Is tumblr a suitable learning environment for feminism?

I’ve been getting very interested in several social justice issues, feminism being a major concern for me…being a woman and all.

I took the opportunity that my course offered me to take my love for equality and my love for tumblr and mix them up. Personally, I see a lot of social justice flying about the tumblrsphere, so I was wondering how other people thought about their experience of the website. Some of the questions I asked were:

  • Did they learn something from the community?
  • Did they feel they were getting a rounded point of view of what feminism is?
  • Did they feel tumblr was a safe environment for sharing their opinion on feminism?

I created a SurveyMonkey questionnaire, went through the “feminism” tumblr tag directly asked my followers the questions and had conversations with two users.

Overall, the responses I got were quite positive, although there were some very negative ones in there too!

I came up with presenting my results through a poster that I made look like a tumblr page. So I set out to collect screenshots, draw in a URL line and ‘bookmarked’ the page ^^

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What does this mean for Digital Civics?

I found that although tumblr doesn’t have a fully functioning chat system, and although it’s a very anonymous site (or maybe exactly because of this?) people are able to speak openly about the topic. It is a mostly unregulated space where hate isn’t uncommon and where discussion, debate and agreement are often made through open threads that anyone with an internet connection and an account can add to. These are often sprinkled with links to other websites and sources to show that information is accurate, which could be a reason why many respondents have said they learnt a lot about feminism and many accompanying issues through the blogging website.

I wonder…

if an unregulated, open, not directly educational website a better source for politically fragile information than the school system? Is a place where everyone is a teacher and everyone is a student, a network of learning and communicating a viable place for naturally occurring learning?

if this is a better place for people to learn about social issues than school?

I wouldn’t be surprised if the answer to both of these questions were ‘YES’ if teenagers were asked. I personally would give both of those a whooping standing-ovation YIPPEDY YES!

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