With the constant updates in technology that we experience every day, it's not surprising to find that more people are discussing and protesting social issues completely online. With social media in the mix, it's pretty easy for just about anyone to take a stance on something political without ever walking outside their home. A lot of the work that goes into creating positive change can be done from in front of a computer screen.
This is especially true when it comes to feminism. While there are still many tasks that should be done face to face (discussing, theorizing, etc.), much more of the digital marketing and publicity is much more effective online these days.
Therefore, something called 'Cyberfeminism' has come around.
Before, cyberfeminism was the philosophies and methodologies of contemporary feminist communities whose interests are cyberspace, the Internet, and technology, according to Wikipedia. The word still describes certain feminist philosophies relating to the Internet today, but I feel as though a second definition of the word has come into play.
To me, cyberfeminism now means a kind of feminism that takes place entirely online. I call this cyberfeminism because it exists in cyberspace. For example, we probably all have a couple friends who post about certain social issues on Instagram or Facebook and use those forms of social media to discuss it with other people. Social media is not the only platform for this kind of activism, but it's certainly the most popular.
Other forms of cyberfeminism might take place through a blog, a podcast, or some other kind of online content.
So, with all of this happening online, we have to question whether or not this form of feminism is actually viable and how effective it truly is. With all of the hard, physical work that some feminists put into protests, marches, conventions, etc., is it fair to compare them to activism that can be as easy as the click of a button? And, if people aren't meeting face to face to discuss issues, is cyberfeminism really effective? How many people are actually impacted by this kind of online content?
To answer the first question, we have to dig deeper into what "feminism" really means these days. If you Google the word feminism you get "the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes." While this is still somewhat an applicable definition, today's feminism goes beyond that. Not only do feminists fight for women's rights, but they also fight for other cases involving gender, race, religion, and so much more.
However, the old definition certainly holds up when it comes to defining who is a feminist. As long as you want equal rights for men and women and you wish to identify as a feminist, you're a feminist. Based on these parameters, anybody who posts online about social issues could be considered a cyberfeminist.
So, is it actually feminism? The answer is yes. By blogging, typing, posting, or chatting about a social cause online, someone is engaging in a form of activism that can be considered real feminism.
But is cyberfeminism effective? Does it work? The answer to this is also yes.
Due to the fact that social media, the Internet, and other online content is all around us, it's near impossible for someone to post something and no one sees it. Whatever is placed online is there forever and anyone can see it. If you're on social media ranting about abortion rights or sexism in the movie industry, someone somewhere is reading it.
And that's why cyberfeminism is so effective. The Internet and various social media platforms were created so that users could share their stories, pictures, and opinions with anyone they want whenever they want. Every post online impacts lots and lots of people (it's hard to quantify it), therefore no post really goes unread.
So, it's as simple as that. If you're a cyberfeminist and you love blogging about women's issues or politics, keep doing it. You've got readers, even when you think you don't, that probably love your stuff and learn from your content.
So keep impacting people by doing what you're doing. Inspire others to share their opinion as well. Every voice adds up and that's the kind of impact we need to create positive change in this country.