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Our session is titled feminist blogging from activism. I believe it is the full title was not on the name checked from activism to journalism in election years and beyond. Or maybe it was from journalism to activism in election years and the other journalism to answer isn't journalism activism blogging that we're talking about today. And I have the. Great privilege of. Moderating this panel with Veronica areola. Who is. A woman of many many I don't know if even jack of all trades covers it. She runs women in science and engineering program at UIC she is a founding board member of the organization that I run into women in media and news and she is a mommy blogger and a blogger in many different spheres and increasingly is published in journalistic spheres as well. And Cynthia Lou what do you want to say what your blogging name is it OK for me to say that you blog anonymously as cinematic with Mama cracks which was an incredibly astute political mothers blog during the election
and is also in her day to day life which is why the anonymity of filmmaker documentarian. And I will say I will let them introduce themselves in more depth in a moment. Originally I will say I will apologize. One of our session presenters Kim Pearson who's a professor of journalism. And a blogger who blogs not only as a citizen journalist but as a journalist does a blog with a journalistic ethic was supposed to be here. There are some some problems with housing and funding in schools budget cuts etc. So Kim will be joining us today. But you can find her at her blog name is Professor Kim. I don't remember the exact link but you can find her online if you google Professor Kim and she blogs a lot about race and gender in journalism. So today we want to talk about the fact that. 2008 2007 2008 was an incredibly rich time a challenging time a.
Sort of a brilliant and exciting time but also sometimes a very painful time to be a blogger who blogs specifically about gender and race. There were so many opportunities in the election year new cycle primaries up until post election to introduce discussions that don't generally filter into corporate debate a corporate media debate I should say. But some of those discussions when they filtered in were incredibly damaging in the frames. And there were also a lot of other issues not just presidential election related from Proposition 8 and the pitting of queer communities and African-American communities against one another in corporate media and then filtering into the blogosphere to dissension and discussion and debate among women of color bloggers and feminists. White from the bloggers to the shifting role of mommy bloggers and what. What is relevant
and what isn't what's appropriate and what isn't in the political sphere in the mommy blogging sphere. There were so many challenges and we're going to talk a lot about that today. I want to start. I just realized I didn't introduce myself to the day. My name is Jennifer Posner I'm the founder and director executive director of women in media and news. We have a group blog called women's voices. I am men women's voices and you can get to our blog and online at work that's our website you can click over from our website to the longer you are at. One. Old school yard truck and our group blog focuses on representations of women in media as well as the state of media so structural reform issues media activism media justice and we have several dozen women who are house bloggers who blog about different aspects of women and the media and we also accept guest blog posts on ASH and the issues related to media so feel free to address in any case. I'm going to start the
conversation off. By. Today we decided we're going to your introduction first. Ok ok you can you guys can introduce yourself more deeply and then I will start up a conversation about the election. Pat everybody. Hopefully will keep us lively and we won't go into lunch coma coma. I'm running around are you all I've been blogging since about late 2000 right after the election. It was quite inspirational to get some things off my chest. My current blog Viva la family stuff has been I've been writing that since summer of 2007. I my first blog was very much more personal as I said it came out of the election so it's much more about God damn it can't believe this is happening when the Supreme Court and you know Al Gore. Impossible. And it just was very much that Randi kind of odd.
So I. And then so then after and I blog through my pregnancy in the first couple years of my daughter in a very traditional I think mom blogging kind of way. But then I started to enter into more public writing. So I kind of rebranded myself as a blogger with the whole family. And one of the reasons I did that was because I. I thought I've been an active member of our of the feminist community for a long time activists been with now Planned Parenthood and all sorts of other organizations. And through those years I spent even before I became a mom I was trying to infuse feminist activism with mom issues mothering issues not so much trying to expand the conversation of choice to be go beyond birth control abortion to include birthing issues in hospitals and midwives and all those sorts of things.
Adoption. Just a hard conversation to have an offender circle. We haven't tried it. That's that's you know you won't lose time with that one. But so when I was moving towards a more public blogging and entering the kind of the bigger blogosphere. I decided that my reason for that was to infuse politics into the mom blogs fair because it was very traditional stereotypical you know men you know they rolled over today what kind of diapers and you know I mean. All those things that are very good and great for can build in community but I wanted it to be more I want I wanted to do more with it. So that's what my blog is actually about the intersection of feminism and motherhood and what happens when those two things collide. What happens to a feminist activist when she has a baby and with both of those things trying to infuse politics into my conversations and mom stuff into feminist conversations is also trying to also keep an
eye on the lens of being a Latina or a woman of color and with those things how those things. How being a woman of color changes that conversation. Or where we go with it. And so. That's kind of me and not show very small much. But. I I blog a cinematic model you know names obviously and I mean talk that if you're live tweeting or live blogging if you would refer to me as cinematic That would be you can hate that. And the reason is that I'm working on the documentary. It's not anything earth shaking it's just that I've invested a lot of time in it and did people who are the subjects of the documentary. Every. Politically conservative and very different politics and mine in and I've been so vocal that I'm a little worried about my word world crossing and I would hate for my documentary subtext. It's. Their consent. That's why I'm a little weird about like sort of the. Privacy issues but. Look like I was sort of
boring as a blogger and a blogging journalist and when I became a mother I started blogging in 2003 you know got pregnant in February of 2003 and had my my distant only child in November just as it was paralleling you know the run up to war and so I just get my my blog then which was completely private was one part cats one part pregnancy and one part. You know. George Bush you know just granted I know him and you know the pregnancy hormones going in so extra branding at the same time. Exactly and I was more distracted. So I really didn't think of myself as a political blogger. Till. February of 2007 I think it was.
Two thousand eight I'm sorry. And Gloria I think had come out recently with your piece on you know if you're a woman and a feminist today and these are reasons why you should support Hillary Clinton and I immediately dashed off something that entitled feminists for Obama. And so I'm just going to kind of come out right now and you know say that's that's what side of the fence I fell on but. You know as with a lot of blogging I just thought that it was a very lengthy blog new pictures you know lots and lots of text. Who the heck is reading this even. And lo and behold some women who had started up a group blog called Mama Katz obviously to. Help in. Finding a place for progressive and liberal women online whether or not they were parents to be able to maybe community and also you know. Get information with that particular sort of plant.
