Last week I was lucky enough to be one of 50 participants from all around the world who were invited to take part in a meeting on Gender, Sexuality and the Internet organised by the Association for Progressive Communications. You can imagine that this topic was just right up my stream. What piqued my interest even more was that the meeting aimed to develop a set of ‘evolving feminist principles of the internet’. That alone was enough for me to pack my suitcase, and prepare myself (armed with some valium) to continue to work on overcoming the irrational fear I have of being cooped up in big flying metallic birds that sometimes shake, and occasionally dip when they come into contact with massive thick grey clouds and storms… but I digress. I want to share with you some of the highlights of the meeting. The nutshell version is that it was an extremely useful meeting, relevant to my day job (as a Communications Specialist) and absolutely relevant to what we do on this blog. Part of what the made the meeting amazing was that I got to meet many feminists, queer activists and techies from all over the world in particular from the Global South. That alone was amazing. I hadn’t realised that apart from my community of African feminists, I knew practically no feminists from other parts of the world and at the meeting I met activists from China, India, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Indonesia…
The other cool thing about the meeting was that no topic was off limit. We talked about feminist porn (a lot!), marginalised desires, digital misogyny, the importance of children having a space to explore their own sexualities (a touchy subject for sure), constructing selves online (I know in the past at least one reader of this blog told me they had 3 separate ids for this blog alone), breaking out of binary thinking, technology, digital security… and the latter was probably one of my biggest takeaway especially where this blog is concerned. Many people email us and share their stories with us in confidence, and now I have been taught tools that can help me ensure that the stories you trust us with are kept safer and more secure than ever before.
The hashtag for the meeting was #ImagineAFeministInternet. You can join the conversation via Twitter by using the hashtag. For me a feminist internet does very much what we try to do here on Adventures. Provide a safe space for women to share their stories of sexuality, whilst building community and sharing knowledge. What does a feminist internet mean to you?
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