Feminist Friday 2014 Finale: All Good Things . . .

These Feminist Friday discussions are the coolest thing I have ever done on the Internet. We’ve written 23 posts on 8 blogs. I’ve lost count of the responses we’ve prompted. Some of these discussions ended up with comment threads of 50 or more. At least a couple of threads ended with more than 100. We’ve had discussions that started on Friday and didn’t end until Tuesday. Sabina’s post questioning the value of the Bechdel Test post was Freshly Pressed. Not bad at all for a project that started with three bloggers talking on a discussion thread at blog that was barely a month old. Rather than try and prompt a focused discussion this week, I’ll talk about what the success of this enterprise has meant to me and where I hope it goes from here.

Even though I am stepping away from the organized discussions for a while, I’m not going to stop talking about Feminism, nor sharing links  about gender inequality. I encourage everyone to keep thinking, talking, and writing about these issues. When you blog about them, please share links with me. I curate links. A post you write in November or December could turn into something that generates a good discussion next year. Thank you, everyone for reading, commenting, and sharing these posts. I’m grateful, and I am convinced we can to do this again.

I am not one for false modesty. I’ll take all the credit that’s due to me for keeping these discussions going for the last seven months, but I deserve much less than half of it.  Diana and Gretchen inspired and encouraged me to run with an idea and see what happened. Before I started talking about Feminism with them in December, it had never even occurred to me to write about this stuff. I’ve written fewer than half the posts, and none of the best ones. The other bloggers who have supported this project by writing their own posts, showing up week-in and week-out to comment, and sharing on their own social media are the ones who made it work.

All I’ve done here is start a conversation and do my best to keep it going. I wrote the first four posts, but if Gretchen and Natacha hadn’t contributed the fifth and sixth, I would not have written a another one and we wouldn’t be talking about starting these back up in 2015. And I’ve only written one of the last seven.

I’ve put a ton of work into organization and promotion, it’s true. It has been exhausting at times, and I’ve had to let some easier, more-fun blogging go to do it. The reason I did it is because so many other bloggers came along with me. And because I believe that talking about inequality is better than not talking about it, even when you are in no position to fix it. I’ve said this time and again over the last few months in private conversations and on threads:

Every conscious social change that ever happened started with a few people talking.

This is why I support hashtag campaigns despite the fact that a lot of people see them as armchair activism. And look what we’ve done in the last seven months. We haven’t started a movement, but we’re not just a few people talking any more. We’re a LOT of people talking. So all the effort on my part has been totally worth it, and I’ll keep doing it as long as other bloggers keep supporting it.

Starting these discussions back up is my highest priority. The reason I’m organizing other things like the A to Z Challenge and the next round of my Tolkien series right now is because that stuff has to be done to free up my time for this. Mine and Diana’s network, small as it is, has grown to the point that I’m not going to be able to manage it next spring unless I produce a lot of content over the next couple of months and streamline the organization. So that’s what I’m doing.

Once I am a little further along with the planning, I’ll have thoughts about things we can do to reach more people and do it more consistently. I will invite everyone to contribute to a discussion about how to proceed, and I’ll make decisions about my continued role in this project based on the feedback I get. Personally, my long-term goal is to figure out a way to set these up so they happen whether I promote them or not. Nothing would make me happier than finding, after a month-long absence from the blogosphere, that these discussions had been happening the entire time I was gone. I don’t know if that’s even possible, but I am thinking hard about it. In March I didn’t really believe it was possible to still be talking about this in October, but here we are. I am optimistic about 2015.

Thanks again for this awesome run of discussions. I’ve learned a lot about Feminism and gender inequality from them, and I’m a much better organizer for having done them. Keep in touch with me. If you want this to happen again in 2015, I will do everything in my power to make it so.

Everyone who has hosted a discussion gets a link today, not necessarily to Feminist posts. Just to whatever happens to be at the top of their pages. Check them out. Their interests and everyday blogging are extremely diverse. Some of them have worthy long-term projects of their own, and you won’t find a more friendly group of people anywhere in the blogosphere.

