Social Media as a Tool for Feminism

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Truthfully, I've been throughout the course of this class slightly troubled by the nigh-ubiquitous wholesale veneration of social media as not only a tool with which feminism might be better articulated, but the space within which much current feminist discourse is taking place.

Additionally, I would tend to concur with much of what has been articulated over the course of our class- when we allow for important discourses such as these to be taken up within a space which tends to be inaccessible (the requisite amount of leisure time for actually legitimately engaging with and actually participating in discussions through online mediums being in and of itself a considerable privilege. Similarly, technology to which we have access is not quite as ubiquitous as it may otherwise seem or be portrayed; many even living in the relative comfort of the industrialized West [although that is not to diminish the circumstances of women living in the "third world" who are likewise ill-positioned to even -encounter- these technologies] are plagued by lack of access by way of the considerable Digital Divide).

In spite of these criticisms, I definitely recognize its value within the privileges spaces which have access thereto; I can speak to many who have themselves traced their own earlier or earliest encounters with feminism (academic or otherwise) to social media spaces. Additionally, while the issues mentioned above are certainly problematic and meriting more critical examination, many of the most compelling critiques I've read have been made available to me through the mediums we've been exploring, so there is I suppose potential for the discourse that does take place within these spaces to be very much aware of its place relative to those who exist outside of it, which is if nothing else a step in the right direction? Perhaps I am entirely too optimistic (or very possibly unwilling to give up Twitter now that I've more actively engaged therewith.

While I'm reasonably positive that someone has already posted on the subject of our friend Feminist Ryan Gosling (whose exploits in inaccessibly dense and needlessly verbose Western academic feminism can be found at feministryangosling.tumblr.com), it is I think essential to take a step back and more carefully consider precisely what it is we are defining as feminism in this context- I would caution that, with gems such as "Hey girl. Considering how she positions narrative devices as tools used to frame masculinity and translate gender across geopolitical locations, I just can't figure out why Jasbir Puar isn't ruling the entire world right now," "hey girl. We don't need arbitrary beauty archetypes steeped in historically biased ideologies pumped out to use by mediocre, archaic forms of media to define our sexiness," and "hey girl. When he said it was possible to talk about cultural marginalization and borderlands WITHOUT mentioning Gloria Anzaldua I was like 'oh no you didn't'!", it becomes fairly unrelentingly clear that this particular meme is privileging a very specific of feminism (and in addition to this what it means to actually be a feminist or engage in feminist praxis), which is decidedly the hegemonic variant. Additionally, there are likewise ways in which this meme makes some fairly unsavory assumptions about the nature of the reader, such as the ways in which is very ostensibly assumes cis-ness inherent to the reader, as well as some similarly unsavory racial and class assumptions. Very basically, while I can appreciate that this meme might be amusing for those already "in the know" with respect to academic feminism, it is exceptionally alienating to those coming into feminism cold, and very much reaffirms extant criticisms of elitism coming from outside the walls of academia.

Feminist Social Media Assessment

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While our presentation was slightly atypical in that it diverged from what we generally today consider to be social media, I remain rather pleased with what we were able to accomplish and (I think successfully) convey through our presentation on Stacey Ann Chin and (more broadly) the capacity of spoken word to act as and/or function similarly to more conventional forms of social media such as Twitter or Facebook.

I actually very much deeply regret that I was unable to conduct myself as adequately as I had hoped during our presentation-proper; I very much choked in the face of our enormous class size, and for this I apologize! In any event, I had been within my own group specifically tasked to explore spoken word's potential as a form of radical pedagogical praxis, and actually found much more in the way of support of this notion and actual evidence than I was able to articulate during the presentation itself. More specifically, spoken word's potential as a form of liberatory pedagogical praxis very much comes from its responsiveness to the community in which it is created; in excess of this, spoken word is very much Responding to a specific group of individuals for whom the artfulness and sophistication of spoken word and hip hop is readily accepted, for whom more "conventional" mediums might be alienating by way of their deliberate resting upon racialized and class-based metrics and understandings. Additionally, it draws a considerable amount of power from its inherent accessibility; contrary to mediums such as social media (as we understand it) exists within the world-proper.

Although I am certainly satisfied with our presentation overall, I would very much tend to concur with Serita's point- while I can certainly see the value in educating students on the business of social media and its growing relationship to social justice movements across the board (more specifically insofar as it relates to the nature of more contemporary progressive discourses), I would have loved to have explored other divergent means of feminist discourse and praxis. More specifically, why not explore folks like Stacey Ann Chin and the potential of spoken word, why not touch down on Boal and Theatre of the Oppressed, or any of the other, myriad forms of expression that can be used to the advantage if contemporary feminists?

Where are the zines at???

Drop the I-Word - Initial Response

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While I likewise very much gravitated toward the article centered on the status of Superman not only as an immigrant, but as an individual "illegal" in the sense that it might very likely be problematically found today (indeed, Superman's historical origins as [the functional equivalent of] and immigrant or, if you will, a literal alien, have often found themselves to be fairly integral to the character! Superman has always existed in some capacity as a hyperidealized manifestation of the American dream, of the capacity to enter into this country an immigrant and proceed to do incredible things in spite of those histories, and many Superman stories have been very conscious of this issue; more specifically, prior to the DC Comics universal reboot, Superman officially canonically renounced his citizenship as an American in response to the existing climate for immigrants in the country today.), I likewise found a less light-hearted article to be infinitely more gripping!

More specifically, I found the article detailing the horrific ideologies of the Kennewick, Washington man who publicly and unapologetically advocated for the implementation of an English-only law, demanding "illegal" immigrants to leave town within thirty days, promising tipsters rewards of one thousand dollars for information regarding undocumented workers, and exacting capital punishment against undocumented workers who remained in order to "make an example of them." I don't even know where to begin in terms of processing this. Not only is it horrific that these views are being held at all, but that they can be so openly and safely voiced within this political climate is I think similarly frightening, particularly when coupled with its ubiquity within even more major, mainstream news networks.

On the Business of Writing, Technology, and Defining

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Truthfully, while I am a GWSS major (in spite of this, I was and have been very careful throughout the semester to not take this distinction as a sign that I could posture myself as Grand Arbiter of Feminism) and had, prior to entering into this class, very much identified myself as a feminist, I've definitely found this shifting throughout the course of our readings and in-class discussions. The reason for which I've been becoming less and less inclined to identify as a feminist is less (by which I mean not at all) by virtue of the ideas inherent to feminism (indeed, much of my own work outside of the classroom tends to relate specifically back to feminist ideals, if not feminism outright), but infinitely more due to feminism's historical (and appallingly current) inability to meaningfully engage with and account for those beyond the scope of white, upper class cisgender women. I've definitely found the business of womanism, though, to be a fascinating alternative; unfortunately, I've yet to find any more authoritative texts on the subject, nor have I really been able to scrounge up much in the way of blogs posting specifically on said topic, so I've yet to really meaningfully flesh out my own understanding thereof.


I'll only be echoing much of what has already been articulated in terms of the issue of social media and accessibility so I'll pass over that here, but such have likewise been instrumental in my own engagement with feminist discourses as I've tended to know and encounter them- the question of who is written out of the conversation when we confine our discussions to inaccessible spaces is I think an exceptionally important one to continue asking.This isn't, though, to say that social media has been completely fruitless. I still rely on many online sources (such as Racialicious, ColorLines, Feministing, Bitch Magazine, among others) for valuable insights into many of the issues we've been covering, and this is, I imagine, true for many others in and outside of this class.

Final Day of Class! December 13

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In "Feminist Education for Critical Consciousness" (in Feminism for Everybody), bell hooks argues for the need to give children access to a feminist education. Is this possible? Necessary? What would it look like? Did you have access to feminist education when you were younger? If so, what were (weren't) you taught?

On our last day, I thought I'd show you my introduction to feminist/feminist values: Free to be...You and Me.

top_logo.gifI'm a child of the 1970s (born in 1974). When I was in elementary school in North Carolina, the entire school watched the Free to be...you and me film (Videos/VCRs didn't exist yet...yes, I'm that old) during an assembly. Everyone was really excited because it was a long film--a whole 45 minutes!--and long films meant less class time. Anyway, I don't remember much of what I thought about the film back then (I was probably 6 or so). Yet, I'm sure some of it seeped into my consciousness, helping shape how I experience the world and how I see myself and my relationship to others. 

Originally a book/album created by Marlo Thompson, with a little help from Gloria Steinem, Free to be...you and me was turned into a one hour TV special. It first aired March 11th, 1974 (3 months before I was born). You can find out more about the history of the project here. Several years later, it became a popular film to show in schools around the country (like mine in North Carolina. It was also shown in Minnesota). 

It stands as one example of feminist mass-based education. Would such a show be possible now? What sorts of feminist (or feminist-friendly) films did you see in elementary school? If we were to create a feminist resource for kids, what would/could/should it look like?

Here's one of my favorite songs from the show:


Note: Rosey Grier was a football player during the 1970s. I really like how "Free to be...you and me" challenges the stereotype of who does cry (girls/women) and who isn't supposed to (boys/men). In addition to having Grier sing the song, they also show a series of images of all sorts of people crying. As I was searching through youtube for this clip, I also found this one from Barney, "It's OK to Cry":

 

Barney is singing to little Beth about how it's OK for her to cry. Does this song undercut a feminist message to boys (and all children), that its alright for everyone to cry?

This is a Feminist Issue... Boobs for Views??

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Laura has many different channels with a large amount of views for all of her channels. Her videos are crappy with mostly youtube responses or poorly done spoofs and parodies. The one reason she has a large amount of views is because in every video she wears a shirt that reveals a large part of her breasts. I personally find issue with this because there are so many better pages that are struggling for views; most notably significant feminist groups that have a youtube page. They are lucky to get a few thousand while this girl gets 100,000+ views for her videos. Maybe I am wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/user/LauraSparkling


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"Feminism For Real" diablog group summary

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I think the length of our blog entries really reflect how engaging this text was/is, regardless of how we may agree or disagree with some parts of it. The big thing that came up in our diablog was the amount of discomfort experienced while reading it. However, another important point, brought up early, in our diablog is the value in the tensions and contradictions of feminism(s). It's important to recognize why these sites of tension and contradictions emerge because it pays tribute to what Yee points our attention to "....what has led to the existence of "feminism" in the first place, and where feminism exists today" (13, emphasis mine). The book was/is a great way to turn the tables and to force those involved in feminist academia to experience the discomfort that we sometimes unknowingly inflict onto those that we are trying to form alliances with.

Additionally, in "deconstructing" the academic industrial complex of feminism we also have to recognize the possibilities in creating alliances and bridging spaces. There are a myriad of possibilities and the author's in this piece speak well to it when they say the work is not a "slam" on academic feminism, but rather a truth-telling of who and what gets lost in the schism. The authors are also right when they say that minority groups aren't always appreciated in the feminist community, especially because many academic feminists prioritize issues. Latoya Peterson's description of how someone can feel alienated from studying feminism touches on this as well. Having to worry about so many hopes and goals for the movement can take away from what issues are more personal to ourselves. Many academic feminists have different foci than Indigenous feminists, which causes them to feel separated from the movement. Although we should still maintain a connection between feminists, we don't have to "hold hands" and be an all-encompassing sisterhood.

This collection also gave us a good opportunity to revisit some of the themes we've touched on in class--the questions of what is who/ what is a feminist, and if the "feminist" identity exists. Or, "Why should I be shut down because I am an academic feminist? I don't have much experience to draw on, so why can't I try to learn about what other feminists deal with? I acknowledge that I can't fully comprehend the difficulties of oppression, and I don't think I ever will. However, I want to contribute something to the movement, and without any prior experiences, I turn to academia to give me the tools to do so" (laurenw127). During our class presentation it was brought up that motherhood, in relation to academia, was not mentioned. Parenting wasn't talked about specifically in the book and I thought it was something that definitely should have been included more. If I were going to write an essay to be included in "Feminism for Real" I think it would have something to do with how difficult it is for young moms to finish college.

In the end: Are we really listening to the book? We acknowledge our privilege but then we jump back into rationalizing our schooling in academic feminism. So then is this the appropriate reaction? Is this another instance in which the privileged listen to the concerns of minorities but then continue to ultimately do what is best for themselves?

Feminist Social Media

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I find that the aspect of social media has been very effective, and furthered my understanding of feminism. Through working and reworking my definition of feminism, I have found that there were so many things we have done in this class that have been added to my current definition. Things like the blog, and twitter have helped my to stay connected to the assignments, and to other people's ideas. I can read as many feminist books by feminist authors that are out there, but I didn't realize how large the movement was online. So many well known authors and activists have a twitter, or a website that they collaborate with, and until I took this class, I had no idea it was out there. Our list of social media tools for this class was long and precise, and I think we may have just covered every single topic listed on there. The one thing that we involved ourselves in a bit was feminist music. A social media group presented on spoken word, but it would have been interesting to delve a little deeper into that subject. What is feminist music? Is there even a thing? How would we define it? These are all questions that spark a certain curiosity into this subject. This is especially rooted in the social media aspect of it, as everything these days is accessible through YouTube or similar music sites. I think one of the biggest benefits of social media for feminist education is that you can make out of it what you want. There are so many ways that you can get involved, that your options of organizations, movements, journals, and magazines is potentially limitless. You can practically tailor make your own education by using only the subjects that interest you, and weed out the ones that don't fall into your own personal definition. One of the biggest limitations to social media is the idea of accessibility. Those dealing with the 3rd world problems that the 1st world feminist are talking about probably don't have access to the internet, nor would they find it beneficial to them. I enjoyed getting to look at several different aspects of social media in this class. I was familiar with blogging before, but things like twitter, and other feminist sites have expanded the scope of what I now have access to.

This is a feminist issue...

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ryan gosling.jpg Has anyone else seen these out there on the internet? They have showed up quite a bit lately on my Pinterest, and other social media sites. Either way, I think it is a perfect example for this assignment. We all know that the movie the Notebook has (in my opinion, sometimes unfortunately) made its way into the hearts of young girls everywhere. It has also brought the studly Ryan Gosling tons of media attention because of it. A student named Danielle made these flashcard with pictures of Ryan, and concepts from feminist thought and theory. The images were ones she pulled off line, and the statements were to go along with some ideas from her class (you can read an FAQ with her here ) While she doesn't know if he is actually a feminist, they have certainly had some implications. For me, this has brought up the age old argument on if a man can be a feminist or not. While he has made no claims thus far, it is interesting to analyze what kind of backlash, or progress this has made for him and his career. It also speaks to a younger audience who are more susceptible to seeing these images. Thoughts? Do you think this can help further the movement, or does it hinder it by further putting a face to the heteronormative?

My social media Assesment

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I'm enlightened and a bit smarterlearning more on issues in this class and blogs likehttp://crunkfeministcollect...#femd2011
Dec 08 via webFavoriteRetweetReply


I loved learning and presenting my groups information in the way we did. It's always fun to do something other than a lecture style presentation. I have to say the amount of work and the different ways we showed our work( blog, twitter in class presentation) really kept me on my toes, which is good I can always learn and continue to sharpen my skills. Overall I think this class and the social media tools we used were good in that it kept our attention and gave us other ways to further the discussions to other issues and even to continue them outside of class. Reading all the different takes on certain issues via the blog was a good reminder to keep an open mind and respect peoples point of view. Overall working with my group members on this project was fun we we're all easy going people yet organized and on top of things so even with the little pop up tech problems we still did and exceptional presentation. This ultimately was a growing experience for me and I found a lot of great resources that I can use to keep me updated and on top of my feminist issues. I also found some other feminist out there that are just like me, and who doesn't want to have that feeling of comradery?

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Most valuable diamonds come from troubled areas, where people can be killed if found smuggling them out of the country and then on to sell them. Although this is looked upon as bad for the everyday civilian in these countries most times the government officials are corrupt and have people looking for diamonds and jewels for them to sell illegally. So when we look at our beautiful large diamonds i think we should ask how did it get here... and did someone die because the sell or transportation of this diamond. Unfortunately these stories are true and real and ultimately its easier for us to just not think about the stories of our diamonds. So with that said What's your diamonds story?

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We have so many examples of the traditional "white" families this is a good of a black family. The amount of good examples that the media portrays black people as is limited... and especially black women in this show not fitting the typical,"angry,bitter black woman" stereotype. What does that say of what they think of us? If no one else is showing us in a good light it's good that BET is.(Although on the same station there are images of us in the total opposite light.)

Social Media Assesment 2

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When I first found out that this class involved such heavy online work I was pretty hesitant. After thinking about it for awhile, I realized that this is the reality of the society that we leave in today. We can do so many things online and our generation tends to spend tremendous amounts of time online. I think that it is good practice for us to continuously learn about the online world and explore new sites and online organizations that we have never seen or heard about before. Having all of these sites and online blogs/organizations makes them very easily accessible to read and discuss. I think that it's a great way to get the word out there for those who don't really know about these issues. However, even though all of this is online, there are many people who just haven't come accross them or know where to look to become educated on these issues. How do we change this? Like bell hooks said, there is always tshirts, newspapers, television networks, children's books, etc. Though those forms of media can definitely be effective, the reality of it is that so many people in todays society are not looking in/for those types of media, they are online. That being said, the transition of the feminist movement to go online is a great one. This way all of these people online have the opportunity to easily share their findings or their opinions with their friends, family, online friends, etc. It still always baffles me when a new youtube video comes out thats really funny or meaningful and it can sometimes receive millions of views in just a few days. This is because of online sharing! On the other hand, there is still a problem with certain online sharing. With people sharing videos on Twitter and/or Facebook, they are sharing them with their friends. Their friends are usually mostly also feminist who probably are already educated about these issues/movements. The problem here is that new information isn't getting to unaware people.

