[-empyre-] Post-internet feminist activism (selfies and public space)
ccp9 at cornell.edu
Wed Oct 5 04:46:02 AEDT 2016
On that note, Simon, I would like to share the use of selfies as a model of
gendered dissent in India and Pakistan where a host of individual women and
groups, including transgender, Muslim, and Hindu women, are using this as a
strategy to reclaim public space (on the streets and on social media):
It pertains to playful actions called for by women to congregate in the
male-dominated public spaces of India and Pakistan, to read, nap in parks,
play cricket and other games on the streets and the subways. The resulting
selfies are then posted on tumbrl pages, twitter, Instagram, and facebook.
#GirlsatDhabas is just one of such groups, there are more and they are
spreading in India and Southeast Asia (dhabas are roadside eateries
frequented by men). From the article:
"Two young and unveiled women stand out from the crowd of men in the
picture. One is clad in jeans and sandals, the other in a salwar kameez,
the local pantsuit. They sip tea, order chicken and withstand the stares of
the men around them.
These two have a point to make so this is no mere selfie — they are trying
to reclaim Pakistan's public spaces. The challenge at a truck stop is part
of an effort on social media called #GirlsAtDhabas spearheaded by a handful
of Pakistani women."
I am writing on some of these interventions and found that their use of
selfies has to do more with "risk" discourses in urbanism, and with the
rise of Hindu nationalism in India, as well as a counter to notions that
feminism is something foreign to India and Pakistan. So in addition to art
the surge of social media in feminist activism is a global phenomenon, not
at all something that is specific to the United States.
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