WAM! It Yourself Conference Liveblog: Feminist Blogger Roundtable

Posts are going in reverse-order so start at the bottom and scroll up for the blow-by-blow in order!

2:30pm: Closing = something you learned from feminist blogging that you couldn’t or didn’t learn in the real world activism/feminist/etc. “being a journalist with an activist interest at the same time is possible” – Irin. “Learning how many people out there are thinking about these issues in depth and how important it is to so many people. One of the reasons I started blogging was because I felt so isolated. And I found that there are people all over the country” – Amanda “My words can stand alone and that the have power and can change tangible things.” – Lori. “That the fault lines that have been with every other wave are still there in a lot of ways but at the same time we are able to work through some of those fault lines whereas before it was just kind of always there and got passed on to the next generation.” Andrea

2:24pm: “Its also about being a platform for people’s voices who are not often heard.” Lori. YES, this so much. If you ever want to say something here just comment or even send me a piece with whatever credit/links you want attached. I love posting viewpoints that aren’t mine up here!

2:16pm: Irin brings up a good point about needing to work with the main stream media to branch out, because of scale. “Someone’s dad read that,” she said, in reference to a NYT post about Charlie Sheen and sex workers. The scale of the mainstream media can be useful, if we can get the feminists in there! “I think its a both and situation, we need both our spaces and we need outreach.” – Amanda. I agree 100%. And now Andrea is talking about the privilege in the feminist blogosphere which is also so important & I am getting bogged down and can’t type fast enough but this is another issue that I will revisit again & again.

2:15PM: “Its about asking: is there a way for us to take back the power that they [the mainstream media] have and who they’re choosing?” Lori. YES. This is why I get most of my news and fun reading from the blogs listed to the left there, not the main stream media.

2:09pm: Lori is adding to the idea of the internet as “I definitley see it as a privlege. I think we are at a huge place with this thing we are calling the feminist blogosphere […] I think for a long time that this blogosphere was sort of this open, unconquered frontier […] and I think we are so not there anymore and it is just interesting to see what will happen next.” Lori sees herself as an activist first and blogging as one means to that end, Irin sees herself as a journalist first… now, that is an interesting question.  What comes first for you?

2:01pm: More about Moore and Me! This is a super-popular example today (for good reason). Amanda: “One of the things people didn’t have in the past was just the ability to be an irritant. […] [The internet] is not the great equalizer but it is equalizing.” “[Keith Olbermann] did the internet flounce.” YES! Internet terms like founce being used in a serious setting make me smile.

2:00pm: “What I have noticed is that when we talk about issues that are charged, like sex, like race in the blogosphere… even when there is a blow-up it is a form of activism because people are thinking about the issues that are at hand. […] But those are kind of the long term activism, the conversations themselves are the activisms and then it tends to sort of spill over into the mainstream avenues.” Andrea said this and then gave an example of a Racialicious critique of a Newsweek article that lead to some people from Newsweek actually engaging in the comments… this is activism clearly. Racialicious got these mainstream media reporters to engage and think about issues that they hadn’t been looking at before.

1:54pm: “[Hateful comments are] the farthest thing from personal that you can get. I think what happens far more often is someone that a person does know says the same hateful thing to their face. […] Whats great about the feminist blogosphere is that these things happen in public, so that person isn’t alone in dealing with it.” – Lori on the power of community when dealing with antagonizing comments.

1:50pm: How can we engage on a more mainstream level? Irin is talking about the Daily Show kerfuffle! Hooray! There was so much drama around that piece and I so admired Irin and Jezebel for standing their ground in the face of hostile responses and pushing to make more space for women in comedy and the progressive community. (Okay, ending my fangirl moment now!) On the power of social media: “The reason they felt the need to respond is after it started to get passed around and read by people that they did care about, that’s when they felt the need to respond.” She’s talking about collaboration, how so many other bloggers picked up and added their thoughts in to help push the dialogue forward… this is the power of the feminist blogosphere.

1:47pm: “I’ve grown a lot less concerned with intra-feminist stuff than I used to be. My main tactic is just getting more feminism into just general progressive discourse. […] My main tool for trying to that is to just be kind of swift, brief, and funny as much as possible.” – Amanda. I love how many different perspectives there are here!

1:44pm: How do you handle balancing the demands of your [feminist] audience and the people who may not be as informed/attracting new readers? Lori: “I write about things as the person that I am, bringing in my own experiences every day. I write about things that I care about for people who might possibly care about them too [at Feministing] and that’s such a rare and wonderful thing.” She made a great point about the feminist blogosphere proving that the whole personal-is-political thing can work and attract readers and make an impact! Andrea agrees: “[Racialicious] is a people-of-color centered space so what we’re going to talk about is going to be about race, and we try to get posts from people of color because that is who the space is centered around.“This is not a space for people to pontificate […] it is a space for people to talk about their experiences. […] Its like a community.” Lori again: “In spaces that are not specifically feminist I feel more obligated to toe the progressive line […] but I don’t feel its as important in the feminist blogosphere because there is already some common ground […] which makes more room for storytelling which I feel is such an important part of this work.”

1:30 pm: “I hope no one here will be offended if I show some boobs.” [Irin before using an article on Jezebel as an example in her intros.] The intros are all so fabulous that I more or less just shut-down and failed to type anything because I was trying to type everything! Basically what you need to know is that all four of these women are awesome.

1:20pm: Its time for the Feminist Blogger Roundtable! with Lori Adelman, Irin Carmon, Amanda Marcotte, and Andrea Plaid. Moderated by Emily Douglas. I’m in the back again so my apologizes if I have trouble attributing quotes to people… if I miss something comment and let me know!

1:16pm:

This was playing while we ate lunch. I didn’t get to watch, unfortunately, but it looks awesome (and I know what I’m doing tonight!)

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