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Communities and Web 2.0

Can Teenage Feminism on Twitter Change the World?

Abstract

The web 2.0 has radically changed online behavior and created new opportunities for online users to connect with each other and create online communities. This combined with the increasing popularity of social media such as Twitter, resulted in an increased in cyber activism. However, little importance is given to youth activism and feminist girls tend to be discredited as political agent. Therefore, this paper focuses on teenage feminists and how they use twitter to promote their feminist values and attempt to answer the question of whether their online actions can actually have an impact on the world. To have a better understanding of digital feminism, feminist theories have been combined with digital literacy theory. The sense of community that the microblog enables, encourage teenage feminists to share, curate and create content. By taking the examples of hashtag campaigns such as #CropTopDay and #SafetyTipsForWomen and petitions such as the “We Need Consent” , the paper was able to demonstrate how girls use Twitter to challenge rape culture, inequality and sexism. The paper also explores Twitter’s vernacular to determine the challenges and the opportunities that the platform offer to teenage feminist. This paper argues that Twitter allows teenage girls to build and join virtual feminists communities and this empower them to voice out, allow them to educate others about feminist issues and give them the opportunity to take part in social movements thus, their actions have the potential to solve real life feminist issues that could end sexism and oppression. 

Keywords: Web 2.0, Virtual Communities, Feminism, Teenage Girls, Twitter

Introduction.

“Small acts of justice can lead to meaningful change” (Gleason, 2018, pp 282). The web 2.0 provides new opportunities for people to connect. It is characterized by a change in online behaviors that focuses on collaborating, creating and engaging (Gretzel, 2015). Indeed it focuses on participatory culture and virtual communities where individuals come together and share information about a common interest (Porter, 2015). The web 2.0 combined with the rise of social media resulted in an increased in social activism across different social media platform (Li et al, 2020). This paper focuses on teenage girls and feminism, which can be define as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes” (Gleason, 2018, pp 281). The web 2.0 contributed to the era of  “Girl Power” and the increasing visibility of the fourth wave of feminism (Clark, 2015), which is characterized by the prevalent presence of young activist and yet not much light is shed on teenage feminists whose participations are often overlooked (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). Therefore, this paper seeks to understand how teenage girls use Twitter in particular, to build communities and perform their feminist identity. Thereby, questioning the impact that their online actions can actually have on solving social issues. The sections below will explore the subculture of feminism that teenage feminists have created (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018) and how they use information, education and social movements to promote their feminist values and challenge antifeminist behavior (Gleason, 2018). This paper argues that Twitter allows teenage girls to build and join virtual feminists communities and this empower them to voice out, allow them to educate others about feminist issues and give them the opportunity to take part in social movements thus, their actions have the potential to solve real life feminist issues that could end sexism and oppression. 

1. The power of empowering victims.

Firstly, let’s explore how the use of hashtags gives online users the ability to voice out and how this lead to the empowerment of victims. Most teenage feminists use Twitter because of the freedom of expression that the microblogging site enables compared to other social media platform such as Facebook, which they deem to be more “conservative” (Keller, 2019). Here the term “victim” is use in a broader sense, referring to anyone who once face inequality and discrimination due to their gender. Communities on Twitter develop their own distinctive linguistic conventions (Gruzd et al., 2011). This is also true for the feminist communities on Twitter. For instance, they use hashtag that regroup conversation about a specific feminist issue such as #MeToo. This hashtag alone brought millions of people together to spread awareness about abusive online behavior. Furthermore, to learn about the current issues that online feminists are talking about, girls just need to type “#Feminist” in the Twitter’s search bar and they will stay up do date with the latest conversation happening in the community (Lopez et al., 2018). Girls feel empowered to use Twitter to share their stories and their opinions. For instance, a teenage girl started the hashtag #CropTopDay to fight against sexist dress code. Since Twitter enable a sense of community, girls can have the support of people who have similar concerns than them. (Keller, 2019). Similarly, girls who tweeted the hashtag #BeenRapeNeverReported, felt a sense of solidarity and security within the online feminist community. This made it easier for them to report their rapists (Li et al, 2020) and thus, rebel against sexist behavior and oppression that victims often feel.

