Documenting digital feminist activism: Mapping feminist responses to new media misogyny and rape culture

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Media and Communication

Abstract

In recent years, the Internet and social media have played a prominent role in a range of social and political protests across the globe - from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street to the Spanish Indignados, it is clear that new media technologies have the potential to create social change, reforming political systems, and challenging a range of oppressive ideologies. Yet such technologies have also opened up highly visible public spaces for the proliferation of online forms of sexism, harassment, and misogyny (hatred of women and girls). There have been numerous high profile stories about 'e-bile' (online hatred) and 'trolling' (online stalking) of women, and a growing concern over the normalisation and acceptance of rape jokes and images that celebrate violence against girls and women on web 2.0 platforms like Twitter and Facebook. While the UK government has recognised 'media sexism' as a growing problem, and has run a number of awareness campaigns aimed at rape prevention and stopping sexual violence and abuse, there is little research which documents the particular forms that misogyny takes in a digitally mediated culture, and even less which analyses the range of activist responses to this problem which mobilize new media technologies in innovative and creative ways.
Although it is only beginning to attract mainstream media attention, feminists are fighting back against the proliferation of rape culture through their uses of new media platforms and technologies. For example, an international group of feminist activists recently initiated the #FBrape campaign which solicited over 60,000 tweets and 5,000 emails to Facebook's corporate advertisers, demanding that companies pull their advertisements from the social media company due to Facebook's refusal to remove misogynist content encouraging violence against women and girls. The one-week campaign resulted in a promise from Facebook to change their policies on hate speech and make it easier to remove pages which promote rape culture, misogyny and sexual violence towards women and girls. Similarly, a number of websites, Facebook pages and Twitter hashtags have been created which encourage women and girls to document, photograph, and record instances of misogyny and harassment, raising public awareness and creating communities to support victims. Consequently, the main objectives of this research are to 1) map out how and when rape culture, harassment, misogyny and sexual violence are occurring in on and off-line spaces; 2) explore and analyse feminist responses to these incidents; 3) understand the experiences of women and girls who participate in this activism; and 4) to document feminist responses and experiences through the creation of a living archive of contemporary digital feminist activism.
To meet these aims the project uses interdisciplinary research methods including content and feminist critical discourse analysis of online media, and ethnographic methods, such as observation of online activist communities and interviews with feminist activists, to explore how and why they are using digital technology. The research has the potential to benefit a number of stakeholders including feminist activists, government, charitable organisations, and media companies like Facebook by documenting some of the forms that new media misogyny is taking and a range of feminist digital activist responses. Our primary digital output is an online archive that will document this feminist activism and facilitate a collaborative space where activists can record their own initiatives and connect with other women and girls globally.

Planned Impact

The project's findings and assessment of its significance will be disseminated through a series of outputs for academics (two books, one of which is an edited collection) and the public (an online archive documenting feminist activism and experiences).
In order to engage with key potential users of our research findings and our digital archive we will hold an interim data sharing workshop at the IOE, to which we will invite activists, policy makers, industry members and charitable organisations to offer feedback on our emerging findings, and to help shape the digital archive. We will also host a one-day symposium 'Online Feminist Activism' at the Feminist Library, which will further disseminate our results amongst academics, feminists, charities, policy makers, students, and other community members.
The research will:
1. Document, collect and publicise various forms of feminist activism which challenge sexism, misogyny and rape culture.
2. Involve feminist activists, policy makers, industry leaders, and charitable organisations in the research, particularly at the stages of data analysis and dissemination.
Who Will Benefit:
1. Academics will obtain a greater understanding of the ways misogyny and rape culture circulate in on and offline spaces, and how activists are responding to this culture.
2. Feminists will gain greater knowledge and awareness of a range of activism taking place. This can help in brainstorming, networking, consciousness raising, and action.
3. Individuals who do not currently identify as feminists can use the project to learn more about various issues and potentially become involved.
4. Our project partners will benefit from increased visits to their websites.
5. The Feminist Library which is hosting our one-day symposium will increase visitor numbers.
6. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will have documentation of sexism, harassment and misogyny being distributed through their platforms. This information can help them to respond and improve their policies around such content.
7. Policy makers such as the Home Office, Department of Culture, Media and Sport, and SCOOP, who are interested in issues related to ending violence against women and girls yet lack academically rigorous research findings on the nature of online misogyny as well as a systematic picture of the numerous strategies underway to combat this.
8. Charitable organisations like EVAW will have access to the academic research findings to support their media campaigns and government lobbying to protest violence against women and girls, rape culture and 'media sexism'.
How They Will Benefit:
1.By challenging hatred and violence against girls and women happening in new media spaces the project aims for enhanced quality of life of citizens (particularly feminists) but also the wider public and various stakeholders, who will gain a greater awareness of sexisms effects on society. They will also have a greater understanding of how online channels can be used to challenge this sexism, thereby directly contributing to the ideals of connected communities both nationally and internationally.
2. By providing a space to document digital feminist activism and providing a hub for some of the diverse activism that is taking place, the project is contributing to the construction of a more connected feminist community where academics work with, share and develop understandings with activists and other stakeholders who may not be directly in touch with academic communities otherwise.
3. Enhanced public knowledge about feminism to counter the notion that feminism is irrelevant or that young women are politically disengaged.
4. Enhanced public participation and engagement as the academic and feminist community become more aware of various campaigns.
5. Providing knowledge to inform new areas of research and fill a current gap in the academic literature. This will benefit academics, stakeholders and policy makers.
 
