Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
0
Jessie Daniels, PhDWomen’s Studies Colloquium – Graduate Center-CUNYMay 8, 2013“’Our version of consciousness-raising grou...
Twitter: @JessieNYC#digitalgc #fem2 #femfuture
introduction
sexism & misogyny exist
women are blogging
many to challenge sexism & misogyny
36.2 million women
15.1 million publishing
21.1 million reading & commenting
(white) men get invited, praised, listed
22
23media use shifting
27
“We work for free and then pass thison... (to younger women). We mustcreate a new culture of work, avirbant, feminist econ...
situating myself
34
2009
“Without an explicit challenge toracism, white feminism iseasily grafted onto whitesupremacy and useful forarguing for equ...
feminist bloggers study
interviews
digitally augmented ethnography
getting paid for blogging
the political economy of #femfuture
raises a set of questions
1. what kind of labor isonline feminism?
2. how is race implicated inonline feminism?
3. what kind of activism isonline feminism?
60
“Maybe we can just be ‘weekendfeminists’ with day jobs managingother websites or driving taxis,but when writing aboutfemin...
what kind of labor isfeminist blogging?
critiquing #femfuture
how is race implicated infeminist blogging?
“There is a dangerous ignorance inassuming #FemFuture is a first, a start, ornew.”~ Jessica Marie Johnson, PhD
in-person meeting “closed”online dialogue “open”
“It’s painful and embarrassing for whitefeminists to be called out around race and racism,but the obligation to learn how ...
hacking #femfuture
what kind of activism isonline feminism?
epistemological activism
is online feminism digital labor?
"Social movements in the Information Age areessentially mobilized around cultural values. Thestruggle to change the codes ...
how is race implicated?
what kind of feminism?
105
Twitter: @JessieNYC#femfuture #fem2Thank you!If you’d like to continue the conversation:
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism

1,800

Published on

Online feminist activism is the greatest innovation for feminism in 50 years, yet it is simultaneously “in crisis” because it is “underfunded and unsustainable,” according to a 2013 report called #FemFuture: Online Revolution” (BCRW, Volume 8). A New York Magazine cover story (October 30, 2011) proclaimed the ‘Rebirth of the Feminist Manifesto’ through feminist blogs. In the article, 20-something feminist blogger, Shelby Knox, described the blogs as her generations’ “version of consciousness-raising groups.” The emergence of digital media, and particularly blogs, represents a crucial new force for civic participation that holds the potential to destabilize old hierarchies, such as gender inequality. Relying on a mixed, augmented methodology of ethnography, content analysis and interviews with bloggers who identify as “feminist” or “womanist,” this explores the implications of “#femfuture” through an intersectional lens of gender, critical race theory and political economy.

Published in: Education
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total Views
1,800
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
8
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • First, special thanks to the organizers…especially, Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Zoe Meleo-Erwin, Erin Siodmak and Lauren Manley. This is a case where the delay worked out really well for what I ’ m talking about. Say something about the title of the piece....
  • Please join the conversation here...
  • say something to set expectations: new, first time, exploring ideas. As with last time I spoke here, what I try to do is interdisciplinary - memoir, data, critique, digitally engaged. 1. Intro2. Current context - sexism still exists 3. women are blogging (+ sexism in recognition by tech)4. Situating myself5. Feminist blogger study( end with point about AmAirlines & racial marketing)6. #femfuture7. race & critiques of #femfuture8. #femhack (better hashtag?) - more hacking9. end w/ some theory + more questions
  • Gender still matters in life chances, in health, education, politics, economics and how we ’ re represented in media images + popular culture. These issues are current, relevant to our the contemporary context of the U.S., and globally.
  • Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/cleveland-women-missing-decade-found-alive/
  • Source: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/features/world/july-dec12/pakistan_10-10.html
  • Image source: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/crime/infographic-more-us-women-killed-husbands-and-boyfriends-military-combat
  • Image source: http://www.womendeliver.org/updates/entry/16-days-of-activism-against-gender-violence
  • Image source: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/world/canada/2012/03/08/international-womens-day-infographics-women-canadian-politics-and-media
  • Image source: http://www.nwlc.org /
  • Image source: http://www.missrepresentation.org/media/weekly-round-up/facebook-weekly-roundup-september-8th-14th/
  • Men are the majority (67% - green) of the blogosphere, women are a minority (33% - yellow) data from 2008. Image + data source: Technorati. As of 2011 (latest data available), roughly three fifths of bloggers are male, a proportion that holds true over all blogger types. Not surprisingly, a majority of bloggers are in the 25-44 age range – but a third are over 44. http://technorati.com/social-media/article/state-of-the-blogosphere-2011-part1/ “ There is a measure of parity on the Web. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, among Internet users, 14 percent of men and 11 percent of women blog ” . According to PEW/NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/fashion/27blogher.html
  • Of course, not all women are feminists... and we don ’ t have reliable numbers on what percentage of women who blog identify as “ feminist, ” but we do have pretty reliable numbers (from 2008) about the number of women blogging, and it may astonish you, as it did me.