However, it is important to note that a prevalent aspect of rape culture is victim blaming and it is no different online. The social media environment can be hostile and unwelcoming. Research has showed that 5% of the comments left on a rape survivor’s tweet were victim demeaning. Thus, by tweeting about their experience, teens are potentially exposing themselves to secondary victimization, which can be extremely damaging (Li et al, 2020). However, Keller (2019) is confident that teenage girls have a clear understanding of the digital world. She explains that anti-feminist reactions is part of Twitter’s platform vernacular and that girls are aware that they need to be careful when navigating on Twitter when performing their feminist identity. Moreover, digital platforms give the opportunity to respond to anti feminist behavior in a unique way. Feminist Hilary Bowman-Smart started the hashtag #Safetytipsforladies as a response to being tired of seeing anti rape advice on Twitter which suggested the appropriated dress code for women to protect themselves from rape. Originally, the purpose of the hashtag was to give self-defense tips for women who are in danger. However, other feminists including teens took over the hashtag in a humorous way. For example, one tweeted that in order to avoid rape a woman should “don chain mail or three sweat suits, a ski mask, and sleeping bag”. The use of jokes and exaggerations allows them to ridicule and show how stupid victim blaming is (Rentscler, 2015). This might encourage more sexist response from men who feel like their masculinity has been threaten. Nevertheless, it is still an effective way of bringing attention to social issues (Richmond & Richmond, 2018). By joining in the conversation, girls are coming together as a community and empowering rape survivors who were strong enough to share their stories online. It also gives a chance for rape survivors to become activists, which can be a form of healing. Additionally feminists are not relying on police officers or Twitter’s policy to change and make Twitter a safe space where they can express themselves freely. Instead they took the matter into their own hands and turn the situation around. Therefore, in a way Twitter can have an emancipatory potential (Lopez et al., 2018). This demonstrates that despite the toxic nature of twitter, there is an opportunity for teens to be active feminists and contribute to feminist discourse (Gleason, 2018) and by doing so they are fighting against sexism and oppression.

2. The power of educating others.

This section examines how the conversations that take place on twitter enables teenage girls to raise awareness about important feminist issues thereby, educating other online users. Some scholars consider digital feminism to be a crucial factor that contributed to the rapid growth of the fourth wave of feminism thus, showing a change in how activism is perceive and a need to acknowledge the efforts of the digital feminist (Clark, 2015). This is relevant as the fourth wave of feminism is all about digital technologies and the empowerment of young activist (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). In the research conducted by Li et al (2020), teenagers reported that they used Twitter because they appreciate the idea of educating others about feminism. Information sharing over Twitter can take several forms such as primary sources like books, academic research and their own opinion (Gleason, 2018). As a result, by sharing their knowledge of the subject, they are raising awareness and encouraging responses and they can learn from each other as a community (Li et al, 2020). What is interesting with Twitter as a channel for digital feminism is that the “lack of mutual connection” is not actually a setback. Although it is harder for girls to get collective responses from their peers and family compared to other social media platform like Facebook; Twitter allows the posts to reach a global audience in a click. Therefore, making Twitter a suitable medium of communication for teenage feminist as they are able to reach people outside their own local community (Keller, 2019) including people who would not have participate in feminist conversation (Lopez et al.,) and ultimately have a bigger impact. Indeed due to the nature of the web, online communities are socially and geographically diverse (Porter, 2015). Therefore, as teenage girls become more and more active online, they start getting a deeper understanding of feminism. Indeed, they have the opportunity to learn about global issues and thus they have access to new perspectives (Gleason, 2018). Hence, their knowledge is not limited to their own experience. What is interesting with Twitter is that, individuals with less popular account can also be consider a high center among their own network that is, their followers because of the sense of personal community that they have within the interconnected network (Gruzd et al., 2011). Therefore, even small accounts can be influential and are capable of driving conversation. There are a lot of important feminist conversations taking place on Twitter. Marlo a 19 year old girl, reported that when she came across the hashtag #CropTopDay on the profile of a feminist that she follows, she learned about the movement and decided to show her support by posting a picture of herself wearing a crop top along with the hashtag (Keller, 2019). Therefore, one may argue that, by taking advantage of the influence that they have among their network, girls are able to promote feminist beliefs with the aim of educating others (Gleason, 2018). Moreover, as feminists engage with and support each other online, they are making themselves more visible, they are also educating the public by making them conscious of important issues that feminists face (Clark, 2015). Therefore, by learning about the sexist dress code, Marlo was able to take a stand and challenge the sexism and female oppression that exist.  