Like I said ealier, I was pretty intimidated at the beginning of the semester when I realized how much online work was involved. It was extremely overwhelming for me since I had never used a blog or Twitter before. However, after a few weeks I did get used to the online usage. If I were to change one thing about this course it would be the use of TWO online medias. I think that the onling blog is more than enough for the class and I don't really know if Twitter really helped at all. Don't get me wrong because I do understand why Twitter was chosen and I think that it's a really great media tool for the feminist movement, but it may be better to possible spend a week or two exploring Twitter and seeing Twitters impact without using Twitter the entire semester. Overall, I really enjoyed the class and learned so much more than I expected. I am very happy that I took this feminist debates class. :)

Day Twenty-four: December 8

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Check out Jessica Yee's tweets to our class/about our posts:

Screen shot 2011-12-08 at 9.30.46 AM.png

Thoughts? 

Here's some other things that I want us to think about today and next Tuesday:

  • Your experiences with the process of developing and writing your feminist reflection papers
  • Your thoughts about social media in the (feminist) classroom
  • Favorite (and/or particularly compelling) assignments/readings/discussions
  • Any discussions/readings you'd like to revisit
  • Your thoughts on how to build community/connections inside/outside of classroom space
  • Any questions about class/feminism
  • Any "this is a feminist issue because..." posts that you want to discuss
And another thing: I posted this entry on my trouble blog yesterday about shifts in language that encourage feminist curiosity (taking women's/people's lives seriously). Here's a brief chart:

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Any shifts you would like to add? Hmm...just thought of one more:
old word: illegal immigrant   more curious word: undocumented worker/immigrant
What do you think?

Finally, one last thing: On gaslighting and mansplaining
gaslighting comes from this tweet:
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Social Media Assesment Part 2

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I have thoroughly enjoyed the way that we have used online media in the classroom. It is something that i have never experienced in any other class before this one. I am definitely use to the lets study, take tests, and write papers. Through this method, I have forgotten so much during my life after the class. I have found that I am only able to retain major themes of the classes that I have taken in the past. In our class, I feel that I will continue to learn more about feminism because I am passionate about it and through the use of online tools, I can easily access it. We have studied many blogs and articles that have shaped my feminist understanding and has made me realize that feminism is far from being dead. There is so much to learn about feminism and it is delivered in a way on the internet that I feel you have access to it all. Some information might be buried a bit more than others,but it is available for any person to have. I personally think that moving the movement of feminism online has so many benefits that outweigh the negatives. It is the one main message that tells so many people that feminism is far off from being dead. It helps spread the word to unsuspecting audiences and the general public about a movement that has lost some steam since the women's movement of the 60's and the 70's. There are so many uses of feminist online outlets and as a class I think we came up with an almost complete list of what it could be used for. One use I don't think we got to in class is the revival of feminist interest or activism. I personally feel there are a lot of women and feminist sympathizers that have lost their touch to feminism because they do not know where to find it. However, once they have found a vast amount of support and activism online, I feel that that could rekindle that relationship with feminism and activism. Now although feminist activism online is a great thing for the movement, there are still some setbacks I feel. First of all, if you are not searching for feminist things, then it is hard to find the relevant articles, books, and videos that relate to feminism. When I look at twitter accounts with notable feminists, it seems they are preaching to the crowd. Many of their followers are of course, other feminists. You do not see too many men that don't sympathize with feminism on their follower's list. That right there could be the issue because if you are trying to spread a social movement, it does not help when you are preaching to the people that already know about the feminist struggle. Secondly, there are so many different types of feminism and feminists writers and bloggers that sometimes it can be confusing. There is so much information out there that if you are trying to get a complete and global understanding of the many different types of feminisms; you are probably going to miss something because there is just a vast amount of information out there with very little coordination where to start or continue. This class has been something phenomenal and I hope that my feminist involvement does not stop with this class. I actually want to be a force in helping to fight the patriarchal system that we live in.

This is a feminist issue- Current society economy

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2011-12-08 07;50;04.jpg


Cutting for government support, mortgage, unemployment, lower-wage...
When we emphasis pro-choice or reproductive justice, it was pretty much involving financing problem. However, current society is too tragic. Many ordinary people have same hard time as good economy poor people experience.
http://womensenews.org/story/070305/women-help-explain-sub-prime-mortgage-jitters

This is a feminist issue- Google baby

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This is documentary movie name. Google baby by Zippi Brand Frank is documentary film about pregnancy substitution. There are many people who cannot have baby. They have different issue when they are homosexual marriage or they have physical problems. However, sell and buy baby is right? Isn't it against human right? Through the semester, We understand women's right for reproductive justices. How about this situation?

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2ju3HL/www.soldiersinpetticoats.com/

I have recently been hearing a lot about subliminal messages in Disney movies that we watched as children. I never really thought about the overall message that some of the movies give. This article talks about Ariel from The Little Mermaid as a bad character for the feminist movement. Even though this article focus' on Ariel, it really got me thinking about every other Disney movie. Once I thought about it for awhile they are almost all degrading towards women. Next time you watch a Disney movie, I bet it won't be hard to find a few feminist issues.

You're Already Pretty

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http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2R7uAS/www.alreadypretty.com/2009/06/reality-check.html

I found this website that I think everyone should check out! Especially read this essay about Real Women--it's awesome!

Social Media Assessment (pt.2)

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When it comes to spreading the word about feminism and how we can use different tools to do it, its hard to make the choice between our new modern technology, like blogging, tweeting, Facebook, and other internet sources. Compared to the hard copies, like books with stories and information regarding feminism. If you ask what I think about what way is more effective when spreading the word on feminism, I find that the use of social media does play a gigantic role when it comes to sharing thoughts with others and spreading the word about events and causes that deal with feminism. Online tools are easy to access with many people owning computers compared to ten years ago. When entering this class and hearing that we would be using social media as a helping hand in learning all about feminism, I was happy and a little nervous at the same time. Twitter is a simple use of 120 characters. It's a nice way for people to get straight to the point and share their thoughts on the subject at hand. Our class blog has been a tremendous tool in our class activities. I like that on our class blog we can take our discussions from the classroom and debate them further online.
The internet gives us so much access to many different social media tools. Facebook has also played a part in spreading the word about feminism. The event app that creates events on Facebook provide an easy way to invite all your friends without having to deal with sending out invitations, or spending the time going out to different places spreading the word. Without all of these different social media sites I feel that feminism would not be the same. Although I have to say we need to do more then just get on the internet and blog, or tweet what your thinking out. Posting a status on Facebook won't necessarily grabs others attention.
When we made a list at the beginning of the semester of examples on how feminist are using their social media, I couldn't really find another one to add to the list but there are a few that I do notice we use a lot. Such like; promoting events, surveys, joining causes, and easier access to articles using twitter posting links. All these tools bring ease into feminism and make it easier for people to get involved.
I think the biggest benefit of social media is that you can post a blog entry and within seconds millions of people can read it and you can spread the word without too much trouble. The limitations to social media are that we can lose the passion and emotion when reading stories and posts about feminism, because we're just looking on a computer screen or your smart phone. Its just not the same then hearing people in person protesting and standing up for what they believe in.
After getting acquainted with all these social media tools we use in class, I became fond of our class blog and twitter. I was hesitant at first but I have learned to love the ease and access we have when using these tools. This class has been a great experience and very enlightening.

Social media assessment part 2

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I think when it comes to feminism its changing everyday and I think a way it is changing in the 21st century is through technology. I have a love hate relationship with this argument because I like the internet and I like physical copies of things. I think personally I would like there to be a balance of both of them. I think this would open access to both people with internet and people without internet. I think that both will give access but I do think that the internet is a faster way of spreading information and awareness to different feminist groups. I just looked over the list and I can't really think of anything else I would add. However I do think it would be important to take all these tools on the internet that we use and put them into a physical form because I don't think that part of the media should be lost. We talked a lot at the end of the semester about access and I think people need to have access to both internet products and pamphlets and newspapers as well. I think one of the biggest benefits of social media for feminist education is how fast it can access other people. Everything on the internet travels to fast so if one does have internet access you can find and share information very quickly. I think one of the biggest limitations of feminist using social media is losing people who do not have access to internet and losing the root of how we started our feminist revolution.

Overall I think this class has opened me up to all different kinds of feminism and feminism in the media. I actually think this class had a good balance between the four physical books we read in class and all the online readings. While almost all the work we did in class was online with thoughts and blog posts I think it would be kind of cool do make some pamphlets and posters as well as online blogs and post them around the university. I think if we balance both the uses of online and offline feminist topic our movement would be much more successful.

Assessment of class use of Social Media

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I did not know how great to use blog and twitter. Even I had a sarcastic view about Twitter. Blog entry and comment was long enough to post my idea and understand other students' opinion. I had problem to use Twitter, and for a long time I could not find any benefit to use Twitter. Almost and of semester I eventually found how easy to use Twitter. When I put a space between #femd and 2011, I realized how easy to create a new hashtag. Through the semester I found real meaning of using Twitter. Only limited characters are allowed on Twitter. There for user can get a lot of information in short time. When I try to get my group hashtag #mencallmething I used google, because I was not comfortable to get linked limited comment. Later I realized that those web site I took pretty long time to get, they are just posted blow the hashtag. One other great thing I believe is that Twitter hashtag allow put many hashtags at the same time. When two is or more contest hashtag, it automatically makes a discussion issue. All the semester when I try to get information, I used Google. Just now I realize Twitter hashtag is faster and even could see others' opinion same time. Fortunately, I am attending University and I am taking this class. I have right indicating book, media, and people to discuss. However, most of people whoever interested in feminism or not, they do not have a great chance that I have. On the web there are many website about feminism, but it is hard what is right point of view to understand feminism and, it also hard busy people who are not even interested in feminism, they understand right definition for feminism. If Twitter is lighter, blog is the actual fire. I love blog posting even though I post very last minute to post my idea or comment. Personally I reduced fear to show my writing. I am always afraid if American cannot understand what I speak or what I write. I felt happiness when I read comment on my post (even if it is negative). Furthermore, blog is actual discussion place and get details. Twitter posts are just linked to the other source but blog is actually posted summarizing issue or news. In my opinions, the biggest problem to use social media is that hard to filter idea and people. During I search for the hashtag,#mencallmething, I found many situations the feminists are victimized on internet. They receive unpleasure violence comments or email. Also there are wrong organization which not just antifeminist but also they sexually harass women. I have enjoyed using Twitter/blog.

Maternity Leave

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We all know our language is a very meaningful thing particuarly in the context of feminism. How then, do we respond to the language of "short term disability" when a mother takes maternity leave? What does this say about our societal perception of motherhood? How does this not pose women as second class citizens? Does this sound to anyone like this leave is being honored or praised for the work that this woman's body has undergone? "Disability"... seriously? What do we do about this? Is this not "as much of an issue" as say equal pay for equal work? This is scary to me. We are told motherhood is a wonderful thing that we should be proud of and yet our society seems to be telling us that we are temoparily crippled. We are of no use to a company as we have just become disabled, which of course means carrying around something the size of a watermelon under your t-shirt for 9 months and then squeezing it out of your vagina. Then of course we proceed to nuture the child (really meaning changing diapers, feeding, burping, changing, cleaning up after, and getting up in the middle of the night with) while our significant others get away for the day. I don't know about you but I dont think this sounds "disabled" in the traditional sense of the word.

http://www.bust.com/blog/2011/12/06/federal-government-to-decide-on-selling-plan-b-on-store-shelves.html

I came across this article talking about the possibility of Plan B, an emergency contraceptive pill, being sold on store shelves. I was unaware that this was a current debate and it has raise many questions for me. Will it encourage unprotected sex? Will girls be having sex at an earlier age, since they would be able to buy at any age? Will they be used too often leading to abuse of the pill causing physical problems?

At first when I read this article I was shocked and I didn't think it would be a good idea. But when I thought about it, it is already pretty accessible to girls and women. Today, as long as one is 17 years old or older they are able to purchase the pill. So what do you all think? Is this a good idea?

Hillary Clinton and Obama working for LGBT's

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Breaking news! Yesterday State Senate Hillary Clinton went public about the Obama's administrations plan to support LGBT issue worldwide. Clinton said "'Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct,' Secy. Clinton said at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, 'but in fact they are one and the same.'" Not only is this going to be a United States issue but additionally "President Obama issued a memorandum in Washington, D.C. and Secretary of State Clinton gave the following speech in which the administration vowed to actively combat efforts by nations who criminalize homosexuality conduct and deny LGBT citizens equal rights (emphasis mine). Undoubtably a step in the right direction. But will it last? Will this sink on our priority list? What will people's initial reactions be? Homophobia is still a problem in our communities. What do we anticipate happening from this? Will this become another reason for Republican's to bash Obama?

Women in Saudi are not allowed to drive vehicles. Although there is no law that prohibits it, they can be arrested if found behind the wheel. Saudi Arabia has come under major criticism for its denial of women's rights. Women in Saudi Arabia have been protesting and have launched a movement through social media asking the Government to grant them the right to drive. Women in Saudi Arabia have started working outside of their homes, but commuting becomes a a big challenge as they are not allowed to drive.

When they started to see some positive impact of their efforts with king Abdullah hinting that he might remove the ban on women's driving, the clerics (or a group of them who advise the king) opposed the move, arguing that permitting women the right to drive will be the 'end of virginity'. Though the society's obsession with women's virginity is no new phenomena, linking it to driving seems quite ridiculous. It is also quite absurd to suppose that in a regime like Saudi where protesting is not encouraged or tolerated, these women would take considerable risk to demand the right to drive, just so that they can -'lose their virginity' or engage in some kind of sexual activity.

Read more about this issue here and here.

This video makes me cry when I watch it because this is how marriage should be. When you watch this video, it isn't about being gay, it is about love and commitment. This is an Australian commerical to stop marriage discrimination. This video is specifically designed to show to progression of the relationship and how this couple is in love, just like any other couple regardless of their sexual orientation. The last line says "it's time." and it is time, it's time for marriage to be about love and commitment, not politics.

This is a Feminist Issue Because...3

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The model of a woman and gender roles in Disney productions have been distorted. Disney provides a lot of prototypes in their content, and they generate and affirm particular pleasures, desires, and subject positions. And it can define children's notions about gender roles and prototypes in society.

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Disney movies promote feminine and gentle images of women and in some situations Disney females tend to be weak, defenceless. Disney's animation not necessarily reflects the true image of a female, but undoubtedly takes a significant role in constructing it. Therefore this is a feminist issue.

This is a feminist issue because... New Generation

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http://www.splicetoday.com/moving-pictures/feminism-fights-for-a-new-generation

This is a feminist issue because women need to stand up for themselves and stop just being seen as a sex symbol on the BIG screen. This article was interesting to me because it is an example of what we can do today to change our world for the next generations. Some people think that Feminism is dead. Which we al know is not true. There might not have been huge life changing events during this generation like women voting or getting elected to office. But that doesn't mean there cant be more change. The hope is that women would be seen in a different light, based more on professionalism and toughness. I wouldn't say all movies focus on the wmen only being the sex symbol so this is where my doubts come in; how do you get people to believe this change will really help change the equality gap. Is there enough evidence within the media to prove we need a change for the next generations? I definitely believe women need to stand up for themselves and stop letting people make us into something just because it is entertaining or the only way.

Do you think Women would be portrayed or treated differently if they weren't casted as the sex symbol anymore?
Do you think this would help close the equality gap between men and women?

This is a Feminist Issue Because...Pixar

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http://www.btchflcks.com/2011/11/animated-childrens-films-open-letter-to.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+btchflcks%2FdXWg+%28Bitch+Flicks%29

the link above is to a website that has posted an "open letter" to pixar. The letter is about loving pixar movies, but asking them to be more careful about using sexism and racism in their films. I did not realize that movies such as Toy Story 3 had been criticized for using sexist humor. One example that is given is "why do people always call me a girls' toy?"

this is a Feminist Issue... How feminists are portrayed

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Before watching this video i had no idea what the term "Straw Feminist" meant. So i encourage you to check this out and see what your reaction are to it.

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/10/06/anita-sarkeesian-on-the-straw-feminist/
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tnJxqRLg9x0#!

Offensive? I think YES.

I understand that no matter what anyone thinks or believes there are going to be people tat disagree. I do think sometimes some things get blown out of proportion or not viewed in a goo delight. I was shocked to see what we pass over in our every day life. Media is every where through the tv, newspapers, online etc.. but if we believe everything tat we see could we be bias to what we prefer. This video is showing the way people portray women "feminist" figures in the media. A lot of times there is a character that no one like or is the bad guy. But who gets to decide what way a character acts in real life can be portrayed in a totally different way in the media. It is an exaggerated character of a feminist. As people see this they can put a bad notation to who feminists are. But as we have learned throughout the semester that all feminists are not the same. We are all fighting for our own beliefs but ultimately we are striving for respect and equality. So is it fair that people can judge someone else or put a label that isn't true to a whole community? Should media like this be shone to children with the worry that they will generalize who people are and what they are capable of?

Social Media Assessment Part 2 (Yeonju Lee)

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I enjoyed all the presentations in this class about feminist social media tools. Although it was a bit confused to me at first, this assignment really helped me to understand the effect and importance of feminist social media. While i was searching how many, what kinds of feminist social media exist in our society, I was surprised at the fact that there are a lot of social media tools related to feminists.

