Imagine a Feminist Internet: The conversation is on!

17 July 2015

The second Imagine a Feminist Internet meeting organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) will take place in Malaysia on 22-24 July 2015, as a continuation of the space opened in 2014, where over 50 participants from women’s rights, sexual rights and internet rights organisations discussed and explored intersections of gender, sexuality and technology.

The Feminist Principles of the Internet gathered together agreements from the 2014 meeting and from a Twitter conversation held before the event, and offered a framework to articulate how we imagine the internet as a public space that is safe, engaging, open, free, and conducive to feminist movements. The principles bring attention to five key areas of engagement:

* Agency and autonomy
* Digital access
* Economy
* Expression
* Movements and public participation.

This year, a group of 45 activists, researchers, academics and techies are meeting again in Malaysia to deepen the discussion around feminism and technology. They will be tweeting on #imagineafeministinternet and we invite you to participate in the conversation by engaging with the hashtag and following @takebackthetech.

Here are some of the key questions we invite you to explore with us:

Access

How can we talk about internet access in a way that locates it within existing social, economic, political and cultural contexts?

How can we guarantee more applicable digital security tools for women in rural areas who have limited internet access?

What are the challenges that privatisation of internet access raises for connectivity for all?

How do we address the exploitation of “saving girls and women from poverty” rhetoric that is upholding further privatisation of internet access and platforms?

Beyond the conversation on access, what does feminist design and usage of technology look like?

Agency and autonomy

How does misogyny manifest on the internet beyond just Twitter trolls and how are women and queers responding to such forms of abuse?

Is the discussion on online misogyny leaving out the experiences of women from the global South?

What does it mean for us to be safe online, as individuals or groups? What are the threats?

How is surveillance, a historic tool of patriarchy, affecting our bodies, lives and activism today?

How do we frame children’s rights to healthy sexual exploration and positive sex education on the internet we have today?

How are feminists engaging with the question of consent on the internet?

Economy

How has the internet affected the gendered economy of migration and labour?

What is digital capital and how is data ownership affecting our struggle for economic justice?

How has the internet disrupted or reinforced capitalist frameworks?

What does it take to make an internet where girls are creators of tech, not just consumers?

How do feminists engage with the movement for free and open source software?

Expression

Is the internet enabling greater diversity of sexual expression or increasing opportunities for the policing of sexuality?

Is the take-down of content that is violent against women a form of censorship?

How has the internet facilitated or restricted the proliferation of feminist expression online?

Who is drawing the line between legitimate and illegitimate sexual expression? How do we understand feminist pornography?

What’s the deal with real name policies and the anti-anonymity rhetoric?

Has technology impacted the constructions of masculinity/femininity/transgenderism?

Movements and public participation

How has the internet facilitated feminist and queer movements of the global South? Are its public spaces dominated by particular forms of activism?

What sort of trends do we see in anti-feminist movements using the internet today?

Should feminists engage with influencing the policies of private companies?

How has the internet shifted the way we understand power, politics and agency? What new nodes of power does it facilitate?

How do we support the capacity of queer and women’s movements to move beyond ICTs for social change and towards a more political engagement with internet governance?

Do you have something to say on these issues? Share your analysis and thoughts on how you imagine a feminist internet and join the conversation on Twitter!

Follow the Storify and watch how this conversation develops! You can also take a peek at last year's conversation.

Know more about the Feminist Principles of the Internet

The FPIs are a tool for feminist, women’s and queer movements to articulate and explore issues related to technology. Over the past year, the Feminist Principles have been used to build the case for a free, open and gender-just internet in both women’s rights and internet rights spaces globally, including at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the Human Rights Council, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Arab IGF, and the African School on Internet Governance. Groups have also taken this work local, organising around the principles in Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other countries. The development of the Feminist Principles of the Internet also created a significant shift in the ability to articulate and advocate for gender and sexual justice online for those involved in its production.

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