Articulating womanism through the voice of Stacey Ann Chin was definitely a fruitful and exciting way for me to engage as well as share my own sentiments about why I lean more toward a womanist perspective. Bringing spoken word into our classroom as an alternative method with which feminists and womanists can engage was really exciting. I was glad to hear so many positive responses to Stacey Ann Chin and Spoken Word.
Stacey Ann Chin's work made me think about the power of spoken word and what effect it might have on our class. Instead of engaging with social media, why haven't we fostered alternative approaches that ask us to be more creative? That challenge the institutional spaces we engage in?
The pervasive sentiment backing social media as the new feminist tool does not sit well with me. I have to question how a dialogue can remain prosperous and diverse when so few women and men have access to the internet for lengthy periods of time. Time. It takes time to engage as we have in this classroom via the web, and as I have stated before, that time is a privilege few are given.
Finally, my sentiments have been predominantly adverse to the usage of social media as a tool to engender conversation. In addition, I find it difficult to believe that we can explore diverse narratives surrounding feminism/womanism within the world of the internet. I would, however, like to point out how it has ushered in more discussion I would not otherwise have been exposed to. Interesting discussions emerged within our classroom about the effect of violence on women's bodies as we discussed ihollback. For victims of sexual violence, abuse and harassment, coming forward can feel like a daunting task. ihollaback creates a safe space for women to share their stories. I wonder, though, what can we do with the amount of negative criticisms that circulate in response to those women speaking out? Is that adding to the violence?
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.
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?
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. Name of project/example/organization + link(s) to example
The National Organization for Women
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[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.]
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:
What are you reactions to the above statement. How have we used social media tools in the classroom? How has it been effective? Ineffective?
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?
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?
Any final thoughts about the class and our focus on social media?
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!
*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.
*Places responsibility on perpetrators
*Clear cut guide to what consent actually includes (fool proof)
-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
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!
*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
*Accessibility of smart phones
*Unrealistic many people will take time to look through the checklist
* Hard to have app open and ready in case something happens
Ideas of feminist education
"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.
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
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.
#mencallmethings is a hashtag that people comment on to show the effects of verbal harassment online. It is created by current feminists that want to raise awareness about issues and constantly developed by online participants around the world. It was created and developed because feminists needed another outlet and area to express current issues. Their vision is for women to speak up about the way men talk to them and raise awareness about related feminist issues. One woman tweeted, "When we all speak up, it doesn't sound like self-pity anymore, and its not hurt fee-fee (possibly short for feelings?). It's structural oppression. #mencallmethings". It is to reveal the abuse, name calling, & misogynist slurs females experience while online and offline. It represents sexist abuse online.
The nice thing about the usage of this social media resource is that it lets anyone comment/tweet on what they think about the hashtag. It is made for anyone; both women and men use it. It shows the many things men call or say about women. It raises awareness because many people don't even notice what they are saying or the impact that it makes. It is not just for the victims, its also for the perpetrators. It is constantly updated with new stories, announcements, etc. because many people have something to say about it.
This example is helpful because it's a place where all participants can have an equal say in how it's used, based on how they use it themselves! Many participants have used the hashtag to raise awareness. Others have used it to share their stories. Either way it is helping those who need it most and allows others to offer advice and sympathy.
Although #mencallmethings can be useful, it is not necessarily inclusive. Men can be feminists too and they are not the only ones to perpetrate this kind of behavior. A couple of people used this hashtag to make that statement clear. They also included a recommendation to start using the #peoplecallmethings because it is much more inclusive. This site had an almost identical purpose, it is just more inclusive. By allowing everyone who has a twitter to use the hashtag it spreads awareness about this issue and also spreads information about feminism in general.