These social media tools are providing spaces for encouraging people and productive engagement with each other. And by using diverse social media tools, feminists can communicate with the public and arouse their attention. They also can bring conflict to light and in turn it encourages feminist curiosity and helps to educate the public by debating and sharing of idea if feminism. I think this educating aspect is one of the most important positive effects of feminist social media. This is because by educating the public about the status of and threats to women's rights through the social media, feminists are raising awareness of feminist issues on global level and bringing conflict to light and connect with each other.

Overall, through this assignment I could understand how feminist social media work and how social media give us access to a lot of resources about feminism issues without any barriers. I think the presentations that we have done in class were very helpful to all of the students. Because through these presentations, we could discuss a lot of matters related to the issues of feminism and bring the matters to light. Although using a lot of social networks like twitter and blog was new and confused at first, I think it really helped me get many opportunities to rethink and learn about feminism.

Social Media Assessment

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I do agree that it is very important in order to gain supporters and to get your voice heard. We have used many different forms of media throughout our learning experience in and outside the classroom. It mostly all rots from our computer from going on twitter, to websites, to blogs, all the ways to what people in the white house have to say. I think this has been a very different way to learning about a subject. I had never used twitter for a class or had to put my voice out there to all my peers in a blog post. I think it was very effective when it came to interacting and learning fro your peers. We weren't just being fed information but we had to use our resources to learn about different things. I believe social media has lots of benefits it can be widely spread not only in the US but can be seen throughout the whole world. Being involved in something you know is striving for a difference is a great experience. This class has given me a lot of opportunities of learning about many different things as well as people opinions alongside my own. The class seemed as if it was kind of in my hands for what I wanted to learn more about and what influences my opinions.

When education is only taught through social media you can loose a lot of supporters from lack of access, no advertisement, as well as no previous understanding of what it is for. Learning almost solely through access and media has a lack of structure of what needs to be accomplished, learned, or remembered. I believe it would help to have a backbone to the class of what things are or represent before having to produce our own concepts within feminism. The hard facts that we learned or find are usually opinionated, which allows for disagreement and uncertainty of why we are learning about it. Also sometimes the education about how to use and find all the sites can set back the class. Not everyone was or is familiar with sites and so it allows room of error and being held back.

Overall I believe this class helped me not only learn about Feminism and all of its sub-categories but also about myself. Using the blog was totally new to me but I think it has helped me grow as a reader and writer and has allowed me the opportunity to learn not just from a book or lecture.

Social Media Reflection

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I really enjoyed all the presentations for the feminist social media projects. It reminded me not only of the variety of feminists but also the variety of learning styles floating around in our class. I love the types of assignments where everyone gets the chance to put their own personal spin on a topic. I think the most learning is done when we all gather together to present and watch/listen to our classmates. We always learn something new when viewing something (even if it's familiar) from someone else's perspective. Each groups presentation was unique, from pop culture, art, politics, to charities we covered a lot of ground in two days! Using social media as a theme for discussing Feminist Debates was confusing to me at first but now I understand how social media gives us (as students) instant access to endless resources within the very debates we are studying! Well maybe not instant, as it did take the class several weeks to figure out how to go about blogging and tweeting but once we had it all figured out we seemed to relish in the opportunities. One of my concerns with using social media as a tool of/for feminist of education is that it is very easy to fall into the trap of glamorizing issues or worse ignoring issues that are not perceived to be palatable to the audience. Fortunately feminists seem to have a pretty voracious appetite for learning and don't often shy away from contentious discussions. Still, there are times when feminist issues get bizarre Hollywood type makeovers when they are presented via social media. One example might be Demi and Ashton taking on the cause of human trafficking. One of the efforts put forth by their organization is a PSA shown at airports nationwide Who is this video for? Are girls really going to call the police and get a big hug from an officer? Many states prosecute girls for prostitution when they come in contact with the police, pimps make sure the girls know this. Is a migrant worker in the country illegally really going to report to the authorities that he/she is being under paid? Not likely. At some points in the video it seems like Ashton and Demi are talking to the victims "Are you a slave?" but in other parts of the PSA they seem to be talking to the public "Help end human trafficking." While DNA is a noble organization with the best of intentions I would hate to think that people who visit their website think that they now *know* about human trafficking. Minneapolis has been impacted by human trafficking more than most people know and we also have some great organizations working to change laws and build up support systems for people trying to escape modern day slavery. It would be cool if DNA could have a "support an organization in your state" button on their website to promote groups who are on the ground working within communities already. Another concern I have about social media is the focus on "first world" issues that inherently gets promoted through the use of social media. Even the statement "first world issues" is problematic, suggesting that "third world" folks don't live in the same reality as "first world" folks. So perhaps a better way to look at the problem is from the perspective of mass consumption of an issue, or what we perceive as mass consumption. When we are blogging and tweeting and facebooking up a storm, we create a sort of insular little world for ourselves, surrounded by the people and topics that most appeal to us at any given time. It is important to occationaly step back and realize that although 43 comments on your latest facebook status or even 3,000 comments on a blog post might make it seem like the whole world is paying attention to the same topics and people that you are, it's simply not the case.

Now this pissed me off so much when I first read this and I really could not believe that this was happening. The House Republicans are trying to pass a bill that would make some abortions illegal but it would be based on the race and sex of the fetus. This bill is somehow disguised so that it seems like it is not racist, but the bill is definitely attacking who can and who cannot have abortions. This is a bill that will hopefully get disputed and rejected in Congress.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/12/05/382337/house-republicans-push-bill-to-ban-abortions-based-on-the-race-or-sex-of-the-fetus/

Assesment of Social Media

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We have used social media in our class via blogging and tweeting. What I have seen through these usages is the way social media has expanded our classroom. Instead of being limited to discussions allotted within our scheduled class time, I have seen how our class blog and twitter have extended those conversations we ran out of time with. As a student, this is a great way to stay involved with the course material more than other classroom-based subjects. This ability is very unique and appropriate to a class like this where we can constantly being exposed to these ideas. As I have been learning, feminist issues are all around us.

Because different feminist ideas are all around us, it is great to be a part of something more than solely a feminist debates class. Our blog is read not only by fellow classmates but people also emerged in the dialogue and twitter allows us, students, to directly communicate with different people and organizations. Our class has so easily infiltrated a world of feminism- we are part of a larger picture and this is due to our involvement with social media.

Although we can be part of this world, does this lull us (feminists) into a false sense of completed duty? Because we are involved online, it may seem like we are doing enough to spread awareness. Our activism can easily be limited to actions online and how effective is that in our goals to provide equality among all peoples? Also, who are we reaching online? It would be rare to assume anti-feminists are browsing the web for feminist resources with the open intention of become "aware." I can't help but feel we are speaking to ourselves on the web, when what we need is to reach those who unaware.

I believe, however, that firstly being online is a great place to start. Overall I do think blogging and tweeting were great tools in becoming aware of all the encompassing issues of feminism.

Social Media Assessment (part 2)

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Social media is obviously one of the most utilized tools of this generation. Almost anything you want to know can be found online through a myriad of different resources. The social media tools that utilized most in this class were twitter and blogs, both our class blogs and other feminist blogs for their articles and information.

Blogs are a great feminist resource because they have the ability to be continually updated. Feminism is ever changing, new issues and breakthroughs are happening all the time and online resources have the ability to be updated instantly. Even though having this ability to update is so great, there is still the issue of accessibility. This movement is about equality and with so many people unable to access the technology, it inhibits the spread of this information. With social media, the information spreads more quickly, but it only spreads to those who are lucky enough to have access to computers and the internet. There is also the argument that with all of this information and discussion being online, it is only those who are looking for this information that find it. This becomes an issue because in order for feminism to be effective, feminist ideas need to be spread to everyone, not just other feminists.

The use of Social Media in this class was helpful and made homework easy to complete and information easy to find. Being able to tweet a question and receive a quick response is a very helpful tool to any student. These resources were incorporated very well into the course and allowed for a lot of discussions to happen online as well as in the classroom. I don't think that any more social media outlets need to be added to the course. What I didn't like about the use of these sites was how much time we had to spend talking about how to use them. I understand that it was very important to learn how to use these tools, both for the class and for our future understanding of feminism, but if any more are added then even more time will be taken away from talking about the issues.

Feminist Social Media part 2

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I agree with what bell hooks is talking about because I do believe that the media does portray feminism in an unflattering way. To get out the knowledge about feminist principles and educating the world about feminist through information made available through handouts, buttons, and other things can really help people understand what we're trying to do and achieve in our fight for equality. In GWSS 3004W we have used media through twitter and blogging. I think it's effective in its own way because using twitter it allows us to connect to other feminist who are out there looking to connect. Looking at the summary of social media tools I don't think there's anything else I would like to add because we have really much covered everything that really comes to mind when thinking of the feminist subject. I think there's a lot of benefits that can come out of the social media education because we're basically telling everyone why we're who we are and what we're fighting for. Also some benefits we can gain from using social media are that we can spread our knowledge to other places then just the USA. Through social media we can become united and help each other fight for the change that we want. In using social media we can show feminist from many different points of view and also learn from many different people how they are working to make a difference for everyone. Some limitation of feminist using social media is that sometimes people take things the wrong way and misunderstands what is being taught and also it's really depends on who has access to the information being made know because some people don't have internet or aren't in places where information is being given out. I think that the issue of access is what's really preventing others from learning about our cause because for the social media we have now the people has to know what to search for in order for them to find the information they want to know more about, but there's also the issue of who has internet and who doesn't because if we're mostly posting something online then those who doesn't have access to the internet has no way of finding the information unless they go to the library. I think that in handing out pamphlet we're limited to the places that we can hand them out to because we're only able to hand it out to those who are frequently there or those who just happen to be there and sometimes most of those end up in the trash or ground.

This is a feminist issue because... DON'T RAPE

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http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1K8hku/msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2011/11/04/its-a-dress-not-a-yes

It's a dress, NOT a yes. This is a slogan used at SlutWalk marches across the United States. The message comes from many women being told if you don't want to get raped.... don't dress like a slut. Just because a woman is wearing a dress does not mean in the slightest that she should get raped. What a person is wearing is NEVER an invitation to getting raped or sexual assaulted. What a man or woman is wearing often times has no affect on if they get raped. People get raped daily wearing sweat pants, jeans, sweatpants, skirts, dresses, and pajamas. The issue is that the victim is being blamed for so many rape cases. Our society needs a wake up call that it is not the victims fault and the blame needs to be turned on to the assaulters. The United States has the highest rape rate in all of the industrialized countries. Half of the time men don't even know they are committing rape/assault because of how warped our society has taught us about rape.

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This is a very powerful image showing that our society needs to re-evaluate how they look at rape and assault. Don't blame the victim. DON'T RAPE.

Social Media Assessment 2

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I can agree with most of these posts in saying that I was very apprehensive when I started this class about having to use the blog and twitter. In fact I think I said something the first day about how it "scared the shit out of me" or "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing" (sorry Sarah not a good first impression). But it was honest. I don't have a facebook and I tell people I'm "technologically challenged". But I can say that I've gotten so much better. I still don't embed tweets or anything but I can get by which is more than I had hoped for at the beginning of the semester. Twitter is still not my favorite. But I've coem to love the blog. Through this class I have pondered becoming a writer for a women's issue column or something along those lines and where or not I have the talent for that or if it will ever happen this experience has given me the safe space to express feminism as I see with my peers. I think we've had a lot of great discussion and articulate and insightful expression of ideas through the blog. Not only this but it has given up the space to bring issues, discuss amongst our class but also to open up the coniversation with reputable feminists or even the authors of the pieces we read. I'm sure at this point that if we wanted to work on some grass-roots organizing that we would have the abilities to do so. This class has definately peaked my feminist curiousity through constuctive engagement on the blog and twitter.
I also really loved the social media project in class. I thought it was a great way to see what other feminist websites and organizations are out there. In particular I loved one of the groups presentations on youtube videos of spoken word. This class has really given us the space and resources to explore feminism through so many medium. I'm so glad that despite my fear I took the class. Its really been a journey. Through it I have become a GWSS major and improved my skills with technology greatly. I now feel comfortable exploring the latest medium of feminism and I'm greatful because now I can engage naturally with the future of feminism.

Women less happy?

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A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania concluded that over the generations women are less happy than they once were. According to this study, ALL women across all ages are less happy- meaning that yes, you along with every other woman would of been more happy had you lived in another era. I find this study to be absolutely ridiculous for so many reasons. First of all, any psychology student knows that a measurement of happiness is so arbitrary. Happiness can take many different forms and assessing a population's true happiness level is very difficult and nearly impossible. While this study examines different age groups, it also had to look at generations. In psychology we call these types of designs cohort sequential, which a hybrid between cross- sectional studies (different groups at different ages) and longitudinal studies (follows the same groups over time). One of the major disadvantages to this type of design is that analysis methods lag behind, meaning the past tool that measured happiness may not be accurate to determining the current meaning of happiness. What many researchers will then do is create a new tool to measure happiness, but the problem with this is that it is difficult to determine if both tools measure happiness in the exact same manner.

My basic point is that this study is presented to the public in a manner that it is fact, while it gives the viewer nothing but theories. Are women less happier? I don't know and I am unconvinced that this study has led us closer to the answer. Another compelling idea is that the creators of the youtube clip claim that this provides evidence that "feminism has failed." Even if it was the case that women are less happy, there is not factual way it could directly linked to the feminist movement and it is shameful that the reported set it up in that scenario where the two ideas are linked. Just a rule of thumb, don't trust the studies that are described in the news. Trust the research papers and journals that are raw and for the most part unbiased.

Check out the video for yourself.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Gt22wTjwwo

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board recently released a new ad campaign targeted at teen drinking and rape. Although the board had good intentions at trying to attack rape when drinking was involved, they basically just blamed the victim as well as their friends. The Pennsylbania Liquor Control Board released an ad with a woman with laying on the floor with her underwear around her ankles.The ad says "SHE DIDN'T WANT TO DO IT, BUT SHE COULDN'T SAY NO." The ads are targeted towards teenage women that drink and apparently go home with the wrong person. The ad blames the victim for getting too drunk and not being able to defend theirselves due to their drinking. No where in the ad does it address the issue that we should turn the attention towards the rapist. The rapist should be the one to blame because he is the one taking advantage of the woman and using his power to dominate her, especially in an inebriated state. The ad goes further to even blame the victim for their friends that did not take care of them in their drunken state. The ad says "Calling the shots starts with you. What if you didn't watch out for your friends after a night of drinking?". This ad is clearly blaming the victim and even the victim's friends if a person is taking advantage of. This is a really sad example of how misguided our society is when dealing with rape and sexual assault. As a society we really need to shift our focus from "Don't be raped" to "Don't rape". If we could change the perception of so many people that it is the victim's fault because she put herself in that situation, then we can truly work at ending sexual assaults and rape.

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This is a feminist issue because...

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Mississippi has been working hard to pass the personhood amendment (Initiative 26). Recently it has last at the ballot box. If passed this amendment would have tried to amend the the state constitutions legal definition of a person to "include every human being from the moment of fertilization". This amendment would have banned birth control methods and common infertility treatments to women who are not pregnant. Unplanned pregnancies are already a huge issue in Mississippi, especially the poorer areas of the state. Birth control is not accessible to everyone as it is now, and by passing this amendment it would have essentially not be accessible to anybody.


http://thetandd.com/news/opinion/article_4aaa9faa-1ba4-11e1-90e9-001cc4c002e0.html


Several protests had been going on for months to both reject and pass this amendment. It was a big issue for pro-life and pro-choice people and it turned out to be a strange pro-choice celebration since pro-life voters played a role in its defeat. The National Organization for Women released a statement saying "Mississippi wins for women!" The National Organization for Women (NOW) played a big role in defeating this amendment. They joined together with other woman's rights supporters and gave their time and money to educate, organize rallies, and bring people to the polls. The NOW movement grew quickly and succeeded with a victory. Although this was a victory for women the fight is far from over. NOW claims that they now woman and men who can about our humanity won't put up with the personhood movement. The National Organization for Women "vows to continue working aggressively to educate voters and stop personhood efforts in other states." They claim that "women's lives depend on it."


http://www.now.org/press/11-11/11-09.html

In all of the shows I have watched from Family Guy to American Dad, it always shows a women being ignored or set down by a men and thinking of this it makes me wonder how the media really portrays the men and women in their shows. I find it offensive sometimes when watching shows on Fox or cartoonnetwork and this is so because of some of the things they show on there. I don't know what age they're aiming at but I know a lot of little kids watches these shows and what they learn from it isn't really flattering to women. Some show teaches the kids that it's okay to blame things on the women because it's their fault anyways and some show teaches kids how to disrespect women. I don't know how some people can think it's funny when women are being let down and when women complains about it they say "Oh come on it's just a joke. If you can't take a joke then don't watch it", but have they consider that implication of what these supposedly harmless joke is doing to the woman's image? I don't even think they consider what happens when these jokes are taken out of context and is used to hurt people. Jokes are only funny when everyone can laugh together not when it hurts some people just to make some people laugh.

This is a feminist issue because..

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Advertisement plays into the sexism and oppression that feminists hope to break. This video was sent to me with the message "Watch this, then send it to every woman you know."

Definition of Feminism (Embedded Tweet)

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Feminism(s) is/are a series of struggles toward thwarting various, intersecting gender-based oppressions. #femd2011
Dec 08 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

While I definitely agree with the assessment that Twitter's 140 character limit makes expressing our respective definitions of feminism difficult, it is I think likewise an interesting tool in that regard? By limiting the amount text we're allowed to use, Twitter forces us to more carefully consider what we're saying- what parts of our definitions are really as essential as we believe them to be? What happens in the event that our definitions become too large for Twitter's character limit? How do we determine what gets cut (and what, then, are the consequences and implications of what we ultimately cut)?

