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Final Project Reflection

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Within all of the movements addressed within a 'Feminist Critique of Priorities in Academia', social media often played a larger role in publicity and mobilization of the projects. As was made evident within the Put This On The Map project, the Whose University project, and the Campaign for Non-Violent Schools these movements have made use of video footage, blogging, Facebook, texting and Twitter. All of these social media outlets have been used to spread awareness about issues concerning who's knowledge is valued, who is supported within academia and the ways in which funding reflects who/what is prioritized. Not only were these organizations creating their own social media projects by creating Facebook, Twitter and You Tube accounts, but their movements also were further publicized by the media through such means.
While these social media outlets are very beneficial to these movements, when looking at accessibility it's important to remember that these movements were focused around academia. Because of the location of these movements within university and high school systems the populations mobilizing within these movements were all likely to have equal access to the necessary technology. Given the priority of internet access within academia as a whole, we must remember that social media is accessible to these specific populations but still remains limited to the larger world.
In this sense we can understand social media as being beneficial within academic circles as it allows for a spread of consciousness and exchange of ideas surrounding feminist issues. Ideally when individuals develop awareness around issues, they and are provided with a critical exchange of feminist ideas which have the potential to spark feminist curiosity.

The Beauty Myth-- Developed Social Media Project

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Our Beauty Myth Blog

We chose to develop a blog on the Beauty Myth. We chose wordpress.com because it is an accessible blog site, largely due to the fact that it allows public access. This is not so for other blog sites, which discourages a great portion of the population from participating because many people do not want to have to make a blog account of their own. In addition to posting and updating our blog, we added our blog to the stumbleupon.com and twitter.com databases. This allows a wider audience to come across the information posted without specifically searching for it. People are currently sharing information through a number of websites on the Internet. These sites include Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. People are able to communicate, discuss, and share information with others near or far from them. With public access to a number of these sites other individuals can gain access to this information even if it was not originally intended for them to view or read. We can use social media to spread awareness and curiosity about feminism by bombarding the Internet with posts, blogs, and discussions. With more information on the topic of feminism it gains more public exposure and likelihood for awareness. Although more information about the topic out in cyberspace increases the likelihood of people coming across the information there are still limitations to social media sites--especially blogs. Limitations of blogs include the fact that they are not as widespread as other social network websites. This is due to the fact that one needs to have knowledge of how to navigate, gain access, and initiate dialogues on blog websites. If one is not familiar with this form of social media, and has never had exposure to it before, the fact the information is out there in this form will not necessarily reach them or encourage a dialogue between them and others on the issues posted.

Stage 2

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Whose University Project Facebook Page Ana


The "Whose University" project (and web resources that the project has utilized) are hugely relevant to contemporary questions concerning who and what is privileged in academia and the University system itself. As this project is focusing on the demographic and ideological make up of the university's values, this project is dependent upon having information relevant to the ways in which certain systems and individuals are supported more than others within academia. For this reason, the information provided must be trustworthy- success of the movement depends on the accuracy of the information that is being problematized. The "Whose U" project works towards principles of feminist consciousness because it puts into question the privileging of certain bodies of knowledge over others, and certain populations over others. In looking at who is supported, and who's knowledge is valued, and who has access to the University system, "Whose U" solicits a feminist curiosity by causing us to critique the present values of the university system and the ways in which they will define the future generation of university students.
Accessibility:
When looking at the ways in which these various movements have utilized social media as a tool for publicity and movement building, it is important to recognize the ways in which social media is limited as a means for activism. Social media must be understood as a tool for mobilization of specific communities with access to technology, but cannot be relied on for the generation of knowledge and movement mobilization by itself. It is important to remember that one must take into account the scale of the population that is being reached through social media, with recognition of the ways in which access to technology can be not only location dependent but also class dependent. When social media is used as tool for outreach, it is important to acknowledge the fact that often times the communities most in need of outreach may not have access to social media due to factors such as socioeconomic status and location. Accessibility can be maximized by critically examining which populations are important to reach within different movements. Realistically, social media can be seen as tool for publicity in support of movements that will ultimately reach people in the streets and engage with people on an interpersonal level.