The following are some examples (that we will also go over in class) that illustrates some people in favor and against the use of this social media outlet for feminists:
The Girl Effect is a social media production of the Nike Foundation aimed at raising funds for various charitable organizations (http://www.globalgiving.org/girleffect/learn-more/ ) around the world with the common goal of empowering girls. The Girl Effect (www.girleffect.org) is "a movement driven by girl champions around the globe," and it was created by the Nike Foundation (http://www.nikefoundation.org/) in 2008 with contributions (financial and intellectual) from the NoVo Foundation (http://novofoundation.org/) and Nike Inc., and in collaboration with partners such as the United Nations Foundation (http://www.unfoundation.org/global-issues/women-and-population/investing-adolescent-girls.html) and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls (http://www.coalitionforadolescentgirls.org/). All of the organizations listed above work on issues affecting women and girls, almost exclusively in the developing world.
The Girl Effect was started in 2008 with the purpose of getting powerful people (business leaders, world leaders, and "the smartest and richest people in the world") to talk about girls - about the "indisputable potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and for the world."
The Girl Effect answers the question, "Why girls?" with: "When we all invest in girls, everyone wins: girls, their families, their communities and their nations." The Girl Effect's basic premise is that adolescent girls are "capable of raising the standard of living in the developing world." The Girl Effect works on the premise that girls are the most likely agents of change in their communities, but that they are often invisible in the media and in their communities.
The girl effect has a vision that every girl living in poverty should be given a chance to create a better future for herself, and for future generations. Some of their main missions are:
-Health and protection form HIV
-Choice to marry whom she wants
-Raising a healthy family, if she chooses to have one.
"The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world"
The Girl Effect website uses impactful videos to illustrate just how important their mission to educate about and end poverty is. Their website is easy to navigate, easy to get information, and easy to donate to the cause. They also use all types of social media, such as facebook, youtube, texting, and twitter.
The Girl Effect provides a simple model of solutions to problems like hunger, poverty, AIDS etc,
It focuses on empowering girls (in third world countries) through education and entrepreneurship.
The Girl effect suggests that empowering one girl will have profound impact on the community in terms of better health, eradicating poverty etc
It talks about giving the girl 'choice' in terms of marriage, career, children etc..
The site gives stats about girl's lives globally. It also shows the organizations view on where the movement is headed and how others can contribute. It is a neat resource that allows the giver to choose where to give their money. This is useful because it could make people more likely to give. Also there is a resource that says exactly what each amount of money goes to providing for the girls. It is very much geared to answer givers questions. This probably increases their giving rate.
Basically, I the Girl Effect is a more general/broad organization that works to spread the message about the "girl effect," (the phenomena that by educating one girl, there will be a domino-like effect of positive change in her family, her community, and, when enough girls are helped, in the world), and then partners with organizations that do more concrete/specific/tangible work in helping adolescent girls. The Girl Effect spreads the message, collects the money, and passes it on to other organizations that they partner with. Basically, they are like a marketing site for organizations that focus on issues affecting women and girls in the developing world. These organizations, and the people who support them, are called "girl champs" by the Girl Effect .
The broad reach of the Girl Effect can be seen as a limitation to its effectiveness. The campaign is essentially a funnel for other aid organizations. Therefore, the girl effect can't claim to have any specific tactics for helping girls other than it raises money to give to other organizations. After watching some of the promotional videos, viewers are often left wondering, "What exactly does this group do?" It would be more helpful if the video vignettes gave more instruction on how to help these girls out instead of just spouting facts that never really lead to a solution (other than give $).
Because many of the obstacles that adolescent girls face stem from particular cultural practices, it can be a little tricky for the Girl Effect, and similar organizations, to try and effect change without seeming to impose their own cultural values on other cultures. Where do we draw the line between helping and imposing our values on other women?
The Girl Effect partners with a lot of organizations (such as NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation, BRAC, etc.) that already focus on helping adolescent girls in developing countries --- it makes the Girl Effect seem a little redundant.
Some people might (rightly) wonder why the Girl Effect is ignoring about girls in our own backyards (girls who are under-educated, victims of domestic and sexual abuse, girls who are exploited in the sex trade, girls who drop out of school because of teen pregnancy, girls who can't read, don't have enough to eat, live in poverty, right in our own backyards...)