In spite of the limitations present, I feel as though I was largely successful? My definition here, while vague, is I think broad enough to encompass praxis I feel are essential (not only to feminism, but I'll limit my scope here in the interest of brevity); more specifically, the need for feminism to be broad and inclusive and encompass those who tend to exist outside of extant definitions of "woman," as well as the need for feminism to be working in concert with other modes of anti-oppression.

This is a Feminist Issue Because....2

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I'm pretty interested in fashion and I spend a fair amount of time and money. In general, I find fashion to be a fascinating form of self-expression. However sometimes people pay too much attention to other people's style. Moreover, fashion models who are showed on television and magazines are all very skinny and thin. It can have a negative impact on the body image of all women, and especially young girls. With a thin-obsessed culture like America, many look at fashion models wearing clothes, and hope such clothes will make them look just as thin and attractive.

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Today, fashion designers are starting to look more closely at the earning potential from plus-size clothing, and have used plus-size models for their advertising campaigns and catwalks. Fashion is a tool of women's communication with one another and with the society. Therefore fashion is a feminist issue.

This is a Feminist Issue Because....

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Feminist should focus on the issues about anti-feminism. Anti-feminism generally means opposition to feminism and women's equality in some or all of its forms. Anti-feminists claim that feminism only seeks to advance some women with a very specific set of ideals, and attack other women who disagree. They also say that through the use of hate speech and angry misandry, feminism only serves to promote hate against men or the quest of the modern-day feminist is to place women above men.

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This mainly stems from an exaggerated antagonism and misunderstanding about feminism or lack of attention to the differences among women due to race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion. They think feminists are everyday isolating themselves from mainstream society, while women realize the true nature of their cause.
However, it is a wrong idea. Rather than isolating themselves, feminists try to exposure their existence to our society and always appeal and inform their movements and claims. Since feminism ultimately seeks gender equality in our society, men's liberation is therefore a necessary part of feminism.

For class tomorrow (dec 8) and next Tuesday (dec 13)

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In our last two days of class, I thought we could spend time wrapping up and reflecting on our experiences this semester. Come to class prepared to talk about:

  • Your experiences with the process of developing and writing your feminist reflection papers
  • Your thoughts about social media in the (feminist) classroom
  • Favorite (and/or particularly compelling) assignments/readings/discussions
  • Any discussions/readings you'd like to revisit
  • Your thoughts on how to build community/connections inside/outside of classroom space
  • Any questions about class/feminism
  • Any "this is a feminist issue because..." posts that you want to discuss
Note: Don't worry about coming up with answers to all of these questions; just come to class prepared to have an engaged wrap-up discussion about our class.


Social Media Assessment

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Starting this class, I was a little skeptical of the wide use of social media within our classroom. That doesn't mean to say that I was somehow scared of it, as I have always kept up with the social media trends and admittedly spend too much of my time on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Yet I didn't understand how we were supposed to learn in an academic setting, by using social media. Thankfully, I learned a lot. After 4 years in college, I began to thought that I had mastered the learning process through writing countless research papers, in which my thesis was supported by a number of scholarly articles. However within this class, I realized how much better I can organize my thoughts by not being held down by a certain standard of academia. Social Media has made that possible. Informal blog entries have allowed me the process of organizing my thoughts to not only make a valid point, but to actually discover what it is I feel about something. You can't do that in a classroom where you're required to write research papers, the passion is missing within those types of academic settings. And for a topic like Feminism, what's a feminist classroom assignment really going to share, without that passion?

I also think that within the field of feminism, social media is a very strong resource. It allows for a wide array of supporters to be collectively communicated with, it's an easy way to share important information, like resources, and current events, and it makes spreading awareness incredibly easy. It has it's limitations of accessibility, especially in the third world, but technology is a rapidly growing market, and even though it may not reach everyone, in a few years I'd be willing to guess that 80% of our world has easy access to the internet. The facts is, that more than likely anyone you are trying to reach these days is easily accessible to you on the internet, via Facebook, or Email, even our grandparents are doing it. If there is a way to spread awareness, gain support, provide resources, information and access to current feminist issues or events in our area that can reach millions of people around the world, that cannot be a bad thing. It only allows for more outreach.

This classes focus on social media has been an incredibly positive experience for me. Sara, I hope you continue to teach your classes through social media, and continue to educate your student on the importance and value it has on feminism.

Assessment of Social Media

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Social media has been a huge part of our class to learn more, discuss, and engage in the feminist world. In the beginning of the semester I was very hesitant about how much use of social media we were going to be having in and outside of the classroom, but once I became emerged in it it was a very good way to communicate with not only classmates but the rest of the feminist community. To me, using social media has been very effective in not only learning more about feminism but becoming more familiar with the uses of Twitter, blogging, and several other online tools.

Social media is used in so many way across the border and it amazes me how affective it is in starting discussions and getting people excited about changing things. It is a great place to spread new ideas, raise awareness, and challenge the norms of our society. Social media has become so prevalent in our world today that I think it is one of the most affective ways to reach many people. bell hooks brought up that feminism needs to be spread through pamphlets, books, buttons, and t-shirts. I agree with her that social media should not be the only place where feminism is discussed, but it definitely is one of the most affective places for it to be. Pamphlets, etc. may reach another group of people that are not involved in the online community, but many people in our society today are much more likely to engage on something online than to pick up a pamphlet and read it from from to back.

I think that the biggest benefit and the largest limitation are both accessibility. We have touched on this subject matter several times throughout the semester and it continues to be a touchy subject. The amount of people social media reaches is tremendous. By grabbing your lab top and getting online there are endless amounts of feminist resources just from one click. Unfortunately, in third world countries it is not so accessible. It needs to be recognized that not everyone is as privileged as us and doesn't have the means to a computer and accessing feminist blogs and social media. While social media is a huge part of the feminist movement, it can't be the only thing if we want to reach all people in our world. In our to achieve equality for all and end sexism we can't just use social media because we are only reaching one portion of our world's population.

Overall I have really enjoyed this class. This was my first real look into feminism and the use of social media really let me explore and learn more than I ever would have from a book. The use of social media benefitted me in this class because our assignments were so much more interesting than any of my other classes. Instead of reading a boring textbook we were always right in the action of now and learning what we could bring to the feminist movement.

This is feminist issue because....

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NOW urges President Obama Administration not to Cave in to Catholic Bishops Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill

This is a feminist issue because, Catholic bishops want to deny birth control coverage for millions of women. These bishops have been lobbing the administration to increase a religious exemption. This would allow many hospitals to take contraceptive coverage away from women who rely on insurance to cover the fee. The percentage of people that think private insurance companies should provide these women with birth control was 77%. There was also a poll taken on how many catholic women are currently sexually active and that was 98%. This obviously shows a good amount of women are having sex and on birth control. Some women though without health care paying for birth control can't afford it, which can create even more problems throughout our society. Health insurance agencies should be able to have the right to provide their customers with contraceptives.

http://www.now.org/press/12-11/12-06.html

Social Media Assessment

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When I began this course, I was a bit apprehensive about the blogging that was required. I was familiar with tweeting, as I have had a Twitter since last Winter. The blog, Twitter, and discussion groups have been used throughout the duration of the course, and I feel that for the most part, they were relatively effective. Personally, I liked the blog more than I liked anything else, because it gave us the opportunity to do our own research and find certain articles or topics that we were interested in. I chose to use my personal Twitter for the class, and I wish I would have made a new one for the class. I wasn't necessarily embarrassed to tweet and have all of my friends see it, but I think I would have felt more comfortable had I created a seperate Twitter for this class. In reference to the discussion and diablog groups, I felt as though good communication was hard to come by. Because everyone was online at different times, it was hard to effectively communicate my points or opinions on what we should do for presentations.

I feel as though we covered most of the social media tools that are currently available. As was discussed in my social media presentation, there are obviously more phone applications and updated software that will come out in order to enhance media. I think that one of the biggest advantages of social media is the fact that it allows people to communicate quickly. Blogging and tweeting saves a lot of time in comparison to how the "older" feminists went about their activism by taking it to the streets. On the other hand, fast communication is also a disadvantage because there can be a lot that is lost within media. Points can be misunderstood, and it may not be as easy to communicate important points.

I think that overall, the social media we used for this class was very effective. The only suggestion for change that I can offer is that the online discussion and diablogs were very hard to conduct. Setting some class time aside for these groups to actually get together and discuss their plan of action might be more helpful to those who do not have an abundance of time to get online multiple times a day.

Media Assessment -Lulete Mola

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Never, when creating my Facebook page about 5 years a go did I think that I would one day use a social network to promote my ideas and other people's ideas of feminism, equality and philanthropy. Today, I'm not only using Facebook, I'm also using twitter and now, blogging thanks to Feminist Debates this fall! I agree with hooks' idea of needing to use education to show the world that the feminism the mass media shows, isn't the only type of feminist, and sometimes, is not a good representation of feminism. The thing is when we see news on TV, when we hear the video, read magazines and newspapers, someone is controlling what we see. There are writers and editors and publishers piled one on top of another and were presented a collaborative view on everything we receive. However, through blogging and tweeting, we are in charge of what we put out. And If I read the blog entry or the tweet of one of my classmates, I know that they didn't give it to 7 other people before publishing it, that its real, its raw and thats what I really appreciate about using the blogs and twitter to interact with feminism. I think with this day of age, where practically all young people in the US have a cell phone account or access to the internet, it is our duty to use the website to promote a positive image of feminism and communicate the struggles women go through. The biggest benefit is how fast news can get around, if a video is interesting, grunted that it will be on peoples FB walls and tweets in five minutes. Another benefit is the diversity of news we receive from the internet regarding feminism and other issues, there is rarely one view presented, even within the feminist communities, the people are diverse so the views should be coherent with that.

The one limitation there is is accessibility. Truth is, people out of the first world don't have access to social networks and blogs. So when there is good discussion, progression and revelation going on, they are left out. And if were feminists and care about feminism we have to care about our sisters in the third world. it's a problem when the people who do have access tell the stories of the people who do not, for they might tell their story wrong. Although the internet is good for interacting with feminism, we must recognize there are indeed many limitations.

I loved this class. I looked forward to coming to it every day after biology. We never ever have a boring day. I loved the diverse but very repeatable views in the class and that we were allowed to exchange thoughts and ideas to develop our own definition of feminism. Using social media only made my homework easier because it was fun, sometimes i don't even think of it as work bust as something I enjoy doing. It would be interesting to see other subjects interact with social media as part of their tool of teaching.

Feminist Social Media Assessment

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At the beginning of the semester, when I got to know that we were going to be using blogs and twitter for class, I had very mixed feelings. Even though I was familiar with blogs and twitter, I thought that the whole process may be too complicated. I think many others in the class had very similar apprehensions. Over the course of the semester I have become very comfortable using both these mediums for communication. In fact, I found myself enjoying writing on the blog, because it felt much less formal; and as a result I felt I could express better. Though I do not engage with twitter continuously, I find it a great way to share interesting articles, information etc with class.

I find bell hooks' call for spreading feminist awareness through pamphlets, buttons, t-shirts etc very relevant in todays times. I believe that social media is another great means of spreading feminist awareness. I was quite amazed at the amount and intensity of feminist discussions and dialogues happening online through blogs and other forums. Taking in to consideration the amount of time we spend online, many people are more likely to read an online article or petition, rather than a pamphlet (which does not mean we should stop grassroots level awareness spreading activities). So, we have to make the most of this medium in spreading awareness and engaging people.

I think it is good for a class like ours to interact through a blog which is open to the public; We have had some really great conversations in class and online, and other than the fact that it is documented on the class blog, it is an avenue for people (outside the class) to see these discussions. Engaging with the larger groups outside of the university through social media, will also help in changing the general perception that academia is very exclusive. Anyone reading our class blog would be able to see that we as students of feminism engage in different issues of social justice and not just women's issues. Also through twitter and blogs we were able to follow feminist activists, which was a great leaning experience. I see social media, especially blogs as a great feminist resource.

I see 'access' as both the greatest benefit as well as drawback of feminist social media. There is a whole lot feminist social media resources online, which is available at the click of a mouse to anyone who is interested; at the same time there are many who need these resources and are interested in these great debates and discussions that are happening , but do not have access to it due to the fact that it is online. So, it is important to realize that feminist social media is only a part of the new feminist movement and not the whole of it.

Social Media Assessment part 2 (Selena)

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I completely agree that there are a variety of ways to express what feminism is and what ideas that you want brought to the table. As bell hooks wants to do through pamphlets, t-shirts, books, and television, but spreading a message online can reach a much broader audience as we do in class and as many other feminists do it. There is no wrong way to go about getting your message out there. In the classroom, we have used social media tools in a couple ways. The main ways were by the use of the blog and twitter. The blog was an interesting thing to see what everyone in the class had to say or what issues were interesting to them while twitter anyone can see what we think. I think both were effective because we learned that a lot of information comes from the internet and it spreads so much more quickly.
Looking at the list we created at the beginning of the semester, I do not think I need to add anything to the list because we touched upon a lot of those topics for example, draw attention to things in the news, linking to books, videos, articles, networking, reviews and analysis of books, social networking sites, etc. We compiled a realistic list on how feminists are using social media and that is exactly what we did this semester.
I believe the biggest benefit of social media is the fact that we can spread so many messages to many people that are not even in the same city or state as you. With that comes the limitation on who would actually care enough to click on a link and read what you have to say or get involved.
As much as I thought in the beginning of the semester that it was going to be hard to balance a blog and twitter it was not. I liked using the blog and reading what other people found important. Although I still am not keen on twitter. Social media is a great way to explore many different thoughts about feminism and the different topics that are involved.

This is a Feminist Issue Because....

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When thinking about the idea of equality of women, we tend to focus more on political rights, and less on other topics, such as religion for example. I've recently stumbled upon this amazing article written by Adam Lee on a website called "Big Think". Big Think is a website that features articles written from many scholars and experts around the world about a wide array of issues. The piece I'm writing about by Adam Lee is titled "Religion Imprisons Women" and I thought this would be a great blog post, since we really have not touched too much on the inequalities within the religious world in our classroom discussions.
Lee, begins by discussing the newest development in Saudi Arabia, a country in which women are forced to cover their whole faces, is now threatening to make women who have "tempting eyes" cover their eyes as well. He continues to discuss the inequalities within judaism as well, mentioning the "haredim", the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect. that ultimately believe that women are sinful and dirty and should not be seen in any advertisements, and have even began to vandalize any advertisement that shows a woman by covering her face with spray paint. As if that's not enough, Israel already has heavy segregation for women, such as separate buses, and certain hours reserved for women in super markets.

Lee touches on the fact that virtually every religious sector has some sort of strict inequalities towards women, yet we as feminists didn't even discuss this issue much in class? This is a serious feminist issue.

This is a Feminist Issue Because....

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Social Media Assessment (Yeonju Lee)

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1. Name of project/example/organization + link(s) to example
The National Organization for Women
http://www.now.org/

2. Who/what is it?
The National Organization for Women is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has more than 500,000 contributing members and more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since its founding in 1966, the goal of NOW has been "to take action" to bring about equality for all women. NOW works to eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, the justice system, and all other sectors of society; secure abortion, birth control and reproductive rights for all women; end all forms of violence against women; eradicate racism, sexism and homophobia; and promote equality and justice in our society.

3. Why was it created/developed?
Some people who attended The Third National Conference of Commissions on the Status of Women in 1966 began planning the formation of the new organization to speak on behalf of women. 28 women met to set up an organization to take action to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society, assuming all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men.

4. What feminist vision does it have?
NOW's official priorities are winning economic equality and securing it with an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that will guarantee equal rights for women; championing abortion rights, reproductive freedom and other women's health issues; opposing racism and fighting bigotry against lesbians and gays; and ending violence against women.

5. What strategies/tactics does it use?
NOW activists use both traditional and non-traditional means to push for social change. NOW activists do extensive electoral and lobbying work and bring lawsuits. They also organize mass marches, rallies, pickets, non-violent civil disobedience and immediate, responsive actions. They also use social media tools to provide space for encouraging people and productive engagement with each other as well as the traditional means.

6. How does it use/rely on social media?
NOW is a multi-issue, multi-strategy organization. Therefore they use social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin as well as the traditional means. They use these kinds of social media to communicate with the public and arouse their attention. They notice their activities and a lot of topics of feminism on Facebook and Twitter, and upload videos about their activities on Youtube.
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7. What are the benefits of this example? How is it useful? Helpful? Effective?
NOW is trying to taking many actions to put more women in political posts, increase education about feminism, employment, and business opportuirunities for women. They also try to enact tougher laws against violence, harassment and discrimination. Therefore by using diverse social media tools, they can bring conflict to light and communicate with each other. And in turn it encourages feminist curiosity and helps to educate the public by debating and sharing of idea if feminism.

8. What are the limitations of this example? How is it not useful? How does it fail to be effective?
For those who are inaccessible to the internet, NOW might not be useful because they use many social media tools to notice their issues and arouse attention of the public.

9. How does it help to spread feminist education?
NOW is educating the public and media about the status of and threats to women's rights by promoting their events and drawing attention of the public. Also they are raising awareness of feminist issues on global level and linking to videos, articles through the media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. By using these media tools, they can bring conflict to light and connect with each other.