  • Hollaback - http://www.ihollaback.org / Circle of 6 - http://www.circleof6app.c om/about/ NotBuyingIt - http://w ww.missrepresentation.org/not-buying-it/ Everyday Sexism Project http://usa.everydaysexism.com /
  • A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners (2008) of 6,000 women. We surveyed 1,250 female Internet users via a nationally representative panel, and 5,000 visitors to BlogHer's network (BlogHer.com our syndicate of 1,500 blogs). http://www.blogher.com/blogher-compass-partners-2008-social-media-benchmark-study-blogging-mainstream-reliable-fun-advice-a
  • A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners (2008) of 6,000 women. We surveyed 1,250 female Internet users via a nationally representative panel, and 5,000 visitors to BlogHer's network (BlogHer.com our syndicate of 1,500 blogs). http://www.blogher.com/blogher-compass-partners-2008-social-media-benchmark-study-blogging-mainstream-reliable-fun-advice-a 36.2 million women actively participate in the blogsophere every week (15.1 publishing, 21.1 reading and commenting)?
  • A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners (2008) of 6,000 women. We surveyed 1,250 female Internet users via a nationally representative panel, and 5,000 visitors to BlogHer's network (BlogHer.com our syndicate of 1,500 blogs). http://www.blogher.com/blogher-compass-partners-2008-social-media-benchmark-study-blogging-mainstream-reliable-fun-advice-a 36.2 million women actively participate in the blogsophere every week (15.1 publishing, 21.1 reading and commenting)
  • A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners (2008) of 6,000 women. We surveyed 1,250 female Internet users via a nationally representative panel, and 5,000 visitors to BlogHer's network (BlogHer.com our syndicate of 1,500 blogs). http://www.blogher.com/blogher-compass-partners-2008-social-media-benchmark-study-blogging-mainstream-reliable-fun-advice-a 36.2 million women actively participate in the blogsophere every week (15.1 publishing, 21.1 reading and commenting)
  • Men - mostly white men - get invited, praised, listed...as ‘ tech leaders ’ and people to watch.
  • When Techcult, a technology Web site, recently listed its top 100 Web celebrities (2008), only 11 of them were women. http://www.techcult.com/top-100-web-celebrities/ Forbes.com ran a similar list, naming four women on its list of 25.
  • While women ’ s blogs are often trivialized as ‘ mommy bloggers, ’ which is seen as somehow ‘ silly, ’ not serious, like the political blogging that predominantly men do. “ Women get dismissed in ways that men don ’ t, ” said Megan McArdle, an associate editor at The Atlantic Monthly who writes a blog about economic issues. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/fashion/14moms.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  • A study conducted by BlogHer and Compass Partners (2008) of 6,000 women. We surveyed 1,250 female Internet users via a nationally representative panel, and 5,000 visitors to BlogHer's network (BlogHer.com our syndicate of 1,500 blogs). http://www.blogher.com/blogher-compass-partners-2008-social-media-benchmark-study-blogging-mainstream-reliable-fun-advice-a * Our time shift from traditional media is accelerating. In the general Internet population: - 24% of women surveyed say we watch less television because we're blogging - 25% of us say we read fewer magazines because we're blogging - 22% of us say we read fewer newspapers because we're blogging
  • Online feminism “ greatest advance in 50 years, ” yet “ in crisis. ” Valenti & Martin locate this crisis in free labor - women are engaging in online feminism for free and are at risk for “ burn out ” + “ exhaustion. ” Source: http://bcrw.barnard.edu/publications/femfuture-online-revolution/
  • Valenti is a co-founder of Feministing and they sent out updates about the report when it was released.
  • This became an issue....
  • Making the case that online feminism is effective....
  • ...and it certainly can be, as in the Komen for the Cure controversy. Source: http://www.thenation.com/article/166110/online-feminisms-big-win-against-komen-cure
  • The heart of the #femfuture report is really about work....and a particular kind of work (paid, entrepreneurial, institutionalized).
  • Source: http://www.policymic.com/articles/33841/femfuture-the-feminist-revolution-will-be-online
  • Positionality matters, in other words, who you are in relation to the research matters. Here is a little of who I am, in relation to this research.
  • There is no denying that my answer to this is a resounding “ yes ” ~ and that I have feminism to thank for this.
  • This photo taken in about 1962 is four generations of women in my family - my mother, her mother and her mother (my great grandmother), holding me. None of these women, my ancestors, ever graduated from high school, most never made it out of elementary school. My mother, there in the very cool shades, made it to 10th grade, then was forced in various ways by her mother to quit school so that she could marry at 15. I was the first woman in my family to graduate high school, college, a master ’ s degree, a PhD, but that ’ s not why I became a feminist. I was radicalized by my mother ’ s suicide in March, 1983. In a moment, it seemed, I knew that her life & death had been shaped by being a woman in this society in profound and deep ways that I could not yet articulate. What I did know and could articulate was that in the same moment I lost my faith and left my husband (later came to put this in a feminist psycho-analytic framework a la Nancy Chodorow).
  • The edited volume “ Feminist Frontiers ” (Richardson & Taylor) was my consciousness raising group. I read it in my first women ’ s studies class - (I believe it was called ‘ Sex Roles ’ then) - changed my life because it gave me a new language, and a new set of a concepts and theories through which to understand my life and the lives of the women in my family. In this class in the summer of 1983, I read - for the first time - Marilyn Frye, Audre Lorde, Paula Gunn Allen, Sojourner Truth, Bonnie Thornton Dill, Adrienne Rich and Carol P. Christ whose short article charting the ways that men had purposefully and diligently worked to exclude women ’ s writing from the biblical canon forever changed how I viewed ‘ texts ’ as the realization that I ’ d been lied to sunk deep within me. I went on to graduate school at UT Austin where + had the further radicalizing privilege to read people like Hester Eisenstein, Barbara Katz Rothman + Natalie Sokoloff... - who ’ s book “ A Marxist Feminist Reader ” - i had open on my desk at my job as a bookeeper at River City Wire Rope & Sling - and the bright yellow cover with the word “ Marxist ” on it prompted by cowboy-hatted boss to call me a “ pinko ” as he stomped out the door.
