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What Do #YesAllWomen and #BringBackOurGirls Have in Common?

Eight thousand miles apart - in Chibok, Nigeria, and Isla Vista, Calif. - violent brands of misogyny have in recent weeks fueled awful acts of violence against women. In Chibok, radical Islamists kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls. Their crime? Attending school. In Isla Vista, a troubled young man went on a shooting spree that left six people dead. His motivation? Sexual rejection and a hatred of women.

Chibok and Isla Vista could not be more different - one is a tiny Nigerian village, the other a California beach town - but they share a feature of modern life both too common and too commonly ignored: terrible violence toward women. But in these two cases, the news hasn't faded from the headlines, in part because the events have sparked two of the most talked about Internet campaigns in recent memory. In the case of the kidnapping, the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, a hazy exhortation to the world to take action to rescue the girls, has become a Twitter phenomenon, with First Lady Michelle Obama and a slew of other celebrities joining the campaign. And on the heels of the shooting in Isla Vista, the hashtag #YesAllWomen has exploded online, as women have used the hashtag to describe the everyday sexual harassment women face. (Men died in the Isla Vista shootings as well, but the alleged killer's misogynistic motive, explained in a manifesto posted online, has become the case's focal point.)

Viral Twitter phenomena are a dime a dozen but that two such campaigns within the same month focus on violence toward women is surely a first. What can we learn by comparing the two campaigns?

First, the early numbers indicate #YesAllWomen will probably become bigger than #BringBackOurGirls. During its first three days of existence, #YesAllWomen has already beat #BringBackOurGirls' one-day peak. On Sunday, two days after the shooting, #YesAllWomen appeared in more than 700,000 tweets, beating #BringBackOurGirls' early May peak by about 200,000 tweets. In three days, #YesAllWomen has nearly racked up half as many tweets as #BringBackOurGirls notched during the entire month of May.

The visualization below, which tracks the global spread of #YesAllWomen tells the story and shows how an intense burst of activity in the United States and Europe fueled its spread. 

By contrast, the spread of #BringBackOurGirls was more global in scope and less concentrated inthe Western world. This certainly isn't surprising: The hashtag originated in Nigeria and eventually spread to the Western world.  

Regardless of their reach, campaigns of this nature are often criticized as ephemeral expressions with little real-world impact. Indeed, as seen in the graph above, #BringBackOurGirls has faded from Twitter, yet the schoolgirls remain missing. The campaign may have played a role in galvanizing an international effort to locate them, including helping to build the political pressure that helped persuade the White House to send military advisers to Nigeria, but that effort has so far failed on its most important metric: bringing back the girls. On that score, #YesAllWomen is doing something quite different. The hashtag doesn't present a clear end goal -- and therein lies its power. Depending on your perspective, the hashtag has become a repository of shared experience and empathy. For men, they should serve as a wake-up call. Moreover, hashtag has become a frightening illustration of the social environment that might fuel the kind of misogyny that led Elliot Rodger to brutally kill six people and wound another 13 in what he described as an act of revenge for the scorn heaped upon him by women. All of a sudden, a tweet like this takes on a new urgency:


As a man, reading the tweets has given me a newfound appreciation of the incredible levels of misogyny women face:

For now, tweets with the hashtag #YesAllWomen appear to be concentrated mostly in the Western world, but together with #BringBackOurGirls, the global Internet has during the last month seen an incredible outpouring of support for the full equality of women. Even if the two hashtags fail to end misogyny and free the kidnapped schoolgirls, they surely represent a step in the right direction in advocating for a better reality for women.

MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images

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Name Your Junta!

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell coined the term "doublethink" to describe the act of "holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them...To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them."  Orwell's sinister, faceless government specialized in doublethink. This is most evident in the government's ironic naming conventions: Its authoritarian political system was called "English Socialism," its wars were overseen by the "Ministry of Peace," and its police forces fell under the "Ministry of Love."

In the nonfictional world, there is one type of government that has really run with that notion: the juntas that often overthrow civilian governments to take power themselves. History is lousy with examples of military governments who paradoxically name themselves "peace councils" -- or align themselves, at least superficially, with similarly lofty ideals. In light of Thailand's most recent foray into military governance (and its new government's delightfully Orwellian moniker) we've assembled a list of some of our favorites junta names.

But first: Are you wondering what to call your hastily assembled military government? We're here to help. Just type your name into the fields below and our automatic junta name generator will come up with one for you.

 

Name Your Junta!

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Our Top 5 Orwellian Junta Names:

 

1. Thailand: The National Peace & Order Maintaining Council
After Thailand's military declared martial law this week, Army General Prayuth Chan-ocha dismissed the country's caretaker government, bestowed upon himself the powers of prime minister, and assembled a military-led ruling body called the National Peace & Order Maintaining Council. This is Thailand's 12th military-led coup since 1932.

2. Myanmar: The State Law & Order Restoration Council
When Burma's military overthrew the country's socialist government in 1988, it established a new ruling body called the State Law & Order Restoration Council (SLORC), which was led by military officers. The newly formed authoritarian government asserted near total control over its people -- outlawing public assembly, imposing strict press censorship, and imprisoning thousands of political dissidents. (In an effort to eliminate colonial legacies, SLORC changed the country's name from Burma to Myanmar.)  In 1997, leaders abolished SLORC and created the softer-sounding State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).

3. Poland: Military Council of National Salvation
Led by Army General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Military Council of National Salvation (or Wojskowa Rada Ocalenia Narodowego)ruled Poland from late 1981 to 1983, imposing martial law to crush any political opposition. Formidable though it was, the junta wasn't immune from ridicule. Opponents of the regime pitted the junta, whose initials (WRON) mean crow in Polish, against Poland's national symbol, a white eagle. Graffiti bearing the slogan "The crow will never defeat the eagle" began appearing around Warsaw.

4. Somalia: Supreme Revolutionary Council
Following the assassination Somalia's president In 1969, a bloodless military coup paved the way for a military government, which adopted the rather grand name, Supreme Revolutionary Council. Led by Army Major Siad Barre -- a self-proclaimed revolutionary -- the junta ruled for 21 years before being overthrown by armed opposition groups.

5: Liberia: People's Redemption Council
In 1980, a low-ranking Liberian Army officer named Samuel K. Doe led a coup against Liberian President William Tolbert, killing him and executing 13 of his associates. Victorious, Doe made himself a general and created the People's Redemption Council, which consisted of himself and several other low-ranking officers. He managed to stay in power until 1990, when rebel soldiers captured and assassinated him.

MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images