3. The power of social movements.

Lastly, we can consider how teenage feminists use Twitter to take part in social movements and bring real change to society. Twitter plays an important role in facilitating the spread of social movements by allowing online users to take part in conversation, share their opinion and retweet information to the rest of the world in a short period of time. A social movement can be defined as a “collective interactions based on a group of people who share common identities and views to address political or cultural conflicts”  (Li et al, 2020 p 3). The goal of social movements is to contribute to a social change through the use of petitions, protest and campaigns. History of feminism shows that social movements have been able to bring positive changes to numerous social issues (Li et al, 2020). Since they can be seen as a crucial weapon use for feminist activism it is important to see how teenage feminists participate in social movements via Twitter. The web 2.0 allows teenage girls to actively participate online and create their own feminist content that they wish to share. Compare to traditional activism it is a less costly way of generating collective action while at the same time reaching a large number of people (Clark, 2015). Therefore, it makes sense that girls are using Twitter, to drive feminist movement. It is actually quite impressive to see how teenage girls have created an “innovative subculture of feminism”. Thereby, challenging our understanding of feminism in the digital age. It is true that not all online campaigns and petitions will result in actual change (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). However, this does not mean that their actions are worthless. In fact, as mention in the previous sections, teenage girls are still able to engage other people and spread awareness about critical social issues. Thus, demonstrating the potential of teenage feminist on Twitter in promoting equality.

In spite of that, some researchers still fail to realize the significant contribution that the online actions that teenage feminist activists can have. This is because digitalization has change the ways in which social movements are presented. In fact, girls’ engagement with feminism online is characterized by writing, drawings and humor. The latter are perceive as being superficial and insignificant. As a result, teenage girls’ actions are discredited and they are not recognized as actual political agents who can bring social change. However, such belief about cyber-activism is changing due to the impact that Twitter had on social issues such as the Arab Spring (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). Social media activism tends to be centered around connection that is, being part of a community and discussion compared to traditional activism which were protest oriented. This explains why it is hard for some scholars to perceive the conversation those teenage feminists are having on twitter as a social movement. However, the undeniable common factor that “traditional activist” and feminist girls on Twitter have is their driving force that is, their passion for equality and justice for all (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). Girls have proved their power on numerous occasions. For instance, “We Need Consent” is a successful online campaign created by a group of teenage girls on Twitter. The aim was to show the importance of teaching young boys about consent in their sex education classes. By working together as a community, they collected enough signatures worldwide and were able to challenge rape culture and work towards a safer future for girls (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). This success story demonstrates how teenage girls can use twitter to promote their campaign and petitions and bring actual change in their country or at least in this case their school system. Therefore, the social movement that teenage feminist create and promote allow them to reach their feminist goal which is to eliminate sexism and oppression. 

Conclusion.

Teenage girls have created an innovative and powerful subculture of feminism, which has definitively impacted feminist politics in the contemporary context (Crystal & Ringrose, 2018). This would not have been possible without the web 2.0, which encourages participatory culture and community formation (Gretzel, 2015). The web 2.0 and the increasing popularity of social media led to an increase in digital activism (Li et al, 2020). Twitter allows the young female feminists to join and build online communities and become active feminists. Indeed, they use Twitter to share information, educate others about feminist issues, promote and participate in social movements. Their online actions aim at sharing their feminist values while challenging antifeminist behavior (Gleason, 2018). Overall, proving that teenage feminists are in fact powerful individuals. Indeed through the online conversations that take place on Twitter, those teenagers are contributing immensely to a powerful feminist discussion against issues related inequality (Gleason, 2018). Thus, making teenagers political agents who stand up against sexism and oppression and ultimately working toward creating better future. 