And and also help you know locally as well as nationally elect more Democrats. So we're very partisan from the very beginning. Those women some are feminists for Obama posed and asked you know sort of jumped me into the game and that's how I became a mom. And one other mama Pat is actually here with us Joanne Bamberger who blogs as pundit moms. At its very esteemed company that I mean and I'm so proud to be part of this girl gag anyway. So I think for me. Just to sort of give sort of an overarching sense of I don't want to rehash in great detail you know the Clinton Obama race and gender. I mean I'm sure that will come up in discussion. But just to sort of give an overarching sense I mean I really felt like what I understood of feminism like deep in my bones about the intersectionality of it was just tested tried
shredded. Stressed to the ultimate during during the Democratic primary and it was very very very hard to feel like. Mainstream corporate media frames that sort of only just learned yesterday microscope use of only barely just yesterday learned what feminism was. I would take issue with that he ever learned that he had heard of the word so much and had a leaning now but it was just very stressful on that level alone that those kinds of corporate media or mainstream media frames were kind of defining OK this is a race versus gender kind of story. And that's how we're going to you know describe these little horses in the horse race. So that was that was really stressful just trying to break free of that. You know. The point and then. The other thing was just you know there's always been and there always will be a lot of internal dissension in discussion about what feminism is what its goals
are you know how do we understand it how do we define it. What does it look like in practice. All those kinds of issues and I think that really you know was also subjected to intense scrutiny and in some ways it's. It may be the silver cloud. I mean the silver lining in the cloud of all that you know is largely and sort of the wretched discussion of a gender but that you know it kind of really galvanized feminist communities to to talk about these things again in a really hungry awakened us. So for me. You know I also live in California so on the one hand we saw on Election Day you know Obama elected in so it was really Obama who's thrilled and then you know that same day Proposition 8. Yes on his past. And for a lot of us who believe in marriage equality you know that was just like this tremendous blow. I mean you know we went from. Thinking like in the midsummer Oh you know we've got the we've got the statistics you know the odds are with us. Look you know most people seem to
support marriage equality they don't see a particular reason why we need to define marriage as between a man and a woman and then put that into the California constitution for Pete's sake. So you know there was complacency is confusion there was you know strategic and organizational chaos and maybe. Lack of. You know. Focus on the No on 8 campaign and just various reasons. You know yes on a past and now we have this alteration to our Constitution our state constitution. Most recently I think it was March 5th you know be repealed eight folks. And Ken Starr went up to the you know the California Supreme Court and. Did you know that here are the reasons why. In May of 2008 you ruled that marriages. Marriage should be open to everyone. Civil union is a sort of separate and unequal kind of category. You know it's it's it's really kind of an inferior sort of status that you're granting that if marriage is equal
then it should be for everyone. And then in November of that same year you know suddenly we have this man and woman you know have a normative. Sexist and homophobic kind of definition of what marriage is all in the face of. So that was another opportunity for me to kind of really. Experience all of the stresses on intersectionality again. And and you know as we go as we go forward you know talking. You know I imagine that's something that will come up. And just to close really briefly it's led me to launch a project. And I think a lot of my interest in my focus is on now what it is to be an activist. Yes. And what it is to re-imagine identity politics but also. What it is to be an ally. You know I really kind of exploring and experimenting with that and see. An essay contest for young people who were in graduate school
graduating from high school or going to college. It's targeted at a specific part of the community the Asian Pacific American community. We have an English language category and two Asian language categories so essays written in Chinese were Korean. And the point of it is to argue that marriage equality should be a fundamental civil right. And so it's kind of. An intellectual exercise but it's you know it's also a way for us I think to be kind of engaged in these issues and we have you know college scholarship prize money that we're offering. So this is kind of a new activism and really kind of putting like very abstract concepts into place so I'm really hopeful that we'll get in a very good response and that in this section of the community at least we can get an intergenerational dialogue going. We can talk about. You know we can leverage push those buttons in Asia. It's a thick American community where you know parents are really invested in their kids education and they want to know about how well you're doing it.
Oh you know Prize winning and such and you know all that kind of evidence that I use all that power for good and not evil soul of really having to to have a good effect and I really kind of able to work through a lot of my own angst about intersectionality where fails or succeeds through a project like that. Excellent. Well thank you both very much those introductions are meaty and we will definitely Cynthia get into a lot of what you just talked about and a lot of what Romney talked about as well in our discussion. I'm going to frame the discussion for a few minutes I might speak for a few minutes longer than I originally planned because Pym isn't here and Kim was the person on the panel who is going to talk specifically about journalism as a journalist and so as a journalist and a media critic myself I feel like I can I should carry a little bit of that water and his absence although Kim is African-American and I cannot carry water for her in that sense I I would never presume. But I'm going to talk a little bit about journalism and also about corporate media
frames because a lot of the time what what we all blog about is either intended to change those frames. Amongst our own communities on line and off line and sometimes to hope for when you change those frames in the larger progressive community as well. OK changing phrases and changing technology constrains that that's a good metaphor we want to change what's on the screen. So I wanted media news my background I should say because I didn't really talk about my back or Mike background is as a journalist and a media critic. And when I founded women in media and news I did so with trying to get help as a board member to. Change Journal to increase women's presence and power in public debate and to focus on women who are least often heard so not so sort of breaking the frame that women equals one monolith that women and in particular that feminist women equals one
particular slice of economic and ethnic and ideological population. We focus our media criticism and our media activism and our media justice were around women who are least often heard. So that means that when we talk about women we talk about women of color and low income women and younger women and older women and immigrant women and try to create spaces for women of across the spectrum and queer women to create their own in their own frames and talk back to the media turn the media monologue into a dialogue. So both. In terms of our plug in in terms of what I do and what I try to facilitate for other women writers and bloggers and activists is a platform and as a forum for authentic discussion of how media affects women's communities across the board and how those frames affect not only our ideas about people and politics but also can eventually affect
public policy. So in that sense. The election year was incredibly. Like I said in the beginning this incredible opportunity and really exciting but also incredibly divisive and troubling and painful at some point because of the breakdown in the failures of in of intersectionality the best parts of feminism tended to fall away in certain points along that primary season. So. Some of the frames that I'm talking about so that we can move from sort of generalities to specifics. One of the things that a lot of our bloggers at women's voices were writing about and certainly one of the things that I was doing a lot of multimedia presentations about where I talk touched a little bit about on it online and then did a lot of interactive stuff with groups across the country. Was the fact that. As Cynthia I think alluded to. We finally finally in corporate media as well as in blogs in liberal blogs that don't
generally talk about race and gender explicitly both corporate media. If you want to call them mainstream that's final though that's not the frame we use who defines mainstream so corporate media and liberal blogs were finally having a discussion about for example the massive amount of sexism in coverage of Hillary Clinton so that you know for example when he left the Times called it the Clinton cackle For example when she showed up to give a speech on the Senate floor you had a full page Washington Post story about headlines about Hillary's cleavage and what impact her cleavage was going to have on the electoral outcomes and was it a calculated effect to woo male voters. No wait it wasn't because she's ugly. And then there was you know there were pundits on Fox News who a particular pundit I can't remember his name right now. I it was all committed to memory for a while. I've now purged it ran a PAC called Citizens United not timid and the sizing the acronym the acronym being cunts.