Another shortcoming is that the Girl Effect is a effort produced by Nike foundation and Nike does not have the best reputation concerning human rights ().
Girl Effect relies heavily on Social Media since its entire operation is online. Its videos are popular and well known on youtube.com, and its social media pages like Twitter and Facebook are updated multiple times a day and provide direct access to the Girl Effect webpage, their GlobalGiving () webpage, and many other feminist resources.
"There are 600 million adolescent girls living in poverty in the developing world. By giving one of these girls a chance, you start the girl effect. When girls have safe places to meet, education, legal protection, health care, and access to training and job skills, they can thrive. And if they thrive, everyone around them thrives, too."
The Girl Effect: What is it? Why was it created/developed?
Our group chose the organization "The Girl Effect" as the subject of our Feminist Social Media presentation. The Girl Effect is, "a movement driven by girl champions around the globe," and it was created by the Nike Foundation in 2008, with contributions (financial and intellectual) from the NoVo Foundation and Nike Inc., and in collaboration with partners such as the United Nations Foundation, and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls. All of the organizations listed above work on issues affecting women and girls in the developing world.
The Girl Effect was started in 2008 with the purpose of getting powerful people (business leaders, world leaders, and "the smartest and richest people in the world") to talk about girls - specifically, about the "indisputable potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for them and for the world." The Girl Effect answers the question, "Why girls?" with: "When we all invest in girls, everyone wins: girls, their families, their communities and their nations." The Girl Effect's main claim is that adolescent girls are "capable of raising the standard of living in the developing world." The Girl Effect works on the premise that girls are the most likely agents of change in their communities, but that they are often invisible in the media and in their communities. The Girl Effect was created as a way of bringing attention to the positive potential of adolescent girls. As explained in the FAQ section of the Girl Effect website:
"The math is simple: Girls + Girl Champions = Something Way Bigger Than All Of Us. That's why we exist. That's our whole schtick: to advance the Girl Effect. There are 250 million adolescent girls living in poverty today. By 2030, we want 50 million of them out. Nothing less than 50 million girl effects."
Basically, the Girl Effect is a broader organization that works to spread the message about the "girl effect," (the idea that by educating one girl, there will be a domino-like effect of positive change in her family, her community, and - when enough girls are helped - in the world), and then partners with organizations that do more specific/tangible work in helping adolescent girls. The Girl Effect spreads the message, collects the money, and passes it on to the organizations that they partner with. Basically, they are like a marketing site for organizations that focus on issues affecting women and girls in the developing world. These organizations, and the people who support them, are called "girl champs" by the Girl Effect.
A good place to read an overview of the Girl Effect's goals, is in the FAQ section of their website. Also, to learn more about the different organizations that the Girl Effect donates to, check out the "Global Giving" page.
What feminist vision does Girl Effect have? What strategies does it use?
The girl effect has a vision that every girl living in poverty should be given a chance to create a better future for her, her community, and for future generations. Some of the Girl Effect's main goals are:
-Health and protection form HIV
-Choice to marry whom she wants, and when she wants
-Raising a healthy family, if she chooses to have one.
- Keeping the cycle of education, health, and marriage by choice going from
one generation of girls to the next
Among other tools, the Girl Effect website uses impactful videos to educated people about the their mission to educate girls as a way to end global poverty. Their website is easy to navigate, visually appealing, informative, emotionally appealing, and has an easy way for interested people to donate to the Girl Effect cause. The Girl Effect also uses various types of social media, such as Facebook, and Twitter, and YouTube, to help spread their message.
How does Girl Effect rely on Social Media?
Girl Effect relies heavily on Social Media since it's entire operation is online. It's videos are popular and well known on youtube.com, and it's social media pages like Twitter and Facebook are updated multiple times a day and provide direct access to the Girl Effect webpage, their GlobalGiving webpage, and many other feminist resources.
