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Twitter’s #HereWeAre Commercial and the Poet Behind It

Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/Twitter/status/970476456139608064

Denice Frohman first made her debut into the poetry scene in 2013 with her album “Feels Like Home,” featuring 10 tracks — eight poems and two songs. The Jewish-Latina’s poetry shares her personal experiences with race and sexuality. Her most recent poetic endeavor is a commercial for Twitter that aired during the Oscars on March 4 which showcased the #HereWeAre campaign to empower women.

 

“I heard a woman becomes herself the first time she speaks without permission. Then, every word out her mouth a riot. Say beautiful, and point to the map of your body. Say brave, and wear your skin like a gown or a suit. Say hero, and cast yourself in the lead role. When a girl pronounces her own name, there is glory. When a woman tells her own story, she lives forever. All the women I know are perennials, marigolds, daffodils — soft things that refuse to die. If this poem is the only thing that survives me, tell them I grew a new tongue. Tell them I built me a throne. Tell them, when we discovered life on another planet, it was a woman. And she built a bridge, not a border. I heard this is how you make history. This is how you create a new world.”

As Frohman’s voice speaks, notable women appear in the video: Charlotte Beers (former U.S. Secretary of State), Ava DuVernay (director), Issa Rae (actress) and many more.

The commercial itself is facing backlash because of abuse and misogyny rampant on the social media platform.

“How about you spend the money you used on this ad to hire moderators to kick accounts that terrorize women off your platform?” tweeted Ella Dawson, TEDTalks editor.

Many others seemed to agree that while Twitter can walk the walk of women empowerment, they can’t talk the talk.

“The ad failed to address the platform’s long-standing harassment problem, not citing a plan for action or even mentioning the issue,” Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca said in her column.

The campaign stems from a previous one the platform ran called #SheInspiresMe, which was released in July 2017 and featured celebrities such as actress Alicia Silverstone and singer CharlieXCX.

The hashtag #HereWeAre comes from chief marketing officer (CMO) Leslie Berland, who created it in January, because of the lack of women speakers at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year.

Twitter has apparently seen a 50 percent spike in conversation regarding women’s rights in the past six months compared to the six months prior, based on analysis of the terms “feminism,” “women’s rights” and “gender equality.”

On her Spotify profile, Frohman’s poem “Dear Straight People” from her debut album is her most listened to track with nearly 32.5k listens. The poem details her experience as a queer woman in an age that is progressive but still has widespread homophobia.

Frohman’s website describes her as someone whose “work focuses on identity, social change, disrupting notions of power and celebrating the parts of ourselves deemed unworthy. She hopes to inspire people, particularly young folks of color, to see themselves as writers with stories that need to be told.”

The poet frequently tours America to speak at K-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities. Her work is also featured in Winter TangerineNepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism.

To watch more of Frohman’s poems, check out her website and Youtube channel.

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Written by Victoria Mione

Victoria is a seventeen-year-old from New Jersey who loves music, reading, and attending Broadway shows. She also enjoys going to concerts and educating herself on social justice issues. Writing is an outlet for her, and she hopes to use doing so to get her voice out. Follow her on Instagram at @victoriamione, and on Twitter at @victoriamione or @drrncrss