And he was the expert. Fox News brought in regularly with the big Come symbol behind him talking about whether or not Hillary was effective on the campaign trail etc. saying things like when men when Barack Obama speaks men hear take off for the future when Hillary Clinton speaks men. You're taking out the garbage. And you know you had Chris Matthews going on a pretty much a one man anti-Hillary tirade calling her a witch calling her every name under the sun. You couldn't even imagine. And people did Tucker Carlson on MSNBC talking about the Hillary Clinton nutcracker making a lot of sense because every time she comes on screen he likes to to cross his legs because she's such a castrating bitch. And this was going on and on Kate you know and I mentioned that it's MSNBC that it's New York Times that it's Washington Post that it's FOX News because it's not just FOX News. Right. So you had. An immense amount of sexism in coverage to the point where it started to be noticed not only in the feminist blogs sphere but outside of that it started being noticed in liberal blogs and started being noticed among conservative women
who were getting upset that a woman at the highest level of political power in the country was still being dressed down as you know a whiny sibling bitch basically. And I can say those terms because those were the terms you used. It was it was playground bully stuff. And yet. So. OK so finally there was this moment that corporate media. It became a tipping point where all these blogs and community centers and everybody was starting to talk about hey what's going on in media why is there such sexism in coverage of this candidate tipping point to the point where now there was a discussion in corporate media around what are we doing around Hillary Clinton is there sexism in our coverage is that going to have an effect on the election et cetera. Is it sexist or not. Problem being is so as a media critic first instinct is yes say people are finally talking about this then I look at all the coverage that's going on. And my my immediate realization is. Holy crap the only space that is being given
to this discussion in corporate media is to people who are willing to say that the reason that all of this sexism is happening in coverage of Hillary Clinton is that sexism is the single most divisive force in American culture that sexism still exists whereas all the other isms have gone away that racism is a thing of the past. Therefore Barack Obama is getting a free ride in the media and he's being treated as a messiah and there's no racism in coverage of him. And that's why there's sexism in coverage of Clinton. And then to then at that point then you see so there was a glorious time Op-Ed that I think Cynthia alluded to in the New York Times. Basically I don't remember the exact headline but it basically said that gender is the most restrictive force and that that is why women had a responsibility as women to vote for Hillary Clinton because that's the only time this thing could possibly do and if Barack Obama was a woman he would never have the position he has and he would never be popular etc. then media start because it's the New York Times and as much
as we like to say that we're in this new media climate. And you know old news or you know newspapers are dying left and right nothing is relevant anymore it's all online. In fact you know in the political sphere politicians read newspapers the TV news often gets you know TV news cycle is dependent on what's in the newspapers that day in the day before that sort of thing. But unfortunately that particular bad then sparked a huge debate in the blogosphere where people then had Gloria Steinem who is a very respected I will say I respect her work over the years and mentally but. Using that sort of mark of institutional authority then that touched off this really hurtful and problematic debate within the blogosphere among many people who identified as feminists and many people who didn't and sort of furthering the race versus gender discussion to really denigrating. And I think because
of course there was a huge amount of racism and coverage of Obama and you know you had first you started off with the news frame and you saw this trickling into the blogs all over the place. First you have a news frame of Obama is. Everybody loves Obama and you know you remember the the blood. The first thing we saw we heard about about Obama in a major sense remember the Obama girl video he want to talk about the power of viral media who did not see the Obama Girl video. What happened in the interim little remembers it pretty well. OK who saw the Obama video. The Obama girl video excerpted on CNN or Fox or any of the cable news. OK yes so that's again on line affecting corporate media frames corporate media frames affecting online. So is this idea that everybody was in love with Obama in fact that was not a progressive political campaign that was a self-interested corporate online humor site. The frame then
shifted to Obama was is Obama. Black enough he's not black enough. I either A because he has a white mother or B because he's not radical. He's not like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or Louis Farrakhan So black people won't like it was the Harvard media frame. Well OK. Because every black person has to think alike. Then there was then it shifted to actually know all the polls are saying he's. That's not an issue black voters will support him. OK now he's too black. Then you have Fox News and CNN and it cetera with all the Reverend Wright clips and God damn America and he's in and then you have the secret Muslim and he are. Can we trust him. That wasn't me that went out birth certificate. It's already going to the New York Post finding a picture of him visiting I believe Somalia with wearing local garb and therefore he must be a terrorist. And it went so it kept shifting right. And then throughout that then you had. He was not patriotic because he refuses to wear a flag pin which he didn't refuse to wear. So you have these media frames that then trickled
into the blogosphere. Both people responding to it and both people and people reinforcing it within all of that you had incredibly contentious debates among feminists and among women bloggers about how do you navigate your own intra interpersonal politics how do you navigate your identities political and personal within this sphere. And what are the challenges and what we want to talk about today. What are the challenges and what are the opportunities that we learned from that. Very contentious period that we've just lived through. And. I want to come but I just remembered before I open the question I want to complicate it by it a little. There was all of this. Coverage of Michelle Obama. If it does anybody. Remember the Fox News discussion about Michelle Obama that was captions Obama baby mama. So that's that's Michelle Obama on Fox News that it was you know it throughout she was originally discussed
very recently until Obama got the nomination. Once he got the nomination coverage of Michelle changed to focus mostly on body and beauty and fashion before he got the nomination it was Michelle Obama is the angry black woman. She hates the man she hates America. She literally calling her there was a round table. I carried him of his ABC or not roundtable calling her the will. If Obama gets the nomination will we see America's first angry black woman first lady. That was it. That was a direct quote and then you had you know constantly what New Yorker coming back think about it. They then have the New Yorker cover that trickled throughout the blogosphere where you had all the stereotypes of both Helen Barach. But if you notice if you remember that cover it was you know it was Obama himself was depicted as Muslim. Then they have the Fox News called terrorist fist jab that they're making. But it was Michelle who was depicted as having a machine gun across her shoulder in the in
the visual imagery of 70s radicalism. Everybody was all scared of Michelle then as soon as he gets the nomination Michel so beautiful Richelle the new Jackie O. Because look at her dress and look at her arms and cetera and she's going to be a fashion maven somehow went back to she's just a girl. It's not our social and corporate media frames were saying when they were talking about Michelle Obama were saying that the Mets were not doing enough to call out the racism and sexism and coverage of Obama we were in the blogosphere doing that but they weren't talking to those bloggers who were doing that they weren't looking at Michelle Obama watch it cetera. So opening that to some of the questions that that came up whether it's the election or whether it's proper whether it's the ban the ban on adoption for gay couples. I think the first question I want to know is what do you think was the most challenging aspect of blogging about race and gender this year.