Title Documentary "Perpeturaped" 
Description Kaitlynn Mendes was interviewed as part of the documentary "Perpeturaped" which will be screened at the Artemis Women in Action Festival in California 26-29 April 2018.Access the video here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vgl2a6ahQbJRNJowr0SYfa9-STrootrN/view 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact To be determined 
URL http://www.artemisfilmfestival.com/2018-festival/2018-schedule/
 
Description This year we have completed the research, published one peer-reviewed journal article, one special issue of a journal, and are now writing our book for Oxford University Press. In doing so, we are drawing from and contributing to new theoretical frameworks for understanding digital (feminist) activism, such as 'platform vernacular', 'affect', 'rape culture', 'popular feminism', and 'popular misogyny'.

Specific project findings include:

1) Gendered violence remains a key priority for contemporary feminist activism, and requires ongoing policies and interventions.

2) Through engaging with digital feminist platforms, many of our participants (those who contribute to these sites) as well as organisers (those who founded, organise or run these sites) generated a 'feminist consciousness.' In other words, both participants and organizers who had not previous identified as "feminist" began to take on the label. Engaging with feminist politics online then can provide a mediated element to "feminist awakenings."

3) In speaking with over 50 participants, it is clear that the affective labour of doing digital feminist activism is real, overwhelming, and exhausting for both organizers and participants.

4) There is a clear link between the anonymity afforded by many digital feminist campaigns and safety for some participants. Participants used anonymity as a factor when deciding how and where to participate in order to avoid judgment from family, friends, employers, acquaintances, and trolls.

5) Certain platform cultures are 'friendlier' to different forms of feminism than others. For example, Tumblr was often regarded as a 'safe' space for feminist discussions, while Twitter was often regarded as inherently hostile, particularly for our teenage feminists. This highlights the importance of platform design for shaping the kinds of feminism that are made possible across different platforms.

6) In some cases, social media functioned as a 'backchannel' to challenge institutionalized sexism. For example, some teen feminists used Twitter to challenge their principle or head teacher about school sexism and to raise questions about policies such as gendered dress codes or lack of teacher response to incidents of sexual harassment.

7) One of the greatest strengths noted by our participants is the urgency, immediacy, speed afforded by digital media to make 'real time' interventions into public debates, discussions, news, or policies.

8) Another key strength of these digital feminist spaces is that they open up new opportunities for community formations - even with people from around the world with whom they have never met. This was particularly important for our participants in rural locations, or who live in culturally conservative nations.

9) Digital feminist platforms are key spaces to share experiences which are often otherwise 'unspeakable', or which they would have kept private.

