Feminist Online Identity: Analyzing the Presence of Hashtag Feminism

Kitsy Dixon

Abstract


In theory, the concept of hashtag feminism has created a virtual space where victims of inequality can coexist together in a space that acknowledges their pain, narrative, and isolation. As social scientists Susan Herring, Kirk Job-Sluder, Rebecca Scheckles, & Sasha Barab (2002) state, these properties make online forums appeal favorable to vulnerable populations seeking support from ‘disease or abuse, and to members of minority, social and political groups such as homosexuals, racial minorities, and feminists’ (p. 371). However, in identifying online communities such as Twitter and Facebook as safe spaces for expressing feminism views and politics, its ramifications present dire consequences which lead to online harassment, hate speech, disagreements, and a miscommunication in rhetoric. It is with these consequences that the academic discourse becomes lost in transmitting the message of what feminism is and how feminists are identified.

Using the ongoing debate that feminism does not acknowledge real life experience outside of academic terrain, this paper explores how hashtag feminists identify in redefining feminism in their generation. Using the public platform of Twitter and Facebook (less specifically), this paper will explore the online followings of women who identify as hashtag feminists, and how their dialogue has set the tone for the era of internet activism.


Keywords


hashtag feminism, virtual feminism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v3i7.509

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