  • This is my father ... and me (circa 1969-70). My father who identified as “ Native American ” - and encouraged me to do so on college applications - was the same father who was an ardently anti-Jewish and anti-black racist (routinely said things like: “ I don ’ t hate black people, I think everyone should own one. ” ) And, this same father that when Cisneros v. Corpus Christi ISD decision meant court-ordered busing, he moved us our family away from our neighbors the Perez family (and my first crush Elda Jo Perez) to an all-white suburb of Houston.
  • Working on this book, changed me. I came to graduate school as a ‘ white liberal, ’ I typed and typed people ’ s stories of discrimination - had to *really listen* - and I left as someone who was fundamentally, deeply rooted in knowing that racism is real, current, corrosive, and that I wanted to do what I could to change it.
  • Writing this book, changed me. Writing the preface ended my relationship with my father. Looking back I am almost as shocked at my own naïveté in sending this piece to my father and expecting that he would be proud of me as I am in his reaction to it. In this preface, situating myself to that work, I came out (in print) as a lesbian, revealed that while working on a dissertation about white supremacy I discovered my grandfather (his father) had been a member of the KKK in the 1920s, and connected that to my experience of that grandfather as a child molester (all of which my father knew, but it was the move to putting this in print to which he objected). I sent all of that along with a personal p.s. that I was changing my given name, Suzanne Harper, - a name that seemed irredeemably tainted by a legacy of inherited and unwanted white supremacy - to Jessie Daniels, in honor of Jessie Daniel Ames (a white woman from TX who started the Assoc. of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching, - a campaign that historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall refers to in her book “ Revolt Against Chivalry. ” ) My father ’ s reaction to this missive was to find a judge in Houston, TX to issue a warrant for my arrest and have me put on a 72 hour hold in a psychiatric hospital. Two marshals showed up at the door of my brother ’ s house in Houston (briefly between jobs and girlfriends), and offered to forget the handcuffs if I ’ d act like a lady and come quietly with them to the hospital. I will, of course, have much more to say about this in my memoir, No Daughter of Mine, but the good news that my brother helped secure my release, I moved to New York, and have lived - more or less - happily ever after. “ Using the past to know “ ourselves, ” to truly understand where white power and privilege has come from, is a powerful motivation for the scholarship you will find (here). ” from Re-Orienting Whiteness, p.11
  • Today, I share all of these intersections of biography and history with you ... to situate myself in the current work, and as a way of sharing how deeply personal race and feminism intersect for me. It is from within this field of personal-political connections, that I come to this work. This is also to say that I ’ m fundamentally not interested in a feminism that isn ’ t deeply engaged with and rooted in a racial critique. So, 2009....
  • 2009, the year I published Cyber Racism... also about the time I started this work on feminist bloggers. My previous work… may seem far afield at first glance. Often say that ‘ cyber racism ’ examined the use of the internet for evil, now more interested in uses of internet for good… (i.e., feminism) or at least, more in line with my own political values. This shorthand is too simplistic, too binary. In fact, there is a chapter on gender & feminism within the white supremacist movement in this book.
  • In Chapter 5, “ Gender, White Supremacy & the Internet, ” I deal with issues of gender and feminism within a large, globally networked portal for white supremacist content known as Stormfront. In that research, I found that the women who are hanging out online at Stormfront are using the Internet discussion boards to resist a more male-dominated form of white supremacy (such as what I documented in White Lies), and in so doing, embrace many of the basic ideas of feminism - work outside the home, equal pay, and frequently equal rights for gays and lesbians, and more contentious, abortion rights. And they do so in ways that were completely consistent with mainstream, feminist ideology ( + organization policy positions). This led me to conclude that: "The women at Stormfront illustrate that white feminism is not incompatible with key features of white supremacy. By resisting a more male-dominated version of white supremacy and articulating a form of white supremacy that is more inclusive and egalitarian along lines of gender, and even allowing for the possibility of a version of equal rights within white supremacy for gays and lesbians, the women of Stormfront illustrate another way in which white supremacy is inherent in white identity. This suggests something troubling about liberal feminism. To the extent that liberal feminism articulates a limited vision of gender equality without challenging racial inequality, white feminism is not inconsistent with white supremacy. Without an explicit challenge to racism, white feminism is easily grafted onto white supremacy and useful for arguing for equality for white women and possibly for white gays and lesbians within a white supremacist context." (p.85)
  • 2009 - at the same time, intrigued by all the discussion about blogs as women ’ s empowerment.