You want to go OK. I'll start this off easy. I think. AS. As somebody who was a Hillary supporter during the primary it was hard to do that and not so much excused the Steinem are bad and the. Ferraro comments. It was not for those who know Geraldine Ferraro those were the Geraldine Ferraro comments about it. Barack Obama would have it easy because a black man when compared to Hillary is a woman. It was having to navigate that myself and then communicate that to other people about how I was appalled by both of those instances and that. But. Taking those moments to. To
essentially be critical of the feminist smoke movement as a whole and the stereotype that a lot of people have of it be it. Because we have spokes women like Cory Steinem and Geraldine Ferraro. Of it being a very white. Woman middle class movement and talking about how I wrote a piece that I did a lot of my political blogging actually during the election ad a site called work at mom work at Mom dot com. And I wrote a piece for them and at that Geraldine Ferraro you know breaking my heart essentially when I'm home and and ignoring racism in this country. And that yes on very many levels I can say that male privilege. Is at play. But to ignore the racism that is in are also in play in Obama's world and all of you know it was irresponsible. For of her. Other you know
to to to try and get those two things against each other. I'll I think I could subscribe to the idea that male privilege kind of. Outweighs them all in some sense. But that. But they're pitting of those two things was playing into the corporate media as structure and really fueled a lot actually some great conversations not heard on the blogs that I was writing for. I think it was stressful because I think that you know we're so we're sort of an implied coalition with. Another And and it's always scary and troubling and disturbing to feel like an ally is deserted and you're being abandoned and in a weird way like you know the thinking and thinking about the exchanges that went went went on. You know I think women of color have always had a sort of status get to cism about
woman. What does that describe who is that describing because so often they did not describe you know African-American women Asian Latino you know Native women and. And so I think there's just a great deal of sensitivity there about that coalition holding together and wanting that coalition to hold together and when it doesn't seem to hold together in the just enormous pain of that you know I'm thinking about how you know there was a tremendous outcry about how Hillary was discussed depicted dissect her body dissected in the corporate media and I think you know even. I think some women of color like myself were kind of waiting for you know equal outcry about Michelle Obama. Don't be angry Angela Davis or whatever and that kind of extends up until like just last week when you know Tammy Bruce and the son you know right wing.
Writer at Town Hall is saying Dad I think Tammy Bruce said that Michelle Obama is trash. In the White House. And then this man Bruce Kletzky a town called upon the right wing web site said that she's a bitch and you know later they scrubbed from the Web site so you see it there unless you you know go through some maneuvers but you know and listen there are some some joke about some you know very thinly veiled joke about the Obama puppy. The Obama dog and a show like 0 3 because bitch right. So it's kind of like the disguised way of like you know you know basically being able to call a woman a bitch and a woman of color at the first lady. Yeah as much as I would just like Laura Bush I've never called him a bitch you know. So so I think. I think when we when I as a woman of color see an imbalance like that it's distressing it's distressing because that sort of further reinforces the notion that women must only mean white women then because look at
the tremendous energy in protecting defending you know circling the wagons around Hillary et cetera and then that and not the equivalent kind of thing is happening when it's a woman of color you know. So. I think you know that's just kind of talking about like sort of a very subjective and emotional sort of response on my part and I'm not trying to say that this was everyone but I suspect that for women of color you know was it that was part of the painting. You know and on the other side you know I think women of color who are feminists really did try to say. Yes Miss sodomy is just unbelievable it's crazy. You know no one wants a senator Hillary Clinton secretary of state to be called these things depicted is these things you know. You know. Leading to as any of these things you know and in the end it was a it was distressing that it was not the same kind of
reciprocal in terms of you know the energy of the critique. Right right. So that actually what I was going to ask and I will ask this after because my immediate follow up to that question was going to be after what is what was the most challenging thing about buying that race and gender what were the really positive lessons and what were the ways that that we shifted the debate in a positive way what are the opportunities that were there that we can learn from. I will ask that again in a minute but what you just said reminded me that I wanted to ask you both something about look a kind of a theory that I've been. Kind of turning over about why it was that bloggers as well as corporate media as well as you. Sort of citizens wanting to figure out about voting and all of that why it was why the outrage over Clinton and not the outrage and not even the recognition that there was couple that there was racism in discussion of Barack Obama throughout the candidacy and also discussion of Michelle. My theory is that part of it is that hey there has been so much.
Sexism in coverage of female politicians I mean the first time I wrote about it was maybe 84 when I didn't write about this in 84 I was 10. But you know I did in 84 Geraldine Ferraro was introduced on national television by I believe it was Tom Brokaw as being a size 6 at the Democratic National Convention the first female vice presidential candidate so I Six was how she was introduced on TV. So this is been going on for a very long time. Very little notice has been paid to it I've written about it for 15 years now no you know but this was the first time somebody was running for president at a time when there was a an on line community that people were able to express their own opinions even if the white male media establishment weren't expressing those opinions in the first place. So there was this and it's it was stuff that was easy to see. Right. And you have I think that. Part of the problem with having the conversation about race in terms of how both the Obamas were depicted what is because
we as our country and our society doesn't view we don't want to talk about race really want to believe that we're a spine that we're post-racial. And the fact that. When he when Obama won Iowa it was my that's it racism do over right that I was. Voting for him. That's right. If there is any race as part of this country what with all the inbred white people and it is so I think we're going to look for you now right now is going to that is the theme that was the feeling and so I think from corporate media and for individuals to really stop and say look the cost of the coverage is racist. I would have had meant that we'd have to explore our own racism. Yes and people do want to do that. Be in I don't think that. I don't think the campaign wanted that to happen either because they were writing this kind of feel good.
We're all in it together. Who are colorblind and you know all of them you simply under the eyes and I think you know I think. I think both. Yes maybe even like the whole party wanted to be and we have this idea of I'm from Chicago so I was I'm from like Obama land of the hilarious home girl. And. We had all these like urbanites Chicagoans people of color and go in into Iowa into Wisconsin into Indiana and trying to talk to these people who you know. They're stereotypical you know racists essentially. It wouldn't take oh somebody from Iowa would vote for a black man and that was the conversation and we wanted to just keep believing that and believe in that and we still are trying to believe that. Right. Well that's my my my theory is that so the first part was that you know people were finally noticing the sexism. But the reason that I think people noticed it is it was simple.
It was here's this woman who has a lot of power she's a senator she's running for president. We're still talking about her clothes her hair her laugh her body size etc. it's. Really simple. Right but the racism in coverage of Obama and blabbing about Obama and in the public debate about Obama was a very coded You know when people use the term post-racial in corporate media. There's a whole lot of that coded stuff attached that racism is a thing of the past nothing is left to overcome. When when you when the discussion of Obama as an affirmative action candidate was out there a couple of times by Glenn Beck by others they didn't have to say he's unqualified he's a lazy black man. There's been 30 years of coverage of it from that action coded to get you to think that when you hear the phrase affirmative action. So so much of the anti patriotic or radical or angry they didn't have to flesh out those arguments they just had to say code words and we who understand the history of racism in this country
would understand what that is but people who aren't political in general might not understand that that's my theory but I don't know. Do you think that there was possibly do you think it's an issue of education of what is a simple sort of surface level. The way a certain kind of ism plays out on the surface for example sexism in coverage of Hillary and the way that coded frames are harder to decipher. Did that happen. I think. I think I would agree with you in that the manipulation of racial codes ease is kind of really. Subtly insidious in the way that the sort of over the heads you know sledgehammer sexism Isagani was much more overt and detectable. But I also think like in terms of how the campaigns were run and you know this is my interpretation. I mean it seemed to me like Obama really shied away from being the black candidate you know. And it really took Reverend Wright to sort of elect him up. Right.
