Category: race

#iwomi and feminist actions

I’m currently somewhere 35,000 feet in the air, roughly over Kansas, making my way back home from the International Workshop on Misogyny and the Internet, aka #iwomi. When working to address violence against feminists, the very act of meeting can be both radical and dangerous. While an event in an elite setting in the U.S. is probably less at risk than meetings of feminists elsewhere, there’s a lot to be said for creating safe and brave spaces. To that end, we met under Chatham House rule, in which “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.” Concerned about issues of intellectual appropriation, we also operated under a consent request policy that required that we ask first before communicating outward about ideas articulated by another participant. We also put down our devices for much of the meeting in order to fully engage with one another.

Consequently, there is little real time information that came out of the meeting and I will be intentionally vague in my reporting out here where it concerns other people – mostly I’ll speak just about what I did while there as a way to render myself accountable and to respect the Chatham rule.

I’m not comfortable with the repetition of ‘I’ in this following list, so I’ll say it just once here.
I:

    learned that the gulf between what diversity looks like in academic meetings and in intersectional feminist spaces is enormous
    came to understand that the challenges our various initiatives face are not the same (not everyone needs more money/time in the way that many academics feel we do)
    saw that there is an AMAZING amount of work already being done to address violence against women/girls/people online
    saw that the work of not making discussions U.S.-centric is hard but necessary
    collaborated on a manifesto regarding “intersectional data”
    heard that if we could just train 100 women across the world to train other women about digital security and identity we would have a huge impact
    heard that women can (should?) do more to engage with industry, politics, governance on these topics
    dispaired that we have to keep explaining to others that digital life *is* real life
    learned about affordances and barriers to coalition work
    witnessed and appreciated some very intentional feminist engagements by men, which I see very little of in academic settings
    witnessed, appreciated, and participated in a lot of very intentional feminist engagements involving women and non-binary and gender queer folks
    engaged and worked hard on active listening and was not perfect
    experienced optimism, pessimism, curiosity, sorrow, humility, laughter, and joy
    was comfortably uncomfortable at times
    learned that an effective moderator is an invaluable asset
    learned that a stack or progressive stack is a really great meeting tool

As our collective work becomes public, I’ll share more of it here and across social media.