10) Our research contributes to a theorization of mediated 'liveliness' and new unprecedented connection. This finding builds on existing scholarship while reimagining this idea in relation to contemporary feminism. Not only is feminist activism now more visible within media culture, but we have demonstrated the affective nature of new forms of sharing, connection and solidarity previously impossible through speaking about experiences of rape culture. What is evident and remains to be explored further is the radical potential of digital culture to reanimate feminist politics online and off.
Exploitation Route We have evidence that our research is already making an impact in the field. To date, we have engaged in 30 engagement activities with many more lined up over the coming year. This engagement has spread beyond the UK to nations such as Canada, China, the US, Germany and Sweden. We are regularly being invited to present our findings from this research and have already made interventions into school training and provided reports to the UK Government advisory committees. Although only published in late 2016, our peer-reviewed journal article in The Journal of Gender Studies has already been downloaded over 2300 times, indicating the salience of this topic.

As the interview transcripts have now been archived at the Feminist Archive South, this also opens up the possibility of our research being used for media, educators and policy makers alike. Furthermore, our web-site www.digitalfeminism.co.uk presents neatly packaged 'case-studies' from our project which are easily digestible for academic and general audiences and highlight our key findings.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.digitalfeminism.co.uk/
 
Description Since our project completed in July 2016, we already have evidence of the ways our findings have been used. For example, in the wake of our stakeholders meeting in April 2015, the stakeholder from the charity End Violence Against Women (EVAW) fed our project results back to the team which was then used with their 'Strategic Communications' work and thinking. This involves exploring segments of the population who are on board with EVAW's messages, and which issues are strategically important. Although the 'impact' in this case is not necessarily tangible, our stakeholder from EVAW indicated that our research certainly provided concrete evidence about the importance of violence against women as a key feminist issue, and provided a hook through which to discuss who the organisation should be targeting and what their message should entail. Jessica Ringrose was invited to submit evidence to the Women and Equality Committee Sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools Inquiry http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmwomeq/826/826.pdf. She was also invited to the Advisory Committee, British Council Report Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in the UK: Meeting the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals https://www.britishcouncil.org/society/womens-and-girls-empowerment/gender-equality-uk. She also co-leads a Gender Equality Leadership in School (GELS) Network hosted by the Gender and Education Association, which connects schools with non-governmental organisations to promote gender equalities for young people across the UK http://www.genderandeducation.com/6462-2/ By working with secondary school teachers and key stakeholder groups such as UK Feminista and Fearless Futures around how to combat sexual violence including aspects of rape culture in schools members of the research team are building awareness of how to combat gender inequality, with case study examples and resources featured on the Gender and Education Association web site. In response to the main findings of this project that schools are struggling to address everyday sexism and gender and sexual violence in school culture, Ringrose has applied and won Seed Funding from UCL IOE to explore schools understandings of these issues and how they are working to proactively address gender and sexual equality. The project encompasses: 1. a survey to find out about how schools are addressing gender/sexual equality in schools 2. a review of any groups or resources bought in to tackle these issues 3. Qualitative case study of best practice school (covers these issues in curriculum, extracurricular, behavioral policy - whole school approach) 4. Developing teacher guide/resource/toolkit 5. Hosting a teacher, practitioner and stakeholder event/workshop to launch the resource The project aims to have a direct societal and policy impact through development of Gender and Sexual Equality GASE Toolkit for UK schools and is also linked with a partner initiative in Cardiff University, AGENDA: A Young People's Guide to Making Positive Relationships Matter (Led by professor Emma Renold). Ringrose and Renold are teaming up to work on the teacher training and delivery of gender and sexual equality in schools across England and Wales.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description Advisory Committee, British Council Report Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in the UK Meeting the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/gender_equality_an_empowerment_in_the_uk.pdf
 
Description Invited submission of research evidence to the Women and Equality Committee Sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools Inquiry
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmwomeq/826/826.pdf
 
Description Leading Gender Equality Leadership in School (GELS) Network hosted by the Gender and Education Association, which connects schools with non-governmental organisations to promote gender equalities for young people across the UK
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact This professional association group has helped students and teachers across England and Wales through enabling feminist groups address issues of gender and sexual violence and help young people develop media literacy in the area of rights and equality around gender and feminism
URL http://www.genderandeducation.com/6462-2/
 