Feminism for Real - Poor kids in college

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My favorite piece from "Feminism for Real" was by far, "Maybe I'm not class-mobile: maybe I'm class-queer" Poor kids in college, and survival under hierarchy by Megan Lee. I really felt like I could relate to this essay, especially compared to some of the other ones which just left me scratching my head. I loved the comments that the author had about the tensions that she felt attempting to go between the two worlds of lower class and academia. She writes, "Few academics that I encountered were comfortable or even conscious enough to deal with the ways that university work as a mechanism to perpetuate class hierarchy." (Lee 85) It took me awhile to figure out that here she was talking about leaving behind one class to participate in another. Lee is arguing that university demands that academics leave behind their identity as lower or working class in order to assume a new identity as an academic and therefore part of the upper class. I think when Lee says "class queer" she is saying that she doesn't feel like she belongs in either of those groups, the one she came from or the one that she is supposedly aspiring to.
I found it very unfortunate to read in plain text that she felt the need to hide where she came from (a lower class background) because I would hope that her experiences would be valued as a part of her feminist education. Clearly Lee has found a way to overcome her oppressors and use her experience in a meaningful way. I am glad that her piece was included in the book because the tensions that she speaks of are identifiable in many of the other works but perhaps none articulate them in the concise and clear manner that Lee does. We all have parts of our identities that bring conflict to our lives, learning how to deal with that conflict and use it to our advantage is a very powerful step in becoming true to ourselves.

I tweeted a question on if reality t.v. shows shape the way people think on how feminism is portrayed on television. To begin, I do watch a lot of t.v. and that includes reality shows such as bad girls club, love and hip hop, teen mom, etc. Although I do enjoy them for humor and entertaining purposes, I have to wonder if it makes a difference in how people view feminism. Things on t.v. are over exaggerated and not as they seem. For example, on bad girls club, the girls are tough and argue a lot. They stand up for themselves, but in a fighting and arguing manner is not always the best way. I feel like the stereotypes of feminists being angry all the time is reflected in reality t.v. Reality t.v. is basically entertainment, but do people take what they see on t.v. as a reality?

http://www.cbs.com/shows/victorias_secret/video/?ttag=mktg_VictoriaSecret_SEM
(here is the show if you missed it)

So last week the Victoria Secret Fashion Show was on and I know a lot of women and men watched it. I personally liked it, but there was two sides to it. People either loved it or hated it. On the one hand, people liked it for the fashion and the music. On the other hand it can show the flaws that you have about your personal figure. The models were relatively perfect, but that is not how women are shaped. I love my body, so seeing these models do not affect me. To some women and girls though, they could want to be that and that is not realistic in my opinion. It seems like today, a lot of people want to be models and I do not get why. I also want to point out that there were only 2-3 women of color that were models and I feel like they could use more of a variety.

What are some opinions on the show?
Why do so many girls strive to be models?
Other notes to point out?

Experiences I've never had.....

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Throughout this book Feminism For Real the stories these people have written have such raw emotion. They are blunt and honest throughout their stories, and have no second thoughts about it. All these people have had experiences that really seem to bring the subject of feminism into play. Throughout my life I have had a pretty sheltered life. I feel that people have difficulties relating to something they have never experience, which is understandable. Before this class, and my understanding of feminism, I have never really experienced such a time where it has impacted me like the people's stories in Feminism For Real. I can't say really say that I relate to these people but I do believe in feminism. I want to change these ways that we are fighting for, so the troubles these people have faced won't happen anymore. Its intense reading this book and the way it enlightens people about feminism. It was a great way to get a sense of what we are trying to over come. This book also shows that there is no one definition and feminism can be unpleasant when you hear such honesty. I want to be part of a group that is fighting against such a powerful movement.

So what CAN I do?

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I'm white. I'm a straight female woman. I'm from the middle class. I went to a pretty privileged high school (we got laptops) in the suburbs. I've never had a major run-in with sexism, nor have I felt very oppressed. My family socialized me into "acting like a lady", but the only exclusion I felt was for being the youngest sibling, not for being a woman. Now, I'm planning on minoring in GWSS. So why on earth should I be included in the feminist movement?

From what I read in Feminism for Real, my opinion isn't as valuable as the opinions of the feminists who experienced oppression. I will become elitist and ignorant once I receive my diploma because it will make me think that I know everything and am the ideal feminist. What I study is only the tip of the iceberg of feminism--because I can't empathize with a problem, I can't work to fix it.

In reality, I have no intentions on holding myself higher than other feminists. I'm taking classes in GWSS so I can better understand the movement and figure out where I'm best suited to help eliminate the gaps in equality. My adolescent life was too boring for me to ever be able to empathize with certain problems that feminists have faced. But why should that automatically mean I can't offer my attention and support for the cause?

I don't believe that my desire to study feminism academically should prevent me from helping out with as much as I can. I've never been forced to go through with a pregnancy, yet I devote my efforts to spreading awareness of reproductive rights. The unification of feminism might seem over-the-top with sympathy, but the purpose of joining together is about making connections with each other. If we all claim to be a part of a movement, we should recognize both or differences and our similarities.

My main point is this: why should I be shut down because I am an academic feminist? I don't have much experience to draw on, so why can't I try to learn about what other feminists deal with? I acknowledge that I can't fully comprehend the difficulties of oppression, and I don't think I ever will. However, I want to contribute something to the movement, and without any prior experiences, I turn to academia to give me the tools to do so.

Second Reflection Post on "Feminism for Real"

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"This Shit is Real: Deconstructing Dialogue in Feminist Education" by Krysta Williams and Ashling Ligate

So for my second reflection piece I wanted to talk about this piece because I think the authors offer some really good insight on what we can do, as opposed to being apathetic about the possibilities of the the academic industrial complex. I guess, I would like to hear folks input on how we can put some of these ideas in practice, whether this be in our own personal lives or within the space(s) of academia, given how this book calls us out on our privileged positions as "academics." I personally think the ideas are great, and they also make us consciousness of how our participation in the feminist academic industrial complex can be seen as a form of violence on different bodies and groups of people.

However, a weakness in these tips is that it assumes a universal positioning of privilege, the oppressed and the oppressor. That is, we all maybe privileged in one way that doesn't mean that we aren't oppressed at the same time. Systems of oppression are complicated and, at times, intersect and play up on different aspects of our identity. Thus, with each tip I am proposing a complication to it as well, which I think should also be taken into consideration when responding to these tips. Keep in mind, I'm not dismissing these tips. In fact, I agree with them! My purpose here is to encourage a "deeper" critical engagement with these tips, as well as an examination of the reasoning behind these tips.

Some of the tips I that interested me the most are:

1. Reflect on how you have benefited, supported, or are complicit in a system that oppresses others (if you are coming from a place of privilege).

-even if you maybe be complicit (or "you profit in some ways off other's oppression") in the oppression of others, how is this complicated if you also occupy more than one space of oppression? that is, you maybe in a privileged position as college student, but what if you are a part of an underrepresented group in academia?

2. Recognize that despite everything, communities that are labeled as "oppressed" or are struggling, are still vibrant, alive and thriving in whatever ways they can.

-does this pose the potential risk of a lax "awareness"? is it enough to only be aware? how can we be sure the idea and ideology behind labeling communities as "oppressed" is eradicated, as a whole? or is this even possible? they also write "don't think that we are incapable of producing knowledge, or are too busy...." does this pose the danger of tokenizing these communities and people? (i'm not saying it does, but as seen in academia this often happens. perhaps we also need to find critical ways of engaging in different forms and systems of knowledge, rather than just using these pieces of works as supplementary course material.)

3. Dialogue is critical. Talking about social justice in a way that doesn't prescribe ownership to you, is one way of being a true ALLY. Talking to your family about the history or residential schools for example can be more radical than putting up posters, wearing a button or hosting a rally.

-can anyone really "own" a cause? and if it is something that can be "owned", does it risk turning-off folks who may want to engage because they feel that they too are impacted? does this create a hierarchy of participation? or is there an alternative way to ensure that there is a rotation of roles, so that everyone gets to learn and engage in new skills? (to be clear, i like this one because it encourages an active role on our parts, as opposed to simply "wearing a button" or plastering ourselves with slogans.)

One last question I wanted to revisit, is do folks feel these tips come off as, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to "teach" others about their oppression? I ask this only because I think it's interesting that these topics even have to pointed out as a mean of "opening" the eyes of the "oppressors" (whoever that is). why is it that "we" have to call into question "your" privilege, for "you" to recognize it? (the "we" and "you" is in quotations because it does not assume anyone in particular.)

First Reflection Post on "Feminism for Real"

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"Really and truly, I have become a part of the club that I felt so excluded from in the first place, and I don't like it. I reject the definitions of success that were taught to me in feminist university spaces, but simultaneously can't help but be drawn to them, and this is an ongoing tension for me" (Kate Klein 175).


For my first reflection post, I wanted to focus on Kate Klein's piece "On Learning How Not to Be An Asshole Academic Feminist."

I decided to open with this quote because I identify a lot with what the author says. Additionally, I think it gets back to my initial argument of hegemonic feminism within academia and mainstream culture. Given that I've used these term repeatedly in my posts and comments, I thought I should define how I am using it. Hegemonic feminism can be thought of mainstream/dominant feminism(s) ability to make us want for ourselves what they want. In other words it is the push for gender equality, combating sexual violence, challenging hierarchies and systems of power and etc, and the expectancy that all women should organize around these issues. (Just to be clear I'm not dismissing theses issues.) It is the assumption that women are a monolithic group, across class and culture and that oppression is homogeneous, and that all women should organize around this "force". Thus, there has also been some pushback in terms of how these ideas and topics carried out as projects (usually hegemonic feminist projects) and are aimed at the "betterment" for different communities (which can be neo-colonial). Additionally, this pushback critiques hegemonic feminism for its failure to sometimes take into account the history and the different ways in which systems of oppression affect different communities.

Or another way to explain it:

...as has been well stated by many Indigenous Feminists before us, the idea of gender equality did not come from suffragettes or the so-called 'foremothers' of feminist theory. It should also be recognized that although we are still struggling for this thing called 'gender equality', it is not actually a framed issue within the feminist realm, but a continuation of the larger tackling of colonialism. So this idea in mainstream feminism that women of colour all of a sudden realized 'we are women', and magically joined the feminist fight actually re-colonizes people for who gender equality and other 'feminist' nations is a remembered history and current reality since before Columbus." (26)

Thus, at the root of challenging hegemonic feminism/feminist projects is the idea of refuting how feminism has been and is defined and appropriated to these different communities.

An example of a hegemonic feminist project, as expressed in this piece, is The Vaginal Monologues. Klein writes "....I no longer hold The Vaginal Monologues up as the ultimate beacon of hope for women everywhere. The shoe certainly has many problems, including but not limited to a transphobic implication that everyone who has a vagina is a woman and that everyone who is a woman has a vagina, a rampant heteronormativity, and a recent focus on the Global South that, by virtue of nature of university spaces, ends up casting privilege white women as "sex slaves" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Japanese comfort women, and perpetuating colonist representations of non-Western women" (quotations original 172-3). Another example of this would be SlutWalk and Aura Blogando's critique of it in the piece "Slutwalk: A Stroll through White Supremacy."

As it was argued in this piece, academic and mainstream feminism are hegemonic systems of domination. Therefore, we (this class and academics) are swept-up into this system, to some degree because we are in the academy. Thus, this also makes us complicit (again in differing degrees) in maintaining and perpetuating hegemonic feminism. Or as Klein stated, in the earlier quote I used, "I reject the definitions of success that were taught to me in feminist university spaces, but simultaneously can't help but be drawn to them, and this is an ongoing tension for me."

My own identification with this piece is that I too, sometimes, feel excluded from academic feminist spaces. Yet I come back to it because I too am "drawn" to it. I have to admit there were also times in which I felt I could not engage in discussions within academic feminist spaces, despite the fact I am majoring in GWSS and Sociology. My own feelings here is similar to Klein's following sentiment "....while feminist spaces often purport to support anti-oppression, my experience has been that this is mostly all talk with little concrete action to show for it. When a bunch of white women sit around decrying racism in a space where there are, suspiciously, no women of color around to lead and shape that dialogue, it quickly becomes clear who the space is geared towards" (174). In my own experience(s), I felt discouraged to bring in these uncomfortable discussions because clearly, I too felt, this space was geared toward a specific group within the group(s). At that time, I did not feel I "strong" enough to challenge that status quo. Nor was I was able to articulate my frustrations in such a way that did not come off as "angry" and "threatening." Or as Serita stated in an open tread "I realized later that I wasn't able to confront her in an articulate way showed not my emotion, but rather my logic for why her standards were archaic, inappropriate and misguided." Therefore, I stopped engaging (which is really fucked up considering academic feminist spaces are supposed to be "anti-oppressive", "non-dominating", "encouraging" and "accepting/loving of difference". Then again, is this my own romanticized notion of what a feminist space should look like?) But, I still feel a sense of guilt because of own position. I am, in some way, versed to negotiate the different spaces of community and academia.

Also, I like this piece because it serves as a critique to mainstream feminism(s) idea of arriving at some stage (if there is one) of consciousness, and that from that "Big Feminist Lightbulb Moment" that it supposedly "bolsters a liberal feminist desire for a sovereign female bourgeois subject position" (Donadey, Anne, and Huma Ahmed-Ghosh. "Why Americans Love Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran." Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society 33.3 (2008): 623-46. Print.). That is, hegemonic feminism assumes that folks take on the role of the independent individual who is "empowered", who should and can do anything and everything, which is also marked by social class.

This then brings me to the close of this article. I think it's interesting that through academia we, academic feminists, do take on a similar role of the "sovereign female bourgeois subject" (Ghosh and Ahmed). I too am annoyed with how I can't engage with folks outside of academia without having the conversation turn "too intellectual." As Klein writes "I couldn't think of anything to say to her that didn't make me sound like a school-obsessed snob...Am I one of those self-obsessed white ladies who couldn't see her own privilege if it hit her in her face?" (175) (Interesting how this subject is constructed, that it a conversation of its own though.)

Some of the questions posed here are things I too am contemplating:

Am I a part of the problem, not the solution? (All taken from pages 175-6)

How can I call myself an anti-violence activist when there are people who have stories of terror and violation that go untold in spaces I occupy because the language in which they express them is not deemed acceptable by hegemonic academic feminism (a.k.a university snobbery)? How much more seriously are my own stories taken as an activist who operates within academy?

....How can I ever hope to be a true agent of social change is all I know how to do is engage with people like me in a university context?

These are questions regarding identity and privilege, questions that need to be addressed as well as self-addressed. In all I also wanted to close this first reflection with a quote, and an important message, of the author. Regardless of what "side" (if there is such a thing) you stand on and in whatever spaces you are negotiating, "....success is that much sweeter when it is achieved alongside and not on the backs of others".

Social Media Making A Difference

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This is a video of Jonah Mowry who was bullied at school for the past 8 years. His peers teased him for being gay and he came to the conclusion of suicide several times. At the end of his video he shows that regardless of the torment, he would rise above it. Through telling his story on YouTube, he has made quite an impact. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Perez Hilton, Jane Lynch, and several others have sent support through blogs and Twitter expressing love and hope for Jonah. It has spread throughout the internet and hopefully others struggling with similar issues can find inspiration and strength in Jonah's video.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/04/jonah-mowry-bullied-teen-video_n_1127903.html?ref=mostpopular#s519520&title=Sia

Social Media Assessment

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When first discussing how we as a class would be doing much of our interaction via online sources I was excited because I always enjoy a change of pace from the usual routines. I think of myself as being fairly up to date with technology and twitter was the only tool I had not used till this class, so being able to navigate through all the sites and use all the helpful tools came pretty easy. However, that was not the case for everyone and I have heard from fellow classmates that they were confused on many of the applications within our class blog or twitter at first so it may have been frustrating for others, but learning new things always seems to benefit everyone at some point I believe. As the course continued beyond those first few weeks, and more people began to become familiar with our online tools it became much more enjoyable! I really appreciated how fast we could get a discussion started on a current topic going on in the world through our online blogs. I really enjoy the easy access of being able to attach links and resources to the blog for everyone to see by just one click. Much of the reason some classes are not as enjoyable is because there is not time to talk about everything that interests someone because class only meets two days a week, but this 24/7 system makes that possible. Twitter is an excellent way to quickly answer questions by getting instant responses from classmates or the professor, but I actually did not seem to benefit much from this tool... besides asking a quick question as I mentioned I did not use it for much else. I found that some of my posts were filtered so fast because of the many tweets posted even within a couple hours that it would be more beneficial to post on our blog to actually get responses from classmates and know that everyone saw it. Because me for instance, I do not log onto twitter every day or especially every hour or two so I miss many of the posts that our classmates post I feel because of the way that all the tweets are filtered. However, with our class blog it is very easy to know the last post that I read and I can begin there and scroll to the most recent post as they go in a timeline. I did say that Twitter was the only tool that I had never previously used so therefore this may be from that lack of experience with it. The idea of using social media within feminism as I have spoken of before is in my mind essential in today's technologically advanced world and it's just a matter of getting the word out of all these online resources for everyone to be accessing to broaden their knowledge on the subject. I would be very disappointed though if the importance of non-online campaigns and awareness is eliminated though because I believe if we only are advocating and discussing online it will limit many people from joining the movement in third world countries, people that do not have internet access or people that just simply do not like to use the internet. So, I have overall really enjoyed the experience of having so much online interaction within this class and our social media assignment was a great way to be introduced to the many other online resources besides the ones we have already discussed in class I just wished we could have got the lists of everyone's choices on their social media presentation before they presented so we could ask more about it and be more involved as a class.