• The Girl Effect has over 19,000 followers on twitter, follows 2,800, and has around 1,339 tweets.
• The organization uses twitter to encourage it's followers to donate, to education it's followers about issues related to women's rights around the world- through re-tweets of other twitter accounts, and tweets that include links to other resources (news articles, videos etc.), and Inspirational quotes
• 269,785 people have "Liked" Girl Effect on Facebook.
• Uses Facebook in similar ways as Twitter.
- To encourage their Facebook Friends to donate
- For education by providing links to their own videos and website, to other
organizations, to news articles, etc.
- Quotes about women's rights/ activism
- The Girl Effect page has "Liked" many other feminist organizations, for
example "The Global Fund for Women", "Equality Now" and "The Girl Scouts of America" which allows its friends to easily access other feminist resources.
- On the side of the Facebook page, it has a part of the page dedicated to
Donation. It allows users to quickly and easily donate.
- Also has a "Mobilize" page that uses social media to promote "Girl
Effect" and it's videos by allowing users to easily "SHARE" the video on their
personal Facebook page.
"Girl Champ" Award:
• Every month "Girl Effect" allows it's supporters that are doing great things for girls around the world to share their own stories of activism and attempt to inspire others to get involved as well. The winner of these awards is featured on Twitter and Facebook.
What are the benefits of this social media example (Girl Effect)? How is it useful? Helpful? Effective?
The Girl Effect site gives stats about the status of adolescent girls' lives globally. It also makes clear its view on where the movement is headed, and how others can contribute to the cause. It's a neat resource that allows the giver to choose where their money will be allocated (which is useful because it could encourage more people to donate). Also, the site provides information that says exactly what each amount of money goes to providing for the girls - there is a transparency that allows people who donate to find answers to questions they might have about how their donations are being used. As far the as the benefits/positives of the organization in general, here are some that we've identified:
- The Girl Effect website leads to links for a lot of other groups and organizations that focus on helping adolescent girls in the developing world (for example, organizations such as the United Nations Foundation). The Girl Effect site makes effective use of social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to spread awareness about important issues and the organizations that are working to address those issues.
- The overall goals and values of the organization, the spirit of their enterprise, seem basically sound and good. By focusing exclusively on girls, the organization opens up room for discussions about women that are important and are often overlooked.
- At the very least, The Girl Effect can bring awareness to some of the larger issues faced by adolescent girls in many parts of the world: underage marriage, lack of education, etc., even if they are not able to solve these problems entirely.
What are the limitations of this example? How is it not useful? How does it fail to be effective?
The girl effect is limited by its broadness. The campaign is essentially a funnel for other aid organizations. Therefore, the girl effect can't claim to have any specific tactics for helping girls other than it raises money to give to other organizations. After watching some of the promotional videos, viewers are often left wondering, "What exactly does this group do?" The mission/purpose of the Girl Effect comes across as noble but a bit lofty. It can be difficult to ascertain concretely just what the money given to the Girl Effect does. There are a lot of inspiring, but very vague, and sort of sweeping sentiments in the videos. It would be more helpful if the video vignettes gave more information about concrete ways to help these girls (and specific examples of what "success" in helping the girls looks like), instead of just spouting broad facts and then asking for donations.
• It reinforces stereotypes that women are naturally more caring than men and doesn't do anything to encourage men to do more at home.
• The video claims that putting more women to work will drive economic development--yet women already make up a bigger percentage of the workforce in poor countries than in industrialized ones, but development is stalled. "What poor countries need to stimulate sustainable growth are not women taking out loans to buy cows, but better governance and better terms of trade with rich countries," Ms. Carella says.
• Focusing on economic development prioritizes the well being of the economy over the well being of women.
• One video, with its images of flies buzzing around the word "girl," reinforces the perception that women in poor countries need saving by the Western world. There is a sense of the first world focusing on "fixing" or "improving" the developing world, which can seem a bit imposing/assumptive, and which begs the question --- what about girls in our own backyards? What about the girls who are under-educated, victims of domestic and sexual abuse, girls who are exploited in the sex trade, girls who drop out of school because of teen pregnancy, girls who can't read, don't have enough to eat, live in poverty, etc., who live in our own "developed" country?
