Oct 18

#MeToo in India

India is one of the most dangerous countries for women to live in. In recent studies it has ranked number one before countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. One of the most disturbing events that contributes to the image of India was the gangrape and murderer on a bus in 2012. An event that made protesters take to the streets and women speak up. And they had the ears and eyes of the world upon them.

But the MeToo-movement did not take off in India until a year after the time of the “global” break out in 2017. Just like in the US, and large parts of the world, it was the naming of powerful men in the entertainment and news business that made the movement expand. On October 4, Mahima Kukreja, tweeted that a named popular comedian had sent her an unwanted dickpic. Other women responded by sharing stories of similar behaviour from the comedian. Earlier the ex-Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta named a film veteran who she accused of sexual misconduct and the allegations helped launch the #MeToo movement further in India.

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Oct 18

The Kavanaugh Hearings

In 1991, President George H. W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. He was accused for sexual harassment by Anita Hill. When Hill testified before the Senate judiciary committee there was not a single woman on the 14-member panel. The African American Anita Hill was investigated and questioned by powerful middle-aged white men which today it is quite painful, especially considering the differing power relations and the intimate questions, to watch.

Clarence Thomas sits in the Supreme Court and three of the men Hill faced on the committee remain on the panel in 2018. However, this time a female prosecutor was chosen to question the woman, Christine Blasey Ford. The assault, according to Ford, took place at a party in 1982 when they both went to High School. The nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, denies. During the hearings both Kavanaugh and Ford where emotional and considered believable by the public. Moreover, two other women had made accusations about Kavanaugh.

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Oct 18

A forum for hatred

Social media platforms are a great possibility for people with certain interest to find each other online. With a simple hashtag, social movement can grow, and users and activists can easily find each other and share news and experiences. For example, during the Arabic spring a hashtag could be used to summon protesters into the streets.

With this possibility people can also gather in groups that might turn out to be less constructive. One rather recent example is the “incel” forums. A support group for lonely depressed men emerging into an arena for hatred. It is a group that is both easy to make fun of and to feel sorry about. Under the hashtag #incel there are lots of post about incels rather than posts written by someone who is part of the community. They seem to prefer their forums.

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Oct 18

The backlash against #MeToo

The backlash against the, initially, celebrated activist movement is possibly a fact and #MeToo has left a somewhat questionable legacy. Women speaking up about sexual harassments became a debate on publishing decision making, when traditional media published content under the hashtag and named men who had not been found guilty in a court of law.


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Sep 18

Welcome to the Group 6 Blog

A general theme was agreed to examine how inequalities in access to ICT4D infrastructure and knowledge influences activism in the digital age. Much has been written about how the ‘digital divide’ between and within rich and poor countries impacts on an individual’s ability to engage effectively and competitively in political and economic life. But how does it effect social movements and activism? Does the digital divide work for or against grassroots organisations trying to make an impact on the political landscape? Does it advantage some grassroots organisations whilst disadvantaging others?

A provisional/working title for the blog is “Bridging the Digital Divide”. Perhaps with a subtitle of ‘Activism in an age of Digital Inequality’ . A title page could include something like a bridge image with a connected 1st world city and disconnected 3rd world city either side.

Blog postings will aim to explore this conceptual framework of activism and the digital divide within the context of specific themes for which each blogger will be effectively a ‘correspondent’. The purpose of this is to provide as much free artistic/investigative license to the blogger as possible but within a common framework so as to harness the individual expertise and experience of group members.