During the seminar “Accelerating Global Change: Women & the Digital Revolution,” several women shared their experience connecting online through World Pulse, an online resource for women around the world. The founder, Jensine Larson, created it as a way for women to support and inspire each other, using the web campaign to provide women with information in areas where they need it most. I really enjoyed hearing how girls were using it, and how it encouraged them to try things that women in their communities had never tried before. But later I realized: Larson isn’t the only women who’s created something like this.
If you’re ever looking for a feminist article, you’re most likely not going to find it in the shelves of a library–or at least, you won’t find anything modern. This is because feminism for the most part has taken to the internet, and the blogsphere in particular is booming. There are literally thousands of feminist blogs out there. Some talk about anything feminism, while others focus on black feminism, queer feminism, feminism in hip-hop culture, or even just feminism from the male perspective. There is so much information being shared out there, and more and more women are beginning to take part.
I always appreciated online discussion groups. I think it encourages more people to speak honestly and come out of their shells, especially young girls in this case. But another thing blogging publicly does is make these websites available to anyone and everyone. You don’t have to attend a rally like you did in 1980 if you want to hear about a women’s rights movement anymore. Girls have taken over the web, and in turn, so is feminism.
Despite all this, it hadn’t occurred to me that women from places like Nepal and Tunisia were also getting involved in these online movements. But now that the social good summit has drastically expanded my world view, I’m definitely proud that it has. Women everywhere are beginning to feel empowered, and it’s because all of us are finally able to connect with each other; to inspire and support ourselves as one. Things like country borders, language boundaries, and cultural repression are fading away with the innovations of technology.
My Women’s Studies professor has been having all of her students write blogs sharing our feminist feelings for the week, and then comment on our classmates’ blogs. She did this knowing that if we really wanted to get involved, the blogsphere was the perfect way to start. And while I understood her logic at the time, I never truly appreciated it until further into the semester, as I discovered the seemingly endless amount of females supporting each other and sharing ideas.
Can you guys understand how fantastic this is? Imagine you’re just browsing online, and you suddenly come across an entire worldwide community, devoted entirely to supporting you and making sure you live happy, equal lives without oppression; which understands the challenges you face and actively takes steps to end them. Now imagine that you were like these girls from Nepal and Tunisia, who never had any resources like this before, and came across the same thing. That is what we call the feminist blogsphere.
I would say the internet is a wonderful thing, but we wouldn’t have this community without the women who made it. And I must say, I’m truly proud of this.