Social Media Assessment

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When I come to the class, I do not know what feminism is or what we need to about feminism. I think feminism is just a group of angry women who want to get back rights from men. Actually the feminism is not the way what I think about. Bell Hooks argues for the importance of feminist mass-based education in order both to counter mainstream media's overly negative representation of feminism and its goals and for sharing the positive contributions that feminist principles have made with as many people as possible. Hooks imagines this feminist education being spread through pamphlets, buttons, t-shirts, children's books and television networks.
We have many different ways to express or to show our thoughts of feminism, it includes blogging, tweeting or some other internet tools. I am agree with Bell Hook's thoughts.
I am pretty sure that media is a good tool to make sure more and more people will know feminism. In general, there are many people have no idea what feminism is, and our goal is to spread out so that more people will be respect to women or feminism. There are many things that men and women are not equal, so it is necessary to use media to let people know our thoughts. In our class, we uses many different media or internet tools to put our thoughts. Twitter or our blogs are pretty good tools for us to post something online. I think it is very effective for our class because we get more and more chances to show our thoughts.
I would like to add that is we can show our thoughts in our blog or twitter, and we can show arguments what we want to explain online.
One of the biggest benefits of social media for feminist education is to give our more space to show our thoughts, and it is very helpful or useful in order to more and more people will know us, and they will have more and more chances to get contact with us, and I think it is very great and useful. One of the biggest limitations or obstacles that feminists face when using social media is that there are still many and many limitations of feminist education. I think it is the most important thing that we need figure out. In general, there are many people still have different thoughts of feminism, and I think media or internet is still have their own limitations that we need to figure out.
In the end, I think this class is pretty interesting. I have learned a lot of things from the class. I think it is my duty to help women to get back their rights, and it is everyone's things. It is a big ambition.

It can be hard deciding on whether you're a feminist and what feminism even means to you. What kinds of factors determine these questions we ask ourselves. In the story, The Feminist Existential Crisis (Dark Child Remix) by Latoya Peterson , Peterson asks what feminist really is and is there a simple definition. The author explains she was not trying to seek out feminism, but when she came across a book in her local library about feminism, it sparked an interest. Her main problem was just trying to depict what feminism means. She then wondered where things like the Spice Girls motto "Girl Power", or Sailor Moon a Japanese T.V show, or even Brittney Spears trying to convey the message of feminism. She then read, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost; A Hip Hop Feminist Breaks it Down. Peterson started to blog, and write, and soon people then began to decipher her as a feminist writer. Yet she still couldn't identify herself as that. She has the same problems as many others, seeing that class and race are still big factors in defining feminism. She then began seeing that she needed to give up the title of a feminist. Peterson finds that feminism is a part of her life, but will not be the only thing she defines herself as. This story of Latoya Peterson brings up questions I've been asking myself. Devoting yourself to one matter can be difficult, especially when you can't even define what you stand for. Like I've said before, I believe we make up are own definitions and we stand up for what we believe in. When you can't be truthful to yourself then who can you really be honest with.

Poem: My Secret

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Throughout Feminism for Real there are many poems. One that stood out to me was titled My Secret. This poem is about a women describing how she little knowledge she about feminism. She states she is a white women with many privileges. She says when people look at her, they must think she is a "product" of women studies. That's where the "secret" comes into play. She tells us that she sits in a group that she doesn't even have a clue to what it is about. That she see's the women talking, it turns out that the ladies are talking about all white women, all like her. This is such a powerful poem, describing that women studies mainly play into; white, privileged, women. This subject has been brought up in a number of stories, or articles that I have found since our semester has begun. I think that we should all become one and stop trying to decide who to back up. Separation is never good when you are trying to unify and become one immense group, so we can begin to take these feminist issues head on. There are global feminist issues that we need to unite for and conquer. We need to embrace the fact that we can all be different but have share a passion.

Lessons learned from Indigenous Culture

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My favorite essay in "Feminism for Real" was Louis Esme Cruz's "Medicine Bundle of Contradictions". The discussion of Christianity within Indigenous communitites, was described as a great burden. Through this discussion it is clear that Indigenous people felt disconnected to Christianity and hated by its values. Most importantly there is no place for Two Spirit people within Christianity. It think this is very important since it represents cultural distinctions that must be acknowledged. This then has relavance in regard to feminism since white womens feminism cannot easily be expected to translate into Indigenous feminism. This is because feminism in academia "attempst to re-colonize Indigenous gender roles" (49). Here it is clear that not only is white feminism not empowering or aiding Indigenous persons in their struggle but the author has made it clear that academic feminism is equal to the colonization of Indigenous lands and people. This is a striking comparison and one that we all should be very concerned with. Certainly this is not the agenda of feminism in the university but if it is what is being recieved by community than its teachings must be modified.
Another place in which Indigenous people are not necessarily welcome is Two Spirited peoples place in academic feminism. The article makes the argument that feminism is only a place for women. Instead it creates safe spaces amongst women but the inclusion of men creates and unsafe space. This then makes it so that Two Spirited people cannot wholely be accepted into feminism and this distinction is just as bad as Christians trying to erase Indigenous culture and tradition. In fact the comparison could be made that "feminists claim space and each others' bodies; it seems a lot like how land is madhandled as a resource thatt only some get to benefit from" (52).
This leads me to think about my defintion of feminism. At the time that I wrote it I included men in my definition of the people that feminism aims to create equality amongst. I was not really sure, to be honest. why I was drawn to include them in the definition since they are portratyed in feminism to be the primary oppressers. But having read this now I am happy that I did and wished that I had read it sooner to support the importance of men in feminism other than needing men to support women in feminist issues. Transgender issues are prominent in feminism so to exclude men from the discussion is problematic since it creates a lack of a safe space for those who identify as a man or really of anyone who does not fit neatly into feminisms gender defined spaces. Something I found of great importance was when Cruz stated "Whether it's women-only or men-only space, the naming of space as only one gender encourages invasion and conquest because they don't allow people to be the complex creatures we are. This pushes Two-Spirit people to the margins simply because we are not one thing or another" (53). This is something that I think extends beyond Indigenous Two-Spirit people. Often in feminism we create spaces that are often for one group and not another. We need to be careful when deciphering such spaces. Feminism aims to encompass those that experience oppression in the vast meaning of the word. And to make those oppressed are millions of individuals. We are all different in our culture, faith, occupation etc. Although it is impossible to tailor feminism to every individual we must allow more leeway so long that we do not let individual differences redine characterists of feminism at a basic level. The discussion of academic feminism through Indigenous Two-Spirit people helped me to focus the issues of the academic industrial complex of feminism.

Social Media Assessment

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Our class has been heavily reliant on social media to effectively communicate. Through blogging, tweeting, and finding feminist resources throughout the semester, we have been able to explore and evolve our understanding of feminism. Considering we only meet 2 times a week, having a way to communicate with each other outside of class sparks discussion and lets everyone share their ideas (too shy or not enough class time). I was skeptical of relying so heavily on social media for this class at the beginning of the semester but I believe it is beneficial. You have to motivate yourself to participate in discussions and make posts and everyone has the same opportunity and platform to present their thoughts. There are drawbacks such as internet failure or access to computers. But overall, they have sparked intense and interesting conversations. I think the list we made at the beginning of the semester about social media outlets was pretty inclusive of all they can do for activism. One thing that I think we focused on a lot when referencing articles were the comments that people leave under the articles. There is such a quick response when dealing with social media because there is always someone connected that can comment or share their ideas. As we have previously discussed, one of the biggest problems for feminist social media is the problem of access on a global scale. Only those with access to the internet or areas that won't have feminist sites blocked can contribute. The more technology spreads to rural and third world countries, the more we can see people's perspectives from everywhere and have new issues risen and hopefully acted upon. This is why grassroots organizations and those who participate outside the technology realm are still such huge players in movements and work around the world. Luckily some of those people can access online sources, spread the word, get support, and make a difference. Overall, I found this class to be very educational through our utilization of social media. I had never taken a class that had this organization and it was an interesting combination. Combining social media and discussion during class time has given the class opportunities to share their ideas and learn from each other in an open environment.

The Porn Star and the Sexologist

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In the essay "No, I Would Follow the Porn Star's Advice", Andrea Plaid discusses a form of the academic industrial complex with sex advice: should we listen to the person with more experience (porn star) or the one who has studied it the most (sexologist)? Plaid asserts that having a sex worker write a sex advice column is empowering; not only do sex workers have the physical experience, but the confidence in their jobs will help make for good advice. Plaid is turned off by the idea that there are those who don't want a sex worker to write it. Instead, they want an expert (sexologist), mostly because they know the "anthropological/sociological/psychological" side of sex.

Something that Plaid fails to consider is why sex workers are so marginalized. Many porn stars and strippers go into the sex industry because it allows them to embrace their sexuality and feel liberated. It's hard for the general public to understand this sometimes because of how scandalous sex is when it is discussed so openly. However, I don't think this is the full reason why people don't feel comfortable about sex workers. Rather, I believe that when many people hear "sex worker" they think about the shady jobs that women are forced into doing, such as prostitution. From late night news specials, we hear about women who are pushed into sex trafficking because they can't afford anything else, or because they were kidnapped and became sex slaves. As critical thinkers, we know that this is certainly not always the case. Still, it's hard to break the connection we may make to the bad parts about sex workers.

Another reason why the public may have a hard time trusting a porn star over a sexologist is because the porn star doesn't have the validation of a degree. The sexologist has an advantage of knowing the biological aspects of sex in addition to the cultural and emotional ones. It disturbs me how Plaid undermines this aspect: "And what [Ann Maria Rios, the porn star in question] doesn't know about the anthropological/sociological/psychological couldn't Rios look it up online? She doesn't need an advanced degree to Google". Sure, anyone can use Google to look things up. If that's the case, then shouldn't anyone with lots of experience with having sex be able to write a sex advice column? Rios' experience can certainly help, but depending on what she would write about, knowing how to use Google isn't much of a credential.

I understand Plaid's belief that sex workers shouldn't be ignored when it comes to giving good sex advice. I also agree with her when she says Rios shouldn't be judged before writing a column. For all we know, the column could be about techniques to turn someone on. However, I don't like how Plaid treats the experts. Plaid--and most of the authors of Feminism for Real--sees experience as more important than education. Again, it's degrading for college students and grads to hear that their education means nothing in what they want to specialize in.

(As I wrote this, I kept confusing myself: is Plaid talking about a sex column for the best positions and techniques, or about general ways, i.e. emotional connections, to make sex a greater experience? Rios could easily write about the former, but if it were the latter, she might need more than Googling a question. She would either need deeper research or consultation from a sexologist. People don't need the world's best sexologist to take on simple sex advice, but they want to be reassured by someone with enough academic knowledge on the subject.)

Social Media Assessment: Part 2

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When I came upon this class in registering it sounded super interesting. Once I was part of the class, not only was it interesting in terms of content, but so interesting in terms of technology. I never expected to learn this much about blogging, tweeting, and social media in general. It was in this class I think I learned the true potential that is technology, especially in terms of conversations around equality. So, it has been effective. I believe that true learning is about the process and not solely defined as the end results. I may not have my own blog started, or some extremely tangible evidence around the importance of social media, but throughout the process we have totally learned that.

Something I would like to add to our list of ways that social media can relate to feminism is what cane be learned from other's comments on blogs, websites, or articles. I have noticed people's comments before, but never understood what it truly adds to a conversation. Feminism is about including other voices, and I believe comments can do just that.

The biggest benefit of online feminism, or using social media for feminism is the idea of accessibility. Yes, I understand that you have to be able to afford a computer or a way to get to a library in order to use a computer, but in many ways it is the most accessible forum yet. People from around the world, provided that they have internet access, another downfall, can read about issues that matter. It is cool to realize that my previous roommate who is currently in Spain has been keeping up on our course blog. It is also possible to translate using a website in a matter of minutes, an amazing way to open up conversations.

All in all, I can explain the way my comfort level with technology has grown. Now, it is my feminist responsibility to teach others what I have learned, knowing that the more voices in conversations around feminism and equality the better.

First Impressions of "Feminism for Real"

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*I am really excited to talk about this book! I had many reactions while reading but in the interest of brevity I've focused this blog post on my overall reaction to the ideas presented in "Feminism for Real" as a whole.

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Uff da. After reading "Feminism For Real" edited by Jessica Yee, I am unabashedly enthralled and utterly confused. I feel like I (you know me, the white, therefore inherently oppressive academic feminist) have been put on notice, I had better watch what I say even who I talk to. Right, okay, fine, let me have it, tell me all about how I am taking up too much space and too much power, roll your eyes every time I claim some semblance of your oppression, discredit my credentials because I am not brown enough, queer enough, molested enough, old enough, young enough, poor enough, to understand "real" feminism. Then, while you are at it, go ahead and dismiss my frustrations as ignorant and racist. I don't mind, really, cause my mama taught me that everyone has a story and nobody knows jack shit about what anyone else is going through. Here's the thing, if I don't know what you are going through and therefor you don't know what I am going through, can we at least both admit that the other is indeed going through some shit even if we don't know what that shit is?! Then, once we have agreed on that, let's get to work.

The work I have in mind isn't getting over, moving past or ignoring anything. Instead we should start with acknowledging the tensions and mistrust and figure out how to get our work done with those issues looming overhead; because frankly, there is a ton of work to do and we may not have time to sort through all of our shit.
Diandra Jurkic-Walls offers some useful tips (please note sarcasm, thank you) in "Mistakes I Didn't Know I was Making", don't go to college (143), the academy hates "feminists"(142), it's all largely to blame on TV (138) and, the best way to define yourself is against something else (139).
Walls argues that the so called "academy" is useless for feminists and that real feminism exists just about anywhere but formal education. Walls presents an idea that is prevalent throughout "Feminism for Real", that certain people's voices and experiences are not being valued in feminist discourse while simultaneously calling for the silencing of other (academic feminist) voices within the movement. This sort of perpetuation of hierarchies does little to dismantle the oppressive systems we are trying so desperately to avoid.

In my opening I said that this anthology left me enthralled and confused. I am enthralled because "Feminism for Real" is a bold of example of one of my favorite parts about feminism and Gender and Women's Studies, it's f*'n messy as hell.
Seriously, feminism is far from perfect, there are many, many agendas being vied for and against most all of them are vitally important.

Do you know what I mean when I say vitally important?

Vital, as in life; the issues that Feminists (no matter the wave or prerogative) fight tooth and nail for ensure quality of life and even life itself.

Feminism is a brilliant and exciting modality because it allows for and necessitates contradictions.

Within those contradictions there is freedom, freedom for academics and "real" feminists to work, if not together, at least alongside one another to push the movement forward. It is entirely possible to have issues such as reproductive justice, slut shaming, indigenous sovereignty, LGBTQ rights, and a myriad of other causes championed within one cooperative movement.
The process is not always pretty but feminism says it doesn't have to be!
And that folks, is why I think this book is enthralling. It is a living testament to the power that fuels feminism, the process of slogging through differences, having difficult conversations, being uncomfortable, and pushing though it all to reach a goal.



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Initial Reflection to Feminism for Real

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I couldn't put this book down. It was very compelling, thoughtful and angry. I will say that at times I was quite uncomfortable. I felt like my decision to be a student in the gender, women and sexuality studies was the wrong decision since in many ways it distances me further from the those that are most oppressed. I do recognize that this was a fairly new feeling for me since I am in a place of privilege and that discomfort within feminism is not something that I am particularly used to. I will also say that my initial reaction was to empathasize. If this is the right choice I am not really sure. My worry is that it would come off as pity and that surely is not my intent. I am also perplexed as how to aid in this battle within feminism. I recognize that I should seek out feminism in day to day life as opposed to just learning about its theories in the classroom. I was also struck by the intensity of this dislike for academia. I have been very much aware of my white privilege and that I am an oppressor to many other women. But I did not know that within the university many women felt that academic feminism was not representative of their experiences and lives. I also particularly like the discussion of not judging one another within feminism. The author spoke much truth in saying that we will not be able to change the system is we are busy fighting one another. Feminism is different within different cultures and as a part of third way feminism we cannot forget this. Sometimes I think I confuse the ideals of cultural and transnational feminism. And I need to distinguish between these when things begin to become blurry to me. But I was glad this this book forced me to begin to do so. Something I am left with after this book, though, is what good will my GWSS degree do me? If this will only broaden the gap of privilege between myself, academic feminists and real world feminists why am I going through the motions since my goal in getting such a degree is to be better able to work within communities that could benefit from feminist efforts. I also realize that learning from women who experience more oppression than me is not usually a fair trade off. Then are we only supposed to empathasize with fellow feminists but leave one another alone in our batlles? To only deal with the issues within our own realities? Muslim women working on issues that affect Muslim women? Indeginous women working on issues within Indeginous communities? LGBT issues left to the LGBT? This does not seem feminist in nature. A proposed solution may be that we change academic feminism. This may be done by requiring more real world application of topics. Classes that work with feminist issues within different cultures and communities may also work well to lessen this issue. One thing is certain; academic feminists need to find ways to better relate to the women they are working with. To be the oppressors of the women we work side by side with is unacceptable. We must acknowlege differences but also find ways to work through them together.

Feminist AIC: Initial Entry

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After reading Jessica Yee's Feminism for Real, I feel very strange for being a white female in college studying gender and women's studies. I by no means consider myself as a part as the elite leaders of the movement, but it's interesting to note that the more I learn in my gender studies class, the more I distance myself from the feminist academic industrial complex.

The main point of the essays is that feminism is not about getting a degree and forgetting about the others who use their experiences for their understanding of feminism. With so many different minority groups wanting (and deserving) a say in the movement, the authors feel as if the groups (especially Indigenous ones) are not receiving the proper respect. Yee states: "I want to say that I don't think we need to reject feminism though--I think we need to redefine it, find common pints and common ground and involve Indigenous people and other communities of colour" (18).