And a concerted effort by McCain and also Clinton to sort of let him up that way. And that was you know something I really had a huge problem with. But I think that. You know I mean I remember reading late into the primaries about how Obama offices regional offices in various cities all over were subjected to sort of like these hate crime Landolin isms. And this was like one way into the primary this was like well it was like July almost August and we you know pretty much knew who was going to be the nominee at that point and and it was I just thought it was so interesting because. It was never something that the Obama campaign ever. I think in fact they tried to probably question that story in The New York Times because they just really wanted to avoid any sense of like. This kind of monster that's in our history and you know can rise up at any time and it's and you know take over.
It. We can still see that in Obama's last press conference somebody after him. Yes. I can't remember who it was that asked him about race it was a woman about ready to believe a radio reporter like him and he was like you know I've been talking and I think I did begin to look at the economy. Well Polo you know race if that immediately raises a factor in the economy. Yeah he just doesn't want to talk about it which is why I think that they tried to keep playing this whole were large other color wheel I think but was also really kind of tough. For me was to see the Clinton campaign then start sort of taking up like these things. Well sure he's a citizen Safire's I run. But I don't know what that is right overhead street level so I don't have this kind of trajectory with Clinton you know really just really wanting her to just be right out there you know either Obama or Clinton or Clinton Obama have this poll to see like us so amazing that the fee and credit etc. etc. but. Just it was not going to happen and that includes the overwhelming Chaddy for me of
this departure was that we had a hard life. Oh my God twice the history you know how amazing. And it just it didn't work. And that was what was so frustrating about. The outcome of the puma blogs was that they were just they and they continue to harp on Obama every time he has some sort of Bopara about women or isn't out 110 percent tip on women's issues. But they continue to ignore the racism that the Hillary campaign accepted it as well as her. You know like support of the 96 welfare reform right which was abysmal for women specifically women especially women of color. Yes and I think that when you're finished them yet to do those sorts of things they were just like. Her. You have a blind spot for me in that. You know. Now we come to find out that the repeal of Glass-Steagall which created us you know a firewall between commercial banks and the investment banks and now you know that that's
been removed and part of the reason why we're in this you know economic disaster. Well that was a piece of legislation that Clinton signed. Bill Clinton you know even in trying to engage on the issues on the on the record I mean part of the difficulty I had that Hillary Clinton was. Wanting to kind of have it both ways in some ways sort of like she's sort of trading on you know the Clinton brand meaning you get the two of us but then the damn thing was well yeah but then there's that laughter thing the nasty gall thing in telecom learned to steer yet again their murders ever right so it was kind of it was frustrating in that respect trying to talk about real issues even to say you know well where are you on these issues and so I think that was really troubling to me. So here. I would like to get this is all been really needy and I'm very glad we got into it and there's much depth but I'd like us to not necessarily move now from the election itself into sort of larger issues around blogging and I think that
one thing I want to say before it is just the Pumas one thing that I think a lot of us as bloggers we took the bait to some degree I think we as bloggers need to be really careful about taking the bait and we need to This is where citizen journalism is very important. We need to be looking you know using those foir requests we need to be doing research as a journalist and as a media critic I'm trained to not always believe what I see and hear from corporate media now the Pumas. I believe it was Amanda Marcotte if it if it wasn't it was another one of the sort of power feminist bloggers. I did some research and found that the pack was basically McCain supporters. It wasn't Hillary Clinton supporters it was formed very late in the primary it wasn't peace so it was a basically a bait and switch people pretending they were outraged about sexism in the campaign coverage of the campaign and so now they were not going to support Obama because it was so sexist. Chance Clinton in fact it was it was you know infiltrator you know stuff about trying to move the media debate and trying to move the blogosphere debate and some degree we all
we those of us who did took the bait and that's something we need to be able to watch out for in the future about not just falling into those traps. So I'm a little more care I would say while part of the Pumas were a trap. You know they really emerged a Sarah Palin supporters right. And this is a preview of my talk of blood her tell me what it is that the Pumas really you know they've they've really ended up going for pale and in the whole sense of women who hear us roar kind of saying arrest her and I think your same in every way to peace. Just after Palin. Came on the scene at Work It Mom about called Why Sarah Palin is good for found an ism. Because it really forced us to have this conversation especially people who may not be as
radical as the left in their feminism about what it means to be a feminist is pro is a pro woman all the time is it. Do we have a litmus test and it was at my most successful piece ever in terms of I got like 46 comments. And some of them were like yeah I'm totally and utterly a feminist. I'm proud to see a strong and thoughtfully provoke national conversation emerge from an anti woman GOP nominee as a Hillary supporter I'd never be so ignorant as to vote for Kalen just because she's a woman. Someone else wrote. I don't get it Palin should be the feminist hero the only thing she takes opposite on them is abortion. When this goes on about others it yeah ok then all of these things and then it it turn into a conversation about what is a feminist issue. Is it just abortion is got I have to take that I take a very broad definition of feminism and that includes gun. Laws and people were like No guns have nothing to do with feminism and so it was really interesting.
So I left it so while I took the bait in some way I thought that it really helped expand the conversation so I questioned I think that your it's actually a question for you first but also for you. So moving from the election based discussion to. What you both talked about a lot. Even starting in your introductions and in all of the discussion so far and even what I discuss too it can kind of boil down to problematic media frames being repeated sometimes in the blogosphere or the frustration that we might have as bloggers who focus on through a progressive anti-racist pro-feminist lens. Our frustration at how how to break those frames right. So the end comes in question to Obama about you know can we discuss race and he basically says no. What now is a time I guess where I'd like to ask that question that was supposed to be the follow up to the first question which is what are what do you see as
the real sort of sunshine moments the real opportunities that we've gained this year whether it's through politicizing the mommy modesty or whether it's through recreating a discussion about intersectionality and where can we go from here. What are our responsibilities to change those frames and how to do it. OK. I guess I would respond by saying that in some ways you know kind of going right from Geraldine Ferraro. To you know some of the less. Savory parts of the Clinton campaign to Sarah Palin there first of all I mean it. Got to me in my nature but becomes sort of like a warning that you know single issue sort of. Narrow ideas of feminism. Can really cut a circle back around in a very uncomfortable way. You know because there's not a there's not the attachments to other you know you're not in coalition with other people and so therefore there's kind of an element of.