Description UCL IOE Seed Corn Fund
Amount £12,750 (GBP)
Funding ID How are secondary schools addresing gender and sexual inequalities 
Organisation University College London 
Department Institute of Education (IOE)
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2017 
End 07/2017
 
Title Project Archive 
Description This is a web-based archive where we document key case studies from our project and provide an analysis of our data. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact N/A 
URL http://www.digitalfeminism.co.uk
 
Description "Digitized Narratives of Sexual Violence: A case study of #BeenRapedNeverReported and Who Needs Feminism? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Conference Paper based on our research to Console-ing Passions, Bournemouth, 11-13 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.console-ingpassions.org/cp-conference-2018/
 
Description " 'I'm proud of this belly:' #CropTopDay and Girls' Self-Representation as Feminist Activists." SCMS 2016 Conference, Atlanta USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jessalynn's presentation was part of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference, held in March 2016 in Atlanta, GA, USA. Approximately 40 academic attended this talk, which raised awareness about the research project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "#CropTopDay: Girls' Media Activism as a Challenge to Normative Girlhoods." IGSA Conference 2016, Norwich, UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jessalynn's talk was part of the International Girlhood Studies Association's inaugural conference, held in Norwich, UK in April 2016. The audience included about 75 international academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description "A Mobile Feminist Politics? Disrupting the Ghomeshi Narrative" CCA Conference Presentation, Calgary, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jessalynn gave this talk as part of the Canadian Communication Association annual conference, held in Calgary, Canada in May 2016. The audience was approximately 30 communication studies academics, primarily from Canadian institutions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description '"It threatens them when we come all fired up!" Girls confronting rape culture and everyday sexism in and around the high school' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was a lively roundtable discussion about teenage girls use of digital media to engage in feminist activism. The event was attended by a reporter from the Daily Mail, and was covered by Heart FM.

The discussion generated some very lively debate amongst the audience which was a mixture of the public, students and staff across the University and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/events/2015/june/media-sexism-and-education-a-roundtable-panel-discussion
 
Description Behind the Hashtag: Experiences of Social Media Feminism Against Rape Culture - Ask First Symposium, Calgary, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This talk by Jessalynn was part of a one-day symposium called Ask First in Calgary, Canada, which examined cultures of consent on university campuses worldwide. The audience was diverse and included academics as well as third party sectors (ex: social justice organizations) and government officials.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Behind the Hashtag: The Politics of Doing Feminist Digital Research - U of C Dept of Communication, Media & Film seminar series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This talk by Jessalynn was part of the Connections seminar series in the Department of Communication, Media & Film at the University of Calgary. Audience was primarily U of C academics from several departments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Confronting "Unspeakable Things:" Digital Media, Rape Culture Activism and Affective Labour' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Our presentation sparked a lot of discussion and debate about the onslaught and publicity of digital feminist activism

I received an invitation to speak at Loughborough University's Departmental Seminar Series about our grant resulting from this talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Digital response to misogyny 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This is a research talk presented at Loughborough University on 9th March 2016 where I share some preliminary results from our project.

This talk examines the ways in which girls and women are using digital media platforms to challenge the rape culture they experience in their everyday lives; including street harassment, sexual assault, and the policing of the body and clothing in school settings. Focusing on three international cases, including the anti-street harassment site Hollaback!, the hashtag #BeenRapedNeverReported, and the Tumblr blog Who Needs Feminism? this paper asks three key questions: What experiences of harassment, misogyny and rape culture are girls and women responding to? How are girls and women using digital media technologies to document experiences of sexual violence, harassment, and sexism? And, why are girls and women choosing to mobilize digital media technologies in such a way? Employing an approach that includes ethnographic methods such as semi-structured interviews, content analysis, discursive textual analysis, and affect theories, we detail a range of ways that women and girls are using social media platforms to speak about, and thus make visible, experiences of rape culture. This paper argues that this digital mediation enables new connections previously unavailable to girls and women, allowing them to redraw the boundaries between themselves and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Doing Digital Feminist Activism - #MeToo, #BalancetonPorc and Hashtag Feminism 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I am Visiting Professor at the Universite Paris II Pantheon-Assas and gave a talk to staff and students about hashtag feminism, including #MeToo and #Balancetonporc which has emerged in France.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Doing Digital Feminist Activism: #BeenRapedNeverReported as Mobile Feminism 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Approximately 20 faculty members and postgraduate students attended this research seminar, which generated useful discussions on methodology and theoretical scope of this project. Presentation increased audience's knowledge about the subject and awareness of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description EDUCATING 'AGENDA' SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE IN MAKING POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS MATTER, Cardiff University July 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact In this activity Professor Jessica Ringrose (UCL, Institute of Education), Executive Director of Gender and Education Association and co-director of Gender and Equalities and Leadership in Schools (GELS) introduces the GEA GELS initiative to a group of students and teachers in Wales at Cardiff University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2007
 
