Cyberfeminism Blogs: Education and Empowerment

What is the role of a feminist blog? Do these blogs exists to simply educate followers or can they also be used to create social change?

One of the more popular blogs that comes to mind is Lipstick Feminists on tumblr (click here for another entry discussing gender and tumblr). Under the description of Lipsticks Feminists, it states:

This is a feminist blog focusing on current events, pop culture, queer and race issues, and sex. We smash patriarchy and the gender binary here.

Lipstick Feminists covers a lot of different topics in politics, media, and everyday life. Some of the entries address more subtle forms of inequality whereas other entries tackle more obvious forms of inequality. An example of a subtle form can be seen in some of the more recent blog posts. Recently, some of these posts have been discussing inequality in regard to the block-buster hit movie, The Hunger Games. One post in particular examines critics’ discussions of the physique of the lead actor and actress . Before reading this entry, one may not see the inequality that exists, but after examining these posts it becomes more evident that, yes, inequality likely does exist in regard to this popular movie.

Some entries take on a more serious undertone and address issues such as sexual assault and rape. For example, one blog entry begins with multiple pictures of the same woman with different writing on her face in each picture. In one picture, the writing says, “You’re just over-reacting;” while another states, “Short skirt. Tits out. What do you expect?” This entry (although reblogged from another user) is tagged as Rape, Rape Culture, and Victim Blaming and attempts to address the common misconceptions about rape (i.e. it is the victim’s fault rather than the perpetrator’s).

One thing that is particularly fascinating about this blog is that it works to end the myth that feminists believe that all men are misogynistic and sexist. On March 22nd, the video Shit Men Say To Men Who Say Shit to Women on the Street was reblogged from another user (see here). The video title is pretty self-explanatory in that it addresses street harassment and the role that men can play in ending this harassment. The part that resonates the most is the quote at the end of the post – “Men can smash patriarchy too.”

For the past two years that I have been on tumblr, I have been following Lipstick Feminists. I can only truly speak subjectively about this, but the context that is discussed has really opened my eyes to a lot of issues that are not typically discussed in other forms of media. Before following this blog, I identified as a feminist and that was all. I would occasionally cite material that I had learned in some of my gender and psychology courses, but that was as far as my knowledge went. After a couple years of following this blog, I believe I am more well-versed on gender issues and am able to identify myself as a third-wave feminist who can honestly say that I care about achieving equality and social change (and have taken action on those beliefs).

That is why I believe blogs like this are so important. Not only have I, as well as many others, learned more about feminism as a whole, but many people have been able to learn more about the current events that occur that involve the feminist movement as a whole. With this knowledge, people like myself have been able to re-direct their thinking and dedicate their time to help end inequality. Ultimately, I really do believe that a blog like this can be used to educate and empower women and men to strive for social change and equality.

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1 Response to Cyberfeminism Blogs: Education and Empowerment

  1. apalmgre says:

    I like that you think of different purposes and roles for feminist blogs. Another role could maybe be to create a sense of community online, to show that there is a group of feminist bloggers and a way for them to communicate with each other (as well as to other readers). And thanks for the link to Lipstick Feminists, had visited it earlier. Nice that you also picked a couple of different examples of posts to show the diversity.

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