This is I'm almost in it it's like. Well you know I can only be for people who look exactly like me. And you know that's a lot of what I heard in the in the payment support sometimes was like she's just a regular mom then I'm a regular mom too. You know I she might be a hockey mom but I'm a sucker mom and you know that's like the basis for identification and so what I would like to. Say is that you know I think there are many many white people many many white women really sort of saw this happening and were kind of aghast you know that that we could have this kind of trajectory where a focus only on a woman as a very sort of narrow interpretation of that white well educated you know upper middle class etc. all the things that you know both Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary are if not Sarah Palin I would say she's very well educated. But anyway. 5
1 which is that's five times the education. Not only more colleges and yes exactly. But the thing is you know to me that was that was like. A warning signal. You know this is kind of what happens when there's not there's not a feminist and I make explicit a feminist commitment to coalition to incent intersectionality to saying that yes my identity is this but it is so interwoven with so many other. Modes of being that I'd liken it to a really skewed view that six sides there is theoretically they're all one color you want to get them to be on one color but they can be like a a mixture of of different colors right. And and. I just talked about this in a blog her last year at the recent panel where. You know ordinarily we walk around and we're just we are that bundle of all different colors on every single side of us. Because you why take the how could you remove the cat lover from the
mother from the you know Chinese-American from the woman it's just extricating right and you can't pull it apart. But there are times as you know when you discriminate against say before we had the Lilly Ledbetter Act you know there's you're discriminated against as a woman and all those squares that say woman kind of come. Hit the floor. And there's there's a time for that kind of strategic essential doesn't like college. I know there's a time for that to come to the board to be sort of the main client to be the thing that can launch you into coalition with other women and you know other people in that same category. And I think that can be very powerful and that's not something I would want to give up. But at the same time I wouldn't want to do well there. You know I mean I think it's like a place you can go and do action but to kind of like live there the whole time is. Is a little risky I think that's you know where we sort of.
Get Geraldine Ferraro on one end and Sarah Palin on the other extreme it's like I'm I'm a woman that's never been on pot you know. So for me I think that's the sunny part or the positive part is just sort of reexamining what it means to be what intersectionality means how it is that you are intellectually honest and maybe you know sort of emotionally courageous to say that you know I have privilege. I copped to it I have privilege in these ways. You know upper middle class educated able bodied you know etc.. Straight right. But then I say in these other ways you know US doesn't keep a homeless man from calling me a chick. I'm saying so you know just sort of be honest about that and to own that and to say that OK given that I'm this bundle. You know how. How can I how can I advance an agenda. How can I also be an ally. We've been another agenda. You know you don't have to determine that agenda but I can stand strongly and say that that's what I was telling you about my experiment with you
know as a straight ally working with folks the local boss Angelus. Please play a game of nation and. So I work with Asian Pacific Islanders equality you know equality Los Angeles and just you know we got co-sponsorship from little essay contest very cross armlock. It is yes exactly that. Yeah modern Web 2.0 and an absolute knowledge of blogging. It's a blog. Definitely because I want to bring the conversation back to as much as we're talking about our activist identity yet how do we do this activism online because that's what we said we're going to talk about so as a blogger read here I read what you're talking about intersectionality and what I asked about breaking the frames. You can text realize that for people who have blogs in the room for people who comments on blogs because commenting is just as much a part of the community. And then actually ask that I'm going to ask you to respond to some of the same thing up and specifically to the idea of what are the opportunities
as bloggers to break the frame online and in corporate media and then after we have answers to questions we're going to open up the sense that I just got a pretty quickly by saying you know this seems like a great opportunity to kind of be that be that good friend be that good ally and to kind of mobilize you know sort of the social media resources available to get the word out on the contest and also to work you know sort of in three dimensional space with real people you know to kind of. To take what's on line and you know bring it back off line and then bring it back online you know for maximum impact. And where can they find that if people are going to find the protocols. API dash P Flag dot blogspot dot com so I can put it up on the blackboard also afterwards. Exactly. So one of the sunshine moments builds on. What you were saying is that the the. It forced a new conversation and that particular in the mom blog.
Community really seemed to be that. I would say that that moment the election weather was the primary or the general kind of for was that moment where a lot of mom bloggers who. Would say. At least a. Blogger even wrote it. Wrap it around up post about this to a lot of mom bloggers like I just talk about my kids and family in a very happy gender and I mean like a very happy sunshiny way or not always sunshiny way but just that because I just want to be that kind of blogger came out and were saying like I don't normally blog about politics but I just have to get this off my chest. And I am definitely a subscriber to the idea that once you get that off your chest it's always going to be there and the next time won't be as you won't need like a ton of bricks to push you over that cliff. Just maybe a tiny little breeze. Well.
One of my favorite blogs I've been reading for years the pieces of my life through actually the blog are lives in the Boston area. So since 2002 she's had 10 instances of writing a post that starts out with something like I don't do politics but I have to say this but she clearly talks about politics a lot when she comments about her kids and how they interact with each other. There is one instance where she was blogging about her son and daughter in a Monopoly game and how her daughter was just loving the fact that she was really into money in real estate in public life. And she made some comments about she has these ask you know. It's a she's showing signs of a future Republican and that's a very political thing to say on a blog you know about your children. Yet she didn't quite and I've seen that in other blogs other mom blogs where you make those kind of comments but don't connect the fact it was a very political statement. Joanne's site has just actually left Pundit Mom. She was doing a session
a series of blog pieces called Mothers of intention where she was asking mom bloggers who don't identify as political to coming on her site and right and one of them Joe de Fer had said she started off approaches like I promised myself I would never write about politics on this site. Those of you who aren't moms I think the mom community in virtual and and walk of real life lends itself to this like censoring of politics because you kind of lie and you kind of lean on each other for a lot of things and you don't want your politics to get involved in that because you might need somebody to pick up after school one day. So I thought that was a really sunshiny moment was the fact that I think that a lot of people who don't see themselves as political because that's part of what I try to do with my politics aside infuse the politics in the mom's sphere nearly came out excellent. And do you have anything to say about about how we in the room and others in the blogosphere
can can work to change frames both on line and in corporate media. Yes we don't have as of now. Well then I'll just say that I that as a media critic and as a journalist and as a blogger and as an editor of many many women bloggers on this bloggers there's a difference to me rather than from the bloggers. I do think it's incredibly important for all of us to be conscious of the frames that are used both in corporate media about issues and politics and legislation but also about our identities. And to unpack those regularly first for ourselves and those hard conversations with our friends and our activists communities and our academic communities before we or maybe even through our writing but it's it's imperative that we identify and unpack that kind of coded. Framed language so that we then can be aware of not taking the bait that so that we can be aware of not just the simple surface level. This is sexist because they're
