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Shonda Rhimes At Dartmouth College: “A Hashtag Is Not A Movement”

“#YesAllWomen #TakeBackTheNight #NotAllMen #BringBackOurGirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething”

1. On Sunday, June 8, Shonda Rhimes gave the 2014 Commencement speech at Dartmouth College.

2. She started off by telling students she’s terrified of speaking in public and usually doesn’t give speeches.

3. And was pretty funny while she did it.

4. But it didn’t take long for Rhimes to inspire students with her words.

5. She encouraged them to ditch their dreams in order to “be a do-er, not a dreamer.”

6. But despite Shonda Rhimes’ strong Twitter presence, she made it clear that she thinks hashtags aren’t effective when it comes to activism and making changes.


And while we are discussing this, let me say a thing. A hashtag is not helping. #yesallwomen #takebackthenight #notallmen #bringbackourgirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething

Hashtags are very pretty on twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr King. A hashtag does not change anything. It’s a hashtag. It’s you, sitting on your butt, typing into your computer and then going back to binge watching your favorite show. For me, it’s Game of Thrones.

7. Instead of starting Twitter hashtags, Rhimes had other suggestions for students:

“Volunteer some hours. Focus on something outside yourself. Devote a slice of your energies towards making the world suck less every week. Some people suggest that doing this will increase your sense of well-being. Some say it’s just good karma. I say that it will allow you to remember that, whether you are a legacy or the first in your family to go to college, the air you are breathing right now is rare air. Appreciate it. And don’t be an asshole.

8. Even though Rhimes knew her speech was being streamed and recorded for other audiences to see, she stayed true to her beliefs.

“I am going to pretend that it is 20 years ago. That it is just you and me. That we’re having a fireside chat.”

9. You can watch Rhimes’ speech in the full video of Dartmouth’s Commencement at the 1:38:00 mark:

10. You can also read a full transcript of the speech over at Medium.

11. And remember, don’t be an asshole.

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