  • A mixed method study, including content analysis of blogs, in-depth interviews, and what I ’ m calling ‘ digitally augmented ethnography. ’
  • 25+ feminist bloggers ... won ’ t be talking much about that portion today, except to say many of these women - with their own blogs, many of them successful, still didn ’ t see themselves as particularly “ tech saavy, ” often sheepishly admitted to asking husbands or boyfriends to “ set up the blog ” or do what they perceived to be the more technically difficult tasks. As one woman said, “ I learned a lot quickly because I had to so I could run the blog, but I don ’ t think I ’ m very good, I wouldn ’ t call myself a computer expert by any means. I just know enough to manage a blog. ”
  • I conducted fieldwork at three women ’ s blogging conferences: BlogHer and Blogalicious. I attended two BlogHer conferences: the first was in July 2008 in San Francisco, the second in Boston in October 2008. I attended the Blogalicious conference held in October 2009 in Atlanta. As a participant-observer, I attended the conferences and sat in on workshops, sessions, and plenaries. While attending, I took both handwritten notes and typewritten notes with my wifi-enabled laptop. Using multiple Internet technologies, I was able to augment traditional ethnographic field notes in a number of ways. At Blogalicious, I live Tweeted the event, meaning that I used the microblogging tool Twitter to post short, 140-character updates about what was happening at the conference in real time. This served a number of purposes: (1) it allowed me to connect with others at the conference while it was happening; (2) it provided me with a record of what seemed noteworthy at the time; and (3) it gave me leads about where to look for post-conference updates. Immediately following each conference, I typed up additional notes about my overall impressions of the event. In the weeks and months after each conference, I searched for “ post-conference write-ups ” by those who attended and saved these in a plain text file along with the source URL. This allowed me to gain additional perspective on the conferences from participants themselves. Thus, rather than relying solely on my own observations and field notes, as in traditional ethnography, I was able to broaden this to include a multidimensional, multi-vocal lens.
  • Image source: Blogher - conference brochure add-in Founders asked “ where are all the women bloggers? ” Vision BlogHer's mission is to facilitate and curate a community that empowers our members and creates value for all. This mission is the driving force behind a community that now reaches more than 20 million* people each month via BlogHer conferences an events, the BlogHer.Com news service and the BlogHer Publishing Network of more than 2,500 blogs. We bring writers and readers together, online and in-person, in an environment of trust. We promise: What You Read Is What We Think We Are Real People We Want to Get You Paid
  • about a thousand bloggers attend
  • Image source: front of Blogalicious conference program. A couple hundred attended. Emphasis here is on: “ beauty, style, culture (race) and motherhood ”
  • Getting paid for blogging is fundamental to the framework of the Blogher network, and to the blogging conferences. Framed for women at Blogher as an issue of gender equity; for women at Blogalicious, it is also framed as an issue of racial equity.
  • “ We want you to get paid ” ~ The phrase “ gaining exposure ” is tied to another phrase “ monetization. ” The more exposure, measured in page views, the more money you could make from your blog. “ began in 2005 to help female bloggers gain exposure. It has since evolved into a corporate-sponsored Oprah-inflected version of a ’ 60s consciousness-raising group. ” Image from here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/fashion/27blogher.htm
  • It is certainly possible for *some* women to do quite well. Heather Armstrong ’ s snarky mommy blog, Dooce.com, is so successful that her husband quit his job to help manage it full time after a few years in. The Dooce.com brand has reportedly made the Armstrongs millionaires several times over. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/27/magazine/27armstrong-t.html?pagewanted=all
  • MANY bloggers hope to follow in the footsteps of Heather Armstrong, the well-paid, well-known blogger who gave the closing speech at one of the BlogHer conferences I attended. There were also more than 40 brands, including General Motors and K-Y Jelly, sponsoring the BlogHer event in hopes of connecting with the scene ’ s micro-celebrities. Ms. Dimont had just attended a panel called “ Taking Care of Business. ” Her blog about products and design “ went from a hobby to a business so fast, ” she said, echoing a common sentiment. She said that companies like Target and Hewlett-Packard regularly furnish products for her to give away to her readers. Chevrolet had provided her with a Malibu Hybrid for the week of the conference, in return for writing about the event on BlogHer. “ I think they knew I ’ d love the car so much I ’ d want to write about it, too, on my blog, ” Ms. Dimont said. Still, she added, “ I ’ m not making any money off of it. ” Over and over, women talked about the importance of the community & economic empowerment at BlogHer.
