My own belief is that Twitter and other social media allow feminism to grow in crucial ways. These platforms do away with the gatekeepers of media, creating a platform where people whose voices are often left out of the discussion can be heard loud and clear. That discourse forces those of us whose voices have always been accepted have to ask ourselves hard questions that we never would have considered before. The truly toxic era for feminism was one in which only middle-class, white voices were heard—which may be the time Goldberg is referring to when she writes wistfully of the "insouciant, freewheeling place" that Twitter used to be.
You may have seen the hilarious Amazon customer reviews for the BIC "For Her" Ball Pen that have been circulating the web this week. Written in response to BIC's ludicrous idea that women need a pen with an "Elegant design - just for her!" and a "Thin barrel to fit a women's hand," the reviews are smart, sarcastic, and sounding alarms in the social media world for all the wrong reasons.
In a room full of powerful women in communications, a former politician essentially bragged about not using Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. In 2012. To each her own, but seriously? It's too late in the game for all that. Don't be that lady. There are billions of dollars floating around in social media. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.
I've spent the majority of this series discussing bisexual visibility (and lack thereof) in film and television. This isn't an accident—I'm a filmmaker and cinephile, so my passions and cultural points of reference tend to fall within the realm of audio-visual media. But these types of media have some significant flaws, the biggest one being that they tend to create isolating viewing experiences. Unless you're a media producer yourself (which usually involves some degree of economic, racial, or cultural privilege), it's entirely possible that you will rarely see images which reflect your experiences. If you're watching something on the big or small screen, you have to accept the reality being presented to you, even if such a reality is counter to what you know to be true. It's also difficult to interact with this kind of media—if a TV show makes you angry, yelling at the set or throwing popcorn may feel cathartic, but it doesn't usually result in concrete change.
But this is where newer forms of media, like social media, come in.
A vaccination card from Ellis Island and a protest poster against INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) reading "Fight Aids, not people with AIDS" aren't your average crime-thriller clues. But in America 2049, a new Facebook game tackling issues of racial profiling, immigration detention, sex trafficking, and more, they're not just pieces to a political puzzle, but actual American artifacts leading you to connect the past to dystopic future—with the hopes of changing our present.
The men who debased Kat Stacks defined her as a "ho" who had to be "put in her place" by assaulting her into apologizing for her honesty because, according to how society views and treats women who are forthrightly sexual (even when they're honest about getting paid for sex), that's how such women are supposed to be treated. In fact, goes the idea, they deserve such violence. Slut-shaming in extremis.