blogging as feminist… ?

by anzya


I’d never thought of blogging as a particularly feminist kind of writing, but I came across this little praise of the blog this week in an article by Israeli writer, activist and feminist Simona Sharoni (one of the founders of Women in Black), where she makes the interesting point of how the blurring of the personal and political that blogs do, can open up creative possibilities for feminists.

“Blogs can make an important contribution to conversations among feminists because they can capture complexities and contradictions, as well as document change over time, inspiring original insights that develop into ground-breaking theories.” *

I found this idea pretty inspiring. And I think it could be taken even further still.

In fact, the whole personal/political aspect of the blog that Sharoni talks about, reminds me of one of my favourite feminist theorists, Helene Cixous, for whom writing is central to the feminist revolution. For Cixous, feminist writing, unlike the dominant male order, is not about aiming to possess or homogenise. Rather, is about diversity, multiplicity and creativity; it is at once personal and universal. And women’s liberation is to be achieved through the continuous process of writing.

Of course I’m not saying all blogs are inherently feminist, but there is the potential there for a multiplicity of alternative, challenging, feminist voices to emerge. What I find most offensive about the Australian Jewish News, and one blog (like I said…) which has recently had its 15 minutes “The Sensible Jew” (note the choice of “sensible” as opposed to compassionate, sensitive or intelligent)… is how they treat the Jewish community as a singularity. How differences in opinion are elided. How there is such little openness to criticism or change.

I hope you’re still with me and that my end-of-week-brain hasn’t gone too far off on a tangent there. But I guess these ideas made me think of the aims of our little blog here. How we can use this little corner of the internet to write in a feminist way. That is, by challenging the masculinism, inwardness and homogeneity of writing about Jewishness. By celebrating creativity, openness, compassion and diversity. And by writing from lived experiences, as well as from deep critical thinking.

* Simona Sharoni, “Compassionate Resistance” in the International Feminist Journal of Politics June ’06 (the article is about much more than blogging by the way, and definitely worth a read).