  • Fewer than 10 sponsors at the 2009 Blogalicious conference. Rather than more or less directly evoking a history of struggle, the ad for American Airlines ’ s BlackAtlas.com speaks to a different legacy, one of a black elite that asks the “ age-old question ” when they travel the globe, “ are there black folks here? ” The content of BlackAtlas.com includes interesting historical information about a variety of locations such as the presence of a large community of African American ex-pats living in Paris in the years following World War I. Unusual for a corporate marketing effort, BlackAtlas.com includes explicit references to American racism throughout. For instance, the caption to the video of Nelson George narrating an introduction to Paris reads: “ After the First World War, African American Artists Fled Racism in the U.S. for the Multi-Cultural Streets of Paris. ” While most corporate advertising campaigns embrace the rhetoric of colorblindness in order to sell their products to the widest possible base of consumers (Crockett, 2008), American Airlines is intentionally referencing racism in the ad copy in order to sell this product to African American consumers. Given that more people than ever are planning trips online, and it is women who are most often doing the travel planning in families, it made sense for American Airlines to reach out to the women at the Blogalicious conference. A 2005 Travel Industry of America (TIA) report indicates that an estimated 78% of Americans (79 million) turned to the Internet for travel or destination information in 2005 (up from 65% in 2004). Of those, women are more likely to use online travel services than men. Thus, finding women who are upwardly mobile and web savvy, like the women of Blogalicious, makes perfect sense from a marketing perspective. Of course, American Airlines is not trying to reach all women with this campaign, as evident from the tagline for BlackAtlas.com: “ Your passport to the Black Experience. ” This slogan signals an essential and unified conceptualization of African Americans as seekers of an authentic “ Black Experience. ” In so doing, the history of global racial oppression gets cordoned off as knowledge appropriate for one “ niche, ” that is, African Americans who have an interest in “ black history. ” As one white woman described the session via Twitter, “ video of Nelson George talking about black history and travel. ” This is a way of containing discussions of race and racism and locating them within “ black history, ” of interest only and exclusively to blacks, rather than saying, “ the history of white racism. ” This reinforces the unmarked quality of whiteness and the seemingly willful ignorance on the part of whites about the history of systemic racism and white people ’ s participation in it. Of course, the world is more diverse than a simple black-white dichotomy, and products like BlackAtlas.com raise further questions about other diasporas. As one of the Blogalicious conference attendees said via Twitter during Nelson George ’ s presentation about BlackAtlas.com: “ looking fwd 2 AsianAtlas.com so [I] can find the best Dim Sum in Mexico when traveling. ” Racialized niche marketing like that of BlackAtlas.com simultaneously essentializes, contains, and commodifies experiences of racism, while excluding other narratives from view. Emphasis here is on: “ beauty, style, culture (race) and motherhood ” SunkissedMommy: “ When I became pregnant with my first child, I immediately searched for a Web site where I could connect with women like me. I wanted the latest in fashion, beauty and decor as I embarked on this new chapter of my life. I wanted to read about the challenges and joys celebrity mothers of color were facing- minus the negativity and gossip. I couldn ’ t find the online haven I imagined, so I created it for us. Sunkissed Mommy speaks to the woman of color in all her roles- woman, mother, wife and head of household. We are a unique community for mothers of color. Unlike other online communities that focus on moms or on women of color, SKM views the world through the twin lenses of motherhood and race, providing beauty, fashion, style, health, travel and parenting content that reflects the unique needs of the community. Whether it ’ s sharing experiences raising children in these challenging times, showcasing traditions and culture or reading web content developed for and about you, our members — whether a grandmother or a first-time mom, Asian, Hispanic or Black — can rely on SKM to keep your interests and needs firmly in focus. Like any community, we depend on our members to keep us strong, vibrant and relevant. Membership in SKM is free, so we hope you ’ ll join us, and while here, do whatever you can to engage or encourage a fellow member. ” image source: Blogalicious conference program - Sunkissedmommy.com - anchor sponsor; Race-based American Airlines advertising
  • Key takeaway(s) from Cyberfeminism 2.0 chapter: - Women who attend BlogHer & Blogalicious emphasize two themes, finding community and looking for economic power. - The whiteness of the blogs that garner attention from mainstream media (e.g., Dooce) and of women ’ s blogging conferences such as BlogHer is rarely remarked upon by the mainstream media, yet the racial composition of these conferences is set in relief when contrasted with Blogalicious. The stark difference in sponsorship between the two conferences—over 40 sponsors at BlogHer, fewer than 10 at Blogalicious—speaks in part to the role of institutionalized racism in the political economy that women ’ s blogging conferences are situated within. - The kind of niche marketing represented by American Airlines illustrates the way in which not only a particular experience of gender and sexuality, but also race, has been commodified. American Airlines, with its BlackAtlas.com product, has effectively commodified the black experience of racial oppression. In other words, the airline has taken the experience of racism, made it a product, and is now selling it back to African Americans by seeking to enlist the participation of the women at Blogalicious as prosumers—both consumers of this product and producers of content for the site.
  • Recap: they want to “ create a new, vibrant feminist economy.... ” and going to shift now from ‘ blogging ’ the focus of my study, to broader, ‘ online feminism. ’ Source: http://bcrw.barnard.edu/publications/femfuture-online-revolution/
  • Source: http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/ In academic circles, debates are raging over the notion of “ free labor. ” Much of what people contribute to social media sites is monetized by corporations. People don ’ t get paid for their data and, more often than not, their data is used by corporations to target them – or people like them – to produce advertising revenue for the company. The high profitability of major tech companies has prompted outrage among critics who feel as though the money is being made off of the backs of individual ’ s labor. Yet most of these people don ’ t see their activities as labor. They ’ re hanging out with friends or, even if they ’ re being professional, they ’ re networking. Accounting for every action and interaction as labor or work doesn ’ t just put a burden on social engagements; it brings the logic of work into the personal sphere. Most of these dynamics predate the internet, but digital technologies are magnifying their salience. People keep returning to the mantra of “ work-life balance ” as a model for thinking about their lives, even as it ’ s hard to distinguish between what constitutes work and what constitutes life, which is presumably non-work. But this binary makes little sense for many people. And it raises a serious question: what does labor mean in a digital ecosystem where sociality is monetized and personal and professional identities are blurred?
  • Lopez calls ‘ mommy blogging ’ a ‘ radical act ’ argues for the potential of feminist blogging to build communities and to challenge dominant representations of motherhood but she doesn ’ t theorize it as labor.