Media Mobilizing Project / Youth and Education
Iman

The "Media Mobilizing Project" looks at several different sections of activism and the ways in which blogs can mobilize communities. They divide the blog into specific sub-categories such as Youth and Education, Media Mobilizing, and Labor Blog. This is extremely helpful when it comes to finding current news in social justice work relating to education and literacy since they have a special section for this topic. I believe this blog is quiet relevant to the struggle for access to higher education since they continuously dedicate space to information including videos and images of the protests that have sprung up in most states surrounding education reform. The Philly Education Justice Union submitted several posts that talked about the campaign for Non-Violent schools asking for "More classmates and less inmates". Several marches were facilitated through this social media space. This blog is all about community journalism. At the heart of their mission statement one can find key mottos such as: "Movements begin with the telling of untold stories." I think this is very telling, since the emphasis definitely is put on trying to bring the voices of the underrepresented people into virtual spaces. The blog does a wonderful job starting to recognize that many people don't have access to naturalized spaces such as the Internet. While this blog doesn't have an exclusively feminist agenda, I would argue that their work is inherently feminist since it dedicates the space to communities to spread different strategies of community activism and how to take social actions against oppressive structures such as shortage in school funding. There are several posts that talk about mothers taking actions in order to create a better future for the students/children.

ABC's and PhD's: Gender Equity in Academic Science Colter

Despite being published in late 2008, I feel that this article carries heavy relevance within academia. It argues that Title IX should be extended further than the realm of sports and opportunity, and into the world of academia and brings in to focus the question of whether programs are getting funded equally or not. The article concludes that they are not, and in the past two years the funding crisis has only gotten worse, with budget cuts come tough decisions that have left liberal arts departments strapped for funding in comparison to other sciences. I feel that this article is fairly trustworthy, in that she cites a good deal of external sources, and her factual basis exists for her opinion and arguments. I feel that the information is both very provocative and valuable for spreading feminist ideas. The idea that Title IX should be spread to academia is a novel, and should be explored to a further level.

Saying that this resource is to everyone would be an ignorant statement, because it relies on the assumption that everyone has access to a computer, and that if they do they also have access to the internet, but granted those assumptions this article is exceptionally accessible. All sorts of individuals have access to this resource, feminists in academia including both teachers and students both would have access to this. Beyond that though, everyone else has access to it because there is no pay wall to grant access for the site, so financial resources bears no constraint if someone has a computer and a wi-fi signal to pick up. Barriers include:
Owning a computer
Having the Internet

I am rather short on ideas as to making it more accessible, but one possible solution could be a laptop guarantee as a part of our social welfare policy, this would guarantee a basic equal access to technology, while admittedly not granting an equal access to all technologies. Also, if more people were to share this sort of link on their facebooks and twitter, not only would accessibility increase, but so would awareness. The same affect would probably be had if this article was featured on the front page of Inside Higher Ed, or a new news story was published on Google News similar to this story.


One Dimensional Woman
Colter

I feel that this article is incredibly relevant (and not just because it was published 2 months ago) in the world of today's news media, filled with political punditry and theater where words are thrown out for the sake of scoring points and losing meaning day by day. Sian Norris argues that the word "feminism" and the identification of being a "feminist" may risk losing it's meaning. She worries that malleability of the word "feminism" brings the possibility of it being bent and shifted to fit nearly anyone that wants to tote the name, and that a somewhat universal definition must emerge in order for it to retain any real meaning. I feel that this information is quite trustworthy, because the author, Sian Norris is quite credible and writes frequently on the subject of feminism. I actually do think that this issue is incredibly relevant for the realm of academia, because their entire field is transversely under attack. In order for feminism to exist, let alone stay relevant in academia, there needs to be some sort of agreement on some principals within feminism in order to prevent it from being hijacked by the right.