Description Feminism in Schools #PressFor Progress Conference Blackheath High School GDST 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact 2018's International Women's Day (IWD) will encourage us all to look back over 100 years of women's suffrage but to also continue to 'press for progress' around gender parity. Bringing together themes of community, uniting and 'pressing' for specific forms of intersectional change, Blackheath High School GDST Feminist Society will be running a one-day conference! The conference will tackle subjects such as: the gendered curriculum, sex and relationships education, 'safe spaces' in schools, engaging boys and men, the intersections of race and gender, arts and their creative potential to create change, moving beyond the gender binary and the teaching of power and privilege in schools. Speakers include Sexplain, GreatMen, TIGER (Teaching Individuals Gender Equality), Professor Jessica Ringrose and a range of young people from London Schools
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Feminist Digital Methods Fishbowl - AOIR Conference, Berlin, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jessalynn participated in a fishbowl at the Association of Internet Researchers in Berlin, Germany which discussed digital feminist methods. This research was discussed as developing innovative research strategies in uncovering of experiences of social media engagement. The audience consisted of primarily international academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description From 'Fading Away' to Your Twitter Feed: (Re-)Presence-ing Feminism Through the #BeenRapedNeverReported Hashtag SCMS 2015, Montreal Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Approximately 70 people attended this session as part of the 2015 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference in Montreal. Jessalynn's presentation generated discussion and the academic audience became aware of this important project, including several academic presses who are interested in publishing work from this project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Gender, Sexuality and the Sensory Symposium, University of Kent, Cantebury UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact This paper will provide key findings from a 21-month study funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK, which interrogates how girls and women negotiate rape culture through their uses of digital platforms. In this presentation, we use the notion of platform vernacular to explore the different types of affective and material relations made possible in various social media platforms including blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr to compare relative feelings of safety around speaking out against rape culture online.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://www.kent.ac.uk/sspssr/news-events/gender-sexuality-sensory.html?tab=speakers-and-abstracts
 
Description How to combat sexism in 2017? With an app, of course. Christian Science Monitor coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Jessalynn was interviewed and cited in this story, which addresses girls' and women's use of new media technologies to challenge sexism. It appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, a prestigious U.S.-based magazine, in January 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2017/0111/How-to-combat-sexism-in-2017-With-an-app-of-course
 
Description Interviewed for BBC's 100 Women Series 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was interviewed for the BBC series '100 Women' to talk about the role of the media and feminist activism. This was for the opening sequence to the series.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-38027826
 
Description Invited to give a talk about the grant at Anglia Ruskin University, 26 April 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Kaitlynn has been invited to Anglia Ruskin University to give a talk titled: 'Digital Feminist Activism: Organisers Experiences of Feminist Activism' based on research from the grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynote Talk - '#MeToo and the Promise and Pitfalls of Challenging Rape Culture through Digital Feminist Activism' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Keynote talk at the annual Media, Communication and Cultural Studies (MeCCSA) Post-Graduate Network conference. The conference reaches between 51-100 PGR students, mostly from the UK, but also from Europe and North America.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Keynote at #NotAskingForIt event at Middlesex University with Jessica Ringrose 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jessica Ringrose and Kaitlynn Mendes gave a keynote talk at Middlesex University on 23 February at the event titled: #NotAskingForIt which was about mediations of rape and rape culture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.mdx.ac.uk/events/2017/02/-notaskingforit-rape,-discourse-and-media
 
