Are there feminist data? (+ other questions)

Here’s a quick post containing eight ideas that made it into my notes from today’s “Feminism, Technology, and the BodyFemTechNet dialogue at the University of Michigan. It featured  Alondra Nelson, Jessie Daniels, Lisa Nakamura, Sidonie Smith, Carrie Rentschler, Sharon Irish, and a bunch of other people I didn’t write down. What a crew!

Eight Ideas About Feminism, Technology, and the Body:


1. Early ads for the Internet wouldn’t work today. We no longer aspire to leave our bodies behind. Or we can no longer imagine it.  Remember this ad?  (c. 1997)



2. If we’ve theorized the Internet and the body, what about social media and the body?

3. Is  the selfie inherently anti-feminist?

4. Are there “feminist data?” What are they?

5. “Just add women and stir” won’t work — mixing women and tech together is not in itself progressive. (cf. bell hooks)

6. Whatever happened to the emancipatory cyborg? (Haraway) Is a woman’s body still a trap?

7. Don’t forget where all this comes from. Facebook was born in a sexist moment. It was meant to make Harvard women available to the male gaze.

8. Forget the MOOC, it’s time for the DOCC.(*)

(* – Distributed Online Collaborative Course)

2 thoughts on “Are there feminist data? (+ other questions)

  1. How could the selfie be anti-feminist? Women have long stood in the regime of “good looking women in pictures.” Because of that, many women refuse to be photographed and choose to be behind instead of in front of the camera. The selfie seems to break that. It allows all women to be in front of the camera.

    Now some selfies are duck faced sexy pictures, true, but in my experience those are few and far between. And then if a woman takes a photograph of herself, any kind of photo, that makes her feel good about herself isn’t that in some way feminist?

    To what extent does feminism entail some kind of disembodiment?

  2. Pingback: Reddit, Mathematically the Anti-Facebook (+ other thoughts on algorithmic culture) | Social Media Collective

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