Six weeks of Feminist Friday Discussions: A Reflection

Nine weeks ago I had the idea of using Feminist Friday posts to generate discussions about gender inequality and women’s issues. I was surprised by the interest it generated. We kept these discussions going for six consecutive weeks on three different blogs.

You can find the links to the discussions from the first five weeks here. The sixth week was at Drifting Through My Open Mind.

I like all the threads so far. I find every one of them useful, and I’ve learned things from them, but the first one (on the usefulness of Feminism as a political label) is my favorite. Here’s why.

  • The discussions were just an idea until I published that post, and I did it because other bloggers encouraged me to do it.
  • I expected 15 comments, and the thread ended up with 99.
  • There were lots of people with different perspectives on that thread. Not everyone agreed, but the discussion was productive and civil.
  • The folks who commented didn’t just talk to me about the post. They talked to one another about the questions I raised.
  • It was my first original Feminist Friday post, and it gave me the encouragement I needed to keep writing them.

Here’s why I think the first post worked so well:

  • It was something new.
  • I promoted it for a solid week beforehand on the blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • The post tells a story that’s interesting, at least to bloggers.
  • The prompt is the best I’ve written so far. It’s concise. The question is focused, but open-ended enough for people with differing points-of-view to comment. It doesn’t require a person to have a lot of specific knowledge to feel like they’re giving an informed opinion.

Today, I have a question to help us get these discussions rolling again. One of the most common ideas that came out of the previous round is that we should talk about education as a solution to many of the problems we discussed. We also agreed that education has to be broken down into categories. At minimum, we need to talk about the following categories separately:

  1. Early childhood education
  2. Primary and secondary education (probably as separate categories)
  3. Higher education
  4. Adult education

We must be sensitive to the fact that education isn’t the same everywhere. It varies from country to country, and from region to region within countries. This is a very complex topic.

My question about education for today is:

If you were getting ready tackle this topic comprehensively over several weeks, would you start with early childhood and work chronologically through the life cycle, or would you go about it in some other way? Perhaps by identifying a single issue and applying each category of education to that issue in a series of separate posts?

Feedback is important here, because this is my next step, even if it means I have to cut back to a Feminist Friday post every other week to get it done.

Thanks for making the last round of discussions such a success. If you want another round of them, all you have to do is keep talking to me about this, and I’ll do my best to help make it happen.

Images from Part Time Monster’s feminism board.

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Six weeks of Feminist Friday Discussions: A Reflection

  1. It’s wonderful to see how this first Feminist Friday discussion generated so much and then led to others in the following weeks. I am grateful I could partake in them and am looking forward to the next round.

    I think that going through each stage of education and “generally” talk about them might make for more engaging discussions, than take a single problem and use it to look at every life cycle. As you pointed out, the issues and situations can be very different across different places, so by focusing the discussions on a single life cycle, it might make it more comprehensive and complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I’m inclined to agree. One of the problems I have with the writing of these posts is that specific discussions are more useful in a practical sense, but general discussions allow more people to comment. There were several posts where I didn’t contribute much to the discussion, either because I didn’t know much about the issue, or because, by the time I had a chance to catch up with the discussion, everything I could think of had already been said.

      Like

    • Cool, and thanks. I usually post my plans for Friday on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning, then publish the Friday post about the same time I did today.

      Like

  2. It’s really cool how well this did and how it’s growing. 🙂

    For me and the way my brain works, I would only do stages of life if I was talking about a single country. Then I could have concrete examples of what’s currently available/being taught, and either provide or ask for suggestions of what should be different. Depending on my level of expertise, I could post a whole paradigm of how a finished product might work. I would probably go topically, and then have examples of countries/regions where that aspect of education is most needed. But really they all need major improvements, so ages might be the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. It’s a conundrum, and if I’m not careful, it could turn into a project that requires hours of research for each post. But education does seem to be next on the list of things for me to talk about. I’m not sure I can do a weekly post on education, so, I’ll be feeling around for other bloggers who do feminist fridays so I can reblog their posts on off-weeks.

      I went weekly for as long as I could because I thought it was important to establishing the discussion part of the project. Now, I think I have to trust people to come back, and look around for other people who write about feminism regularly to feature on the off weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gene’O, you could post a weekly update on any progress you’re making and ask for input while also doing features in the same post? Maybe a monthly discussion post? Would that be too much work?

        Like

        • That’s a good idea, and thanks for suggesting it. I’m thinking about how to set it up so that it’s sustainable, and I’m contributing frequently as well as promoting. I’ll always let people know what I’m doing in a late Tuesday or early Wednesday post, and offer to promote others when I don’t have something ready to go.

          Like

          • You’re welcome. The main reason I don’t contribute more or consistently post feminist Friday topics is because it’s like most of the things I would talk about have already been said, and I don’t have the time/energy to do round-ups on a regular basis, but I’m happy to help spread the word if I can.

            I’ve been thinking about changing the way I do my children’s media stuff so that it runs on Fridays if I have it, because it’s always been something I connect ot feminism (in the sense that so many of these franchises are criticized as sexist on grounds I don’t agree with) but I don’t know how I’d spin that as a “feminist friday topic,” really.

            Like

            • Hey, I understand. The main reason I do it is because it lines up so perfectly with conversations I have offline, and Fridays are typically an easy day when I have lots of time to comment and moderate threads.

              Diana connects children’s media, and especially childrens lit, to feminism too. I’m not up to explaining the nuances of her thinking – she’s the scholar; I am not sure what I am, not really a scholar in the sense that she is, though – but I see it in almost everything she writes about children’s media.

              Like

            • (Another problem is that I talk to much, start writing and end up with 3k words of commentary on something when I intended to post as 2 paragraph summary. _._)

              I was writing something about Frozen this week and kept finding reasons to argue that Aladdin is a feminist narrative. I hadn’t even seen those before. There’s probably three more posts in there.

              Like

  3. First, this has been fun and invigorating. I love the discussions we’ve been having and I have met so many great bloggers through this project.

    I like the idea of going through the ages, starting with early childhood. My only concern with limiting it by country is we have many contributors from outside the U.S. who I wouldn’t want to see left out or feel like they don’t have a voice in the discussion. I also think it’s interesting to see how some of these issues are handled in other places. The discussion itself generates some useful comparisons sometimes. Those comparisons can help pinpoint weak spots in certain areas… and I’m always up to do another Feminist Friday post and host the discussion when there’s a need!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, seeing how things are done in other places is useful, and it’s valuable, too. I won’t limit it – I’ll take great pains not to. My point there was really that I can only speak about the U.S., and that we can’t generalize from there to other places.

      Early childhood, especially, is tricky. Because that’s all about the culture. I’m probably going chronologically with it. I’ve been thinking about it all day. That’s what makes the most sense.

      Like

    • As far as hosting goes, I’m happy for you to do it whenever your life allows and you feel inspired. Any time you’re writing one, just give me a heads-up and we’ll do the discussion at yours. the education posts that I’m thinking of writing are the sort of posts that can sit on a shelf for a week and still be just as good the next.

      Like

  4. Pingback: Here’s To Making It Through Another Week | The Writing Catalog

  5. Pingback: Weekend Music, with Thank Yous | Sourcerer

  6. Pingback: Blogging + Links: Feminism, Science Fiction, Fandom, Writing, Social Media | Natacha Guyot

  7. Pingback: Row 80 Check-In, Weekly Favorites, and Upcoming Stuff — May 18 | Rose B Fischer

  8. Pingback: The Purpose of Education for #FeministFriday | Comparative Geeks

Chatter Away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s