Krysta Williams and Erin Konsmo discuss Yee's main point later, taking the need for respect further by saying there are too many aspects about the movement that are being ignored. For example, they see the feminist unification project--the idea that feminists are all connected in some way, therefore they should support each other's feminist causes--as problematic, in that it denies distinctions between the different Indigenous groups. Also, Williams and Konsmo believe that decolonization of Native Americans will lead to gender equality. As much as I agree with the latter idea, I disagree with the image they paint of the feminist unification project. I hope this will be discussed more in our class discussion, but I do not like how they dismiss the connection feminists hold with each other.

One essay I found to apply to me quite a bit was Latoya Peterson's "The Feminist Existential Crisis (Dark Child Remix)". Although I have not studied the movement as long as other feminists, sometimes I can feel disconnected from feminism, possibly because I am not a radical feminist. Peterson's alienation does not mean that she does not want to be a part of the movement, but rather, "Feminism is part of the tool kit of my everyday life and a large part of my identity. But it wasn't the be all end all, and I ultimately wanted to devote that mental space somewhere else" (46). Peterson feels there can sometimes be too much baggage that comes with being a professional feminist, and it can help to step back every once in a while and assess the effectiveness of academic feminism versus using experiences.

Overall, I felt strange when I read this book. Many of the points about the exclusion of minorities in feminism are spot on, but I feel uncomfortable at the anger some of the authors express towards white academic feminists like myself. I would not put myself into the group of feminists who tend to care more about academic feminism rather than other forms, yet I feel like I am being classified as such. I hope to explore this subject matter more both in my upcoming posts and in our class discussion.

Dialog Group 5-Feminism for Real

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Our diablog group was assigned to read Feminism for Real, which was a intense but great book. It is a book with many essays, with powerful voices from the people writing these stories. This book was interesting in so many aspects. Just flipping through the titles of the stories in this book was great, their not everyday story titles, they have real thought and emotions behind them and some even were a little humorous. One unparticular reading from Feminism for Real was Fuck the Glass Ceiling by Robyn Maynard. This reading was about a young women who wanted to voice her opinion about people who cause marginalization. She said they were discussed as; racism, the difficulty of accessing affordable housing, the inadequacy of welfare, the police harassment, and discrimination in health care. Those where just a few that she mentioned but there are many other reasons that were not talked about. She took these matters and gathered people from he community to write a newsletter voicing these matters. One of the sections was called, "Young Moms Talk About Shit That Matters." They were able to publish the first issue, but after that members of the community were not so fond of this letter. The people who funded projects like these happened to be police officers and other officials that were not happy about what was being said. They decided they were not going to fund this newsletter anymore. Through this process Maynard has stated that its about marginalization and empowering women. She defines it in her own words, saying that its basically like Exploitation, because its saying that people are just being pushed into a category/margin but does not explain the process. She goes on to explaining this matter further, and that we need to use the word exploitation to point out who is responsible. There is a huge problem in the way our government groups people due to racial and economic aspects. Then they have them participate in some project that is based around non other then empowerment. Robyn Maynard brings up so many valuable points and flaws we have when using the term marginalization and the "glass ceiling." I thought this was such a great piece and Maynard does such a great job, when reading this you can hear her emotions.

Social Media Assessment Part 2

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Although I hooks's assertion, as well as the idea of using feminist blogs and social media to spread awareness and feminist principals, I also feel that it's to clean of a statement. Mainstream media poses with a myriad of possibilities to combat the "overly negative representation of feminism and its goals" are presented as ideas", but this is also the problem. Anything and everything can be considered feminist (I'm not saying there is a definitive definition)--even projects that are guised as feminist but fail to really fulfill the feminist principles of a just world. For example, Serita mentioned in class, Dove also owns (or partners with another brand that I can't recall), whose marketing ads/practices are all about hyper-masculinity. As she also mentioned, this is a counter it Dove's own lip-service of "combating" beauty pressures. When it all comes down to it, it is all about marketing and reputation of the company. In doing so, it also presents itself as a company that really values "natural" beauty, yet it is also telling folks to buy their products to be even "more" beautiful. All of this rests on creating a sense of "trust" and "loyalty" between consumers and their brand. It's all about sales and the market. Can we still consider its attempt to "combat" the pressures of beauty to be a feminist message, knowing the backing of its marketing practices? Speaking more broadly then, how do we address hegemonic (read: Eurocentric) forms of feminism, as presented in media that is global? The danger is whether or not folks can read into how some of these are hegemonic feminist projects. And whether or not we are also contributing to another form of marginalization by engaging in these hegemonic feminist projects (I'm thinking specifically of "The Girl Effect" here) that are guised under feminist principles. Is feminism (often presented as monolithic) then being co-opted into marketing practices, and is it being used as a tool to sell ideas and objects?

As for our own class blog and twitter hashtag, I feel that it has really given students the opportunity to engage in a feminist curiosity. But, preciously because it is still within the curriculum of a university setting, there is a sense of "safety" to it. Meaning, we can all assume that everyone who enters into the classroom is agreeing to engage in feminist thinking, and to a certain extent agree with it as a paradigm. Yet, I also like using blogs and twitter because it is done in an accessible (i.e. not "too" theoretical) way to students. We also get to listen to voices that may not always be within the space of academy, so we are attempting to break down the barriers of privilege (I say this cautiously because we engaging within these spaces from a privileged position of academia). One of the shortcomings of mainstream media, or social media, is that it encourages a lax engagement. Something that has been reiterated in our class is that "all you have to do is click a button and it'll make you feel as though you really did something." Additionally, we risk not engaging in these projects and messages as critically as we could be because they preciously play up on being viral. However, the flip side to this is that there is also the myriad of possibilities in refuting these same projects and messages through the same medium. I guess, there is a constant pull between the "good" and the "bad" and that the focus should be on critically engaging in teasing out those contradictions and what they mean.

This is a really awesome book! My engagement here is on hegemonic feminism/feminist projects, which is expressed as mainstream and academic feminism in this book. Additionally, I wanted to make clear that the book is not about prioritizing their own efforts. I don't feel the authors (or at least all) are arguing their causes and injustices are "more" important and that we should pay "more" attention to it. Rather it is a critique of how mainstream feminism is able to, what appears, prioritize its own political grounds because of its already existing (and needs to be challenged) hegemonic power systems. And that in doing so hegemonic feminism further contributes to the long history of oppression, colonialism/neo-colonialism and exclusion of these communities. I believe the purpose of this book is about challenging that, as well as claiming and speaking from a space of exclusion; a space that has traditionally been used to marginalize these voices and communities.

Jessica Yee states "....I knew for sure that this isn't just about feminism, academia, or even the book itself. It's about so much more" (14). This "so much more" and a remerging theme I want to address is the colonial/neo-colonial narrative of hegemonic feminism (read: white mainstream feminism). Although this precise wording was not used in the text per se, the idea is referred to frequently. Yee references to it when she states the need to " "deconstruct" what has led to the existence of "feminism" in the first place, and where feminism exists today" (quotations original 13, emphasis mine), Andrea Carmen notes it as, "[f]eminist philosophy is a historical reality for European women" (18), and Krysta Williams and Erin Konsmo explain it as "academic: the institutionalized, the inherently patriarchal and colonial. Claiming our spot as !INDIGENOUS! and what that means as !INDIGENOUS! women" (22). Thus, I wanted to point out the importance of acknowledging the larger colonial narrative in approaching this piece--only because there is the "danger" that this piece comes off as "anger" and a recasting of exclusionary space.

The works presented in this collection are in opposition to how women of color and indigenous communities (among other identity groups) have been traditionally excluded from feminist spaces. It seeks to challenge hegemonic feminism and hegemonic feminist projects--particularly that of academic feminism. As mentioned throughout the tone of the book, who gets to define feminism and what is the role of "our" colonizing and colonist culture in shaping that definition, as well as its types of engagements?

While reading this book something, that relates to this book, happened to me. Thinking back to the idea of "the white woman's" role in the colonial project and her continual part in the neo-colonial project, earlier this week a friend of mine (who self-identifies as white) said to me "I have a lot of spaces, and that's OK." Her statement was in response of our discussion about an upcoming conference for LGBT people of color and people of color allies.This space is specifically for people of color. Although there was some hurt in her statement there was also a sense of acknowledgement and self-awareness as to why these organizations are taking this stance. I think it was in this moment of recognition that the sense of sadness was illuminated in her talking. This was also a really interesting/uncomfortable moment because I felt like she couldn't say what was really on her mind because I am a person of color--who comes from a group that has its own history with the US and its own positioning within US culture. In all of this happening, I thought of the quote Yee used.

It states, [t]here needs to be struggle in order to lay out a path to co-existence, and that process of being uncomfortable is essential for non-Indigenous people to move from being enemy, to adversary, to ally." My question here is then, what if indigenous and people of color communities reject "you" as an ally because they see "you" as part of the colonial narrative, or part of the "masters tool"? (Some post-colonial scholars even argue that we are not a "post-colonial" when the affects of "decolonization" have not panned out.) Can people respectably accept that "rejection" and not see it as "threatening"? In the same vain it is often asked why would these spaces "practice" a form of "exclusion" if that is what they are attempting to challenge? Yet, questions of the like are preciously a part of the hegemonic feminist thought. It denies these communities their agency, history, and the fact that they occupy spaces of exclusion. Perhaps then the question should be, are "you" comfortable with this type of political stance and organizing--speaking from spaces of exclusion and claiming those spaces as exclusively "ours"? I believe this is the tone of the book, and this is what may make it "more" startling--or more "angry"--for some than others, depending on your own position and privileges.

Something that strikes me about the piece is that although it attempts to dismantle the status quo of hegemonic feminism, I'm wondering if it fails at this in its very own approach? That is, can the book essentially be read a way for people of color and indigenous people to "teach" mainstream feminism about their culture and struggles?

In all, I love this book because it is taking a radical stand (i.e. the language used, the tone of the pieces and its attempt at de-centering hegemonic feminism) and making noise.

Open thread on prioritizing feminist issues

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Yesterday the question of whether or not to prioritize certain issues as most important to feminism came up. I wanted to start an open thread to keep the dialogue going. What do you all think?

  • Should feminists or folks/communities working with and for feminist principles prioritize certain issues over others? What does it mean to prioritize certain issues? How do we prioritize? What issues should be prioritized?
  • Does broadening the scope of feminism (and expanding what is/isn't a feminist issue) weaken or strengthen feminist movement?

Social Media Assessment, Part 2

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Throughout this course, I feel as though we have been very effective in exploring social media tools and using them to promote awareness, education, and encourage constructive debate. The only part that I wish we could change is the time that we spent on this class. Overall, I feel like we are really just getting into all the deep stuff and our discussions have become even more fruitful than the beginning of the class. (If only this class lasted all year!!) I really enjoyed the blog portion of our social media exploration. It almost became like a "news feed" from facebook. I liked to see the current events/feminist issues that others were posting and be able to comment back on them to promote discussion. I do wish we had utilized this aspect a little more. I feel as though we could have done even more online discussions! As far as twitter goes, I have very mixed feelings. Although it was a nice, concise way to view aspects of our class, I think using twitter became a little redundant at times. It also did not promote as much discussion as I would have liked.

In response to our list of social media tools that we came up with at the beginning of the semester, I feel that it was very inclusive of what we have studied. The only thing I would probably add to the list is education. Education of feminist ideals and related issues seemed to come up quite a bit for me as we explored different social media tools. It served to educate before discussion could truly begin; and this is not just true of those unaware of feminism or those who are not feminists. It also educated some of those that already are feminists and just have not gotten to see a new perspective yet.

I think the biggest strength of social media for feminist education is its ability to be informal and instant. It allows people to instantly say what they think without having to coordinate a big meeting or discussion somewhere. It can be done from the comfort of our homes. However, there are still some limitations to using social media for feminist education. One that we discussed time and time again was access and inclusivity. Not everyone has access to the Internet and therefore not everyone is able to read about or participate in discussions or websites. The other issue that popped up, was inclusiveness. Some sites struggled with the line between gearing themselves towards the heart of issues with a certain group of feminists and being inclusive of all feminists. It is still something to be debated among feminists. Even Feminism is For Real discussed this a bit. Where do we draw the line between our differences and portraying a united front? Personally, I believe that if we embrace our differences and use that to our advantage to understand how feminism affects people of other ethnicities, genders, cultures, etc., it will help us a be an even more united front.

Overall, I think this class has been refreshingly new and interesting. IT has given us a way to use what we already love to do on our free time (social media!) and use it to learn. It has made this class more enjoyable and much more easy to engage constructively with.

Open Thread on the "feminist unification project"

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Williams/Konsmo write the following in their critique of "the feminist unification project":

the words we use to describe the mentality of mainstream feminists needing to hold hands, learn from each other and be sisters, in one unified circle of feminism, in order to win the fight against partriarchy. But this denies our sovereignty as distinct Indigenous nations, each with our own language, culture, history and experience of colonization (26).

Why wouldn't these authors promote the value of "learning from each other" and working for unity?

Earlier in the book, Jessica Yee writes:

I want to say that I don't think we need to reject feminism though -- I think we need to redefine it, find common points and common ground and involve Indigenous peoples and other com- munities of colour. As long as there is mutual respect and all of our cultural and historic realities are brought into the mix, we can create cross-cultural human movements (18).

(How) can we read these passages together?
What are the limits of working for unity?
What shifts when our goal is "cross-cultural movement" and not "unity"?

Social Media Assessment, Part 2

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After extensively studying social media tools and their connection to feminism, it's nice to realize that they have a lot of purpose to helping the movement. In class, we used Twitter and blogs to share articles, ask questions, develop our opinions on certain issues, watch videos, and connect with other feminists and feminist organizations. The best part about staying so connected is that it allowed us to share our opinions outside of our comfort zone, which isn't always so easy. We can't expect to shut ourselves in for our whole lives, so by blogging and Tweeting we learn to watch our words and be confident with them.

However, I have never failed to be pessimistic about the use of social media tools, and I think there are too many limitations for us to be so dependent on websites for feminism. At the beginning of the year, I believed that most feminist blogs made little to no impact. I now amend this thought to be that feminist sites that stick to only one or two forms of social media make little impact. For example, I've become an avid follower of EMILY's List after using the PAC for the project. One of the reasons why I like it so much is because it uses its resources wisely in order to spread as much awareness as possible, including Facebook, Twitter, a blog, Youtube, and advocacy programs and events. On the other hand, there are still feminist blogs that limit themselves to blog posts and possibly a Twitter account and/or Facebook page. These types of sites might post great pieces that can't be found in the mainstream media, but they can't make a significant impact with that little outreach. Blogging is a great tool for sharing ideas, but it shouldn't be the foundation for the movement.

Another problem with online feminism relates to our class discussion on access. There will always be people who do not use the Internet but want to be a part of the feminist movement. By no means should we eliminate the online media to level the field of access; rather, we need to remember to incorporate these persons by holding more events and demonstrations.

I believe the most important aspect of social media tools is that they allow feminists to collaborate and unify. I take the Internet for granted when I look at videos on Feminist Frequency or learn about the most recent candidates supported by EMILY's List. The list we made at the beginning of the semester shows the wide range of ways in which we benefit from having these sites, and, though I have nothing to add to the list, most of the media tools I have come across utilize these tactics.

Social Media Assessment

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Feminist Debates has embraced and critiqued social media as a feminist education tool. We have used hashtags on Twitter and the course blog itself. We have taken time to think critically about various other websites to figure out the advantages and the limitations of them. During our time in this class we have broken up into small group discussions and held large discussions as well. Each student must present at least twice to the classroom about a feminist reading or feminist website. In addition to presenting websites to the class, students are required to tweet three feminist sources using the proper hashtag.
This class has effectively used social media as a tool for communication and spreading awareness. The Internet is a great and easy way for us college students to stay involved and engaged with feminism. It's effective because all of us have access to it. It's effective because all of us are asked to explore the different mediums (both course blog and Twitter). This was especially helpful when it came to the diablog assignment. From my own experience I like Twitter so much more than I like blogging. The reason why I liked Twitter is because it was fast, short, and easy compared to blogs, which take longer, are longer than 140 characters, and uThink was not the user-friendliest software. Also when it came to diablog presentations GoogleDocs seem to be a BIG help!! Thinking back I wish every group used GoogleDocs and was required to share their document with our professor at puot0002@umn.edu.
Another way in which social media has been effective in our class is the live Twitter-feed on the home page of the course blog. It's taking the two mediums and combining them, creating a mixed media form of communication on the Internet.
However social media tools in the classroom may be ineffective because of lagging Internet speeds and the learning curve it may or may not have on some people depending on how tech-savvy they are. It takes some people longer than others but once everyone is on the same page it's smooth sailing from there.
One of the biggest benefits for social media and feminist education is that it appeals to a broad audience. Thinking within our countries borders, any person can stumble upon it, any bored teenage girl in Iowa, any curious boy in Texas, any old person in Oregon, anyone, anywhere! We've living in a day and age where people ask the Internet questions instead of friends. Having feminist resources online allows anyone who takes some initiative to be able to learn about these issues free at their fingertips on their own time.
One of the biggest obstacles though is that it's lack of visibility. I'm thinking of Harvey Milk when I say this but people aren't going to be as threatened by feminists if they know one personally. Maybe I'm trying to say that feminists need to "come out" like Harvey Milk was so sure that GLBT people needed to come out. Without visibility it is difficult for a movement to be taken seriously. If the feminist presence is only online under aliases like meownins... what does that really mean? What does that offer? It's important to think about online identities versus real life identities and the roles and impact those directly have on people.
I loved the focus on social media in this class. This is the first class I have ever taken that does so. It's better than most classes because I can take away so much more from it. Instead of having a large textbook to sit on my shelf I have blogs, websites, news sites, hashtags, and YouTube videos I can share with my friends. I can keep revisiting these sources because they are constantly being updated. Lets be honest here, I will NEVER go back to look through my geology textbook but I definitely WILL keep reading Colorlines.com.