  • The ‘ dirty money problem, ’ from within this piece: “ Discussion surrounding online feminism is not just about feminism, but also about women ’ s labor and the creative class, a group of people who add tremendous value to society, but often work without fair compensation. Money is the system we have here, money is how I buy my food. While capitalism is far from perfect and a product of the patriarchy, and while one wouldn ’ t want a big bank dictating how to run a feminist website, as one of my favorite bloggers (soon to publish a book) says, ‘ bitches gotta eat. ’ “ All those who work–whatever that work may be— should have the option of, or a pathway towards compensation. Content isn ’ t inherently free. Why should women, many of us already facing glass ceilings and pay disparities, also be told that our words hold no value, when statistics show that we own the Internet? ” source: http://fakepretty.co m/2013/04/online-feminism-femfuture-and-the-dirty-money-problem/
  • This strikes me as incredibly entitled and myopic. From: source: http://fakepretty.com/2013/04/online-feminism-femfuture-and-the-dirty-money-problem/
  • Christian Fuchs argues digital labor ( ‘ maker ’ culture) is class exploitation in Trebor Scholz Internet as Playground & Factory. In that same volume, P. Clough raises important questions about who or what is laboring in the conceptualization of digital labor. http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Labor-Internet-Playground-Factory/dp/0415896959#reader_0415896959 Geo. Ritzer argues that ‘ makers are better seen as ‘ prosumers ’ http://georgeritzer.wordpress.com/2012/11/04/makers-are-better-seen-as-prosumers/ - both produc ers & consumers in the digital era, a fundamental shift to our understanding of c apitalism in Marxian terms. Terranova contends that “ the dispersal of immaterial labor (as a virtuality and an actuality) problematizes the idea of the ‘ knowledge worker ’ as a class in the industrial sense of the word. It is an interesting feature of the Internet debate (and evidence of its masculine bias) that users' labor has attracted more attention in the case of the open source movement than in that of mailing lists and Web sites. it is technically impossible to separate neatly the digital economy of the Net from the larger network economy of late capitalism. The Internet neither embodies a continuation of capital or a break with it, rather it is a mutation that is totally immanent to late capitalism. http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/technocapitalism/voluntary
  • Not all of the critiques of the #femfuture report are about race, or racism. It ’ s more nuanced than that, but race (and empire) are definitely woven in through the critiques.
  • Jessica Marie Johnson, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Pennsylvania State University and Assistant Professor of History at Michigan State University. @ @jmjohnsophd   “ There is a dangerous ignorance in assuming #FemFuture is a first, a start, or new. ” http://diasp orahypertext.com/2013/04/12/femfuture-history-loving-each-other-harder/ Johnson has a good list of critiques of #femfuture listed at the bottom of this post: http://hellraiser-blog.tumblr.com/post/47817750008/some-more-thoughts-on-femfuture Kristen Rawls ’ A Few Reasons to Ignore FemFuture http://globalcomment.com/femfuture-a-few-reasons-to-ignore-online-feminism/ Why We Can ’ t Ignore Being Ignored and Accused of “ Sniping ” http://www.lamamitamala.com/blog/?p=1138
  • This is Veronica Arreola, VIvaLaFeminista, who points out she *knew* what she was doing when she started her online feminist presence in Her critique of the #femfuture report is here: http://www.vivalafeminista.com/2013/04/back-to-femfuture.html
  • Femfuture also critiqued for its US-centric bias. This Tumblr post by Flavia Tamara Dzodan, a business developer, writer, public speaker, ideas instigator, content creator, media facilitator and trend watcher living in Amsterdam, refers to herself as so outside the thing identified as “ online feminism ” in the report that she “ inhabits a nonspace ” within this kind of feminism. Source: http://www.redlightpolitics.info/post/47611939840/us-centrism-and-inhabiting-a-non-space-in-femfuture
  • Here, Spectra drives home this point referencing recent content at her blog about African Women and Girl Storytellers. Source: http://www.spectraspeaks.com/2013/03/spectra-speaks-live-podcast-african-women-girl-storytellers-in-the-digital-age-social-media-journalism/ Inherent in this critique throughout those making it is the lost opportunity of the organizers of the convening that produced #femfuture to make use of the Internet to connect to a broader range of feminists other than the ones who could easily get to the Upper West Side of Manhattan where Barnard is located and the meeting was held.
  • Grace points out how the in-person meeting “ closed off ” dialogue, whereas an online dialogue which is open, ongoing. She notes the irony of this for a report about online feminism.
  • Jessica Luther live Tweeted her reading of the report, and offered critiques as she read.
  • Steph Herold raises an excellent question about institutionalizing feminism....
  • And, Lauren Rankin makes a great point about “ corporate feminism. ”
  • Here, of course, Charlene is referring to Sheryl Sandberg ’ s latest “ corporate feminism ” self-help book, Lean In. And, indeed she ’ s right. The issue is not overt racism, or a lack of inclusion, it ’ s about the kinds of issues raised (equal rights within a broadly liberal framework).
  • Yes, indeed, Studs Twerkel gets this just right.
  • We have been here before. Chicana and Black feminists have, for decades, pointed out the exclusionary practices of white feminists. A new digitally-inflected feminism seems to be repeating these mistakes.
  • Defenders of the report are quick to point out that WOC were in the room and contributed to it.
