Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Art of Blogging - Part 2

Last week, I wrote about the potential roadblocks affecting feminist blogging. For this blog post, I hope to write about the positive impact that feminist blogging has upon the theory, practice, and involvement of a variety of members of our society. The benefits of feminist blogging work in three ways, or at least this is what my friend and I discussed. First, feminist blogging is a way to take back the hate, the misunderstanding, and to re-word (or rework) what feminism means to our society. Second, feminist blogs – and blogs in general - are a way for the marginalized members of society to have a voice and to share their understanding of the world. Third, feminist blogs build a community and this perhaps is the most important contribution. Each of these three contributions is very interconnected with each other.

Reworking or rewording feminist theory through writing and discourse is not an unfamiliar notion. In fact, many groups (minorities or marginalized) find that this is the best way to demonstrate critical race theory, subvert misconceptions or stereotypes, or ultimately determine their own discourse. Similarly, feminists have used this tool to seek to quantify (whichever version of) feminism by putting it down in words. This concept is not only a means of empowerment, but it also is a way to limit the hatred or misconceptions of feminism. As each individual blogs she gains a self-awareness of what feminism means to her (or him). This translates to a definition of feminism that spans a variety of experiences and opinions. As a result, these blogs together shape a new definition of feminism that incorporates a broad variety of thoughts and theories that frame a timely and situational version of feminism.

Feminist blogs, and blogs in general, have allowed many people to have a voice when they would not have otherwise. For those women who have never had a chance to speak out, the internet is a way to build an instant support group and even the mere posting on a blog allows for a voice immediately. This is not to say that every marginalized group has access to the internet, but such blogs are also a vehicle for many non-profits who help such groups. Through these blogs, these women also have a voice – which is in and of itself a type of feminism.

Finally, such feminist blogs build a community. This ultimately is what a blog should do, especially one dedicated to advancing a movement for equality between genders. These blogs provide a guideline and a reference for many women seeking a feminist identity. By doing so, it provides a culture and a community at once. This does not depend on whether one subscribes to a certain theory, but rather reading and writing on such a blog does this instantly. Additionally, as I discussed last week, blogging breeds hateful speech. But, at the same time, blogging limits such speech because of the community it builds. If the overwhelming majority of feminists are supportive and constructive, no amount of hateful speech can detract from the culture. This community is the foundation for a variety of perspectives of feminism and this foundation is a movement – one blog post at a time.

1 comment:

Chez Marta said...

Thank you for continuing your post about feminist blogging. I am a wholesale blogosphere fan, including its excesses, because this phenomenon changed the paradigm of how we acquire and use information.

Several key factors make blogging unusually effective in destroying the good ole' status quo. First of all, the costs of entering this market are ridiculously low, especially compared to the costs of starting print publications. The low entry fee, then, empowers the bottom rung of our social ladder, the most oppressed and exploited minorities, to have an audible voice. Secondly, as you see by the commenting habits of bloggers here, blogging is highly interactive, creating a network of subject-matter correspondents and their readers. And thirdly, because of these two factors, blogging is invaluable as a fact-checking forum. Before the internet occupied this prominent position in our life, one had to follow up with a story in the print publication, e.g., by a Letter to the Editor. That is not the case anymore. The information posted in online fora is instantly fact-checked and discussed by millions of bloggers. This gives incredible power to the average information consumer, and unless they are sensitized by clever framing strategies and demagogues, they do understand their own oppression and exploitation better than ever.