Reference list

Clark, C. (2015). #TrendingFeminism: The impact of digital feminist activism (Order No. 1589542). Available from ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1691802140). Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/1691802140?accountid=10382

Crystal,K., Ringrose,J. (2018). “Stumbling Upon Feminism”: Teenage Girls’ Forays into Digital and School-Based Feminisms. Girlhood Studies. 11(2), 46-62 https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/2090429606?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo

Gleason, B. (2018). Adolescents Becoming Feminist on Twitter: New Literacies Practices, Commitments, and Identity Work. Journal of Adolescent & Adult literacy. 3(62),  281- 289 https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1002/jaal.889

Gretzel, U. (2015). Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. In C. Lorenzo & D,A. James (Eds.) Communication and Technology (pp 181-190). De Gruyter, Inc. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/curtin/reader.action?docID=1759936&ppg=173

Gruzd,A., Wellman,B., Takhteyev, Y. (2011). Imagining Twitter as an Imagined Community. American Behavioral Scientist.55(10), 1294-1318 https://journals-sagepub-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/doi/full/10.1177/0002764211409378

Keller, J. (2019). “Oh, She’s a Tumblr Feminist”: Exploring the Platform Vernacular of Girls’ Social Media Feminisms. Social Media + Society. https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1177%2F2056305119867442

Li, Many., Turki,N., Izaguirre,C.R., DeMahy, C., Thibodeaux,B.L., Gage,T.(2020). Twitter as a tool for social movement: An analysis of feminist activism on social media communities. Journal of Community Psychology. https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1002/jcop.22324

Lopez,k.J., Muldoon, M.L., McKeown, J.K.L.(2018). One Day of #Feminism: Twitter as a Complex Digital Arena for Wielding, Shielding, and Trolling talk on Feminism. Leisure Sciences.41(3), 203-220 https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1080/01490400.2018.1448022

Porter, C.E. (2015). Virtual Communities and Social Media. In C. Lorenzo & D,A. James (Eds.) Communication and Technology (pp 161-180). De Gruyter, Inc. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/curtin/reader.action?docID=1759936&ppg=173

Rentschler,C.(2015). #Safetytipsforladies: Feminist Twitter Takedowns of Victim Blaming. Feminist Media Studies. 15(2), 353-356 https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1080/14680777.2015.1008749

Richmond,J.C., Richmond, K.(2018). Laughter: Feminist Friend or Foe?. Women’s Reproductive Health. 6, 161-165 https://doi-org.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/10.1080/23293691.2019.1619056

23 replies on “Can Teenage Feminism on Twitter Change the World?”

Hi Alice,
I must say this was a very interesting read. I enjoyed the paper thoroughly as my paper somehow relates to yours. While you talked about Twitter as a community that empowers women to express themselves and advocate against oppression, and gives the power to educate others and participate in a social movement, I totally agree with your paper about how the community creates a safe place for young females to voice out on controversial issues in aim to better the world.

I’d like to add another example of feminist hashtag campaign that extends to the social media platform, and online community of Instagram, which I explored in my paper- #effyourbeautystandards. This was launched by Tess Holliday on Instagram but now spans other platforms like Twitter and Pinterest. She is a body positivity activist that promotes self acceptance and empowers females to be themselves irrespective of looks. Without the Web 2.0, this would not have been a successful campaign since the latter, as you highlighted, allows participatory culture, hence gives the chance for users to actively comment or share their own story which results in an empowered mindset that opposes to inequality.

Do check out my conference paper below- it focuses on the online community of Instagram as a tool to promote self acceptance in young girls, through the use of hashtags among others.

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/the-online-community-of-instagram-a-tool-promoting-self-acceptance-in-young-females/

Hi Farheen!

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper and for your response.

#effyourbeautystandards is an empowering and important movement that have the potential to change the mindset of a lot of people and promote body positivity. I agree the web 2.0 plays an important role in the promotion and success of such campaigns. It is amazing that people are taking advantage of this and using different platforms to empower others.

Hey Alice, I’m glad I could share additional information with you that somehow relates to your topic, and to mine at the same time even though we are working on different streams. The essence of community owing to Web 2.0 is truly helpful in empowerment.

Hello Alice,
I think your paper is very interesting as in this new era of technologies the voice of many young girls is being heard through platforms like Twitter. Personally, I think that thanks to the perseverance of women all around the world, there is a major development in the feminist movement towards equality and with the arrival of online platforms like twitter there was an global online community which have been formed and young girls have the opportunity to express themselves but as you mentioned these platforms are also open to critics and harassment to the young girls who are trying to voice out. However, Alice, do you think that the naked feminist protests taking place every year helps the young girls fight against injustice made to them? Having a subculture that post naked photos, doing naked flash mobs or posting naked videos with an # can help the world change their view on raped women or fight domestic violence?