  • Tara Conley wrote this before the #femfuture report was released, but re-posted it as relevant to the discussion, and indeed it is. Source: http://thefeministwire.com/2013/03/an-open-letter-to-amanda-marcotte/ Tara ’ s head shot added from her website (with permission): http://www.taralconley.org /
  • Source: https://twitter.com/AmandaMarcotte/status/301418793303953408
  • Amanda Marcotte ’ s contribution to contemporary feminism. She apologized, as did Seal Press, but this did lingering damage among feminists, alongside earlier charges that she stole work from Brownfemipower (no longer active on the Internet under that name).
  • This, from Sydette, pretty much sums it up.
  • Began in Toronto –
  • Slut Walk protests spread throughout Canada + US – one of the leaders who emerged at Slut Walk in Boston was Jaclyn Friedman who spoke at that rally... and, Jaclyn Friedman also has one of the all-time greatest lines about ‘ how feminist digital activism is like the clitoris ’ = it ’ s not a button.
  • The critiques of the Valenti & Martin report which have emerged, largely from women of color, many but not all of them mentioned here, have to do more with whiteness, privilege + unexamined power dynamics than with explicit racism.
  • This kind of critique is experienced as “ painful and embarrassing ” for white feminists, but it ’ s important to learn to take it in and move past it. Personal communication with Jaclyn Friedman.
  • Other white feminists have said they found it “ exhausting. ” Yet, this seems inadequate, at best as a response, that fails to acknowledge how “ exhausting ” it is to constantly try to point the blind spots in white feminism.
  • TO borrow from DH, I want to suggest that we need to move toward “ hacking not yacking ” when it comes to online feminism.
  • Here, I want to move a little beyond blogging as the default and explore some different elements of online feminism.
  • This action took place at the GC back in February - why necessary?
  • Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam are leading the way here with their postcolonial digital humanities project. Source: http://dhpoco.org /
  • Necessary because of real gaps in knowledge on Wikipedia ~ like this disappointing result when you search for “ Black feminist thought. ”
  • More reasons it ’ s necessary for feminists to hack Wikipedia.... Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/opinion/sunday/wikipedias-sexism.html Wikipedia ’ s Sexism By AMANDA FILIPACCHI April 27, 2013 Early last week I noticed something strange on Wikipedia. It appeared that, gradually, over time, the volunteer editors who create the site had begun moving women, one by one, from the “ American Novelists ” category to the “ American Women Novelists ” subcategory. Female authors whose last names began with A or B had been most affected. The intention appeared to be to create a list of “ American Novelists ” made up almost entirely of men. The category listed 3,837 authors, and the first few hundred were mainly men. An explanation at the top of the page said that the list of “ American Novelists ” was too long, and novelists had to be put in subcategories whenever possible. People who might have gone to Wikipedia to get ideas for whom to hire, or honor, or read, and looked at that list of “ American Novelists ” for inspiration, might not even have noticed that the first page of it included far more men than women. They might simply have used that list without thinking twice about it. It ’ s probably small, easily fixable things like this that make it harder and slower for women to gain equality in the literary world. Many female novelists, like Harper Lee, Anne Rice, Amy Tan, Donna Tartt and some 300 others, had been relegated to the ranks of “ American Women Novelists ” only, and no longer appeared in the category “ American Novelists. ” Male novelists on Wikipedia, however — no matter how obscure — all got to be in the category “ American Novelists. ” In an Op-Ed article I wrote, published on The New York Times ’ s Web site on Wednesday, I suggested it was too bad that there wasn ’ t a subcategory for “ American Men Novelists. ” And what do you know; shortly after, a new subcategory called exactly that appeared. But there was more. Much more. As soon as the Op-Ed article appeared, unhappy Wikipedia editors pounced on my Wikipedia page and started making alterations to it, erasing as much as they possibly could without (I assume) technically breaking the rules. They removed the links to outside sources, like interviews of me and reviews of my novels. Not surprisingly, they also removed the link to the Op-Ed article. At the same time, they put up a banner at the top of my page saying the page needed “ additional citations for verifications. ” Too bad they ’ d just taken out the useful sources. In 24 hours, there were 22 changes to my page. Before that, there had been 22 changes in four years. Thursday night, a kind soul went in there and put back the deleted sources. The Wiki editors instantly took them out again. I knew my page might take a beating. But at least I ’ m back in the “ American Novelists ” category, along with many other women. For the moment anyway.
  • Yes, what would a feminist bot do...?
  • Would it jailbreak the patriarchy, do genderswaps with pronouns...(like this Google Chrome add-on)? Source: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jailbreak-the-patriarchy/fiidcfoaaciclafodoficaofidfencgd?hl=en-US
  • Or, would a feminist bot jailbreak gender altogether, allowing us to ‘ imagine a world without gender ’ ~ as this add-on does? Source: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/jailbreak-the-binary-zehi/mmdlclbfhplmbjfefngjbicmelpbbdnh?hl=en
  • I contend that we, as feminists, as CUNY (a public institutions), as digital scholars and activists, can do better than what we have in the #femfuture report... by crowd-sourcing an open, collective, intersectional, radical (non-corporate), feminist history. (Offer to demo tool at the end or in Q&A....) Source: http://opencuny.org/feminism/table-of-contents/timeline/ To edit the timeline, visit the Google-doc spreadsheet: http://bit.ly/10f0Vcv I invite you to edit the spreadsheet + timeline, or create your own with the tool. Tool: http://timeline.verite.co /
  • Source: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/toofew-feminist-people-of-color-wikipedia-edit-a-thon-on-friday-11am-3pm-est-2/47379
  • So, given the ‘ epistemological activism ’ we find ourselves engaged in with digital feminist activism (or, online feminism), again we must ask, is this digital labor? if so, who should we look to for compensation? Source: http://www.ma-associates.com/digital/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/digital-tunnel-wallpaper.jpg
  • 1996-1998 In his 3 volume work, first published in 1996-1998, in his analysis of social movements in the information age, he examines both white supremacist + feminist movements. (along with environmentalists).
