"Invisible feminists? Social media and young women?s political participation"
, in Political Science, Vol. 65, Nummer 1, Sage, Seite(n) 8-24, 2013
Invisible feminists? Social media and young women?s political participation
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Considering insights from ?third-wave? literature, this paper examines the impact of young women?s online activism on the visibility of feminist engagement inNewZealand.Drawing on 40 interviews with women of all ages who are concerned with women?s political issues in New Zealand, I identify a generational divide in the ways these women participated in feminist activities and I argue that online activism is a key form of participation for many young women. Since online activism is only visible to thosewho use it, this form of participation hidesmany young women?s activities fromthe wider public and from politically active women of older generations.Many of my older interview participants were not aware of the political energy young women put into online communities such as blogs and Facebook. Thus they expressed concern that there would not be enough young women to pick up their work once they retired. However, the youngwomen in my study used newmedia to connectwith and support each other, to have political discussions and to organize events in the ?real world?. The young women valued new media for its flexibility, accessibility and ability to reach large groups of people. Moreover, they appreciated its easy and low-cost use. The paper concludes that political online work offers many opportunities for feminist participation, but it excludes people not using new media, and thus contributes to the enhancement of a generational divide among women engaging with feminism.