Hello
Very interesting paper which points out really well the effects of twitter which could apply to other social media platforms as well on feminism and social movements. Twitter has indeed brought a new dimension to feminism and women’s empowerment, especially for the younger generation.

Hi Anne Sophie

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper! Yes there are other platform that are are used to drive feminist movements. However, Twitter is the most popular one when it comes to social movements that’s why I wanted to focus solely on this platform to understand why it is the most popular and if it is actually useful. I agree with you when you say that Twitter has change feminism and that it is contributing to the empowerment of young girls and women.

Thank you for your response.

Hi Ourmila!

Thank you for taking the time to read and engage with my paper. I agree with you there has been significant progress made thanks to feminist all over the world and digital tools have definitively help. To answer your question, yes I believe that the naked feminist protests can actually help. The aim of such protest is to attract the attention of the public and get as much media coverage as possible. The naked feminist protests can also be seen as a way for women to reclaim their power and their bodies. By doing so they are also raising awareness about important feminist issues. Therefore, more people learn about them and some might even join the movement. Thus, increasing the change of creating a long term behavioral change towards the objectification of women, rape and domestic violence.

Dear Alice,

Thank you so much for this interesting and captivating read. I really appreciate your approach on the subject which can be summarized as the democratization of feminism in today’s world by using Twitter.

I recently came across an article which is in line with your paper and which I would like to share with you. It is the story of a girl who has been raped and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing her aggressor. Kim Kardashian, in order to show her support, started using the hashtag #FreeCyntoiaBrown which had an international reach.

You can read more on the topic on the link below.

https://www.nouvelobs.com/monde/20171123.OBS7708/cyntoia-brown-esclave-sexuelle-emprisonnee-a-vie-pour-s-etre-defendue.html

Hi Elsa.

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper! I haven’t heard of Cyntoia’s story. Thank you for sharing it. It is amazing what people can do with social media and it is even more impressive when those platforms are used to raise awareness about important issues and empower others.

Hi Alice
I found your paper really thought-provoking and well written! I totally agree with you, that the web 2.0 has contributed to the formation of online communities and created a participatory culture where everyone has the opportunity to be heard. Twitter definitely acts as a powerful tool for young feminist activists who want to expose rapists, discrimination, sexism and fight stereotypes. Moreover, the feminist movements on Twitter usually reach a wide audience through the use of hashtags, as you mentioned. However, I think that it also implies taking risks for e.g., when it comes to certain cases where women often receive rape and death threats and are also mocked for voicing out about their personal experiences or for sharing their views.
Again, great paper!

Hi Ludivine!


Thank you for taking the time to read my paper and for your kind response. I agree, posting feminist content online can be a risk because they are exposing themselves to possible threats and antifeminist comments. Unfortunately hate is omnipresent online. However, it is a risk that digital activists are willing and prepared to take. Twitter can be a very toxic place and one way that teenage feminists deal with the hate that they receive is by using humor. For instance they might turn the response into meme and share it across multiple platforms. This allows them to ridicule the antifeminist and ignorant comments. Simultaneously, by doing so they are able to give permanence to their feminist ideas and values.

Hello Alice,

First of all your paper is very interesting and you have been able to defend your arguments with strong research. I totally agree with your point that through the web 2.0 teenage girls are empowered to voice out what they really think of and this is positively contributing to society. Social media platforms give the opportunity to users like you mention “Feminists communities” to take part in social movements like sexism, racism, oppression. These issues are in reality kind of complex subjects. People tend to avoid these subjects to avoid being judged and executed from society. You have shown in your paper that with Twitter feminists communities are now able to defend causes and help the society to accept everyones as they really are without categorising them as “Others”. Through social media it is now possible to change the opinion of people and create a better world. Now lots of influencers are collaborating with brands to create campaigns to sensitize people about the problem that the society is actually facing. I don’t know if you are aware of the famous campaign of PANTENE encouraging women to be more strong and never give up. You can have a look this was really popular on Twitter and has helped lots of people in their daily life.
I really enjoyed reading your paper
You can have a look to mine if you have some timeshttps://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/young-adults-are-being-affected-by-unattainable-expectations-promoted-by-instagram-influencers

Hello Alice!