  • I think race is implicated in a number of ways that have everything to do with ... not taking the lessons from earlier feminist generations seriously, and repeating past mistakes.
  • Affective Labor, ACTIVISM & white feminism White feminists accused of racism "that's painful & embarrassing" > result is this passive replication of whiteness Connect to Lisa Duggan ’ s "public feelings" Connect to Sharon P. Holland ’ s “ the erotic life of racism ” Source: http://dearwhitefeminists.wordpress.com/update/
  • These questions - about online activism, about digital labor, about race, -- raise, for me, another question: about what kind of feminism do we need?
  • Hollaback - often pointed to as a success of online feminism, but as I raised in my WSQ issues, why is there a preponderance of men of color represented on this blog in photos taken by white women?
  • Carceral feminism: I would argue we don ’ t need a carceral feminism... that is more concerned with further criminalization of men of color, rather than with dismantling the prison industrial complex. Source: http://carceralfeministcat.tumblr.com created by Melissa Gira Grant
  • What we need, as we have, is an intersectional feminism – that sees race and class and colonialism interwoven and finds ways to create coalition across difference, Source: http://sarahgetscritical.com/2013/02/16/why-intersectionality-is-crucial-in-any-liberation-movement/
  • and now.... we need this in a form that ’ s digitally fluent.
  • and close by pointing to... FemTechNet - DOCC: http://fembotcollective.org/femtechnet/ Real innovation, intellectual / epistemological activism, sustainable, distributed, networked & amazing.
  • Transcript of "Gender, Race and the Political Economy of Feminist Online Activism"

    1. 1. Jessie Daniels, PhDWomen’s Studies Colloquium – Graduate Center-CUNYMay 8, 2013“’Our version of consciousness-raising groups’:Gender, Race & the Political Economy ofFeminist Online Activism”
    2. 2. Twitter: @JessieNYC#digitalgc #fem2 #femfuture
    3. 3. introduction
    4. 4. sexism & misogyny exist
    5. 5. women are blogging
    6. 6. many to challenge sexism & misogyny
    7. 7. 36.2 million women
    8. 8. 15.1 million publishing
    9. 9. 21.1 million reading & commenting
    10. 10. (white) men get invited, praised, listed
    11. 11. 22
    12. 12. 23media use shifting
    13. 13. 27
    14. 14. “We work for free and then pass thison... (to younger women). We mustcreate a new culture of work, avirbant, feminist economy.”~ Vanessa Valenti & Courtney Martin,The Future of Online Feminism
    15. 15. situating myself
    16. 16. 34
    17. 17. 2009
    18. 18. “Without an explicit challenge toracism, white feminism iseasily grafted onto whitesupremacy and useful forarguing for equality for whitewomen and possibly for whitegays and lesbians within a whitesupremacist context."
    19. 19. feminist bloggers study
    20. 20. interviews
    21. 21. digitally augmented ethnography
    22. 22. getting paid for blogging
    23. 23. the political economy of #femfuture
    24. 24. raises a set of questions
    25. 25. 1. what kind of labor isonline feminism?
    26. 26. 2. how is race implicated inonline feminism?
    27. 27. 3. what kind of activism isonline feminism?
    28. 28. 60
    29. 29. “Maybe we can just be ‘weekendfeminists’ with day jobs managingother websites or driving taxis,but when writing aboutfeminist issues is what we wantto do for a living, why shouldn’twe be able to?”~ Elizabeth Daley
    30. 30. what kind of labor isfeminist blogging?
    31. 31. critiquing #femfuture
    32. 32. how is race implicated infeminist blogging?
    33. 33. “There is a dangerous ignorance inassuming #FemFuture is a first, a start, ornew.”~ Jessica Marie Johnson, PhD
    34. 34. in-person meeting “closed”online dialogue “open”
    35. 35. “It’s painful and embarrassing for whitefeminists to be called out around race and racism,but the obligation to learn how to deal with thoseemotions productively is a cost of privilege.”~ Jaclyn Friedman
    36. 36. hacking #femfuture
    37. 37. what kind of activism isonline feminism?
    38. 38. epistemological activism
    39. 39. is online feminism digital labor?
    40. 40. "Social movements in the Information Age areessentially mobilized around cultural values. Thestruggle to change the codes of meaning in theinstitutions and practice of the society is the essentialstruggle in the process of social change in the newhistorical context, movements to seize thepower of minds, not state power.”~ Manuel Castells, 1997
    41. 41. how is race implicated?
    42. 42. what kind of feminism?
    43. 43. 105
    44. 44. Twitter: @JessieNYC#femfuture #fem2Thank you!If you’d like to continue the conversation:
    1. A particular slide catching your eye?

      Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

    ×