Credits

Gretchen –  Drifting Through My Open Mind

Natacha – Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom

David  – ComparativeGeeks (hosted) and DBCII

Leah – The Lobster Dance (hosted) and I’ll Make it Myself

Sabina – Victim to Charm

Hannah – Things Matter

Thank you, Rose Fischer, for all the time and attention you’ve given these discussions, and for the conversations we’ve had about how to do engagement with long-term blogging projects. You are truly an inspiration, and you have helped me become a better blogger.

And thanks, especially, Diana, for your faith and for your dogged persistence. No way I could have kept this up for the better part of a year without your support.

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17 Comments

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  1. Thank you to all of you who initiated and kept these discussions going, especially Natacha, who introduced me to them. I’m a lot older than most of you and have lived through the feminist movement since its infancy. I’d like to see this theme continued so momentum grows for keeping feminist principles alive. I’ll be posting about this on Monday. Hope you will join me. Jennie at jsherwinblog.wordpress.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know how I haven’t checked this series of posts before. But I’m glad I’ve found it now.
    I’m starting to feel very strongly that feminism is really under threat. I’m frustrated that young women all seem to be encouraged to dress a certain way and value certain things.
    I’ve just read a great campaign to encourage target to stop making girls children’s shorts so short. Sexualisation as the norm with no value placed on other aspects of female skill and ability. Feminism needs our help.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You just made my day! We met up well after we moved the Feminist Fridays off of Sourcerer, is what happened. We moved them over her because this blog has more reach, it’s girl-centric, and Diana writes a bit about Feminist issues.

      I agree with you that Feminism needs our help.

      Here’s how this started. Diana was writing some stuff last winter about hostility to women on the Internet, and we got into a long discussion with Gretchen, who already had a sizeable archive of feminist-related posts (and she is a very dynamic writer). It turned into a running conversation that stretched into months.

      Mine and Diana’s blogs were so tiny at that point that if we got 25 views two days in a row, we were ready to break out the confetti. Diana and Gretchen both ended up getting posts Freshly-Pressed just a few weeks apart as a result of that discussion. That was like WordPress sending us a message.

      I came up with the idea of the discussions and promised them that if we could find a satisfactory level of support to justify me spending my time on it, I’d do my best to keep it going. It seems to be working.

      Anyway, thanks so much for letting me know, and welcome to the conversation!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely worth sustaining this conversation. Growing into an adult in the 80s it felt like young women had so many choices but now everyone needs s manicure, a padded bra and hair straighteners. People are becoming so bland.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. One of the questions we were trying to answer originally was this:

          If we compare where we are now to say, 1980, we can certainly see that we’ve made progress on equality for women. But what if we compare 2014 to 2000?

          The fact that we couldn’t answer it, and that thinking about it made us wonder if we’ve been making the opposite of progress for the last 15 years troubled me enough to figure out how to start and sustain these discussions.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Definitely. I completely relate to that awareness. I was in my teens in the eighties and equality felt like something that people were actively engaged with. Now it’s as if it’s an historical event.
          Yet you can only buy pink t shirts for girls. And forget it if you want a science theme. Then there’s no female physics PhD students.

          Liked by 2 people

  3. I will never stop talking and writing about feminism, or any other issue that I feel strongly about for that matter. Thank you for organizing our Feminist Fridays this year and promoting a network of incredible people who are thoughtful, talented, and welcoming!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you for starting these and keeping them going, Gene’O! And also to everyone else who’s kept them going and invested so much time in discussing. I’d certainly like to see them continue next year in some form.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you Gene’O and Diana! Thank you for not making me feel like an idiot when I reached out to you on Twitter (first -and only- time I’ve done that!) You guys are amazing bloggers and people I call friends! And Natacha and David and Leah and Sabina and Hannah and Rose, you guys are some of the smartest and nicest people I’ve met on the blogosphere. You guys always make me think and learn. I can’t wait to see what we do in 2015! I’ll be brainstorming too, I think we can definitely grow this and take it to another level! I’ll be seeing you around and visiting your blogs!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, too for your part in getting this started. You joining in our discussions here at the very beginning brought this within the realm of possibility for me. Before, it was just me and Diana talking with whomever happened to wander by.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Natacha Guyot and commented:
    I am so glad for having been able to take part to these Feminist Friday discussions, both as commenter and host. I am happy to see all that happened over the past months and am looking forward to what 2015 will bring!

    Liked by 3 people

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