Your paper was well written and interesting, especially since I never really liked Twitter and thought it was always a bit too much.
However, now I understand why so many people use it and why it is such a commonly used tool in politics and in social movements.

Thank you for sharing your paper!

If you are interested in knowing a bit more about NSFW communities in online spaces, please check out my paper:

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/10/nsfw-vs-tumblr-the-flagging-of-a-whole-community/

Hi Agnes

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. I am glad that I changed your opinion about Twitter. It has always been my favorite social media platform specially because of the sense of community that it enables. Overall, it is a great tool that enables online users to spread their message quickly and connect with people that share similar interest to them.

Your topic look very interesting, I will certainly have a look at your paper!

Hello Alice,
First of all your paper is very interesting and you have been able to defend your arguments with strong research. I totally agree with your point that through the web 2.0 teenage girls are empowered to voice out what they really think of and this is positively contributing to society. Social media platforms give the opportunity to users like you mention “Feminists communities” to take part in social movements like sexism, racism, oppression. These issues are in reality kind of complex subjects. People tend to avoid these subjects to avoid being judged and rejected from society. You have shown in your paper that with Twitter feminists communities are now able to defend causes and help the society to accept everyones as they really are without categorising them as “Others”. Through social media it is now possible to change the opinion of people and create a better world. Now lots of influencers are collaborating with brands to create campaigns to sensitize people about the problem that the society is actually facing. I don’t know if you are aware of the famous campaign of PANTENE encouraging women to be more strong and never give up. You can have a look this was really popular on Twitter and has helped lots of people in their daily life.
I really enjoyed reading your paper
You can have a look at my paper here is the link
https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/11/young-adults-are-being-affected-by-unattainable-expectations-promoted-by-instagram-influencers

Hi Christelle

Thank you for taking the time to read my paper. You are right people tend to avoid talking about feminist issues such as sexism and oppression because in some cultures those are considered to be taboo subject. However, the freedom of expression that the internet allows really help normalize talking about those subject. As you said, people might also hesitate to voice their opinions in real life because of the negative responds that they might get. This is also true online. As mentioned in my paper, Twitter can be a topic place and tweeting about feminism might encourage antifeminist and misogynist comments. However, Twitter allows feminist to reply back to the negative comments in ways that would have been impossible in real life such as through the use of humor and creating memes. It is great that more and more brands and influencers are using their platform to empower women and Pantene is a good example of that. One may argue that brands are just using feminism to sell more products but the #ShinesStrong campaign by Pantene started an important conversation about women being unapologetically themselves. So does it really matter if the end goal was to promote and sell more shampoo? Let me know what you think.

Thank you for your kind response, I will definitively have a look at your paper!

Hi Pauline,
Your paper was well written and you came up with good supporting arguments. You’ve got a good idea to put forward the impact of Twitter as most of the time individuals focus on the other social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In your paper, have clearly stated how Twitter empowers girls and women. Furthermore, Twitter give them the possibility to expressed their feeling freely and this contribute to the improvement in the feminist actions. I support your point where you mentioned that this would not be effective without the emergence of the Web 2.0, which has encouraged participatory culture and community formation.
It was an interesting and informative paper. Good work 🙂 !
Regards,
Harmony.


Hi Harmony.

I am glad that you like my paper. I decided to focus on Twitter because it is the most popular platform to drive social movements such as Feminism. Therefore I wanted to explore that along with the sense of community that it enables. Yes, thanks to the Web 2.0 we can easily join/create an online community and connect with people who share similar interest than us.

Thanks for taking the time to read and engage with my paper.

Hi Marie,

This was a really interesting read and I think looking at the importance of teenagers engagement with social issues, particularly feminism, is a very important topic to discuss. Its interesting to examine the way that teens are engaging in media to understand and develop their moral compasses and sense of justice.

