The world has never been as patriarchal as it is today. I’m not claiming that individual societies don’t treat their women better than they did previously, but in the globalised, interconnected world we live in, we can no longer consider issues in an isolated fashion. So as we now consider the situation of women everywhere, from sexual exploitation of women to FGM tosexism on wikipedia to the modern day witch hunt, the full scope of women’s oppression is more visible, and daunting, than ever.
Seen from a global perspective, where oppressions intertwine and augment, there is a pressing need to expand female consciousness. One of the ways to do this is by documenting and discussing a broad range of women’s stories online. The ability of bloggers to impact mainstream discourse has “never been greater” according to the Harvard Business Review, which also reports that if you want to have an impact, you should be setting the agenda by blogging your ideas.
These advantages are especially important for women of colour whose stories are obscure from mainstream media. We need to boost intellectual discussions, especially those that tackle sexism, repressive traditions and racist stereotypes and that empower us to make sense of our diverse journeys.
Women need to be encouraged to write, and to perceive that our ideas matter. It is up to us to end the tyranny of patriarchy, no one else will do it for us. It is up to us to challenge negative stereotypes and blogging is one way to contribute to thought leadership by documenting our stories and ideas.
There’s a lot of advice about how to start a blog but I’d suggest aspiring bloggers forget about most of it and focus on getting into the habit of writing regularly. Regularly could be once a day or week or maybe, maybe month, but it is necessary to maintain a certain pace. It’s your regular presence that makes an impact.
Women’s blogs do not need to be explicitly feminist (although I could not encourage this more). But don’t be put off by the idea that women’s issues are “soft” issues. If that were the case major publications would not keep putting them on their covers. Be confident that your writing has all the gravitas necessary to those who seek insights in your words.
If that doesn’t encourage you, think about this; to author a blog is to own a space, however humble or significant, in the most revolutionary medium since the printing press was established.
Furthermore, it is to continue a legacy of female writing, an écriture féminine of sorts, championed by Audre Lorde, Anne Frank, Mary McLeod, Adelaide Casely-Hayford, Virginia Woolf, Nuha al-Radi, Anaïs Nin and other women who could be seen as some of the first “bloggers”.
It’s worth mentioning that blogging can be a risk, there is a lot of sexism in the blogosphere like everywhere else. But the more women blog, the more we motivate each other, the more our presence makes an impact.
About the author
Minna Salami is the founder of MsAfropolitan, a multiple award-winning blog covering contemporary Africa and Diaspora society and culture from a feminist perspective. Her main areas of expertise include extensive research and writing on gender issues in African society; media and popular culture in an African context; speaking engagements and university guest lectures.
Connect with Minna Salami via Twitter @MsAfropolitan