Feminist testimony in the internet age: sex work, blogging and the politics of witnessing
Author: Hamilton, Carrie
Source: Journal of Romance Studies, Volume 9, Number 3, Winter 2009 , pp. 86-101(16)
Publisher: Berghahn Journals
Abstract:This article investigates how the second-wave feminist emphasis on women's experience and first-person testimony manifests itself in feminist use of new technologies, in particular the web log or blog. Drawing on feminist theories of testimony and witnessing, as well as academic literature on the internet and new media, I analyse a number of feminist anti-prostitution and anti-pornography blogs in which the blogger positions herself as witness to the suffering of female sex workers. Although such blogs challenge different forms of exploitation in the sex industry, they tend to ignore the complexity of that industry and simplify the stories of women working in it, privileging experiences of suffering and victimhood and discrediting testimonies of sex workers who do not identify as victims. I conclude that although the blogosphere creates new fora for feminist networking and the creation of community, it simultaneously re-creates old forms of exclusion and divisions within feminism.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2009
- Journal of Romance Studies promotes innovative critical work in the areas of linguistics, literature, performing and visual arts, media, material culture, intellectual and cultural history, critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, gender studies, social sciences, and anthropology. The primary focus is on those parts of the world that speak, or have spoken, French, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, but work on other cultures may be included. Issues cross national and disciplinary boundaries in order to stimulate new ways of thinking about cultural history and practice.
Published in Association with the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London.
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