• Girl Effect is an effort produced by the Nike Foundation, and Nike does not have an unblemished record concerning human rights.
• The site is visually nice - there are a lot of bold graphics, feel-good videos, etc., - but contains a lot of vague statements such as, "The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and countries." Again, this feels too vague, and it leaves one wanting some solid facts and figures related to the campaign goals. (Note: there is a fact sheet, "The Girl Effect Data," but even that feels a little skimpy and generalized).
• The Girl Effect partners with a lot of organizations (such as NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation, BRAC, etc.) that already focus on helping adolescent girls in developing countries --- it makes the Girl Effect seem a little redundant.
• Because many of the obstacles that adolescent girls face stem from particular cultural practices, it can be a little tricky for the Girl Effect, and similar organizations, to try and effect change without seeming to impose their own cultural values on other cultures. Where do we draw the line between helping and imposing our values on other women?
Want to read other critiques of the Girl Effect? Look here and here.
How does Girl Effect help to spread feminist education?
Girl Effect provides a simple model of solutions to problems like hunger, poverty, AIDS etc. It focuses on empowering girls (in third world countries) through education and entrepreneurship, and by increasing awareness of the obstacles and issues being faced by adolescent girls in the developing world. Girl Effect suggests that empowering one girl will have profound positive impact - in terms of creating better health, eradicating poverty, etc. - on her own life, as well as on her community, and on the world. The Girl Effect aims to spread a message about the right of girls to be educated, to live in good health, to choose the terms of their marriages and motherhood experiences, and to raise healthy, happy, empowered daughters of their own. The Girl Effect raises awareness, and "dares" the world to see the potential in adolescent girls.
Adios Barbie is a sensational website used to perpetuate a true appreciation of all types of beauty. This blog styled website touches on subjects such as plastic surgery, race, age, and media. The website also applies a critical feminist lens to issues relating to beauty and understands that the definition of beauty for women is heavily shaped by the patriarchal society that we live in. Beauty for women shaped by our society is built on this false, idealized view of perfection that is basically unrealistic and unfair for women to try and adhere to. The website is ran by 12 women who have backgrounds of varying disciplines; psychology, women's studies, journalism and other educational focuses. Pia Guerrero the founder and co-editor explains what the site is intended for: "The goal of her work around body image is to raise awareness around young people's over-identification with rigidly defined gender roles and beauty standards as portrayed in the media- proven to be a major cause of low self-esteem and consequently negative health and educational outcomes in girls and boys."
"We say adios to narrow beauty & identity and hello to frank talk about race, class, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, size and how are multiple identities shape the way we feel in our bodies and in the world." The feminist vision of adios barbie is similar to many other feminist groups but these women are solely focused on creating a world where women are safe, powerful, and at home with who they are. Therefore, many women out in the world do not accept how they look and this blog is dedicated to telling them that they are beautiful in their own skin.
Adios barbie website is filled with many articles and stories aimed at telling women that they should be ok with the way they look. The blog has varying articles that preach the overall message that beauty is a patriarchal social construct and not something that women should try to adhere to. The articles on the website are very short and to the point so that there is no confusion among what is being delivered on the website. The articles are blatant and powerful so that the info cannot be ignored and at the same time comes from reliable feminist sources. The website is their main mode of delivering their views, it acts as a control center where they advertise their products, embed videos, talk about articles and blogs, and campaign for certain causes related to their own.
The matter-of-fact articles are great for getting their points across. These ideas and issues that are addressed in the articles on the blog are typical women issues that most, if not all, women can relate to. This website also gives contemporary feminists a space to be validated no matter if they conform to the traditional/radical feminist values or not. Although this is a great feminist website, it does only focus on certain aspects of feminism. The editors on the blog focus solely on image and certain entities that relate to image in terms of feminism. This can be provide a skewed view of feminism and an incomplete understanding of body image and beauty in relation to feminism.