talking about a woman's body but not understanding what it means to say that Barack Obama's affirmative action candidate or that he's not black enough or he's too black you know or that or post-racial you know if we can change those frames. Recognize those frames for ourselves and then use those recognitions to provoke questions and dialogue online and also hopefully use link politics and use online coalitions to start pushing more a unified more progressive pro-feminist anti racist messages not only through the progressive feminist blogosphere but through the liberal blogosphere which doesn't often get explicit about race and gender at all and then outside into corporate media. So you know if you have those small. Yes it's on this blog if you can figure out ways to get say Huffington Post or Daily Coast to start actually engaging in a discussion that they might not be engaging in actively. Then that might start to shift and get some coverage to change a frame on
Hannity or at least be discussed on how it won't change hands frame. But maybe you maybe you get some coverage or some movement out of Rachel Maddow Show that way it's it's getting not only on line but off mine too although I think you know I want to open soon. Yes we have to remember that the outrage that happened about Pastor Warren. Again I dunno Gration happened out started on the blogosphere and then it just trickled up right shot up into the corporate media and the other thing about changing frames is that what another thing that Sarah Palin did I think to the mom blogosphere was Have people. Think about how moms are situated and stereotyped in political campaigns because she was trying to play out as like a more everyday mom rivaling herself a hockey mom. And I blogged on my personal site about the different the economic difference between being a hockey mom and a soccer mom and the mounds of dollars that that is and that's a very class issue and I think a lot of the moms who are reading my site were like yeah. And
so that I had made us you know come to consider when political campaigns cost soccer moms or security moms or what they're doing with the mom label run it just to send something. I mean I I think there's a sense that you know you know how like hell kind of briefing to end soft and squishy could you get it you know I have never been so radicalized when I became a mother considering the stakes for everything became so clear it was like a hundred years of occupation of Iraq. On that my side not for anybody else. I'd like to do that you know the Malo air came out so I mean I think that there that it can be really powerful and if you need to kind of adopt the disguise on just me you know I'm sure you know you can think what you want but you know I HEAR ME ROAR kind of thing you can be really powerful and galvanizing and I think that marketers others in the progressive blogosphere
and you know corporate media they make the mistake of really kind of underestimating we're in the the mommy blog here. You know there's something really powerful going on and it's not just the progressive voices I mean there's something really kind of interesting things going on with the conservative mom. I'm a little. Nervous about you. Well now that we have we have about 15 minutes for questions and. Anything it's open whatever however you want to direct the conversation. Basically we love and I have a lot of believing you mentioned the New Yorker cover and that was really interesting to me. But I but no one said it. I want to know what it was like a valid critique of the conversation or if it was a really problematic choice for that publication. I just have to say that I don't buy the hipster term of satire. So I don't I mean I don't subscribe to what is generally said as a hipster satire in terms of the New Yorker or
ironic t shirts of stereotypes that are in you know and sold on the Internet or on the Mall things like that so I'm pretty hardcore. In terms of the New Yorker cover I think it's a really that's a really complex question because that's so grounded in identity. People had such strong feelings about it being just a joke or just funny or a really good journalistic attempt to collect all of the stereotypes and comments on it satirically and others thought you know what this is incredibly dismissive and derogatory. When I call as a media critic. One. I don't care. I never in terms of women in media news as political vantage point and media criticism lens intention is not as important as content. I don't care if the editors who decided to put that on the cover were well-meaning or intended it as a joke or intended it as a slam. I care about what did that what was it what was the impact of having these stereotypes on the cover
I think. As editors they understood one. We all know the last couple weeks have become very clear. The changing stakes in media and sales and marketing and media money. They know that the most controversial cover you can get is the one that sells more. That's one and two. I think that if they really wanted to make a satirical point or a media criticism commentary point about stereotypes or racism in coverage of Obama they would have put that story that cartoon inside the magazine and annotated it or had an article with it or it's not or inside not on the cover without any comments because on the cover it looked like every other right wing attack. If you look at because I am from New York so their magazine stands everywhere it looks no different than any of the other magazines in the National Review. Exactly could have been the National Review. I I I I I mean I think it was filled satire and I was a genius a literary critic so I'm really picky about like let's call it words on all these other things and I think
that the element of subversion and sort of a framing you know like someone pointed out is that cover had been in a little flat bubble that was attached to Rush Limbaugh's head then that might have been Stan but it didn't exact. If they did it right it didn't. It was just the cover so you know I think in my definition of what a satire is a very failed satire. The action piece and you tart a lot about your sexuality in coalition building how do we do that through the blog sphere. You know I mean I think the blogosphere is wonderful in terms of connecting that then once you've connected there's got to be like something that you're doing you know back out into real life and so I mean in some ways I go back to only Dickinson and you know tell it slant and I think that in some ways you know maybe kind of going at it sideways like gardening is like gardening is your thing you know there's so much that's going on in terms of like urban and community gardening victory gardens peace for people who are from
insecure growing like an extra row. I mean I think like actually kind of getting your hands dirty again like going to the blogosphere and getting nourished and getting inspired and they're kind of taking it back out with you into the real world and trying to find enough location for it I mean I think that I think that's what people take away from the Obama campaign is they've learned by doing what people learned about racism because they were just knocking on doors trying to get somebody to vote for a candidate. And suddenly you know you've got someone from Scott you know whatever kind of attitudes in your face and it's shocking to learn that you know if you're not black. Right in the you think well OK post-racial sure this shouldn't matter and suddenly like there it is. You know so I mean I think like this it's really key to kind of take take that out and circulate it back in you know. Just to think about introduce yourself. Sorry. Now that's a serene digital sensors block one wire then women immediately. Couple other bugs as well. Parker We think they're very ready to point out how.
Very much like oh you're not just in terms of that you know in terms of the satire part just really quickly. One of things I think that was missed also was that there was images that came from the community who said you know this is our reaction. And they actually had T-shirts of her in their very poor ways and very different like you know where you didn't have the afro so that that sort of perspective the angry black woman thing she was very much who she is now basically with the little fat spawn still and so it was very interesting to watch something like that happen but yet there was no coverage on those images that were created from the specific community that was being targeted by the news but that by that cover. So I always feel that we are missing something because we're not. Picking up on stuff like that and calling it that tired but but missing what what the community is actually saying and then the second part was just in terms of when we talk about this I mean it's across the board not just because of the candidate whoever the candidate was with whether it was Hillary or Barack but I know I have someone I would consider a friend who
said this you wrote a letter you know I want to say to Michelle Obama but she has been writing and she got attacked in a way that you know was not expected because it was uncommon for her to get that kind of experience whereas had I written that it would have been you know it would have normally been acceptable and I think that that's the sort of barrier that we're trying to cross in terms of what's acceptable for certain groups and what's acceptable for me. So had she not been a white woman doing that no one with the setting. But because she was and he was a black candidate it changed every dynamic and we just kind of need to be careful of things like that we look at these images and you just say I think it's I've seen some fits. I mean. About the classy image of Michelle Obama and being used as are they redefining for us what it means to be a black family in America when really I think that black America because looks like that I mean I think it's more about the conversation really should be about.
