It's Diablogical!
A Collaborative Diablog on Feminist Pedagogy
Revised Accessibility Section

After some pretty stressful weeks of dissertation revisions I have finally caught my breath enough to revise our section on accessibility. From what I remember of our discussion we wanted to switch the Brian Solis quote/data to a footnote and cite some specific feminist work there instead. Let me know if you think that works. Also we wanted to add to our “all access pass” section that we really wanted to emphasize that we don’t see this as an necessarily easy process/practice. I have italicized the new sections, let me know what you think!

Also, I just had this flash of brilliance, I wish we were talking about this in a presentation for NWSA this year! How awesome would it be to present on this work? I’m imagining total world domination – it is after all, DIABLOGICAL! Muha ha ha.

On Accessibility:

Oftentimes when scholars think about “accessibility” in relation to the Internet the discussion on who has access to the Internet often emerges. While this is an important discussion in terms of who tends to gain access to the power of technology, we have chosen to think of accessibility more broadly and to counter the notion that women do not access technology in the same ways as men. Recently, discussions have emerged to challenge the notion that women do not use technology.1 Specifically, feminist bloggers (see the S&F Online issue, “Blogging Feminism: (Web)sites of Resistance for more) have written about their investments with using this medium for their work. Furthermore, Shirleen Mitchell argues in her article, “Access to Technology: Race, Gender, Class Bias” that language about accessing the internet as a scary space i.e. “The mainstream media continues to publicize every computer virus, Internet pedophile, online terrorist, and hate crime activity,” can also serve to dissuade some women (in her case, single mothers of color) from accessing the positive aspects of technology. We work to challenge the usual script about women’s “access” to blogging/technology.

As feminists, we see accessibility as a larger discussion in terms of how we purposefully choose to create avenues for access to be defined in relation to how we write, teach, and think. We see accessibility in relation to what we, as feminists, can gain access to through the use of blogging. For instance we see access in relation to accessing different parts of our self/selves. This means that blogging facilitates access to many different selves for both ourselves and our students – the writerly self/selves, the feminist self/selves, and the self/selves in community with others. Access to blogging in the feminist classroom means using blogs as a space where students can better access their own ideas and be accountable to them. We have discussed that there is definite value in allowing students access to you as the instructor via blogging (either personal or in the conversations teacher/student have in an online forum like a blog). This however is a balancing act, for we do not wish to imply that the ability to access this online space necessarily means it is a “safe space.” Rather, a space where we encourage students to understand and value access in terms of accountability – being accountable to one’s own ideas and respectful of others’.

While we conceive of access as a means to facilitate connections on many levels we do not envision access to mean facilitating access as an “all access pass” approach. Meaning, we do not suggest that accessibility to ideas, opinions, and different selves is an unfiltered processes or one where someone gains unlimited access to others (their ideas, their private lives, etc.). Nor do we consider this to be necessarily an easy (or uncritical) task. However, as we consider blogging a valuable feminist pedagogical tool and space for dialogue/conversation/theorizing/reflection, we are committed to exploring how creating access for these themes, ideas, and new political perspectives by using, writing, and teaching blogging allow for our ideas on accessibility in multifaceted ways to emerge while still requiring our students to engage with learning in critically reflective ways.

1 For instance, in a recent study of women’s use of the Internet Brian Solis writes about the gender divide in social media ultimately concluding that “women rule.” In particular more women use social media than men in the following percentages based on his survey, Facebook 57%/43%, Myspace 64%/36%, and Twitter 57%/43% (citation). While this is not specific to blogging, one can assume that more and more women are invested in accessing this type of social media on the Internet.

WORD COUNT: 526/605 with footnote

1 Comment to “Revised Accessibility Section”

  1. SLP says:

    Great. I like how you added in the stuff from S and F. I also like the idea of challenging the script of how access is understood.