Join authors Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles to look at how marginalized groups use Twitter to advance counter-narratives, preempt political spin, and build diverse networks of dissent. Learn more about the book: https://bit.ly/35DTLt4
Two in-person events were transformed into Zoom panels and they were wonderful! We also got to do one talk, our first book talk for #HashtagActivism.
The first was with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. I talked about Caster Semenya and the undue burden placed on Black women athletes when it comes to gender, sex, and sexuality.
Human beings have long called on science to define concepts of sex and gender and used them to characterize, classify, and divide. On Friday, March 13, the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a Women’s History Month event on Science, Sex, and Gender. Moderated by Harper Jean Tobin (National Center for Transgender Equality), a panel of experts explored the role of science in evolving and expanding notions of sex and gender in a discussion that centered the lived experiences of transgender and intersex women.
– Harper Jean Tobin, National Center for Transgender Equality (Moderator)
– Moya Bailey, Northeastern University
– Katie Dalke, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute
– Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign
– Katrina Karkazis, Brooklyn College/Yale University
The second panel was part of the launch of the Center on Digital Culture and Society. I talked about the need for creating a digital culture that honors pace and the humans hidden in the digital supply chain.
Center on Digital Culture and Society Digital Launch Symposium
FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020
TECHNOLOGY, RACE, + GENDER
Moderator: Sarah J. Jackson, University of Pennsylvania
Moya Bailey, Northeastern University
Kishonna Gray, University of Illinois at Chicago
Carrie A. Rentschler, McGill University
So geeked for this piece to have found a home at Feminist Media Studies! Special thanks to Erica Edwards for the invitation to Rutgers that really set this piece in motion!
An excerpt below…
“Black Museum,” the final installment of season four of the original series Black Mirror, incorporates many of the episodes that have come before it, creating an apotheosis episode that critiques the technophilia of the series. A Black woman administers justice and brings forth a rare, onscreen vision of a white man being held accountable for his racist violence. Told in three parts, with sci-fi elements that are reminiscent of the work of afrofuturist visionary Octavia Butler and borrow directly from famed illusionist Penn Jillette, “Black Museum” offers a welcome departure from the standard Hollywood tropes of magical negroes, white saviors, and Black victimhood. This British production and cast make the redress narrative possible, building on another yet unsubverted trope of Black British actors portraying Black Americans. It inspires viewers to consider the role of the museum, an institution that has long served as a compendium of technology and racialized gendered violence.
I really can’t express my delight in my first (co-authored) book, #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice, being out in the world! My amazing co-authors Sarah J. Jackson and Brooke Foucault Welles and I had a wonderful crowd at The Strand Bookstore in New York City, the first stop on our book tour. Folks asked us great questions and my cousin Jonathan came!
We have been very lucky to have excerpts appear in our favorite feminist publications including Ms. Magazine and Bitch Media. We also made it on the Ms. March 2020 Reads for the Rest of Us as well as Autostraddle’s Also Also Also. Our chapter on allyship and the hashtag #CrimingWhileWhite was featured on Engadget. I got to speak with Gracie Staples at the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the book who interviewed me 16+ years earlier about my involvement in the Nelly Protest. I wonder what our actions could have sparked if we had had hashtags to support our organizing?!
Misogynoir is popping up in the media and I am going to do a better keeping track. Here are two places I and the word have shown up.
The “Notorious BGS” strikes again. While the rest of us were wringing our hands about the latest far right homophobic attack, Beverly Guy-Sheftall has been quietly working to build institutions that will support us beyond reaction. I pride myself on staying up to date on the happenings of my alma mater but when my Spelman sister Ruha Benjamin forwarded me THE announcement I was shocked! Not only was I shocked by the incredible news, I was shocked to find that I was sitting in the same room with two of the people who made it possible at the moment it was announced, Evelynn Hammonds and of course Beverly Guy-Sheftall.
The news of course is that Jon Stryker of the Arcus Foundation has gifted Spelman College with a $2 Million matching grant to establish the Audre Lorde Queer Studies Endowed Chair, the first of its kind at any HBCU.
The significance of this gift cannot be understated. By establishing an endowed chair, the person hired for this position is freed from the institutional bureaucracy that is often used to silence progressive and radical thought. The person in this position will be free to develop curriculum, programs, and events that support Spelman College and other HBCUs in the vitally important work of gender and sexuality justice.
HBCUs have long been leaders in fomenting racial justice minded graduates but this position has the ability to build on the incredible work that the Women’s Research and Resource Center (WRRC) is already doing to equip these same graduates with a liberatory framework around gender and sexuality. It was less than 15 years ago that the first queer theory course was taught at Spelman or at any HBCU, by alumna Layli Mapayan, and just last year that the WRRC announced the development of a Gender and Sexuality Institute. BGS has been busy.
When folks ask, what’s next after marriage equality, I hope they will look to Jon Stryker’s gift as a possibility model. This is what solidarity looks like and this is what it looks like to use your privilege in the service of others. It’s clear that ally is measured not in word but deed. I couldn’t be prouder of my Spelman sisters Beverly and Evelynn’s radical commitments to Spelman College.
I did this video a while ago! Glad to see it in the world. Sending lots of love to @caster800m
Sarah J. Jackson, Brooke Foucault Welles and I wrote a book!!! Here’s an article based on one of our chapters. I can’t wait for the book to be in the world!
From the earliest feminist press to Twitter, women have used technology to create and sustain narratives that demand attention and redress for gendered violence. Herein we argue that the #MeToo boom was made possible by the digital labor, consciousness-raising, and alternative storytelling created through the #YesAllWomen, #SurvivorPrivilege, #WhyIStayed, and #TheEmptyChair hashtag networks. Each of these hashtags highlight women’s experiences with interpersonal and institutionally-enabled violence and each was precipitated by high-profile news events. Alongside an examination of Twitter networks, we consider the social and cultural conditions that made each hashtag significant at particular moments, examining the ideological and political work members of these hashtag networks perform. We find that feminist hashtags have been successful in creating an easy-to-digest shorthand that challenges and changes mainstream narratives about violence and victimhood.Read more here
I had the opportunity to read Charlene Carruthers book Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements. Here’s a short excerpt of my Short Take.
Carruthers also challenges millennials’ and Generation Z’s affinities for social media, arguing that while it is potentially a useful tool, it can be distracting and take organizers away from building the relationships required for sustained struggle. She even draws a comparison between some of the FBI’s COINTELPRO tactics and the contemporary use of backchannels and BuzzFeed to spread rumors that promote organizational infighting. Carruthers cautions us to try to do the hard work of nurturing accountability offline in ways that don’t disrupt our organizing.Read more here