Some words from the founder @ WAM2011:
Here are some phenomenal examples to help explain the function and need for audios barbie:
In the article "You're so Perfect... Except for Your Boobs":
This article touches on how males perceive women as objects more than people, how women are willing to go to extreme lengths to "be" the ideal (especially when men are involved), and how women can find power through loving themselves before having someone love them.
Society continues to push these ideals that are unattainable and unhealthy for girls and boys.
As I mentioned in class today, the assignment requires that you present on your feminist social media tool AND do a collective blog post about it. Ideally, you should use your blog post as part of your presentation. Your blog post should be posted before your presentation (on either nov 17 or nov 29). This assignment is worth 50 points.
Note: this is the first of 2 social media analysis assignments. The other one will be discussed after Thanksgiving (see the pdf with all assignments for a brief discussion of this second assignment, which is also worth 50 points).
You and 3-5 other students will critically assess one form of feminist social media and present this assessment to the class (in-class and on the blog). You will do research online in order to find a suitable example of feminist social media. Then collectively assess your example for its value as a feminist education resource. Finally, you will give a brief (about 15 minutes) presentation in class on either nov 17 or nov 29. I will distribute a sign-up sheet during Tuesday's (10.25) class.
In your presentation and blog post, you should provide the following information about your social media example:
Name of project/example/organization + link(s) to example
Who/what is it?
Why was it created/developed?
What feminist vision does it have?
What strategies/tactics does it use?
How does it use/rely on social media?
What are the benefits of this example? How is it useful? Helpful? Effective?
What are the limitations of this example? How is it not useful? How does it fail to be effective?
How does it help to spread feminist education?
So far in class, we have looked at several different feminist blogs and an iPhone app. Early next month, we will look at some twitter examples and some projects that use multiple forms of social media at once. In your own social media example, I encourage you to be creative--you could talk about a blog, a twitter account/hashtag/list, a facebook page, youtube channel, a smartphone app, podcast, political remix video, vidding or whatever else you can find. (note: if you are unclear if your example fits with the assignment, please contact me).
Today, Thursday September 22nd, The University of Minnesota's new President, Eric Kaler will have his inauguration and a surprise Birthday party! Its a very exciting time for the University and guess who got to tweet all about it? ME! On Tuesday, I was chosen to serve as President Kaler's Social ambassador along with other U students- aka we got to follow the President and his Wife Karen Kaler around and tweet about their day. My shift was during the "community outreach" part of the inauguration. I, along with the Kaler party visited the University Urban Outreach Center, the Guthrie Theater and the Twins Baseball game. The tweeting was interesting because for the first time, I'm was not writing down my thoughts but trying to communicate the activites of the President to HIS audience. We had to be really careful- we wouldn't say anything too controversial, everything should be spelled right, and every tweet has to be detailed and represent not only President Kaler but the University of Minnesota as well. After we type a tweet, we would hand it from hand to hand to make sure it was worth submitting. Believe me it was INTENSE! But I enjoyed it very much, well one because I was with the U's President, how cool is that! Two because I got to meet some really influential people at the sites we visited. For example, I had never know about the Urban outreach Center here at the U, this center is very involved with the North Minneapolis community, helping the neighborhood with the recent natural disaster and with underprivileged youth, at this cite Prez Kaler talked about closing the achievement gap between students. In addition, I GOT TO GO ON THE BASEBALL FIELD OF THE TWINS TERRITORY at the Target Field! Well I've never been to a baseball game, so that was a nice first game huh? Also, Prez Kaler threw the first pitch and I had to twit pic it, I was so nervous that I would mess up but I think I did okay. Who knew Twitter could get me this opportunity to enjoy such a great experience? I guess this shows that we all have to use these social media's to our advantage, use twitter to connect, network, get important messages across. Follow the President on Twitter @PrezKaler and myself @SHEisLulete