tumblr., the personal, and the everyday from Jan 31, 2017.
In his article “Notes to Self”, Derek Conrad Murray notes, “the blogosphere self-consciously characterize themselves as “‘intersectional feminists’” (499). He then identifies Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr as “online forums” for the distribution of images (449). However, of these three platforms, only Tumblr is an intentional microblogging site. Tumblr users can write, (re-)post photos, share quotations, publish audio / video, and/or chat (anonymously) to others. Due to its flexibility, tagging system, and communication possibilities, the platform is filled with micro-communities, proliferated with selfies, is often used for relationship making, and its user pages tend to include specific identifiers. Personally as a Tumblr user, I attest that I myself, those I follow on the site, and many of the users I reblog do identify as ‘intersectional feminists’ – whether explicitly or not, in ways that they may or may not identify offline. Tumblr has provided a politicised public space for myself and others to actively participate with, learn more about, and present our feminist ideologies in a very personal way since users can share images of themselves, their everyday lives, their (art / writing / etc.) projects everyday, almost routinely.
In Girls’ Feminist Blogging in a Post-Feminist Age, Jessalynn Keller echoes this idea of politicised participation in an online public as she writes of Tumblr and its “political significance” as a “girl feminist bloggers’ networked counterpublic” (98). Keller notes how the identity (intersectional) ‘feminist’ has been intertwined with “the notion of community”, “the issue of support”, and the visibility of feminists online (98-9). However, her chapter lacks a discussion on why Tumblr has evolved into such a counterpublic for the everyday act of developing and presenting a feminist identity online. When put in direct conversation with Aimee Morrison’s “Facebook and Coaxed Affordances”, there are different questions to approach:
- What are Tumblr’s affordances as a platform for intersectional feminists to self-identify, connect, and share?
- What are the ties between feminism, selfies, and community? And how does the blogosphere shape the way selfies associated to feminism are engaged with, understood, uploaded, and interpreted?
Keller, Jessalynn. Girls’ Feminist Blogging in a Postfeminist Age. New York: Routledge, 2016. Print.
Morrison, Aimee. “Facebook and Coaxed Affordances.” Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online. Ed. Anna Poletti and Julie Rak.
Madison, Wiss.: U of Wisconsin, 2014. 112-27. Ebrary. Web. 25 Jan. 2017.
Murray, Derek Conrad. “Notes to Self: The Visual Culture of Selfies in the Age of Social Media.” Consumption Markets & Culture 18.6 (2015): 490-516. Taylor and Francis. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.