Reading Example 2

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RE2.jpg

After read this book, I could think about many controversies in Feminist societies. And it made me come up with the idea that could solve the feminism problems in our society.
In the book "Living with Contradictions: Controversies in Feminist Social Ethics", Jaggar, Alison states "there is no magic formula for reaching fair and workable resolutions of these pressing and complicated problems. The best we can do is resolve to be as open and sensitive as we can to the diversity of interests and range of values involved. This in turn requires us to commit ourselves to seeking as many different perspectives as possible" (11). As she mentions here, there is no magical way to solve feminism problems easily over the short period. However, if we keep continuing to seek the feminism problems that are prevalent in our society, and trying to come up with the idea that could solve those problems with an open mind, we can definitely improve both those problems and eventually our entire society.

Day Twenty-three: December 1

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Turn in papers today. 
  • Check out the second part of your social media assessment assignment here.
  • Discussing the rest of Feminism for Real on Tuesday with diablog group 5. 
  • Discussing your Social Media Assessments on Thursday.
  • Final class on Tuesday, December 13! No final exam.
This is a feminist issue because...gay marriage and its effects on family/children (originally posted by Serita)


I just tried using storify for archiving the live-tweet that I created while reading Jessica Yee's introduction to Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism. You can check it out on my blog.

Lee. Introduction

1. on "not hating-on" feminism, but encouraging discomfort and redefinition

"There needs to be struggle in order to lay out a path to co-existence, and that the process of being uncomfortable is essential for non-Indigenous peoples to move from being enemy, to adversary, to ally" (11).
I want to say that I don't think we need to reject feminism though -- I think we need to redefine it, find common points and common ground and involve Indigenous peoples and other com- munities of colour. As long as there is mutual respect and all of our cultural and historic realities are brought into the mix, we can create cross-cultural human movements (18).

2. on being "equal"

Screen shot 2011-12-01 at 9.19.48 AM.png

(How) does our understanding of the goals of feminism change when we shift away from the language of choice and towards the right to self-determination?

Williams/Konsmo. Resistance to Indigenous Feminism

3. on independent women and expressing emotion: 

I also think that feminism sets this bar of "independent, strong women" that are supposed to be able to "handle our emotions". But the Elders I know tell me that laughter and tears are medicine (Krysta 24). 

I don't even know what "independent" means anymore. I think for a lot of folks it's impossible to not be dependent on someone (a partner, family member) or something, financially or otherwise in order to survive. This especially doesn't speak to our communities, where people are depend on each other and share a lot for survival! We understand that things are connected and interdependent and this does NOT mean weakness (Krysta 25). 

4. on the feminist unification project:

the words we use to describe the mentality of mainstream feminists needing to hold hands, learn from each other and be sisters, in one unified circle of feminism, in order to win the fight against partriarchy. But this denies our sovereignty as distinct Indigenous nations, each with our own language, culture, history and experience of colonization (26). 

Tagore. A Slam on Feminism in Academia.

5. on the need/urge for feminist theory, thinking, acting:

some of us need to engage with feminist theory
so we can ground it in our community activist work
our creative works
our personal relationships
for our families, communities and histories
for our own fucking deserved peace of minds

maybe we need to know how to make sense of oppression
because we're so heartbroken

we don't want to end up being locked away in psychiatric institutions
or in a hospital overdosed on pills, getting our stomachs pumped
because we don't know WHY all this shit is constantly driving us CRAZY (40)

Peterson. The Feminist Existential Crisis (Dark Child Remix)

6. on the "proper" way to practice feminism:

I had started to feel significantly less invested in the endless, circular discussions about the proper way to practice feminism, the who's who list, the removal of my rough ideas on feminism from everyday life (46). 



Reading Example 1

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RE1.jpg

After read "And So I Choose", I could realize the importance of the reproductive justice and it made me rethink about many issues of reproductive justice.
In this book, Crews, Alison says that "women must speak boldly and proudly of their choices, so that other women feel safe in making their own" (143). As she states here, every woman has to have the reproductive rights to choose over their bodies.
Women's reproductive health is connected to and affected by conditions in their lives, such as their socioeconomic status, race, sexuality, and nationality. Today many organizations are helping for women to find their reproductive rights in various ways. However, most importantly, every woman has to realize about the importance of reproductive rights, and furthermore they should participate in many activities and movements voluntarily. That way we can understand thoroughly, and seek the real reproductive rights.

This is a feminist issue because... Is polygamy a crime?

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This article calls attention to polygamy in Canada.
It's hard to say what protects women and children and what is actually causing harm. Especially since polygamy is something people don't talk about that often.
Perhaps women and children are abused and unhappy- but they say they are not- does that mean they are brainwashed? Are they telling the truth? Polygamy has to do with religion, should that be respected?

Things get questionable when the chief justice associates polygamy with "directly threatening the benefits felt to be associated with the institution of monogamous marriage."

That has nothing to do with the harm towards women and children.
What is the REAL reason why polygamy is illegal here? Is it honestly to protect women and children or is it to protect marriage? Could it be both?

Diablog 3 Reflection

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When I dealt with this topic, I had a difficulty with defining the reproductive justice. Because the reproductive justice was too broad topic to define in a short sentence. Although it was a little confused about direction and procedure of the presentation,
this diabolg activity was meaningful time, because it made us think about many issues of reproductive justice.
Also it helped me to question about the issues of reproductive justice and the women's rights to choose over their bodies. I really enjoyed discussion about this topic after the presentation, because I could hear many other's opinions. And it really helped me to rethink about the reproductive rights and how it is important.

This is a Feminist Issue: Pepper Spray and Marginalization

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In case you haven't heard, there was a controversy involving a 19-year old pregnant woman, Jennifer Fox, at Occupy Seattle. At the protest, Fox says she was pepper-sprayed, despite telling the police that she was pregnant. A few days later, she later learned that she had a miscarriage.

Now that the video of Fox has gone viral, many have started to call into question the validity of her statements (she also said that she was kicked in the stomach). It doesn't help her cause that she is homeless and decided to go to a protest while pregnant.

Whether or not her story is exactly correct, Fox represents the marginalization that many other women face. Women--especially pregnant or homeless women--should not expected to act differently because of their situation. It's even worse when people say "She got what she expected" and "Well, that's her own fault". It's okay that she got pepper-sprayed when she went to a rally? Her baby deserves to die? Again, the details of Fox's case are still a bit ambiguous, but it's frustrating when other women are treated just as harshly.

Michelle Obama inspires new fashion advice book

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/28/michelle-obamas-signature_n_1118906.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

Am I the only one who finds the fact that one of the first and most media-covered books, "Commander In Chic", is about our first African-American First Lady is about her sense of style?! Yeah, she dresses cute, but she also has nearly limitless credit and personal stylists. And as a woman in a powerful position I think we, as a society and as feminists, should focus on her influential work with obese children, the education system, homeless shelters, cancer patients, organic food reform, and other various women's rights movements. The First Lady has undertaken so many important projects in our world and now, as well as during her husband's campaign, the media continues to focus on her appearance and the fashion trends she sets. A woman is more than her wardrobe and this author and media coverage saddens me

Social Media Assessment (part 2)

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[from pg 6 of the pdf with all assignments: Assessment of class use of Social Media 50 points In early december (by dec 7), you are required to post a blog entry in which you reflect on the value and effectiveness of social media in our feminist class.]

Here's what I wrote on the welcome page of this blog:

In Feminism is for Everybody, bell hooks argues for the importance of feminist mass-based education in order both to counter mainstream media's overly negative representation of feminism and its goals and for sharing the positive contributions that feminist principles have made with as many people as possible (including those outside of the academy). In a chapter entitled, "Feminist Education for Critical Consciousness," hooks imagines this feminist education being spread through pamphlets, buttons, t-shirts, children's books, and television networks. 

But what about feminist blogs (and social media tools like twitter) for spreading awareness? 

Students in GWSS 3004: Feminist Debates at the University of Minnesota, will be using this blog and the hashtag #femd2011 to explore the limits and possibilities of developing and spreading mass-based feminist education online. In addition to contributing their own content to the meaning of feminist education (through blog posts, comments and tweets), they will be critically reflecting on a wide range of ways in which networks of feminists are already using the internet to develop and share their feminist principles and projects.

In your own blog post (roughly 350-400 words), briefly answer the following questions:

  1. What are you reactions to the above statement. How have we used social media tools in the classroom? How has it been effective? Ineffective?
  2. Look over the summary of social media tools that you all came up with at the beginning of the semester. Now that you've spent a lot of time reading about/engaging with feminist social media is there anything you'd like to add?
  3. What do you think is one of the biggest benefits of social media for feminist education? What is one of the biggest limitations or obstacles that feminists face when using social media?
  4. Any final thoughts about the class and our focus on social media?

I feel like there could be a whole feminist critique on her career. She started out so young and innocent (like most) with songs like Pon de Replay, Umbrella, and Take a Bow.. but has shifted to Rude Boy, S&M, and Cockiness.

Her 5th album Loud had the single S&M on it, which I considered a breakthrough in a sense that I have never heard a female musician, as mainstream as she is, sing about sadomasochism in such an "acceptable" way for the radio to play over and over again. It surprised me how popular the song got to be, and how so many people memorized the song lyrics.

I loved this song (S&M) and how she was able to express her sexuality but I wonder if this does more bad than good for females? The same question applies to ALL MUSIC and what's popular. I am also interested in rap and hiphop culture and how its expressed through lyrics and are those lyrics beneficial, harmful, or neutral towards feminism?


Also, I'm not sure if people have listened to Talk That Talk, Rihanna's newest album, (I know I haven't got around to it yet) but this Cockiness song surely stands out to me.

This YouTube video has lyrics.

  • How do you guys feel about this song?

  • Is Rihanna taking things too far with this one?

  • How does this help or hurt women?

  • Is it acceptable for men to sing about women in a misogynist way? Why or why not?

This project was interesting, it allowed all of us to analyze something we probably have normally passed by with out notice, there are thousands of Apps out there! Below is our presentation, please feel free to comment and share your thoughts!


Here are links to the article that talks about this!
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1r0D3y/www.good.is/post/three-apps-that-might-actually-prevent-sexual-assault/


Focus on:
*She wants to do me Checklist
*The Circle of Six

So the above two are Apps created to prevent Sexual Violence.
It was created to raise awareness about rape. It serves to prevent rape and sexual assault in young adults. Why was it created (purpose)? Anna
It was created to help young adult women protect themselves against assault and provide support to their peers by being connected in a discreet way. The app is aimed at college age women because sexual assault is 4 times more likely for those women then the general public.

What is it?
An App that was created for a smartphone for a man to look at and go through a check list before he has sex. Is she awake? Is she sober? Did she verbally indicate that she wants to have sex with you-before proceeding.

Please watch this VIDEO (caution ridiculous) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqpEd80dWMY What is it? Emily

The Circle of Six app works by allowing women to quickly access their six closest contacts in uncomfortable or unsafe situations.

Feminist vision
*Places responsibility on perpetrators
*Clear cut guide to what consent actually includes (fool proof)
-Checklist
-There is an Additional attachment feature of breathalyzer
*Prevention- person doesn't have to go through the psychological/ physical trauma of actually being attacked
* Victim responsibility

Strategies/ tactics?
series of questions for men to ask themselves before getting intimate with a girl
sarcasm/embarrassing Strategies/ tactics? Sam
instantly and discreetly connecting them to the people they trust when they need it most.
five alert modes, seven alarm sounds and a flashlight
provides links to other helpful sites
promote the importance of respectful and healthy relationships by raising awareness about the danger signs of dating abuse and providing links to educational materials

Uses of social media?
*Smart phones- always with you!

Benefits
*May cause potential rapists to reconsider what they are doing
*Phone may be a distraction, allowing the potential victim to exit Benefits Brooke
*Can alert friends/family if dangerous situation arises
*If the app gains popularity, rapists may second guess their choices if they are aware that the woman may have access to this
Limitations Lexi


*Accessibility of smart phones
*Downloading App
*Unrealistic many people will take time to look through the checklist


Limitations
* Hard to have app open and ready in case something happens

Ideas of feminist education
-Creates conversation
"If I do not speak in a language that can be understood there is little chance for a dialogue." Bell Hooks
-Creative and engaging
-"New research conducted by Women at NBCU revealed that women are becoming increasingly more passionate about the Internet and their tech gadgets. In fact, about 54% of women own Smartphone's compared with 46% of men. Women also tend to have more friends on social networking sites and follow more brands, and check their profiles about four or five times a day"
-Whether this succeeds or not, there is recognition that something has to be done.

Day Twenty-two: November 29

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Today we are continuing Social Media presentations. Here are a few reminders:

  • Final papers (along with your writing folders) are due Thursday, December 1
  • We start discussing Feminism for Real on Thursday. Read up to page 47 (through Latoya Peterson's essay) for Thursday. Finish the book for next Tuesday.

Social Media Project :Spoken Word

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We decided as a group that we would do our social media presentation over spoken word skit by Staceyann Chin. What is Spoken Word you may ask, well its a form of poetry that often uses alliterated verse and metered verse to express an act of rebelling against a group, a company, an individual, or even against a social issue. Most spoken word is to promote change by informing the public. Spoken word is mainly spoken from the poets point of view and is themed by current events happening around the world. Staceyann Chin is a brilliant poet and has such emotion when she speaks. Staceyann was born in 1971 in Jamaica but now resides in the U.S. She is openly lesbian and an activist for many groups. Staceyann Chin not only performs poetry but she also co-wrote Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam which appeared on Broadway. Staceyann talks about not being a feminist but a womanist. We can define a womanist as having or expressing a belief in or respect for women and their talents and abilities beyond the boundaries of race and class. These beliefs or actions are informed by womanist ideals. Calling herself a womanist she opens the doors to many other women by creating less of a standard as some think the definition of a feminist does. In spoken word the main tactic we see is the raw emotion that you get, the real feelings we see from the poets. Chin has an amazing talent for making people listen to her in a way that you really can't stop listening even if you want too. Staceyanns' poetry can be viewed all over the internet,. She also has a twitter, and her own website. The benefits from our example are plain and simple being that interactive poetry sparks interest, we feel that people can be more in tune from hearing Staceyann voice her self in manner that is forceful but moving at the same time. A limitation from our example may be that we only focused on one spoken word poet instead of many others. When we all took a look at one of Chins' You tube videos "Feminist or a Womanist", which was intense but enlightening while being filled with such passion. Staceyann Chin and spoken word is helping spread the word about feminism in a way that shows others they can speak out on what they believe in too.

Here is the You Tube video ...

Her Twitter is @Staceyannchin

Her website is
http://www.staceyannchin.com/v2/bio.html

Her facebook
http://www.facebook.com/staceyannchin/posts/10150342597359821#!/staceyannchin

Feminist Social Media: EMILY's List

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Em's List Logo.gif

EMILY is actually an acronym - it stands for "Early Money Is Like Yeast," because it makes dough rise. Ellen Malcolm was the one who founded EMILYS LIst in 1985 and she knew that early money was one of the key ingredients to a successful campaign, but that it was missing for most women who wanted to run for office. So she brought together supporters who wanted to get more women into office and make history!

It's dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. The method is a little more complicated however. They are continually making investments to help women develop political skills and cultivate resources so that they can bring more women into politics and elected office. Because only then they can build a lasting progressive majority dedicated to social justice, civil rights , diversity, economic reform, and compassion.

EMILYS List looks for political opportunities and pro-choice Democratic women candidates to run for office. They talk to the community about these women and ask for donations to the campaigns of candidates. EMILYS List provides intense training for candidates and staff so they can make the most of limited resources and be able to win the hardest races and elections. Another strategy they use is conducting in-depth, ongoing research into the minds of women voters. Finally, they get women to vote! They reach out to women voters in he days and weeks before elections with persuasive messages that motivate them to go to the polls and cast their ballots for progressive Democratic woman. By reaching out to women voters they research top issues and concerns, target the correct group of people, and contact them using several types of social networking. They use this strategy because they know that when women vote, women win!

Although it began as simply a PAC in 1985, it has now hosts a website, along with several other social media outlets. It has a Facebook page (with about 134,000 fans), Twitter account (around 10,000 followers), a Youtube channel (over 150 videos uploaded), an RSS Feed, and a Blog. Each social media page links to articles and pictures related to the website, while the Blog has several posts about feminism and politics. In addition to posting information on EMILY's List, the social media are great for connecting to the PAC's supporters (e.g. Facebook polls, retweeting, and replying to general comments).

EMILY's List helps encourage voter participation while electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. While it raises money for the elections, EMILY's List does not continue to lobby for the candidates once they make it into office. Since 1985, the PAC has been extremely successful: they have raised over $82 million for candidates and have helped elect over 600 officials into local, state, and national levels.

However, EMILY's List limits itself by only focusing on pro-choice Democratic women. This can be a good thing, as it attracts a certain group of voters and supporters, but it also pushes away men, non-Democrat pro-choice candidates, and women candidates who have all the same viewpoints as EMILY's List besides abortion. Although this is good for preventing the cause from becoming ambiguous, it can keep some feminists away.

Overall, EMILY's List is an organization with a specific demographic. It allows all people interested the opportunity to find out more about what the candidates have to offer. By having EMILY's List it generates and builds a community together. In doing so it raises money as well as helps educate people what the candidates are truly striving for.

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