Friday, May 4, 2007

The Personal is Political

Also in Part I (Cyberactivism and Online Movement Making), Tracy L.M. Kennedy’s piece, “The Personal is Political: Feminist Blogging and Virtual Consciousness-Raising” traces the connections between the consciousness-raising feminist groups of the 60s and 70s and the online networking and discussions taking place among feminists today. Kennedy calls blogs a “new and valuable site for feminist consciousness-raising,” further commenting that

In the twenty-first century, there has been considerable feminist-backlash, antifeminist sentiment, and talk about feminism being dead. By simply looking at the presence of feminists on the Web, we know that this assertion is false. What is evident is that feminism has indeed changed. In an Internet-saturated culture, feminists need to take on these "master's tools" of technology and embrace the Web, making it our own.

3 comments:

Anonymous Boxer said...

I'm glad I stopped by - great writing.

Netwoman said...

In what ways might you consider your blog to be "feminist" - or not?

Deborah Siegel said...

Tracy - I love that you're invoking radical feminist texts from the late 1960s/early 1970s in your piece. A hot debate back then -- and one that I've seen taking place even now though this time between feminists of different generations -- is that whole issue of after consciousness raising, what next?

I think it's interesting to think about the shift from an era of sit-ins and protests and boycotts and flush-ins (yes, there was actually one of those) to an era where, broadly speaking, individualism often seems to trump collective offline action. Or at least that's the image we have -- whether or not it's true. And I agree that cyberactivism offer us hope.

In fact, a big part of me wants to believe that linking urls is linking arms, and voting with one's mouse as effective as voting with one's feet (in many cases, it is). I marvel at the new intimacies the Internet allows (and I'm not just talking about online dating, though I marvel at that too - it's where I found my mate!). At the same time, I find myself, a Gen Xer to the core floating somewhere between second and third wave sensibilities, semi-wondering how the experience of feminist link love and netizenship differs from the one some second-wave foremothers had, sitting around raising consciousness, cross-legged on someone's living room floor....

(Whoops - guess that was more like a post than a comment. Next time, I'll keep it short!)

-Deborah (Girl with Pen)