Tag Archives: transgender

Feedly and Feminism

I started using Feedly about a year ago, at the suggestion of the brilliant Katia Hildebrandt.  I immediately saw the value in using it; however, as I struggled to find time to read and share articles over the summer and throughout my internship, my use of Feedly dwindled.

Evaluating My Feedly 

Since the start of this new semester, I have been getting back into the swing of tweeting and sharing content daily, and am now inspired to get back into using Feedly as a tool for this.  This week, I took some time to evaluate my Feedly page.  Here is what it looked like when I started:

Feedly Before

As you can see, I had previously followed quite a few blogs on feminism and race, a couple on mental health, and one ed tech blog. I decided to expand some of the categories I already had, to add to my ed tech category, and to start a new category for inclusive ed. Additionally, I decided to delete some of the blogs that I usually skip past on my reader. I think getting rid of blogs you aren’t reading is an important part of keeping a Feedly page so you don’t get bogged down by content that isn’t useful to you.

How I Found Blogs to Follow

I used the Explore option to search for topics, such as “ed tech.”  After clicking on a site, I also found it useful to check out the Related Feeds that Feedly suggests.  I also checked out The 50 Best Blogs for Future Teachers and Teach 100 – Top Educational Blogs, as suggested by Katia and Alec.  After searching “inclusive education” in Explore and not finding anything, I googled “inclusive education blogs” and found this article – Top Ten Blogs About Inclusive Education, which was really helpful.  I added several blogs from that article (using the Google Chrome Feedly extension), including Eliminating the Box, a blog by an inclusion facilitator in Alberta.  On her page, she includes a list of blogs she follows as a widget on the right-hand side, so I also looked at some of those blogs.  As you can see, one thing leads to another which leads to another, which is why exploring Feedly facilitated some of my procrastination this week.

(Side note:  Click here for a hilarious post about why procrastinators procrastinate.)

What I Look For in a Blog

When I’m deciding whether or not to follow a blog, I ask myself a few questions.

  • Do I like the way this blog looks?
  • Is it useful content that will help me grow as a person and/or teacher?
  • How related is this to my current context (ie. where I live)?
  • Who writes this blog?  What is their background in the field?
  • Will I actually click on these articles or will I scroll past them every day?

Then I make a judgment call (usually after excessive overthinking has taken place). The good thing about Feedly is you can always delete content after if you decide it isn’t useful!

Everyday Feminism 

One digital media site that I find extremely useful is Everyday Feminism.  Their mission is “to help people dismantle everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization through applied intersectional feminism and to create a world where self-determination and loving communities are social norms through compassionate activism.”  Here is a screenshot of how it looks on my Feedly:

Everyday Feminism

They post articles on topics such as privilege, trans&GNC, LGBTQIA, race, class, religion, and more.  I love that their articles are engaging, clear, and easy to read.  This site is helpful because it allows me (as a white, middle class, cis-gender, heterosexual, able-bodied woman) to read stories/perspectives from people who experience oppression in a variety of areas.  Reading these articles helps me understand the privilege I hold and allows me to learn about issues that others (and many of my future students) face every single day.

My Updated Feedly

Here is a screenshot of what my Feedly looks like now:

Feedly After

I will definitely continue to update my Feedly reader by adding/deleting content as I see fit.  I look forward to using it as a tool for learning and sharing!

What is your favourite blog that you follow?  How did you come across it and what makes it so awesome?

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Response to a Critique of the ‘HeForShe’ Campaign

I – along with the rest of the world – was recently captivated by Emma Watson’s moving speech on feminism at the UN, which launched the ‘HeForShe’ campaign.  First of all, Emma Watson has been my girl crush since I was in junior high, and second, I was pleased to hear her clarify the definition of feminism, as it has been misunderstood by many.  Watson states that feminism is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.”  She goes on to invite men to join the movement for gender equality, pointing out that gender stereotypes imprison men as well as women.  Finally, she ends by encouraging everyone to ask themselves, “If not me, who?  If not now, when?”  I found that ending really empowering because it implies that even though I may feel small, I can make a difference and there is no reason to wait.

Now, that video sat well with me for about a week.  I talked to others about the speech, praising Emma Watson and spreading word of the ‘HeForShe’ campaign.  I did have a prickle of discomfort when I was thinking about the name of the campaign because it seems to imply that men are stepping in and saving women, but I pushed it aside and told myself I was being nitpicky.

Then I read this critique of Emma Watson’s speech and the ‘HeForShe’ campaign, which points out some problematic things:

  • There has been little discussion of what men who sign the pledge can actually do to improve the lives of women.
  • Emma Watson acknowledges that she was privileged because her parents and mentors did not expect less of her because she was a girl, but does not acknowledge how being white, wealthy, able-bodied, or cisgender have affected her life experience.
  • The campaign reinforces the gender binary and excludes those “whose gender identities don’t fit into such tidy boxes,” the very people who are more likely to be oppressed.
  • The campaign fails to invite those whose voices need to be heard the most – the voices of non-white women, trans men, and non-binary people.
  • There has been little discussion about how HeForShe can improve the lives of women and non-binary people who experience intersectional oppressions, like racism, transphobia, and fatphobia.

The critique ends with the suggestion that Watson should have handed the microphone to Laverne Cox (transgender actress, LGBT activist) or Janet Mock (transgender woman, transgender rights activist) if she really wanted to be a “game-changer” for feminism.  After reading this critique, I felt a little defensive of Emma Watson.  I have also been in a position where I was called out for not acknowledging how my privilege shaped my life experiences.  That’s the tricky thing about privilege – it can easily slip by unnoticed when you’re the one who has it.  Also, I wondered, isn’t she managing her privilege by using it for good in standing up for women whose voices aren’t heard?  (Except that she is only standing up for certain women.)

I agree with the critique in its concerns about the exclusion of non-binary people and I’m really ashamed that I didn’t notice that when I first listened to the speech.  I need to get back into the practice of being critical of what I read and listen to.  Additionally, haven’t been able to find anything that explain what the ‘HeForShe’ campaign will actually do to end persisting inequalities.

What do you think of Emma Watson’s speech and the ‘HeForShe’ campaign?  Did you initially agree with it, or were you critical of its shortcomings?  Could Emma Watson have used her privilege in a more productive way?