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Awesome women and bad feminists: the role of online social networks and peer support for feminist practice in academia

Bayfield, Hannah ORCID:, Colebrooke, Laura, Pitt, Hannah ORCID:, Pugh, Rhiannon and Stutter, Natalia 2020. Awesome women and bad feminists: the role of online social networks and peer support for feminist practice in academia. Cultural Geographies 27 (3) , pp. 415-435. 10.1177/1474474019890321

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In her book, ‘Bad Feminist’, Roxane Gay claims this label shamelessly, embracing the contradictory aspects of enacting feminist practice while fundamentally being ‘flawed human[s]’. This article tells a story inspired by and enacting Roxane Gay’s approach in academia, written by five cis-gendered women geographers. It is the story of a proactive, everyday feminist initiative to survive as women in an academic precariat fuelled by globalised, neoliberalised higher education. We reflect on what it means to be (bad) feminists in that context, and how we respond as academics. We share experiences of an online space used to support one another through post-doctoral life, a simple message thread, which has established an important role in our development as academics and feminists. This article, written through online collaboration, mirrors and enacts processes fundamental to our online network, demonstrating the significance and potential of safe digital spaces for peer support. Excerpts from the chat reflect critically on struggles and solutions we have co-developed. Through this, we celebrate and validate a strategy we know that we and others like us find invaluable for our wellbeing and survival. Finally, we reflect on the inherent limitations of exclusive online networks as tools for feminist resistance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1474-4740
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 21 October 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 02:12

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