The Role of Social Media in Feminist Activism

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The feminist movement is in no way disappearing. But is it really? Or are we just changing how we create change? Feminists have done a lot to draw attention to real issues online through Slut Walks, #Ineedfeministbecause, and recently the discussion of women in the workplace with Sheryl Sandberg’s desire for women to “Lean In,” not to mention the unprecedented number of women elected to office last November. Action is being taken both online and offline.

But feminism has a lot of issues to work on right now. And we’ve always been diverted – everyone running in a different direction, fighting different issues, and vying each other for media coverage, public attention, and a top place in policy priorities. My question for the last couple years has been how do we work better together? How do we acknowledge the various needs, the extensive list of organizations fighting for feminist issues, and actually bring the movement to a point where we can truly discuss whether the movement is still needed? My research in graduate school has been focused on how online advocacy and the translation from there to offline action and change has worked for different movements and revolutions, and how can the feminist movement take the best of what’s been done and apply it. To extend this question, I am doing research to figure out how the online feminist community connects and takes action, what issues are seen as most important, where are we reading news on these issues, and how we can move forward together.

In order to get real answers to all these questions I need your help. I have put together an anonymous online survey I hope you will take the time to complete. I also ask that you share the survey with your network. While this research is part of my education, and will be a major part of my thesis, it is also my goal that this becomes useful to the feminist community as we look at the next four years, and beyond, and how we combat the issues we seem to be fighting generation after generation.

You can complete the survey here, and share this link with others. Thank you so much for your help and support!


Photo credit: kdonovan_gaddy via photopin cc.


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