Description Media, Sexism and Education: A Roundtable Panel Discussion, Leicester University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact There has recently been substantial popular media attention to the prevalence of "rape culture" on university campuses within Canada and the United States, and "lad culture" in the United Kingdom. However, less attention has been paid to the prevalence of rape and lad culture in secondary schools and the ways in which "popular misogyny" and "everyday sexism" proliferate in educational spaces and within teen peer sexual cultures. In this talk teen feminists and feminist academies present together about the experiences of working together in a London-based high school feminist club. We offer an analysis of the affects surrounding 'feeling feminism' suggesting the clubs provide a space for the girls to feel more safe, confident, angry and active within school environments often still hostile to feminism. We also demonstrate how these feelings are communicated beyond the groups via the girls' engagements in digital spaces, such as Facebook and Twitter. We discussed different modes of social media engagement and activism with the audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www2.le.ac.uk/news/events/2015/june/media-sexism-and-education-a-roundtable-panel-discussion
 
Description Networked Affect, Rape Culture and Teen Twitter Feminist Activism in and around School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact In this paper we consider the current rise of fourth wave social media feminisms as pedagogical platforms for challenging everyday sexism and rape culture, exploring the complex dynamics through which teen girls are taking up, negotiating and performing on and offline feminism in and around school. We explore social media sites as spaces of potential activism (Hands, 2011) and of conflict and hostility expressed, for instance, through trolling and e-bile (Jane, 2014, Shaw, 2014, Rightler-McDaniels & Hendrikson, 2014). Drawing on theories of networked affect (Hills et al., 2015) we show how teen aged girls navigate a Twitter feminist community within and outside of school. We focus on experiences of challenging rape culture and experiences of trolling and online harassment, which involve both known and unknown audiences. We consider the tactics teen feminist employ to stay 'safe' online, including blocking, muting, deactivating and time away from internet. We also, however, document the ways teen feminists use social media like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr to directly challenge rape culture including online trolling, exploring the affective affordances of tweeting and posting including uses of hashtags, emojis, memes, images and more.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://viralcontagion.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/affect-and-social-media-symposium2-programme/
 
Description Paper presented at International Association of Media and Communication Research titled: 'Documenting Digital Feminist Activism: Mapping Online Responses to Rape Culture through Hollaback and the Everyday Sexism Project' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Kaitlynn gave a paper titled: 'Documenting Digital Feminist Activism: Mapping Online Responses to Rape Culture through Hollaback and the Everyday Sexism Project' at the 2016 IAMCR conference at Leicester University, 26-31 July.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Paper titled: '"'I'm going to tell them that they're all fat' - Feminist Organisers Experiences With and Responses to Online Misogyny' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Kaitlynn has been invited to give a talk titled: '"'I'm going to tell them that they're all fat' - Feminist Organisers Experiences With and Responses to Online Misogyny' at Loughborough University on 21 April at an event titled: Online 'Othering': Exploring the Dark Side of the Web
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Paper titled: 'Rape Narratives and Digital Feminist Activism: A case study of #BeenRapedNeverReported, Hollaback!, The Everyday Sexism Project, and Who Needs Feminism?' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Kaitlynn has been invited to an international workshop at Lund University, Sweden, titled: 'Intersectional Narratives of Rape' from 5-6 April. She will give a paper titled: 'Rape Narratives and Digital Feminist Activism: A case study of #BeenRapedNeverReported, Hollaback!, The Everyday Sexism Project, and Who Needs Feminism?' from her forthcoming book with Jessica Ringrose and Jessalynn Keller (Oxford Press, under contract)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Rape Culture and the Media (London school visit) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Brief presentation on 'rape culture and the media' to approximately 20 high school students who participate in a feminist lunch club at a school in North London. Students participated in a discussion at the end of the presentation and reported an increased knowledge about the problem of rape culture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Rape Culture: Myth or Menace: a Debate 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I took part in a debate on 'rape culture' which is a key theoretical framework for our study. The session was 1.5 hours long and certainly sparked much discussion and debate amongst the audiences and 3 other panel members.

