Hashtags are not going to save the 200+ plus girls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria, that’s definitely true, but Michelle Obama has functionally no other way to help those girls and neither do most of the people tweeting this hashtag. What we do have the power to do is to raise awareness of a situation.
What else are we bloggers doing? Whether we talk about Benghazi or political campaigns or movie reviews, we do it to raise awareness in our audience. Some of us happen to have a larger audience than others, Michelle Obama (whether you like her or not) is one of those people. Her audience is in the millions…probably the billions actually. As the First Lady she has international recognition, not always good recognition, but the things she says or does always hit the international news level.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate her (and I rarely use that word to describe anyone). She’s hypocritical, only seems to do things based on how good the photo op will be, and she dresses horribly*, but she has international influence and when she uses it to raise awareness of real issues, rather than using it to try to tell people what to eat, I have to give her credit for using what power she has in a worthy way.
Will #BringBackOurGirls trending on twitter or making it’s rounds in a picture of Michelle Obama make Boko Haram suddenly feel guilt for kidnapping and selling off teen girls, make them apologize and mend their ways by returning the girls to their families?
Not a chance.
But it will give people the chance to know what is happening and maybe encourage people to take a stand and there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe that international outrage will have an effect on the response to help retrieve the girls, maybe it won’t, but I refuse to act like it’s any less useful than a blogger writing about their outrage over the issue.
Our time would be better spent talking about the actual issue at hand, and the side issue of violence and disrespect toward women fueled by Islam, than mocking Michelle Obama. I know it’s less fun, but it has the added benefit of not making us look like dicks.
Which I find to be preferable.
*Look, saying she’s as stylish as Jackie O. is insulting to Jackie O. and does zero to help fix Michelle’s delusion that she has style. She needs help.