This resource is readily available to anyone with a computer and the internet, but to say that these were the only ways in which one could measure access would be far short of examining the whole situation in the realms of accessibility. This article is most accessible to followers of The F-Word blog, it will show up in their RSS feeds and when they check up on the website, these followers are probably avid feminists, who enjoy keeping up on issues and understanding new perspectives. They themselves may be in academia already. Your causal feminist also has access to this, it is written, as not to be intimidatingly academic in nature, and the language in which they use in the blog post is mostly comprehendible by all. People with no interest in feminism whatsoever more than likely will never find this article, for it is buried away at the F-Word, so to increase accessibility, the article could first fall under a more specific category than "Reviews," also they could share a link to it on the front page of the website. This would also gain strong traction if it were to be hosted on another news site that would link people to the blog/post. All of these solutions, however, are contingent on people having a computer and access to the internet, a problem more prevalent than most may think. While a readily alternative in the status quo would be access at public libraries, even they have their limits, like "who can be a member" "who much does it cost to get a card" and other blocks that would keep disadvantaged individuals and populations from getting access to this blog. A solution may be to provide laptops as a part of one of the Federal Government's social services programs.


"When 'feminist' and 'gender' become embarrassing dirty words in acedamia" Hana

This article is very relevant today because most people in general society still have the wrong idea of what the word feminism means or encompasses. In academia one would expect people to have a higher understanding and knowledge, but feminism seems to be just as misunderstood. In academia, according to this article, it seems to mainly be mocked, the reason for this being a twisted misconception of what the media and folk discourse have created and falsely represented feminism and gender to be. This blog source is very reliable; it is a well-known feminist blog from the UK. This article definitely touches on some very prevalent problems that have always been present in feminism, mainly that people have misconstrued ideas of what it really is. This is coming from a feminist blog, meaning that only readers of such interest would stumble upon this. It is a very accessible article though, that language is not hard to understand and it brings up some interesting points.


Gender, Perfume, sex sell ads

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My group project has mcfad067, weitz051, galma002, ring0171 and myself.

1. http://femininethings.blogspot.com/
I found this source by googling "feminist perfume". The entire blog is dedicated to reviewing perfume, often in a feminist context. The author is a self-identified "perfumista" who writes in her bio that her blog is an opportunity to explore her ignored-until-now feminine side. The intended audience is women who are interested in finding a good perfume, but also being aware of the origins of the perfume and what tactics-- moral or not--are being used to sell it.
2.http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/celebrity/160319/tom-ford-reveals...
I arrived at this website by googling "tom ford fragrance controversy". I knew there had been a controversy about a super graphic fragrance advertising campaign a few years ago, and I wanted to check it out. The source, Marie Claire, is a popular magazine devoted to the interests of women. They publish the typical fashion and dating advice but also articles about issues that affect women directly, such as this advertising campaign.
3. http://www.theaxeeffect.com/#/axe-campaigns/cleans-your-balls
I googled "Axe" to get here. I know Axe has a history of racy marketing campaigns, and I was not disappointed. Axe literally has a "clean your dirty balls" campaign, the tagline of which is "No one wants to play with dirty equipment". The selling strategy contained in the videos on this site seems to be the appeal to men of getting attractive women to say the word "balls" a lot and smile coyly at each other. Axe is a men's hair, deodorant, body spray, and shower gel company. Their purpose is to sell their product, and their intended audience is males.
4. http://www.femail.com.au/sex-sells-opinion-abctv.htm
I found this source on google while looking for psychological effects of "sex sells" ads. This page has the opinion of a few different people and why they believe these ads are not a good influence on children. The intended audience is women and most likely parents. They are focusing on
the issues these ads may raise and what effects they have caused.
5.http://www.badreputation.org.uk/2011/01/12/found-feminism-joop-perf...
I also found this site while searching on google. This blogger discusses the difference in this ad from others. The tagline of the ad is "Real Men
Wear Pink," which is something we have seen before but she points out that this particular ad is easier on the eye than many other perfume ads.
Intended audience is most likely bloggers, feminists in particular.
6.http://discoveringfeminismfall08.blogspot.com/2008/10/for-this-assi...
This was also found while google searching "feminist perfume ads." This blogger gives four perfume ad links and discusses the questions and issues she has about objectified women in perfume ads being targeted towards other women. This "ideal" woman seen in perfume ads is marketed at men but also mainly women. The intended audience is most likely bloggers who are interested in women's studies or those in this particular Women's Studies class.
7. http://inventorspot.com/articles/ads_prove_sex_sells_5576
Author by Amy Gifford
Audience: everyone who look at the ads on the tv, playstation2, ipod touch.
I search the sex sell on the google
8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCb-C6hOzpc
Author: MostWantedOmen
I search on youtube by sex sale. The song is good but Look carefully about the waist of the 2 russian singers.
9. http://articles.cnn.com/2009-09-24/world/hongkong.teenage.prostitution_1_hong-kong-compensated-sze?_s=PM:WORLD
Author: Pauline Chiou CNN
I search on google.com. This talks about the girls sex sale in Hong Kong