I had some interesting discussions with audience members afterwards about the nature and scope of rape culture - some already understood this concept, but others were learning about it for the first time.

I have since been approached by the City of Leicester school to come and give a masterclass about sexism, laddism and rape culture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://battleofideas.org.uk/2015/session_detail/10040
 
Description Researching Girls and Sexuality: Affect, the digital and the body 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Girls, sexting and gender politics: making material-discursive space for teens girls as sexual agents (Amy Dobson, Monash University, Australia).

"It just makes you feel so bad".: Girls' embodied experiences of postfeminist popular culture (Sue Jackson, University of Wellington, New zealand)

Pram-face girls: young female sexuality and the management of stigma (Mary Jane Kehily, Open University)

"On the Internet no one knows you're a dog. But on Twitter everyone knows you're a bitch." (Danny Miller, UCL)

Researching the digital and affect (Laura Harvey, University of Surrey and Jessica Ringrose, IOE)

Researching bodies and affect (Beckie Coleman, Goldsmiths University and Emma Renold, Cardiff University)

After the talk we explored ideas for a follow on symposium
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ioe.ac.uk/98688.html
 
Description School skirts a distraction? BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour, Aired July 16, 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Distracting School Uniforms
A school in Stoke-on-Trent has banned skirts because they are 'distracting' to male teachers and pupils. The head teacher says as girls 'get older their skirts get shorter'. Jessica Ringrose, UCL Professor in Gender and Education, Francis Gilbert, teacher, author and Guardian journalist, and Vic Goddard, head teacher of Education Essex' Passmores academy, are in the studio.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b061tvs02015http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b061tvs0
 
Description School uniforms and double standards 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This blog follows from news media reports that a school in Stoke-on-Trent has banned skirts on the grounds that they are 'distracting' to male teachers and pupils. The head teacher said that as girls 'get older their skirts get shorter'. Jessica Ringrose, Professor of Gender and Education at the UCL Institute of Education, took part in a discussion on Radio 4's Women's Hour triggered by this news. Here, she and Rosa Tully, 16, founder of a feminist group in her London secondary school, extend the debate.
Jessica Ringrose is Professor of Sociology of Gender and Education, at the UCL Institute of Education. Rosa Tully is a 16-year-old sixth form student who started a feminist group at her London secondary school in 2013. The group has had up to 100 members spanning years 7-11.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL https://ioelondonblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/are-girls-school-uniform-skirts-distracting-or-is-the...
 
Description Stakeholders Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact This is a stakeholders meeting which is meant to share information about the project thus far with project partners as well as research participants. We also use this meeting to discuss the creation of a digital archive which is a major output for the project. Here, we have also invited our web developers along to assist with this
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Teen girls' mediated feminist activism and sex education, Keynote speech at 'An International Symposium: Moving Forward: Identities, Sexting, Schooled Bodies, and the Curriculum that Frames Us' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This international symposium being held at Western University in London Ontario Canada explores the content of sexuality education provision internationally. Various sectors of the government, NGO's, parents, community groups, teachers, schools and young people are often in sharp disagreement about what sexuality education should aim to cover and do. This international level of contestation is apparent in recent curricular developments to the Health and Physical Education curriculum (2015) in Ontario, Canada and has provoked a public outcry and in some cases, rallies to protest the revisions to the curriculum. In light of a public discomfort toward these curriculum revisions, and in relation to wider educational and sexuality debates that may shed light on recent events, the organizers (Dr. Michael Kehler-Western University, Ontario, Canada and Dr. Jessica Ringrose-University College London, Institute of Education, London, UK) are hosting an International Symposium: Moving Forward, at the Faculty of Education, London, Ontario, Canada, May 22-25, 2016. The symposium hosts academics, practitioners, students, policy makers, NGOs and more to come into dialogue around sex education and the role of digital technology in particular.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.edu.uwo.ca/moving-forward/index.html
 
Description Visiting Scholar Invitation to Fudan University, Shanghai 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In June 2017, Kaitlynn will travel to Fudan University, Shanghai to act as a Visiting Scholar for the Harvard-Yenshing Institute. Kaitlynn was specifically invited because of her research on this grant.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017