I really like your analysis on the benefits and downsides of the discussion of assault and victim blaming culture on twitter. You pulled some really good anecdotal evidence of tweets and hash tags that have been used in a variety of ways to address issues they face. I really like your inclusion of how humour is used, as I feel that its easy when discussing activism online to overlook the more casual expressions of political and social views that are expressed with humour, which often makes ideas feel safer and more normalised. When you are able to joke about the hypocrisy and absurdity of rape culture it can be a great way to communicate political messages in a very digestible way, as well as healthily express frustrations with a societal double standard.

I find it really interesting that you chose to focus specifically on teenage girls, not just young women in general. What is it about this kind of activity in teens that makes it stand out? Do you think that there will be a significant cultural shift in generations with teenagers engaging in this kind of dialogue in such an open space ? You mentioned a possibility of secondary victimisation, do you think that there are any other potential issues with teenage girls discussing sexual assault online? For example could it be more damaging to speak of these things on an open platform and expose themselves to further trauma or perhaps in lieu of adequate therapy discuss these issues online with people who are not qualified and perhaps create a new set of complications for the individual, especially in teen years.

I feel like this is really interesting in comparison to my own paper, which I discuss how men can be radicalised into maladaptive and misogynistic behaviours and beliefs in online spaces. I discuss the incel community online, which is a direct opposite to the community of young women online, who continuously normalise rape culture and believe they are entitled to sex. I think its interesting looking at both of these side by side and seeing two very different ideologies and beliefs being organised and enacted online. I would recommend giving it a read if you like !

https://networkconference.netstudies.org/2020Curtin/2020/05/13/incels-how-online-communities-can-create-pathways-to-self-radicalisation/

Hi Lullaki

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond to my paper. I agree using jokes online is an effective way of spreading important political messages. It also allows feminists to reply back to the antifeminist and misogynist comments in ways that would have not been possible in real life. To reply to your question, I wanted to focus to teenage girls manly because their actions are Twitter are often overlooked. Therefore, I wanted to explore the subculture of feminism that they created and determine whether they can be considered political agents… yes, they can!

I think that there will in fact be a cultural shift; by tweeting about global feminist issues, they are exposing more and more people to those issues thus making them more open minded. Moreover they are constantly finding innovative ways to spread awareness. Let me know what you think.

Thank you for sharing the link to your paper. Your topic look very interesting, I will certainly have a read!

Hi Marie-Pauline,

Thanks for linking your paper, I really enjoyed reading it. I like how you pointed out the benefits of these platforms and how they have the ability to make a change. I feel like your paper has shown me a very different perspective of how social media platforms can be helpful. Although I feel that in some circumstances feminists who stand up for their rights and for justice are often bombarded with hateful comments by trolls. Do you feel in some ways that it is a conflicting argument as there will always be a negative consequence for the positive intention? In this example it is female activists making a difference and anti-feminists possibly creating mental trauma from the effects of bullying.

Thank you, very well written paper 🙂
Rosalie

Hi Rosalie


I really appreciate you taking the time to read and engage with my paper. I am glad I have been able to show you a different perspective of how social media can be helpful in relation to social movements. You are right when posting about feminism online, teenage girls are exposing themselves to hateful comments but as I mentioned in my paper Twitter allows feminists to reply back to the hate comments in ways that would have been impossible in real life. For instance, they might use humor and memes to ridicule the anti feminist comments. I think that this is an effective way for girls to own their narratives and promote their feminist ideas and values. What do you think?

Hi Alice!

When I saw the title I was so eager to read this paper. Thank you so much for all the important informations and messages. I choose not to be active on Twitter because of those antifeminist and/or ‘feminazi’ tweets and contents can easily trigger me. Just like what you commented on my post, social media can be very toxic. Because of this paper, now I acknowledged the feminist-mysoginist war in the Twitter sphere. Well, I guess I’m not supposed to call it a war but we ladies and gentlemen have to fight for gender equality that unfortunately still hasn’t been reached yet. I love the #CropTopDay hashtag I think it is brilliant, and the fact that you added some jokes to that info is amusing. The HUGE problem is with the rapists, not us females and our beautiful body. Sadly, in some places all over the world, women are still forced to wear certain type of clothes, some of them have to do that due to cultural and religious believe which I still respect, but the actual social reason is to avoid rape. The point is we need to “make campaigns” about not to mind what women (and anybody) should wear, not to tell women what and what not to wear and directly blame the victim of rape. Let me know what you think, once again thanks for this paper!

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