Feminist Humor on Sex: A Collection of Resources

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1. a) Sex-positive Feminism Wikipedia Page
b) Found by Googling 'feminist sex'.
c) Published by Wikipedia as part of a collection of entries on the subject of feminism. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia-like database written and edited by the general public. It is part of the Wikimedia Foundation.
d) The audience is not specified. Supposedly the general public.

2. a) The Vagina Monologues
b) The link was provided in a blog questioning feminism's impact on women's sex lives.
c) Eve Ensler is the compiler/playwright/researcher who is responsible for The Vagina Monologues. She interviewed many women during the process of her research. The story has been published as a book and the play has been performed in myriad contexts by many organizations.
d) The audience for this specific site are people interested in movie/play/speech transcripts. However the play itself, which is the resource we are presenting has been viewed by many people in many contexts. The primary audience (from personal experience) are women and progressively-inclined Americans.

3. a) Jessica Valenti
b) I found Jessica's blog after having read her book He's a Stud She's a Slut and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.
c) Jessica Valenti's blog, which came after her success as speaker and author, continues her feminist thought with pure truth and humor.
d) Valenti's audience would include anyone interested in current, feminist issues with a comedic twist.

4. a) Erotic Revolutionaries
b) I am currently reading specific chapters from Erotic Revolutionaries for Black Feminist Geographies here at the U.
c) Erotic Revolutionaries author, Shayne Lee, offers sex positive thinking in black feminist theory.
d) Lee's audience could include anyone looking for scholarly work on black pop culture, a sex positive black woman, or black sexual politics.

5. a) Wanda Sykes
b) found her during my search on feminist humor
c) topics covered are: politics, gay marriage, karma, healthcare, racial profiling, the pressure of being a woman and the perks of getting older.
d) Audience is very wide most popular within the feminist and lgbtq communities

6. a) Liza Donnelly's feminist perspective on sex through cartoons
b) Found by googling, "Humorous, feminist, sex."
c) Donnelly is a pubic speaker/lecturer and presents on topics such as women and humor, childrens' books and The New Yorker, and has given talks at TED about using humor as a tool for social change.
d) The audience is not specified. Supposedly the general public.

7. a) A psychology perspective on differentiating sexual responses from males and females
b) Found by googling, "Humorous, feminist, sex."
c) Experiment and article by Frank J. Prefrost; offers a psych perspective.
d) Anyone interested in psychology or in the psychology field.

8. a) Pulling Our Own Strings: Feminist Humor & Satire
b) Recommended by the wonderful Sara Puotinen.
c) Compilation of essays, comic strips, stand-up comedy transcripts and other examples of feminist humor published in 1980.
d) A resource specifically for feminists, but with the understanding that feminist humor can - and should - transform American society at large.

9. a) A clip from Chelsea Handler's show, "Chelsea Lately," with special guest Jenny McCarthy
b) Youtube search for "Chelsea Lately"
c) Chelsea Lately is a late-night comedy talk show hosted by Chelsea Handler on the E! cable network.
d) Whoever watches E!

10. a) The Grotesque Pussy
b) An academic essay by Susan Pelle analyzing the work of Margaret Cho.
c) Again, recommended by Sara Puotinen.
d) This article was published in the scholarly journal Text & Performance Quarterly. The audience is primarily academics and folks who can afford to pay $34 to read an essay on the internet.

Final Group Project

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You can download the assignment here.

  • Worth 200 points 
  • You and 4 of your classmates will explore the value of social media for feminist education by:

STAGE ONE: collecting resources on a feminist issue 

STAGE TWO: assessing the relevance and value of information for mass-based feminist education 

STAGE THREE: using some (or all) of those resources to produce your own feminist media education project and share it with others

OVERVIEW:

  • 1 blog post for each of the 3 elements (so 3 posts total) 
  • All members of group must contribute to all 3 parts of the assignment 
  • Present findings/project to class on May 2 or May 4

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