By Dr Jeneen Naji, Irish PI, Full Stack Feminism project
How do we make a Feminist Internet? How can we use digital technology, whose inherent affordances are collaborative, in an empowering and collaborative way? These are some of the types of questions the Full Stack Feminism in Digital Humanities (FSFDH) project is asking.
The Internet is already a collaborative technology, it is peer to peer network but we use it in a compartmentalised way, shifting from one proprietary account to another. Market forces govern most of our behaviours online and can lead you to believe that the Internet is a neoliberal homogenous place, which of course it is not. Humans are strange, weird, and wonderful and so is the Internet but closed systems often in the form of social media apps can make it harder to find.
For example the Feminist Internet is a non profit organisation tackling technological inequalities through creative and critical practice. Their tagline on their web site is
There is no feminism,
only possible feminisms
There is no internet,
only possible internets
If you explore their web site you can find many strange and wonderful creative digital projects such as Envisions that asks In a society that is entangled with AI, what role do young people have in developing its future? How will they choose to live with AI and how might they change it?
On the Feminist Internet you can also find Memestrilism produced as the culmination of the first Feminist Internet Residency by artist Ama Ogwo, a film that explores the digitisation of minstrelsy and the ventriloquism of Blackness online.
Another inspiring web site is the Feminist Principles of the Internet (FPI) which offers a set of statements that together provide a framework for women’s movements to articulate and explore issues related to technology.
A feminist internet works towards empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to fully enjoy our rights, engage in pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy.
This integrates our different realities, contexts and specificities – including age, disabilities, sexualities, gender identities and expressions, socioeconomic locations, political and religious beliefs, ethnic origins, and racial markers.
They offer a gender and sexual rights lens on critical internet-related rights. There are 17 principles categorised in 3 areas: Access, Expression and Agency. You can download the principles in English here
So, you can see, the Internet is already feminist, you just need to know where to go. What sites can you recommend?
Share your feminist internet suggestions with the FSFDH project by tagging us on
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The Full Stack Feminism in Digital Humanities (FSFDH) research project is funded by UKRI-AHRC and the Irish Research Council under the ‘UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Research Grants Call’
(grant numbers AH/W001667/1 and IRC/W001667/1).