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.