropriate content for your students)