Gender, Love, Social Justice, Interviews

Meet Alexis Isabel, the teen feminist taking Twitter by storm

The people who say these things look down on women, so why would I stop what I’m doing?

Alexis Isabel proved to be more than your average teen when, at the age of 16, she founded Feminist Culture, a Twitter account created to spread awareness and educate the world about feminism. The overwhelming success of her Twitter account led to the creation of her site Feminist Culture, bringing in a diverse group of writers and editors to discuss hot-button issues. Alexis Isabel (also known as @lexi4prez), was recently recognized as MTV’s Social Star of 2016, and has been featured on multiple publications including The New York Times and International Business Times.

The Tempest: So, what inspired you to start Feminist Culture?

Alexis Isabel: One of my friends texted me and told me to watch the documentary, Half the Sky. It moved me, and I felt like I had to do something to help. I tried to find a way to help others, to help women globally. At one o’clock in the morning, I decided to make a Twitter account and talk about women’s issues and feminism. It took off from there.

The Tempest: How do you balance your online and personal life? Do you keep them separate, or have the boundaries been more fluid?

I have my ideas and feminist ideology, and when I talk about it, it’s like my social media persona, but these values carry over into my personal life.

How do the opinions of others influence the work you’re doing, and is there anything you’d tell them in the process of your work?

There are a lot of people online and in person that don’t agree with feminism and don’t react well to my ideas. There are people online who threaten me. I’ve posted screenshots before of people who have said they want to dox me, people at my school, guys who say that what I do is wrong and annoying. Sometimes it makes me want to stop, because I don’t want to deal with people threatening me, but at the end of the day it’s the exact reason why I’m doing what I do. The people who say these things look down on women, so why would I stop what I’m doing? It motivates me even more. It’s bad at times and hard to deal with, but at the end of the day, it’s why I do it.

What’s next in the cards for you?

Well at the moment, I’m writing for multiple organizations, and I’ll be starting summer term at FSU in two or three months. Once that gets started, I’m going to pursue pre-law and a poli-sci minor, and hopefully continue writing.

What’s your advice to young women like you, looking to take on social justice efforts?

There are two basic things when you’re trying to get a large audience or get people to listen to you:  1) Make sure you take into account the variety of issues your topic encompasses, if you’re talking about the same thing over and over again, When it comes to social activism, there are variety of issues to discuss. 2) Even if you don’t have the direct capability to do something for your cause, you might have followers who do, whether it’s money to donate, or inspiring them to join a club at their school. Use your following wisely. You’re going to get a lot of hate, so keep in mind why you’re doing what you’re doing, then just block out the horrible people. You have to learn to ignore people, especially when it’s coming from someone who isn’t willing to learn.

Find Alexis Isabel on Twitter and Youtube. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.