Monday, October 26, 2009

Blogging The F-Bomb

Yolandé Botha

Feminism is not dead, it's cyber. With a Guardian estimate putting the number of feminist blogs at 240 000, it is clear that blogging has become essential to feminist communication. Although feminist blogs are able to illicit debate, can they lead to activism which can alter public policy?

“Blogging is my activism – it provides us with a platform to comment, analyse and influence,” says Jessica Valenti, founder of Feministing. The apathy of our generation has resulted in blogging and activism becoming intertwined. Blogging enables us to create awareness without having to take direct action.

The blogosphere also unites feminists resulting in more cohesive orgainised demonstrations. Blogs such as Charliegrrrl have been successful in campaigning for legislative change. Charliegrrrl readers were instrumental in lobbying MPs to have pornographic magazines moved to the top shelf of British newsstands showing that blogs are capable of influencing social change.

Many women around the globe do not have the luxury of web-access and this questions whether blogging is only serving the interest of privileged women. According to Georgia Aden, a post-graduate researcher who studies feminist blogs, women in less developed parts of the world are unable to voice their concerns through blogs. This is counterbalanced to an extent by the large number of feminist blogs such as Broadsheet which are dedicated to highlighting global women's issues.

Ultimately, the online feminism has empowered feminists to create a new anthology of literature which seeks to create the necessary awareness which galvanizes action. Cyber feminism has inspired a fresh generation of women to know that we can influence change – and we can do it in stilettos.