Final statement - 00bserver and Rhetoricqueline

Megan Boler probably didn't anticipate her chapter about "a pedagogy of discomfort" would be so deeply "experienced" in a Feminist classroom. Yes, we felt discomfort in our class, but we also discovered the potential for discomfort to be productive, to lead to insightful disclosures, and to frame shared meaning. We can recognize and focus on discomfort to challenge our "comfortable" pre-assumptions and points of view about what a feminist classroom should look like. The "freshness" of the theme, for some of us, was quite tough. The "aging" of the theme, for others, and the difficulties to move forward as a group was difficult for others. That's it. As subjects we too internalize limiting structures of power, we each struggled to pull our side of the thread, resisting, questioning, reinforcing, informing, transforming, reforming the way we see social media in relation to critical pedagogies. Paulo Freire would have recommended us a bit more of solidarity in order to "get there": "nobody educates anybody else. Nobody educates himself. People educate each other through their interactions in the world."

As the semester progressed our class's attitudes toward social media evolved. Yes, we can find creative ways to explore social media in the context of our critical pedagogies. We can do so critically, thoughtfully, and with skepticism. We can locate senses of agency within social media, locate community. To arrive to this point, though, silence was necessary. And, even when the silence was perceived through the absence of voices... the inner voices kept working, making sense of this new "universe". Working through silence and resistance was, and is, challenging. The risk of confusing "taking social media seriously" with "a call for acceptance" required careful dialogue and practice. Our "resistance" itself constitutes a form of engagement. Our reactions and understandings of social media were developed by our participation in such new online forms.

Questioning the usefulness of social media in a feminist classroom is different from rejecting it. Rethinking and resisting social media in particular contexts is also a way to position ourselves as instructors and users. If we inherently reject or avoid social media, how do we address its absence in an increasingly technologically dependent reality?
Engaging new forms of social media should continue in feminist pedagogical discourse, we should be comfortable with not being able to answer our own questions, to leave the conversation ongoing. Doing so is a feminist accomplishment, for conclusive conversations are often too narrow and simple in the context of everyday life. So rather than conclude our class experience of and ideas toward social media, we choose to continue struggling with the complexities of feminist pedagogy and see that struggle as a central means of understanding.

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