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.