BLOGGING BETTY(S): HOW BLOGGERS USED THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE TO DISCUSS FEMINISM

Open Access
Author:
Brennan, Elizabeth L
Graduate Program:
Media Studies
Degree:
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
February 26, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Michelle Rodino Colocino, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • blogs
  • feminism
  • The Feminine Mystique
  • mixed-methods
Abstract:
This paper examines how and why bloggers use blogs as a forum to discuss, debate, circulate, and promote feminism through examination of blog coverage on The Feminine Mystique’s 50th anniversary in 2013. Through both semi-constructed interviews with bloggers and textual analysis of the participant’s blog posts on feminism, I explore why bloggers choose blogs to host discussions around feminism as well as how they articulate the relationship between second-wave and contemporary feminism. I locate five themes consistent across the data set, three that address feelings towards using blogs to discuss feminism and two that address feelings towards contemporary and second-wave feminism. These include: blogs facilitate conversations about feminism, blogs build communities, blogs bring visibility to feminism, there is currently a lack of solidarity in the contemporary movement, and, despite the former statement, there is optimism surrounding the future of the feminist movement. Additionally, I draw comparisons between today’s bloggers and Betty Friedan in terms of their use of media. I conclude by suggesting how feminists may use these findings for creating safer online spaces where productive discussions about feminism can occur.