Change going from our stereotype of black America black family to what the reality is as opposed to then modeling some sort of new black family in America. Yeah. So it's a sin to say yeah it all levels of class. So one thing that sure that you just said that I think is again goes back to my question earlier about what are our opportunities and responsibilities and how can we break dreams. If there was not enough conversation in corporate media about the generated the the community generated ground up positive images that's where we come in right now. So that's where our sort of blogger Oddie start to move images up whether it's on line or hopefully out into sort of the ripple effect out into shifting public debate both online and offline and in corporate media. And I think that we can't wait for. We shouldn't discount our
own power as writers both in independent press and in independent online new media spheres. By just waiting for corporate media to find those images because they're always going to find the image that's on the cover of a major national corporate magazine. They're not going to necessarily find the images in our community and even if they find them they're not going to necessarily want to publicize them for example so the image make over. I remember back before the press during the primaries you had Chris Matthews doing a segment on MSNBC about Michelle Obama having a quote unquote political image make over after the. I'm not proud of my country thing that you know was misrepresented. Michelle Obama Is she having a political image make over and what did the 30 second MSNBC commercial have during the promo bump for that for that segment. It was stripper graphics holograms of stripper graphics behind her. That was her image make over from you know the crazy black woman who's you
know what I mean because she basically all it was was she's an African-American woman so therefore we can use this really derogatory image. I mean why that would never have been if if Hillary Clinton or Laura Bush needed to have a political image make over based on what they had said. Would they ever put a pole dancer behind them in a 30 second ad. So we can't count on corporate media to find our images we have to get those images out and it's our responsibility to talk about that both from our communities and in allied support. And if it. It just kind of follow up eventually Really briefly like to link politics in the SCA I mean that's that are all trying to get him healthier for the little search engine optimization so just to respond to Shareen point you know I actually bought my husband a T-shirt that had that image at the beginning like oh that's cute. Anyway you know here's an example where in the blogosphere you know if you are linking to something like that you can make it bubble up. Right the more people who do stories on that and so I think that's kind of like a sort of
lateral sort of move and instead of what often happens in the blogosphere and especially in blogging journalism because we don't have the resources to do enterprise reporting. You know I'm lucky to be able to fly over to Iraq any time and report what's going on over there. We rely on you know mainstream media or corporate media. And so our links are really kind of met and they're sort of derivative and they link back up to sort of these power sources and we are commenting on them critiquing them whatever and that's valuable. But we can also be linking to one another and driving you know these little things that deserve to bubble you know up into into consciousness and I think that you know. We talked a little bit before about how on things like from deep daily Cope's you know that things have kind of emerged out of there and gotten it all into you know the near times or what have you kind of you know larger corporate media outlets so I think that's possible and maybe what we can do sort of grassroots wise is really kick it up to sort of you know whoever you know is is is a bigger fish in the pond and get Noticed that
way. We it's we have four more minutes until the end of the session so we might have time for one or two more questions of pending on how quickly or so. You might. Think. You are for most and I work at the Center for the present leadership. I also changed our work for the women's rights. My question is about how do you take our online organizing and our online messaging off line because it's such an important issue to push to change the images of black women and women in general of moms. Cetera. How do we bring that that message into our communities that people are aware of the way that media talks about. These issues and how to create more media literacy in our communities. I just say it to start meeting. Him in. Probably a year ago I would have said that meet up dot com was irrelevant to my life. But after I started to
be more active on Twitter it just seems to be more valid because I think I've seen that in the more people converse online the more and. If you have the ability to localize figure out who you're conversing with who are in your community the more you want to meet each other. I mean that's what I think a lot of us feel this weekend is like finally putting a face to a handle and then you just take that in deciding to do that in your neighborhood whether it's in a city or you know Southside kind of thing. Cynthia do you want to talk about as well and. I feel like I've talked about it. OK. Well I will mention that two things that might sound contradictory but the first thing that I'll say is I think it's in terms of media literacy that's a whole other thing that's media literacy is should not start from online and go into the community you can you know we need to be teaching media literacy in the community and we can use online to support that and sort of broader than
that I don't think that we I think that it's not necessarily the most useful model to its very I think it does a very top down to say how can we get our messaging from online into the community where it's sort of a new or new media version of the kind of failed models of let's talk about let's change policy by starting in D.C. and then you know swooping in to a local community a local town in Iowa or Chicago or wherever and tell them what they need. It's the model that tends to work much more effectively. And because new media tools are generally much cheaper than a lot of other organizing tools have been in the past. It's so. We have such a great opportunity right now to use not only blogging but podcasting but video but radio low power FM radio is another really great resource. It's not necessarily an online thing but we have the ability now to go into NT to go into communities but I think to start from communities community based organizations can bring in
people who have you know strategic skills building around new media and technology and be able to use those to the best. Effect that those communities are determining So basically you know if you're involved in community organizing then you know use those new media tools to advance the messages that those communities are determining from the ground up. And if you're not in community organizing but you want to help that get in touch with the community organizers don't start out with an agenda. Get in touch with them ask them what they need and how you can support them with your online work. And then also go into those communities with those tools and say OK so here's how you know skilled building workshops are so great. Here's how you do video. Here's how you block here's here here's how easy it is just to log on and get yourself a Wordpress or a do whatever. And then the last thing that I'll say is for all of us it's an inspiring little success story or sort of tactic story. My friend and activist
colleague Dan Quayle you are who runs the Texas media empowerment project in San Antonio and works with low income women people of color immigrant women in San Antonio is able to regularly generate hundreds and hundreds of people to show up to for example meetings about the FCC you know fighting media consolidation showing up to protest Clear Channel Radio the largest radio owner in the country with more than twelve hundred I believe it is radio stations. She can get people who you know are totally outside the academia academic and even outside the activists here to show up on a you know six hour notice by just putting out a little bulletin on Twitter and she has hundreds of followers or via Facebook and previously my space and she gets activists to show up to do media activism and anti-racist anti-TSA anti-racist pro feminist organizing using those simple simple tools. So that's skill building is the way to go I think. You're welcome and thank you so much everybody for coming in. So was there one last question.
OK. Thank you so much for coming. Again the the Web sites that that we represent are W I am an on line and dot org is women and media and news website and you can click over to the women's voices line running up. Oh they're on the catwalk. For the video do you want all to say it out loud. Oh. Evil feminist. OK. Since you want to stand up for the video what your blog is. Full of both. Just. A MINUTE. And I will say this also before we go. If anybody wants to write about issues related to women and media in any capacity racism gender gender issues etc. queer issues labor. We take guests columns all the time around media issues and women's voices so feel free to email me director at W I am an on
line gotta work. Thank you so much everybody. Thank you.
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Feminist Blogging: From Journalism to Activism
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Episode Description
Jennifer L. Pozner, Veronica Arreola and Cynematic discuss the role that feminist blogging played in the the 2008 US election. They argue that during the 2008 election season, mainstream media was focused on horse-race reporting, while feminist bloggers deepened the election-commentary landscape. The panelists also explore the risks and rewards for women in engaging politically online--especially women blogging about gender, race, and class--and ask how feminist bloggers can best hold mainstream media accountable for their coverage of women and people of color, while broadening public debate.
Literature & Philosophy
Media type
Moving Image
Distributor: WGBH
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 0c8a87f736f3f02993836670a2982b8d4ab6d1be (ArtesiaDAM UOI_ID)
Format: video/quicktime
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Chicago: “Feminist Blogging: From Journalism to Activism,” 2009-03-28, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 26, 2024,
MLA: “Feminist Blogging: From Journalism to Activism.” 2009-03-28. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 26, 2024. <>.
APA: Feminist Blogging: From Journalism to Activism. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from