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Using Web 2.0 Tools for Queer Feminist Activism

The most exciting thing about Web 2.0 from my perspective is the ability to use new media to reach a large and very tailored audience. When I first began to think about using journalism to have an impact in the areas of queer feminism and international human rights, I felt that the lack of a journalism degree was an obstacle. In fact, I’ve been able to use blogs, Twitter, and Tumblr to not only create and share content widely, but to get content to those who might be inspired by my writing to make change.

The mutual sharing of content among networks of activists with similar interests is hugely important for marginalized communities including queer people and women. We not only support those like us, but find out about other communities and how our work might weave together in the larger context of social justice. The constant flow of information helps us think more creatively about our own activism, and makes journalistic content much richer.

In addition to this large umbrella of communities, I also fit into my own smaller niche of genderqueer activists. Though we are spread thinly around the globe, new media allows for intimate connections through our writing and social networking.

Web 2.0 allows women and others interested in women’s empowerment to connect despite the vast distances between us. I’m particularly inspired by the use of video through YouTube and Twitter sharing. The Girl Effect video, for example, creatively uses text and animation to spread a positive message about global development and the empowerment of girls. Inspired by the Girl Effect, I’m currently playing with online zines and animation to spread awareness of international queer issues and build coalitions with feminists worldwide.

Web 2.0 tools not only bring us together, but they bring voice to new ideas. As a queer feminist activist, I’m empowered by the platform new media provides. I’ve felt frustration in the past because queerness is not always understood, and mutual interest between queer people and non-queer feminists in dismantling patriarchy is not always recognized. New media tools provide tremendous opportunities for global citizen journalism. Though my blog alone has a limited audience, integration with other tools (especially Twitter) has helped me reach many more supporters. We share and build upon each others’ content and provide support and encouragement. This is kitchen-table activism on an exciting global scale.

In the future, I would like to use new media to reach an even larger audience. I am hopeful that my journalism will eventually become sustainable, as I am dedicated to a life-long career of activism and empowering marginalized communities through media-driven social change.

Comments

parwana fayyaz's picture

Dear World Pulse Fellow:

Activism brings changes in our lives, with a person's empowered act others become empowered. In this era, we really need it. And we would like to hear more from you more about it.
Thanks,
Bests, Parwana

Stella Paul's picture

I know!

Dear Judith

Until a year ago, the 3rd gender in India was invisible. Today the situation has changed. You can hate them or love them, but you can never ignore them. And it all happened because of the community got access to web 2.0, which decreased their dependence on the world and the mainstream media to take notice of them. I so agree with your words because I am seeing it happening it right here, right now.

Keep talking for yourself! The world will follow!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

usha kc's picture

Hi Judith, nice article you

Hi Judith, nice article you shared dear. I wish you desires fulfilled with success, may your activism achieve the goal.

Hummingbird's picture

Nice article

Hey Judith, I liked the article and I do agree that web 2.0 made it possible for many misunderstood and marginalized groups to connect and support, it also opened the door for many to learn and think away from any prejudgements. In other words to understand and appreciate change.

Best of luck

A drop of rain can revive the earth, be the drop.

Hummingbird

Frances Faulkner's picture

Open territory

Judith,

It's exciting to read about such broadened opportunities for a small niche of people such as genderqueer activists who previously, before web 2.0, would have had a harder time not only finding each other in the world, but voicing issues and concerns to a wider audience.

Your thoughtful speaking out encourages other marginalized groups and individuals to do the same. Keep it up!

Frances

ck's picture

good point

Hi Judith -

I like your point about the exchange of ideas amongst activists increasing creativity, on top of reducing isolation. Good point!

Carol

ck

Thank you, judithavory, for this meaty submission. Go, girl! The sooner we can view all people by their character,
intelligence, contributions, wholeness, heart and intentions, instead of their gender identification and sexual practices, the sooner we can be proud of the world we inhabit. I have been a friend of gays my entire life, even going back to middle school, when I first became aware of the concept of 'queers.' Oh, how I hated that term because it was often accompanied by a sneer or some form of degradation. To me, in the 50's and 60's, these people were strugglers and I have never ceased rooting for their total acceptance and itegration. It delights me that so much has changed in my narrow America suburban observation in that few people blink twice about public affection among same sex couples. But I know the struggle continues worldwide, and I salute your efforts for continued change. I have to laugh, though, that 'queer' is in usage again, but this time with pride and conviction. Good.

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