Netroots Nation panels
Hope to see some of you this year at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh on August 13th-16th. I’m pretty stoked, since it’s usually a great time. I’ll be on two panels, both on Saturday the 15th. (At least so far, there’s often last minute additions.) Please come check them out if you’re coming to the conference.
The first is “Women Bloggers Found: Has Feminist Blogging Gone Mainstream?”, Saturday at 10:30 AM. The panelists are our own Pam Spaulding and myself, as well as Jill Filipovic, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, and Lindsay Beyerstein. We came up with the idea over drinks at WAM! Here’s the description:
A few years ago, male bloggers ’round the liberal bloglandia were wondering out loud, “Where are the women bloggers?” Many of the women in the feminist and progressive blogospheres responded with frustration—we were there, and had been, the whole time. Today, the blogosphere looks awfully different, as feminist bloggers are increasingly mainstreamed and able to exert stronger influence on online discourse. But “blogging while feminist” isn’t always easy, and feminist bloggers have faced harassment and threats that are uniquely gendered and sexualized. Feminists who have been most successful at running bigger blogs have also been mostly young, white, heterosexual and middle-class—so their issues have been presented to the mainstream progressive movement as the whole of feminism. This panel will look at what has changed, what hasn’t and who remains on the edges of progressive blogging. It will also examine how female bloggers—and feminist bloggers in particular—are treated in mainstream spaces, and what we can do about it.
We concentrated on collecting bloggers who’ve been doing this for years and have gained some prominence, mainly because we all remember back when male bloggers used to ask where all the female bloggers were, because there really weren’t many big time female or feminist bloggers a few years ago, and the biggest exception to the rule—Digby—hadn’t come out as female yet. Obviously, things have changed significantly in many ways (and in some ways not), and we thought it would be interesting to have bloggers who’ve been a big part of the change to talk about what we’ve learned.
My other one is an all-star panel of reproductive rights activists who are trying to use the internet to get out our message in innovative ways. It’s called “Advocating for Reproductive Rights in the Age of Obama”, and it’ll be me as the moderator, Jodi Jacobson from RH Reality Check, Joerg Dreweke from the Guttmacher, Aimee Thorne-Thomsen from the Pro-Choice Public Education Project, and James Wagoner from Advocates for Youth. We put the panel together specifically because these are all organizations that are plugged into the netroots and have found innovative ways to use and study new media. It’s Saturday at 1:30. Here’s the description:
The mainstream media may think having a pro-choice president is all that matters, but reproductive rights activists know there’s so much more to the issue. Instead of just making up for ground lost under Bush, how can we push for a reproductive justice framework, where more people have their real needs met? Most importantly, how can we use online tools like blogs and social media to spread the word despite silence from many mainstream sources?
I suspect reproductive rights are going to be a big issue when we do this panel, because they’re becoming a major cudgel for conservatives trying to attack health care.